The best places to see wildflowers in the Texas Hill Country
The unseasonably warm spring weather and ample rainfall has yielded an early bumper crop of beautiful wildflowers — bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, coreopsis, and many more are popping up all around town.
Grab your camera and head out for the best bluebonnet photos in recent memory. The most spectacular stretches of roadway and open fields can be found in nearby Hill Country counties.
Perfect for a day trip, you can check out the spectacular bluebonnet vistas at the 400-acre Turkey Bend Recreation area. One of last year’s wildflower hot spots, Muleshoe Bend, is partially underwater, however the areas that are above ground are beautiful. If you want to cruise a stretch of bluebonnet-adorned country road, drive Highway 281 through Burnet all the way to Lampasas.
On April 7-9 Burnet hosts the 34th Annual Bluebonnet festival, which draws more than 30,000 visitors each year. With the bluebonnets carpeting the hillsides, roads leading to Burnet in all directions are perfect spots for wildflower viewing. The festival is family-friendly, and a visit to Burnet’s historic downtown square is an added bonus.
In Fredericksburg, do not miss Wildseed Farms, a family owned wildflower farm. There, you will find beautiful fields of blooms and lots of family-friendly activities, as well as the option to buy bluebonnets and wildflower seeds.
Johnson City and Llano
Leave Fredericksburg and drive north on Highway 16 toward Llano to see long stretches of wildflowers along a very pleasant and picturesque 40-minute drive. Or take 290 to Johnson City and Fredericksburg with a detour to enjoy the Willow City Loop, which is a favorite for motorcyclists.
McKinney Falls State Park
If sleeping among the wildflowers appeals to you, this is the spot. The park, an hour-and-a-half north of San Antonio, is a 726-acre preserve with cascading waterfalls, hiking and cycling trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, limestone swimming holes, and fishing in Onion Creek and a campground.
Twenty miles north of downtown Austin, Brushy Creek Lake Park is a perfect spot for family picnics. The park includes a lake, nature trails, picnic areas, and, yes, plenty of wildflowers.
For more information, photos, and reports, check out Texas Wildflower Sightings. The Texas Department of Transportation also operates a Wildflower Hotline (800-452-9292) for updated information on all locations.