A weekend in the texas hillcountry

A Weekend in Texas Hill Country

Whether you are a native of Texas or visitor, a weekend in the Texas Hill Country has a lot to offer. If relaxation, wine, and cozy cabins peak your interest, this might be a destination to add to your mental list. To clarify for residents not from Texas, this area is between San Antonio and Austin. For those in either city, a trip to the Hill Country is an easy weekend escape. Others wanting to make this trip can readily add it as part of your visit to south Texas by flying into either airport. What I did not realize prior to moving to south Texas is the abundance of wineries in the Hill Country. Alongside this is a lovely backdrop of rolling hills. On my visit, I saw a numerous couples, large families, and also multiple girl groups making this a destination for all types to enjoy.

I did a lot of research regarding hotels prior to the trip. Ultimately, I made the decision on the Collective Retreat in Wimberly. The Collective is a chain with locations in Montana, New York, and also Colorado. Their location in Big Sky was on the list of Fodor’s finest in 2019, so I knew there had to be something special about their properties. The major appeal with their resort was the ability to stay one night and not be drawn into a two night minimum. This is something that is a big annoyance to me. Also, they are pet friendly. This allowed me to bring along my French Bulldog for the weekend. There is a $50 pet fee, but for me, this was money well spent to have her with me. For our stay, we paid $300 for one night plus the pet fee.

They are a 12 tent retreat on a 225 acre property. It is in the middle of nowhere, which I thought was fantastic. Driving to the wineries was about 35-40 minutes. Check in is at 2pm. They will email and text with information regarding your stay. Prior to arrival, they let us know the gate code and were waiting for us when we drove in. We stayed in the tent named “Yellow Daisy”. When they escorted us to our tent the staff mentioned it was one of her favorites because of the view. Tent numbers 8 and 10 have the best views of the Hill Country. Keep this in mind!

There are plenty of things to do on the resort itself. In the main tent, there are board games and puzzles. Immediately outside the tent are additional games such as Jenga to enjoy and hammocks to relax in. Further down the hill situated with spectacular views of the Hill Country is a large fire pit. As part of your stay, you get kits to makes s’mores in the evening. Finally, there are a couple of hiking trails as well. There is the Wade and Canyon Rim Trail. These are all on the property itself with access only to guests.

Food: You do have the option to purchase a farm to table dinner prepared by the chef at an additional $100 per person. Although this looked fantastic, I felt this was a little pricy. Included as part of your stay is a morning breakfast. You order off a menu. I had the vegetable scramble with spinach, squash, and goat cheese. For sides, they had jalapeño cheddar grits that were fantastic and bacon. There are plenty of options for food if you are out exploring the wineries. There is Salt Lick (an amazing barbecue restaurant), Vista brewery, and also Trattoria Lisina.

We explored the following wineries/brewery:

1. Driftwood Estates Winery: This winery was my favorite. I thought the wine selection was the best here. The views were fantastic. You can opt for a tasting inside or purchase a bottle and sit outside looking over the Hill Country. We purchased a bottle of wine to enjoy in our tent later that evening.

2. Duchman Winery: The estate is very pretty and Trattoria Lisina restaurant is on this property. I did not find the wines to be as good for my taste compared to Driftwood. It is definitely still worth a stop and a different experience than Driftwood.

3. Vista Brewery: This is almost across the street from Duchman Winery. I just had food at this stop. We had a chicken breast with rice and greens along with a chicken sandwich. Both food options were very solid choices. There is a lot of indoor and outdoor seating here. They have hosted an Outstanding in the Field dinner and this is a very large property.

The Collective Retreat is not open during the summer time due to the extreme heat. February turned out to be the perfect time to visit. The temperature was about 60 degrees. The tent was very comfortable with heated blankets. There are space heaters and also a wood burning fire heater in the tent.

Overall, I felt our stay at Collective was great. The staff was friendly and accommodating. The tents were spread out and it is very private. It was a unique experience and a fun weekend!

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