Travel Guide || Texas Hill Country

I just returned from a trip to Texas Hill Country and I am once again asking myself why we don’t go more often! This trip focused around visiting some swimming holes and rivers we had yet to visit. We were not disappointed!

Day 1: We left Houston bright and early and our first stop was the hotel in San Marcos (La Quinta Inn & Suites because dogs always stay free!) where we dropped Ella off to enjoy a nap and some much needed A/C. Our plan for the afternoon consisted of jumping off some high rocks into a swimming hole at Jacob’s Well near Wimberley, TX.


Quick Tip: dogs are NOT allowed and a reservation is required. So many people in front of us were turned away because they did not make a swimming reservation (make yours here). You will reserve a 2 hour swimming time beforehand and pay upon arrival to the park. It is $9 for adults and $5 for children. You can bring all your own gear, food and drinks. The walk to the swimming hole is a bit tricky so I wouldn’t bring much (ie. rolling cooler or huge floaties).


When our time was up, we drove back to Wimberley where we enjoyed ice cream at Amy’s Ice Creams and browsing through the numerous antique shops and boutiques.


After swimming in the pool back at the hotel we decided to have dinner in Austin, TX as it was only 35 minutes away. Based on recommendations we made reservations at The Salty Sow and we were not disappointed! The atmosphere and the food were on point.


Quick Tip: use Open Table to make your reservations and you earn 100-1000 points per reservation. After you’ve collected 2,000 points, you can cash your points for a $20 dining cheque. That’s a no brainer!

Day 2: We headed straight to the San Marcos Lion’s Club (5 minute drive from our hotel) where we planned to start our float. We have our own tubes and pump, but if you don’t, tube rentals are $10/tube for the entire day. If you just need air, that will cost you $2/tube. A full day of unlimited shuttle rides from the end of the float back to the start (or you car) is $5/person (dogs are free, but must be leashed). Locker rentals are also available starting at $5.


The float is perfect and lasts around 45 minutes this year. Along the way we saw ducks and a ton of snapping turtles. Near the end there is a small island where you can stop and swim. When you get to the end, make sure you ride the three shoots/rapids and hold onto your sunglasses! There are also several rope swings and picnic tables near where the shuttle picks you up.

Photo-5We had one tired pup after our day on the river!

Quick Tip: coolers and alcohol are allowed on the river (NOT in the parks) as long as you have a secure, attached lid on your cooler and you dispose of your cans and garbage in a proper manner. There are trash boats along the way and you can also rent mesh trash bags that attach to your tube. No glass or styrofoam of any kind.

After our float we were craving BBQ and headed straight to Hays Country Barbecue. All I can say is DELISH.



Due to the floods and the busy summer season, make sure you check the requirements and closures for all bodies of water. We were set on going to Hamilton Pool, but learned it was still deemed unsafe due to flood damage and water quality. Keep in mind it’s H-O-T and bring sunscreen and plenty of water.



Happy and safe swimming, jumping & floating y’all!


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