Austin expert reveals a private oasis tucked away in the Texas Hill Country
After 22 years as a successful real estate agent, Jana Birdwell has learned that knowledge isn't expensive — it's priceless. This is especially true in the Texas Hill Country and the luxury neighborhood of Belvedere, which is just minutes from desirable restaurants and shopping, as well as an 80-acre nature preserve that sports hike and bike trails, stocked fish ponds, sport courts, and a lazy river pool.
Kuper Sotheby's International Realty's Birdwell has sold more than $130 million in Belvedere alone, making her more than qualified to serve as a community expert.
"Belvedere is the gem of the Hill Country real estate," she says. "Nestled off Hamilton Pool Road, you will find this private gated community with all the amenities you could wish for."
Below are a few of Birdwell's picks for the best spots in this beautiful area, as well as a hot listing that could turn you into a 78738 resident.
Where to eat and drink
Just a quick ride from Belvedere, the family-friendly Treaty Oak Distilling sits on 28 acres in Dripping Springs.
"This is our favorite place to unwind on a warm summer night," Birdwell says. "Their tag line says it all: 'drink like you give a damn.' With the delicious cocktail lab, scrumptious food, live music, and whiskey and gin production, it's an enjoyable outing for all.
"I am a firm believer in giving back to my community — this is where I live, work, raise my family, and I take pride in it — and Treaty Oak does too. Ninety percent of the grains they use are grown by local Texas farmers using sustainable organic practices. They also plant a tree for every barrel sold. It's a spot not to be missed!"
Where to play
The Texas Hill Country is home to some of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in the state," says Birdwell. "Living in Belvedere has allowed our family to find a favorite spot at the Hamilton Pool Preserve."
A quick, quarter-mile hike leads you to the breathtaking, 50-foot waterfall that's fed by a natural spring and cascades over the limestone outcroppings, plunging into the canyon.
"We love taking a picnic and swimsuits for an afternoon outing," she says.
Where to live
An exquisite private oasis in Belvedere, this well cared-for home at 17117 Flagler Dr. features Hill Country views and unmatched finishes with an elegant, yet comfortable, feel. Details such as grand trusses in the great room and sumptuous beams in the kitchen that extend into the inviting living space make all the difference.
A few more stunning finishes in the 3,752-square-foot dwelling include Thermador appliances, an artistic hood, extensive storage, butler's pantry, charming built-ins (including a bar), and mesquite floors.
Take relaxation to the next level in the master retreat, which has its own office space and heated floors in the bathroom. Two additional bedrooms, a media room, and the fourth bedroom round out this one-story gem.
Step out of the sliding doors into a resort-like backyard, complete with an awe-inspiring pool with a waterfall hot tub, an outdoor kitchen, and a bar. Wired for solar panels, the home also includes a rainwater collection system. A separate workshop, upstairs storage, and additional bonus room ensure there's room for everything and everyone. The list price is $1,499,000.
Jana Birdwell lives, works, and plays in Belvedere. For more information on the community or the home for sale at 17117 Flagler Dr., click here.