Swim in a gorgeous lake, hike through miles of beautiful Hill Country terrain, and savor a glass of Texas-made wine at a scenic vineyard. These are just a few of the things to do in Marble Falls, a quaint town situated 50 miles west of Austin in the midst of numerous recreational parks and wineries. Although it’s known as an idyllic destination for those who love the great outdoors, Marble Falls has a little bit of something that everyone can enjoy. If you’re planning a trip to this Hill Country town, check out our list of the top things to do in Marble Falls so you get the most out of your time here.
Drive into the south side of Marble Falls along Highway 281 and you’ll come across a breathtaking view: gently sloping tree-covered hills converging with a wide, dark-blue expanse of water. You’ve just taken in a birds-eye view of Lake Marble Falls, a more than 600-acre waterway where locals and visitors come to play and relax. There are two parks in Marble Falls that grants direct access to the lake - Lakeside Park and Johnson Park – that are just a few moments away from the downtown area. From either park, you can leap into the lake’s clear water, try your hand at catching largemouth bass or catfish, or go kayaking or canoeing. Since both parks face the water, they are also the ideal place to be if you’re content to simply enjoy the views. Lake Marble Falls’ scenic charm and ample amount of things to do makes it a must-visit while you’re in Marble Falls.
With its gently rolling hills of farmland cut from pecan and oak thickets, glistening lakes and rivers, and rugged limestone bluffs, it’s no wonder the Texas Hill Country is widely regarded for its scenic beauty. The city of Marble Falls sits just a few minutes away from sprawling parks and recreational areas that are prime examples of the region’s beauty, making it easy to get out and admire it for yourself. One such option is the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, a massive animal habitat home to two endangered species of birds, the black-capped vireo and the golden-cheeked warbler. The refuge can be explored on its more than seven miles of nature trails, some of which are specifically mapped out so you can catch a glimpse of these two rare birds.
Although the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge is an essential place to visit during your time in Marble Falls, it’s not your only option. There are several sprawling outdoor areas nestled along the banks of the pristine Colorado River, within 30 miles of Marble Falls, that provides a wide variety of recreational opportunities. Explore a wide variety of terrain on the many miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails; swim and kayak in the gorgeous river; or hang your hat at a secluded campsite. Each recreation area has something different to offer, so make sure to check the Lower Colorado River Authority’s website before you plan your next Hill Country adventure.
Adrenaline junkies looking for a heart-pounding experience in Marble Falls should head to Hidden Falls Adventure Park, a 3,000-acre park with more than 200 miles of off-roading trails to traverse. Climb on to an ATV, full-size 4x4, or dirt bike and speed along the park’s rocky dirt trails that take you from the tops of tree-covered hills to the bottom of dry creek beds. If you have your own vehicle, all you need to do is pay the park fee and you can embark on your own self-guided adventure. Don’t have an ATV or a dirt bike? No problem. Head to Hill Country Adventure Rentals, where you can rent an off-road vehicle of your own while you take part in a guided tour of the park. Along with all the off-roading action, Hidden Falls Adventure Park has a full-service shooting club and camping sites if you want to stay longer than a day.
If the thought of a glass of merlot or cabernet sauvignon makes your mouth water, then you’ll want to find your way to Marble Falls. That’s because this lakeside town is surrounded by top-class, award-winning wineries and vineyards, making it the perfect place to stay if you want to explore Texas’ wine country. Most of the wineries near Marble Falls, such as Flat Creek Estate, Spicewood Vineyards, and McReynolds Wines, have tasting rooms where you can try the tasty reds and whites from the source. You can also go on a tour of each of these wineries, an absolute must-do if you want to learn more about the winemaking process.
You’ve spent all of your vacation playing outside and you’ve worked up quite the appetite. So why not satisfy your cravings at the Blue Bonnet Cafe, an award-winning family-owned eatery known as one of the best restaurants in Texas. This charming cafe has served delicious breakfasts, tasty chicken-fried steak, and luscious home-made pies since 1929, making it a bona-fide culinary institution in Marble Falls and all of the Hill Country. The cafe is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday through Saturday, and on Sunday morning and afternoon. Eating at Blue Bonnet Cafe is a dining tradition more than 80 years in the making that can’t be missed during any visit to Marble Falls. Just make sure to get there early, since the restaurant doesn’t take reservations.
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