Updated: Jun 15, 2021
With bluebonnets blooming and spring at its verdant, full throttle, we lit out for Texas Hill Country in our Regency RV Ultra Brougham a few weeks back. Some of our favorite childhood memories as kids hail from the banks of the Guadalupe and the magical hills of central Texas. Our first spring back in the Lone Star State, it was our turn to share it all with our son at last.
The wonderful thing about hill country is that you can eat at both James Beard-worthy establishments and mom-and-pop joints, listen to great live music, drink German brew in a beer garden or sip wine in a vineyard, take in a museum or just float the rivers and let the beauty of it all wash over you. I’m sure this is just the first of many trips we’ll take here. One thing is certain, this special pocket of Texas is just as enchanting as we remembered it. Joy is simply inescapable down in these parts.
We took off with a tank of gas, a foot-stomping playlist, road snacks and heads full of steam and caffeine. A few hours later, we pulled into the legendary Hill Top Café outside Fredericksburg and as luck would have it, the Top’s famous owner and bluesman, Johnny Nicholas, was playing his first set at a makeshift stage that’s hosted some of Texas music’s greatest for over 40 years. The food is as impressive as the tunes with a local, seasonal menu that’s sourced from their own garden and their neighbors. My personal favorites are their flounder, boudin or their dynamite chicken fried steak. With our bellies full and our hearts warm, we took our leave, but not before Davis (our 5-year-old) got a greeting and a fist-bump from Johnny himself.
From there we headed straight for our campsite on the Guadalupe at By the River Campground and we were not disappointed. This may be our new favorite campground in the area! Prices range from $40 to $50 for a premium waterfront site. The owners were delightful, the camp store was stocked with everything from supplies to innertubes for river floating and the amenities included TV and Wi-Fi for RV sites, laundry and shower facilities, a swimming pool and a BBQ area. But all of that is mere fluff when compared to the generous, secluded campsites and the natural surroundings of their location.
By the River Campground
By the River Campground delivered everything I’ve missed and loved about this charmed stretch of Texas. Our site was perched alongside a tributary of the Guadalupe River and was nestled up in the trees. A 5-minute trail walk across a bridge led to the main Guadalupe River and a short half-mile hike led to a hidden bend of the river with light rapids and rope swings.