German Hill Country
German Hill Country is in central Texas.
Despite the location in the "German" hill country of Texas, you do not need German to communicate. On the other hand, German speakers will find Gesprechpartners in Fredericksburg, Walburg, and other smaller communities, especially among older persons. Many school systems offer (or in some cases, require) 12 years in instruction in the German language.
The German Hill County is justly famous for its spring wildflowers. Miles of bluebonnets flank roads in late March to mid April, and cactus bloom in May. Since the brilliance of the display depends on autumn rains the year before, it helps to call the Texas Department of Transportation information line at (800) 452 9292 to find the best viewing spots.
Texas Hill Country cuisine is heavy on the meat, potatoes, and bread, and there is excellent barbecue and locally produced sausage in most communities. In Texas, barbecue is smoked, rather than sauced, meat. Well-known eateries include Cooper's in Llano, where you walk up to the barbecue pit, point to the piece of meat you want to eat, and the cashier retrieves and weighs it, takes you money, and hands it to you on a piece of waxed paper with several slices of white bread. Other barbecue establishments offer beans, potatoes, and salads. Vegan travelers will find Austin offers far more opportunities than the smaller communities of the Hill Country.
Although the official drink of Texas may be beer (Shiner or Lone Star, in particular), the Hill Country is known for its wineries. At least 24 Hill Country wineries welcome visitors. Highway 290 east of Fredericksburg is the place to find at least 5 wineries, with others southwest of Lampasas on FM 1478 and on state highway 27 near Comfort.
The two major health hazards for visitors to the German Hill Country both involve water, too much of it and too little of it. Flash floods can cover roads with up to 10 feet of water during especially severe thunderstorms. Low spots are signed to indicate the depth of water over the road. Never drive into running water. Every year some motorists die because they drive into a flood.
In the summer, be sure to stay hydrated. The most severe effects of dehydration usually hit those in the best athletic condition. Remember to drink cool, not ice-cold water regularly, and to protect against the sun.