In-demand destination

Alluring Texas Hill Country one of fastest-growing vacation spots in U.S.

Texas Hill Country one of fastest-growing vacation spots in U.S.

Vista Brewing
Texas Hill Country is one of the top tourist destinations in the country. Photo courtesy of Vista Brewing

For years, the Texas Hill Country has been a go-to getaway destination for residents of the Austin, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Houston areas. Now, it appears travelers outside of Texas have learned about the Hill Country’s allure.

Austin-based vacation rental marketplace HomeAway has named the Texas Hill Country one of the 25 fastest-growing vacation rental markets in the U.S.

HomeAway based the list on bookings made on its vacation rental network from 2016 to 2017. The Hill Country is the only Texas destination on the list.

Fredericksburg sits at the epicenter of the Hill Country, thanks in large part to the more than 40 wineries and vineyards in and around the quaint German-cultured town. Lodging in Fredericksburg and the rest of the Hill Country is dominated by B&Bs, guesthouses, and inns.

“The scenic beauty and the big, starry skies of the Texas Hill Country have been a favorite of Texan travelers for decades,” Ernie Loeffler, president and CEO of the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau, said in 2016. “Now, the culinary hot spots, the museums and heritage sites, the nationally recognized art galleries, the upscale shopping, the burgeoning Texas wine industry, and the live music scene of Fredericksburg are being discovered by visitors from across the U.S. and the world.”

Texans make up about 70 percent of the overnight stays in the Hill Country, with non-Texans accounting for the remaining 30 percent, according to a report prepared for the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Division.

Within Texas, the Houston area sends the most visitors to the Hill Country, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin, the report says. The places sending the most out-of-state travelers to the Hill Country are San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.

In 2016, the Hill Country attracted nearly 32 million visitors, according to the report. That’s up from 30.1 million in 2015 and 28.4 million in 2014.