We recently took a family road trip to the Texas Hill Country. Our main destination was the Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio to meet up with another family. There were some other nearby attractions I visited as a child and wanted to take B to as well, so with a little planning I added a few stops to our Hill Country getaway.
Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
On our way to the Hyatt Hill Country we stopped at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. I remembered going as a child and thought B would enjoy it as well. We left early in the morning, around 7:00, to make the 3.5 hour drive from Houston and get to the Wildlife Ranch before it got too hot so the animals would still be out.
When we arrived at the ranch we stopped into the restaurant to visit the restroom. Then we had fun being entertained by the Gibbons. Their shouts, that sound like a car alarm going off, and swinging antics were hilarious. After the Gibbons we checked out the Lemurs and then visited the Giraffes.
Then it was time to hop in the truck and take the 6 mile tour of the 450 acre ranch. The horned animals made me a little nervous but we made it through without getting any scratches on my husband’s new truck.
It was amazing how friendly and eager the animals were for treats. As you can see some made me a little nervous. This guy ended up getting away with my bag of food! You receive one bag of food with your admission. We purchased some additional bags, one for each of us, and the guidebook that tells you about all the animals on the ranch. We enjoyed using the guidebook to identify and learn about the animals as we saw them.
Where else can you get this close to over 500 exotic animals?
The Ostriches were probably my favorite and what I remembered about our trip from my childhood. They ate right out of the bag and had us cracking up!
I’ve got to say the Wildlife Ranch was probably the highlight of our trip. B asked if we could go back on our way home.
Natural Bridge Cavern
Next door to the Wildlife Ranch is Natural Bridge Caverns. Another Texas attraction I remember visiting when I was a child. Since it was right next door we decided to stop. They’ve added additional attractions but we just did the basic Discovery Aquifer tour. The tour takes you 180 feet under ground into a cavern filled with naturally made stalagmites and stalactites.
It’s really quite breathtaking. Even though I’m claustrophobic the cavern spaces are very large so you don’t feel claustrophobic at all. The temp stays a steady 70 degrees which sounds cool but the 99% humidity brings the temp up a little.
The tour lasts about 75 minutes and honestly B was over it after the first 15 minutes. It’s a really neat experience that every Texan, or those visiting, should do at least once.
Hyatt Hill Country Resort
From there we headed to the Hyatt Hill Country Resort. We got checked in and were greeted with free wine and beer samples. My husband discovered he likes Shiner after all 🙂
I got us all unpacked and then we headed down to the pool. It is such a beautiful, relaxing pool area. We floated in the lazy river, went down the slide and had dinner by the pool.
While my hubby started his day off at the gym, B and I went for a walk on the nature trail at the resort.
We spotted a rabbit, a cardinal and had fun reading about other local animals along the way. After our walk we played B’s favorite new game: Badminton. The resort had a great little playground area with a Badminton court, horseshoes, corn hole and bikes.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing by the pool and in the lazy river. It was nice that B had a friend there to play with and go down the slide with 20 times in a row. In the evening we stopped by the fire pit for s’mores! We honestly spent so much time relaxing that I didn’t really get any pics of the resort.
Goals for today were:
- Sip a tasty drink while floating the lazy river
- Take a nap in a hammock under the trees
- Anniversary Dinner with my hubby
I am happy to report I checked all three items off my list! The Texas Peach was probably my favorite drink to sip in the lazy river which is modeled after the Guadalupe River – a popular floating destination In Texas. There’s even a little sandy beach area for the kids to dig and play in.
The resort has the most amazing trees to nap under and there are several hammocks tucked away throughout the property. My hubby surprised me and had some anniversary churros (I LOVE churros!) delivered to me poolside.
Since we were celebrating our 14th anniversary, I arranged for B to go to “Kid’s Camp” from 6:00-10:00 so my hubby and I could have a date night. We had dinner on the property at Antler’s Lodge. It was delicious and the staff was so friendly wishing us a Happy Anniversary! We even got a visit from the chef! I had the Filet Mignon and hubby opted for the Elk. First time I’ve ever had Elk and it was very good, not gamey at all like I thought it would be. For dessert we shared the Fried Bananas Foster.
We got up early, checked out of the resort and headed to New Braunfels to spend the day at the Original Schlitterbahn. Again, a childhood favorite I wanted to share with B. While Schlitterbahn now has two sections, I love that the old section is fed by the Comal river (which means it’s pretty chilly at a constant 72 degrees) and has a more natural feel. The slides are long and some actually end in the river. The new section has more modern slides and features an uphill water coaster. The other great thing about Schlitterbahn is you can bring in your own cooler full of snacks and drinks. We were there on a Thursday so the lines weren’t too long and we were able to do a number of slides. However, we didn’t make it over to the other section of the park. Around 4:00 B had his fill of sun and water for the week and was ready to go home. Yeah we were a little shocked but I’m sure spending the previous 3 days in the sun and water all day then waking up early and spending the day in the sun and water wore him out. I had booked us a hotel in New Braunfels figuring we’d be too tired to drive home but since it was so early we decided to head home instead. B slept all the way home.
It was a great little trip and one I’m sure we’ll always remember.