By Tricia Barendregt
Llano County Texas is a hill country treasure notorious for its natural beauty, geological wonders, and rich history.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is perhaps the most special destination in the Llano County. The massive pink granite dome has been the talk of legends and mysticism for thousands of years. Climb the rock to catch amazing hill country views. Other park activities include: hiking, backpacking, camping, picnicking, bird watching, stargazing… and the list goes on and on!
Another geological wonder that Llano County is known for is a rare form of rock called Llanite, found nowhere else in the world. Llanite is brown granite with blue quartz crystals that can be found north of Llano in Llanite dike.
Stop by and see the largest piece of polished Llanite at The Badu House in Llano, also known as the “Deer Capital of Texas”. The city hosts thousands of hunters each season hoping to take advantage of the highest density of deer in the nation. Did you know that Llano was designed to be the “Pittsburgh of the West”? Learn about the town’s rich history at the Llano County Historical Museum. While you are there, enjoy one of Llano’s many festivals.
Don’t forget about Kingsland located on the western edge of Lake LBJ for some unique attractions. Kingsland is home to The Antlers Hotel, a historic Victorian-style resort featuring a Queen Anne Style cottage that served as the movie set for 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and is now the home of Grand Central Café. Located on the Llano River just upstream from Kingsland, “The Slab” is a gathering point you cannot miss! Pools of refreshing, shallow water and plenty of sand make a perfect spot for wading, swimming with kids or sunbathing.
Do you want to catch the ghosts of hill country past? Then you must visit the ghost town of Click, Texas. Click featured a school, store and a church at one time. Rumor has it, four people were shot in the general store in the early part of the twentieth century. The post office closed in 1940 and the town’s population dwindled in the 1960s, but the old general store and post office still stand.
Located 80 miles northwest of Austin and about 100 miles north of San Antonio, Llano County is definitely worth a weekend visit.