The heat in Texas has been brutal this summer. Now that fall is headed our way, it will be time for Texans (and those visiting the Lone Star State) to catch up on all the outdoor activities they had to forgo due to the dangerous temperatures. We’re planning to spend part of the winter in the Austin area, so this guest post by Tracey Louis couldn’t have been more timely!
Traveling in the Texas Hill Country is a unique experience, and the pristine waters of the Highland Lakes provide a wealth of exciting adventures that are ideal for bringing along a pet. A number of accommodations graciously offer pet-friendly policies, and quite a few restaurants allow pooches to enjoy patio dining with their owners. The area surrounding Lake LBJ is full of great pet-friendly parks, and plenty of lakefront access points allow dogs to enjoy the cooling water with the family.
Horseshoe Bay Resort is one of the most luxurious properties on Lake LBJ, and pets are welcome stay for a non-refundable cleaning fee. The facility encompasses more than a dozen tennis courts, a premier golf course, a full-service spa, and several restaurants. Complete with a marina, this property is a great home base for those who want to rent a boat, head out onto the lake, and experience the dynamic trophy fishing that keeps the lake so wildly popular.
The Little Lodge on the Lake is in Kingsland, and it also offers lakefront access to guests. This lodging area is ideal for travelers in RVs, or those who prefer a more authentic and rustic Texas experience. For a small fee, pets can join their owners in the rental cabins, and they can hang out on the property on a run or leash. Dogs love to take naps in the shade provided by majestic oak and pecan trees, or accompany their human to the lake or fishing pier.
Near Lake LBJ, there are two parks with designated leash-free zones for the enjoyment of dogs. Johnson Park is in the quaint town of Marble Falls. The scenery is lovely, as this well-shaded area is where two creek branches join up to flow into Lake Marble Falls. In nearby Spicewood, Pace Bend Park is a favorite hangout of pet owners, and it even offers beachfront access to visitors.
Adventurous pets and their owners will find an abundance of great trails and swimming spots in Inks Lake State Park. Within the confines of the park, leashes are mandatory to ensure the safety of pets and the native wildlife. Seven miles of hiking trails are well marked, and they all are pet-friendly. Getting into the water is a cinch, and the best swimming spot is the Devil’s Waterhole, which offers amazing views of the lake’s stunning million year old rock formations.
Eating with pets is not as challenging as one might think in the Lone Star State. Nearby in Spicewood, there are two standout eateries ideal for bring pets. Opie’s Barbecue serves traditional smoked meats, and wait staff will bring out a bowl of water for pets on the sizable covered porch. Angel’s Icehouse features a shaded picnic area for diners with pets, and they often have live music on the weekends. Dairy Queen is a staple establishment in Texas that typically allows pets, as long the particular location offers outdoor seating. Kingsland and Marble Falls locations each possess this pet-friendly feature.
With so many places to eat, sleep, and play that welcome pets, there is no reason to leave furry friends behind when enjoying a vacation on Lake LBJ. Certainly, they will enjoy providing their owners with companionship, as opposed to missing out on all the fun that the Highland Lakes region offers.
Tracey Louis is an avid dog-lover, a big fan of travel and a former innkeeper at Lake Buchanan. She continues to promote tourism for the area. For more information on upcoming events at The Highland Lakes, go on Facebook or on Twitter.
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