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Marble Falls, Texas, is only an hour northwest of the state capital of Austin, and it’s a terrific place to enjoy a relaxing vacation away from the bright lights of the city. Horseshoe Bay and Johnson City are nearby, with a plethora of Texas-based wineries and distilleries that are just some of the fun things to do in Marble Falls.
One of the best small towns in Texas, Marble Falls is situated on the Colorado River. The historic downtown area is dotted with restaurants, cafes, art galleries, skate parks, hiking trails, biking and wildflowers in the spring. Stop and sip a little Texas wine at a local tasting room and check out the live music at Brass Hall.
The Austin airport is about an hour away from Marble Falls and San Antonio is just about straight south from the town, making it easy to fly or drive in for a visit. The cool waters of Lake LBJ beckon nearby, one of the Highland Lakes all fed by the mighty Colorado.
Spring, summer and fall are prime times for canoeing, paddle boarding and boating. The Texas Hill Country is a gem for anyone looking for a getaway with friends or a family vacation.
Fun Things to Do Near Marble Falls
- Parks are plentiful in the Marble Falls area. Turkey Bend recreation area and Muleshoe recreation area offer campsites, canoeing, fishing, swimming, and fishing. At nearby Shaffer Bend, you’ll find horseback riding, mountain biking, and quiet places to set up a picnic. Right in town is the Falls Creek Skate Park and Lakeside Park, the latter of which includes a swimming pool, covered picnic area, grills, a tennis court, and a basketball court. Golfers will want to check up the Hidden Falls golf course just up the street.
- On Lake LBJ, Splash Boat Rentals has a marina full of pontoon boats, jet skis, kayaks, and paddle boards for a fun weekend excursion. Between May and October is prime paddle board season. Keep your eyes open for armadillos, birds, turkeys, deer, and ducks along the hiking trails in Marble Falls as you cruise on by.
- Between Marble Falls and the Buchanan Dam, Longhorn Cavern State Park is a terrific place to grab a pre-made bbq picnic on the weekends (complete with pulled pork sandwiches, two sides, a dessert, and lemonade!). The guided tour takes you along an ancient riverbed underground, or marvel at the depths of the caverns on a cave tour.
- Fans of off-road vehicles and ATVs will want to make plans to spend time at Hidden Falls Adventure park. Hill Country Adventure Rentals has ATVs and dirt bikes available by appointment at a fair price, and camping is an option for those who want to get a jump on the off-roading opportunities as soon as they open their eyes in the morning.
- If you’re into Civil War history, stop by Dead Man’s Hole, just a few miles from Main Street. This site has a grim but fascinating story and was bestowed with a Texas Historical Marker in 1998. The owner deeded Dead Man’s Hole as a park to Burnet County in 1999.
- At the end of the day, Brass Hall is the place to go for live music from bands like Cheap Sunglasses, a ZZ Top tribute band, or even legendary country artist Dale Watson. For even more live music, Austin is just a skip away.
- Pick your own berries or pumpkins, depending on the time of year, at Sweet Berry Farm. Only 10 minutes from Main Street, Sweet Berry Farm is a worthwhile field trip for a good old fashioned hay ride in the fall or a stroll through a field of tulips or sunflowers.
- Don’t miss the Falls on the Colorado Museum to learn more about Marble Falls and its history. Housed in a historic granite school building built in 1891, the Falls on the Colorado Museum features artifacts from the nearby area, including a stuffed 700-year-old bison named Rockie.
Where to Stay in Marble Falls: Three Points Ranch
Only 10 minutes off the highway and 15 minutes from downtown Marble Falls, Three Points Ranch provides an exceptional retreat for anyone seeking an experience outside the realm of a typical hotel.
Nestled on acres of pecan and oak tree-lined ranch land, Three Points Ranch is made up of one spacious indoor building for gatherings in all weather situations, a screened-in sleeping porch, an open-face patio with a built-in bar, and six vintage Airstream trailers.
This ranchette has been owned by the same family for nearly a century and it is beautifully maintained.
The owner has clearly put a lot of love into this property; the décor is designed in a way that will make you want to rest and rejuvenate without any pretentiousness. Inside the main building, a billiards table is surrounded by windows overlooking the pasture where two friendly horses live, and a large round table dominates the center for breaking bread together.
The kitchen boasts two refrigerators for icy-cold beverages and groceries, and a bar area inside is well equipped with a stainless steel water carafe and filter, a deep sink to ice down beer and sodas and three full-size recycling bins for paper, aluminum and plastic.
The host left us a basket of gluten-free chips to enjoy from local company Siete that were incredibly delicious, along with a few fun bottles of beer salt by Twang that jazzes up just about any cold drink.
Sleeping Arrangements at Three Points Ranch
Each Airstream trailer is decked out with its own theme, sporting adorable tables and easy-to-find lights all over the interior. There’s also a mini-fridge in each one and comfortable mattresses on queen-sized and single beds.
Just a few steps away, a brand-new bathroom building contains two commode stalls and two shower rooms with two quaint sinks in the alcove between them. There is also a bathroom and shower in the main structure and stout air conditioning units for each trailer and in the main house, too.
I visited the Three Points Ranch two times; once with my family and once with a group of my best girlfriends, and found it was equally suited for a wonderful stay in both cases.
We especially loved the sleeping porch, where beautifully-adorned beds hung from the ceiling like Southern porch swings. The screens kept the bugs away and we could listen to the quiet sounds of the Texas night.
Once we stepped outside, the absence of city lights meant we could clearly see thousands of bright stars, constellations, and the moon shining down.
When I stayed there with my family and some family friends, the four tween boys in the group very much enjoyed the stock tank swimming pool for splashing around and water basketball. It was cool and fun, especially on a warm night.
Here are a few things to know about this gorgeous resort before booking your stay:
- Plenty of parking is available for you and your guests
- Bring all the groceries and beverages you like; there are two full-size refrigerators in the main house and mini-fridges in the sleeping porch and inside every Airstream
- Ask the host if you can feed carrots to the horses
- Host provides a box full of different kinds of balls for the kids that can be used on property or in the stock tank pool
- Pool towels are provided
- Full-size billiards table
- Six nicely-appointed Airstream trailers are cooled by high-quality air conditioning units
- Cook at the ranch on the full-size stove or travel 15 minutes to downtown Marble Falls
- Book via Lodgewell
Where to Eat in Marble Falls
Marble Falls, Texas (population 7,000+) is a charming burg in Burnet County on the Colorado River. Main Street originates from Lakeside Park and runs parallel with Avenue H, each dotted with quaint shops and incredibly delicious eateries.
Fans of fromage will want to make a pilgrimage to the House of Cheese, where you’ll find artisanal cheeses from around the world. Keep your eyes peeled for the beer and cheese pairing events, during which a cheesemonger and brewmaster agree on the perfect matchups to delight your taste buds.
My friends and I loved Oli’s Kitchen, where we started with creamy handmade guacamole and chips, washed down with salty-sweet margaritas. I highly recommend the authentic street tacos and dining on the back porch when the weather is favorable.
Mornings (and noon, and evening) are made for the infamous Blue Bonnet Café. This eatery has been around since 1929, serving breakfast all day with fresh eggs and fluffy pancakes, homemade soups and comfort food like chicken and dumplings. But the star of the show is the Blue Bonnet Cafe’s pies, typically piled with whipped cream or meringue. The chocolate meringue is my favorite, but a slice of apple pie with a scoop of ice cream is pretty fantastic too.
Make time for the monthly yoga and mimoas event at Fiesta Winery, or go hang out at the Marble Falls location downtown (Fiesta has locations in Fredericksburg and Bend as well) to sip at the tasting room. The winery offers a selection of small snacks to cleanse your palate between tastings.