When the weather warms up, it’s a great time to spend time outdoors enjoying the sunshine and soaking up some Vitamin D. Texas is such a large state with so many points of interest, that it would take years to see and do everything that this great state has to offer. We’ve selected a few places near the Austin area, so you don’t have to venture too far from home but still get the feel of a real adventure. Like the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” You’ll enjoy the Texas Hill Country scenic drives each time you set your GPS to one of these new destinations. Of course, before you head out of town, be sure to stop by your favorite Sun Auto Service to make sure your vehicle is just as ready for the journey as you are.
One of the great things about the Spring and Summer seasons is getting outside and experiencing nature. Whether you choose to hike the Barton Creek Greenbelt or take a stroll through your neighborhood, the warmer weather beckons you to get outside. Here are some great destinations that are sure to get you out into the sunshine:
Go for a Dip
Begin your journey by traveling to Wimberley, just an hour south of Austin to Jacob’s Well. This natural swimming hole is popular during the sweltering summer months as the water is always a consistent 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Jacob’s Well is a perennial karstic spring with an underwater pit and gorgeous blue waters. The swimming area is 13 feet in diameter at the top, as water gushes through to feed Cypress Creek. The source of the water comes from the Trinity Aquifer, which makes its way from an extensive underground cave system. This artesian spring releases thousands of gallons of water a day. Discovered in the 1850s by early settlers following Cypress Creek, the area is now a popular diving spot. Extreme caution must be taken, however, as the cave system below is very dangerous and even SCUBA explorers have perished. Though diving is discouraged, there are videos at the ranger station of divers who have successfully explored the area. For conservation reasons, swimming access has been limited to May 1St through September 30th by reservation only. No fees or registration is required for hiking in the area, though, and guided tours and special events are offered throughout the year. The entrance to Jacob’s Well Natural Area is located at 1699 Mt. Sharp Rd., Wimberley, TX 78676.
Take a Hike
Along the Capital of Texas Highway, lies the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve. This area is perfect for families and novice hikers with 2.5 miles of nature trails through wooded and grassy areas with views of a stream and waterfall feeding Bee Creek. The preserve is home to an array of flora and fauna, as its name suggests, with many plants, birds, and animals—some which are endangered or threatened species. Trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset with free admission, although donations are welcome. The area is strictly for hiking on foot as bikes are prohibited. Leave pets at home and be sure to pack plenty of water as the area gets very warm in the day time. Picnics are permissible only in designated areas at the Creative Research Center. Plan your route ahead of time by downloading a map of the trails before you head out. Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve is located at 805 North Capital of Texas Highway in Austin, TX 78746.
The Austin Independent Business Alliance has long been using the slogan, “Keep Austin Weird.” The Museum of the Weird is doing its part to keep it that way. Located in downtown Austin, on 6th Street between Neches & Trinity Avenues is the museum, as part of the Lucky Curios & Gift Shop. Both have an eclectic collection of well, weird things. You may spy things such as a stuffed cyclops pig or the infamous frozen caveman. The owners, Veronica and Steve Busti, have always had a fascination with weird paraphernalia like artifacts from old horror movies and the like. They’re always adding new items to their collection, promising a new experience each time you visit. Steve endeavors to find “real, authentic oddities.” Though some may be fictitious, each item has a story. Whether the items are real or fabricated, Steve is hoping you can figure it out for yourself. For example, will you tempt fate by touching the “cursed” fertility statue? They recommend you don’t, unless, of course, you’re hoping to get pregnant. Or perhaps the rumor that the museum itself is haunted? Maybe it’s from the freaky skeleton standing in an open coffin in the corner. Many visitors also enjoy watching the sideshow performer, Juan Martinez, who likes to spend his time hammering nails into his nose and performing other dangerous, yet, can’t-look-away tricks. Entry to the gift shop is free. Admission to the museum is $12 for adults and $8 for children up to age 8. The museum is open daily from 10 AM to Midnight but may close on occasion for special events or due to inclement weather as well as on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Call ahead to confirm their schedule for your visit.
Plan Your Trip
No matter if you choose to go for a dip, take a hike, or get weird, before you head out for your scenic drives in Texas, be sure your car is fit for the ride. Stop into your nearest Sun Auto Service location for an inspection, oil change, or any other maintenance or repairs your vehicle requires. From regular maintenance to major repairs, our technicians are qualified to take on all of your automotive needs. Visit us first, and then relax and enjoy the scenery as you drive.