They say that April showers bring May flowers, but in Texas, it is the winter rains that bring the beautiful wildflowers of spring. Taking your picture in a field of bluebonnets is a rite of passage for every child in Texas. Learn more about the Texas state flower and where to find them.
Where to Find Texas Bluebonnets
Pictures in the bluebonnets are a rite a passage for Texas children. I remember my parents stopping on the side of the road to take our pictures for the family Christmas card. Fields of bluebonnets line the rural highways in Texas, and we have directions to the best spots. Follow TravelingMom Rebecca’s 8 Tips for Taking Bluebonnet Pictures to safely create your family’s bluebonnet memories.
Highland Lakes Bluebonnet Trail
Take a day (or two) and drive through the Texas hill country on the Bluebonnet Trail.
Burnet – The Bluebonnet Capital
The best place to start the Highland Lakes Bluebonnet Trail is in Burnet – The Bluebonnet Capital of Texas. Burnet, Texas is located 60 miles northwest of Austin and directly west of Georgetown on Highway 29. Residents and visitors celebrate the blooming wildflowers at the annual Bluebonnet Festival the second weekend of April.
From Burnet, head south on Highway 281 to Marble Falls. As you approach Marble Falls, look for the Bluebonnet House at 4554 N. US Highway 281. The mid-19th century abandoned home sits in a field of wildflowers and is a popular place to take pictures. While in Marble Falls, make sure to stop by the Blue Bonnet Cafe for a piece of their legendary pies. The Convention and Visitors Bureau has free maps of the Highland Lakes Bluebonnet Trail.
Johnson City and Fredericksburg
From Marble Falls, head south on Highway 281 to Johnson City and then west on Highway 290 toward Fredericksburg. Make a stop at the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site to learn more about where the 37th president was born, lived, died and was buried. In Fredericksburg, shop the stores on Main Street and eat at my favorite German restaurant, the Altdorf Biergarten, at 301 West Main.
Highway 16 from Fredericksburg to Llano
When you leave Fredericksburg, head north on Highway 16 to Llano. After about 13 miles, go east on Ranch Road 1323 to Willow City. The Willow City Loop heads north and eventually loops back around to Highway 16 where you can continue your trip toward Llano. The loop is a scenic 13-mile drive filled with wildflowers. However, this land is private, so you are discouraged from stopping to take pictures. If the weather is good, consider a side trip to climb Enchanted Rock.
The last leg of the Highland Lakes Bluebonnet Trail takes you back west from Llano to Burnet on Highway 29 and past Lake Buchanan.
Every April, the city of Ennis kicks off wildflower season with the Bluebonnet Trails Festival. Throughout the month, members of the Ennis Garden Club explore over 40 miles of mapped trails to find the best places to view bluebonnets. The Convention and Visitors Bureau compiles the spots into an online map. Ennis is located south of Dallas on Interstate 45.
Washington County is located on Highway 290 between Austin and Houston. It is home of Brenham and the Bluebell Creamery Tour. Each spring the Brenham Chamber of Commerce conducts a Wildflower Watch and posts bluebonnet sightings on their blog. Washington County is also close to treasure hunter’s mecca Round Top where you can stay overnight at the nation’s only indoor campground Lone Star Glamp Inn.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and actress Helen Hayes established the National Wildflower Center in 1982. In 1997, the center was renamed the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and moved to 4801 La Crosse Avenue in South Austin. At the center, you can learn about Texas wildflowers, get ideas for you home garden, and walk the trails through wildflowers including bluebonnets.
Author’s note: This is an updated version of a post originally written by Kuleen Lashley.