A man holds a guitar and wears a cowboy hat in front of a small blue sign reading Luckenbach Texas with a star

© Todd White Stills and Motion

If you’re looking to simply kick back under an old oak tree while knocking back a cold one, then you need to join Waylon, Willie, and the boys in this Hill Country honky-tonk town 10 miles southeast of Fredericksburg. But if you’re looking for an adventure, this region is bustling with things to do.

Luckenbach Dancehall

Founded by Germans in the 1840s, this small town had all but disappeared when storyteller and goat rancher Hondo Crouch, along with Kathy Morgan and Guich Koock, bought it in 1971. With eccentric events like the Mud Dauber Festival, Crouch turned the town into an outpost of the “outlaw country” genre. Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings popularized the famous song “Luckenbach, Texas,” and visitors from all over the world still come to buy a postcard postmarked with the Luckenbach stamp from the general store and two-step in the dance hall where Jerry Jeff Walker recorded his album Viva Terlingua. Grab a cold beer and a pulled pork sandwich and relax while musicians sit around in pickers’ circles and play until the sun goes down.


Jenschke Orchards

To taste the sweetest side of the Hill Country, visit this orchard where you can pick a juicy peach right off the branch. The Jenschke family planted its first trees back in 1961 and now has over 30 varieties that ripen between May and September. Make a reservation to pick all you want and pay by the pound, or purchase boxes of peaches from the store. Whatever you do, save room for a cup of fresh soft-serve peach ice cream.


Wildseed Farms

The Hill Country is famous for its abundance of wineries, but those looking for colors beyond white and red should head to this 200-acre wildflower farm. For over 35 years, the farm has been cultivating seeds and shipping them across the country. Walk on trails through rows of budding flowers and snap plenty of Instagram-worthy pictures. The gift shop is great for anyone with a green thumb, and there’s a wine-tasting room on-site if you want to imbibe.


Old Tunnel State Park

Officially the smallest state park in Texas, the old tunnel is filled with approximately 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats. The park is built around an old railroad tunnel that once carried passengers and cargo between Fredericksburg and Comfort. It was abandoned in the 1940s, and sometime later a huge bat colony moved in. Between May and October, visitors can sit on the observation deck and watch the animals take to the sky at dusk.


Alamo Springs Café

This country café sits within walking distance from the state park and serves some of the biggest burgers in Texas. It was once also a general store, but when its burger made the cover of Texas Monthly in 2009, the store became solely a burger joint. Anything on the menu is great, but the signature “cover burger,” with green chiles, avocado, and grilled onions on a jalapeño-cheese bun, tops the menu.

From the August 2021 issue

Get the Magazine

Save up to 62% off the cover price


Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Sign up for magazine extras, upcoming events, Mercantile specials, subscription offers, and more.