Texas Hill Country
The rolling, rugged hills that begin on the northern outskirts of San Antonio are known as the Texas Hill Country. The region is known for its natural beauty, carpets of flowers in spring, and abundant woodlands. Key attractions include Enchanted Rock, an enormous granite dome located 15 miles (24 km) from Fredericksburg, the town of Blanco, famous for its Lavender, and the water sports of San Marco. The New York Times declared this region "the No. 1 vacation spot in the nation" and its many attractions have been responsible for making Texas second only to Florida as a retirement destination. Texas hill country is home to a unique blend of Spanish, German, Swiss and Austrian influence that's easily noticeable in the region's food, beer, architecture and music. The are has also recently emerged as the center of the Texas wine region, home to three American Viticultural Areas growing mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay grapes. San Antonio and Austin are both included in the region.