Austin and the Texas Hill Country are blessed with hundreds of fields and gardens where bluebonnets bloom en masse. If you’d like to admire impressive displays of the state flower and other spring blooms, visit these spots in and around Austin.
Brilliant wildflowers are in bloom at Bull Creek District Park, a ten-minute drive from AMLI 5350. Bluebonnets should still have their violet coloring at the time this post goes live. Even closer to AMLI’s Allandale apartments, bluebonnets have sprouted around the bus station at Bull Creek Road and 45 Street. The wildflowers contribute a certain rare beauty to the otherwise inconvenient experience of waiting for the bus.
You’d expect a garden with the word “wildflower” in its name to be a good place to view wildflowers. Even so, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center might exceed your expectations. Home to more than 700 native plants, the center offers visitors the chance to see dozens of different types of blooms at once. The center’s Texas bluebonnets are a major draw. Other eye-catching flowers currently in bloom include antelope horns, blue curls, giant spiderwort, Indian paintbrush, Texas star, pink evening primrose, purple coneflower, and winecup. The popular botanic garden is a 15-minute drive from the Austin apartments at AMLI Covered Bridge and AMLI South Shore.
McKinney Falls is a nice place to hike any time of year. In peak wildflower season, the bluebonnets and blue curls make for spectacular scenery along the park’s numerous hiking trails. The 744-acre park at the confluence of Onion Creek and Williamson Creek is only 15 minutes’ drive from AMLI South Shore. The park’s cabins and campsites make for a nice staycation.
Last spring, St. Edwards proved one of the best places to see bluebonnets within Austin’s city limits. Bluebonnets and other native wildflowers color the campus grounds. This wildflower sanctuary is a five-minute drive from AMLI South Shore’s East Riverside apartments.
The Ennis Garden Club takes its bluebonnets seriously. Thanks to their efforts and Ennis’ ideal blooming grounds, this Ellis County community is one of the easiest places to spot bluebonnets. April is Ennis Bluebonnet Trails month. Between April 1 and 30, Garden Club members drive and carefully inspect more than 40 miles of local wildflower trails at least once a week. After making observations, club members report bloom statuses to the Ennis Convention and Visitors Bureau. Up-to-date information on blooms, available at the Visitors Bureau and on its website, spares bluebonnet hunters from having to drive aimlessly until they find flowers in bloom. The annual Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival was held this past weekend, but the flowers are just starting to peak and should be brilliant through the end of the month. Ennis is a two-and-a-half hour drive north of Austin, but the drive is worth it if you have a thing for wildflowers.
For a city of just over 10,000, Fredericksburg is a major player in Austin Hill Country’s tourist economy. Agri-tourism is especially big here, with vineyards and wildflower gardens drawing a quarter million out-of-town visitors annually.
Just over an hour from AMLI Covered Bridge, Fredericksburg is a manageable day trip from Austin. It’s also a fascinating and lovely place to spend a weekend. Wildseed Farms, located between Stonewall and downtown Fredericksburg, is home to 200 acres of wildflowers. If you’re a biker or avid cyclist, the colorful Willow City Loop north of Fredericksburg is a must. The undulating hills and bubbling creeks the road traverses are beautiful enough to warrant a visit. When the wildflowers are in bloom, pops of blue, purple, red, yellow, and white make the loop even more charming.
This 900-acre Spicewood park is an oasis of bluebonnets for several weeks each spring. When the lighting is right, it is difficult to tell where the bluebonnets end and the water begins. You can admire the wildflowers by bike, foot, horseback, or kayak. The park’s 10-mile mountain bike trail is especially popular during bluebonnet season. A half-hour drive from the southwest Austin apartments at AMLI Covered Bridge, Muleshoe Bend makes for an easy day trip. It’s also a great place to camp. Unzipping your tent to see early morning light shine down on the bluebonnets is an awe-inspiring experience. Dogs are welcome at Muleshoe Bend, but must be leashed near camping sites.
A 20-minute drive from AMLI 5350 and AMLI at Mueller, Round Rock is home to several impressive bands of bluebonnets. Old Settlers Park, located on Round Rock’s northern edge, is a wildflower sanctuary. The bluebonnets and red Indian paintbrushes are especially vibrant, often blooming later in the season than elsewhere in Hill Country. Other popular places to admire blooms are the Terra Vista community subdivision and stretch of Highway 79 between Round Rock and Rockdale.
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