Spring has sprung with the first signs of wildflowers dotting the highways.
There are many viewing opportunities in and around Austin, however the most spectacular stretches of roadway and open fields can be found in nearby Hill Country counties.
It’s always a good day when you explore Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. In addition to the abundant wildflower sightings, the center has over 650 native Texas plant species in its gardens and trails.
St. Edward’s University, Bull Creek District Park, and Quinlan Park Road in Steiner Ranch also offer amazing views of wildflowers within the Austin city limits. There are stretches north of the Pennybacker Bridge to Spicewood Springs Road that have plenty of color too.
Muleshoe Bend is arguably the most beautiful place for wildflower sightings. Located in Spicewood, there is a 6.5-mile bike trail as well as opportunities to camp. For a day trip, pack a picnic, load up the mountain bike and take in the views of the glorious wildflowers.
Take 290 West to Johnson City and Fredericksburg with a detour to enjoy the Willow City Loop, which is a favorite for motorcyclists.
Hill Country drives
There are several beautiful drives and “wildflower loops” near Austin. Drive out to The Hyatt Lost Pines for the scenery and a nice lunch. Highway 71 toward La Grange does not disappoint, and Highway 290 between Manor and Elgin is also a good bet.
There are some great photo ops on the bluebonnet trail if you take SH 16 north of Llano to RR 1323. In Kingsland, head to the famous railroad covered in wildflowers (CR 321 crosses the track), perfect for a postcard shot.
Additionally, you can take scenic wildflower drives through Horseshoe Bay, Granite Shoals, and Inks Lake for some waterside bluebonnet views.