Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail blooms just a few hours from Austin
Lush fields filled with bluebonnets make up the backdrop for every quintessential Texas portrait. For the true wildflower experience, consider making the drive to the Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail in Ennis, less than three hours from Austin.
During the month of April, Ennis, located 35 miles south of Dallas, showcases over 40 miles of mapped trails lined with bluebonnets and other Texas wildflowers.
Before you head to Interstate 45, download the Ennis Y’all app with trail maps (yes, it’s GPS location enabled) to keep you on the right path and a directory of restaurants, shops, hotels, and attractions. Upon arriving to this charming Texas town, pick up a map of the trails from the Ennis Convention and Visitors Bureau, at its location on East Ennis Avenue.
Whether you want a short drive to find the perfect photo op or a leisurely drive to take in the sights, the convention and visitors bureau can recommend a trail for your desired duration. The west, south, and north trails are great jumping off points, though, if you don't know where to begin your driving trip. You can also ditch the maps entirely and use Texas Highway 34 as your home base for weaving in and out of back roads. Just be cognizant of private property, as some spots are for looking only. If all else fails, stop at Bluebonnet Park on US-287 for a fool-proof photo among the blooms.
Before or after taking to the trails, browse charming little boutiques such as Czech Heritage Shoppe and Antiques, where the owners buy much of the furniture inventory from Europe. Besides women's clothing, accessories, and home decor, Felcman’s has plenty of bluebonnet souvenirs such as tea towels, picture frames, and Christmas ornaments. If you work up an appetite and get tired of street food, try the American fare atFirehouse Grill (get a steak or an old-fashioned burger), or grab a quick sandwich, peach tea, and fresh pie at the appropriately named Wildflower Cafe.
If you want to make a weekend of it, opt to stay close to downtown in the historic Moore Ventura Bed & Breakfast, a 7,000-square-foot Neoclassical Revival style home that dates to 1905. If you can’t get enough of the wildflowers, stay at the Winding Ridge Bed & Breakfast, situated on 22 acres along one of the bluebonnet trails on Sugar Ridge Road. Winding Ridge is good for a small group or couple who wants to wake up among horses, chickens, goats, and donkeys. As a bonus, Sugar Ridge Winery is just up the road. Make a pit stop to pick up a bottle on your way to your evening retreat, and enjoy it picnic-style in the flower fields.
While the trails are open through the end of April, the picturesque fields will be in bloom most of the spring.