I squandered the perfect itinerary for my parents on day 1 of their visit, so their visit followed more of a gentle, exponential decline rather than the other way around. They arrived happy and left snarling, the way all family interactions go. Family, am I right? But this was the best I could do, weather permitting.
Although Austin offers a lot of local hiking spots, I would call these walks in the woods rather than a hike. To get a real hike in, you have to go further out of the city—about an hour or so—to Texas Hill Country. Here, you’ll find all the rolling hills that Texas has to offer, wineries, olive oil companies, and breweries!
I want to introduce you guys to Pedernales Falls State Park. So far, it’s been my favorite near-Austin state park! I didn’t know how gorgeous until we drove down to their most well-known cluster of trails and rounded a corner—I wouldn’t call them trails exactly, just footpaths leading to the same thing. And that thing was the Pedernales Falls themselves.
At one point, this Chinese guy who had already made it down was trying to help his friend make it down too. He spotted my mom at that moment, climbing down the “stairs” and said to his friend in Chinese, “Look, if those old geezers can do it, you can too! It shouldn’t be too hard!”
My mom had to stop climbing because she was laughing so hard. “Old geezers?!” she said later, “I don’t even have any white hairs yet!”
My only thought was that I hope he hadn’t lumped me in with my parents. It’s way too early for that to be happening.
For some reason, the following photo is the type of photo that you would use if I went missing. It just gives off that post-biopic vibe, don’t you think? Ain’t no mountain high enough… do you see it too now? I threw in an end credits song for you. So for future reference, if I suddenly go missing, use this photo.
“Is this how you spend your weekends?!” my mom asked as we made our way slowly back to the parking lot. All of our faces were slightly tanner and glowed from the invigorating day; our bodies felt exactly the right amount of tired that came before a good night’s sleep.
I smiled. “Yeah, it’s been pretty great in Austin so far.”
The perfect day trip itinerary
So I realized I can’t reference my idea of a perfect day trip from Austin without saying exactly what we did. Here it is:
- Brunch at Juan in Million (amazing, face-size breakfast tacos)
- Drive to Pedernales Falls
- Stop at the Olive Oil Company en route back to Austin
- Alamo Drafthouse, if not too tired
What’s your favorite state/national park?
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