Western Trips

Western Trips

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Bluebonnets of Burnet Texas

The Bluebonnet Capital of Texas

One of the best places for viewing Texas wildflowers is Central Texas which includes the Edwards Plateau, known commonly as the Texas Hill Country. This is an area mostly of oak-hickory or oak-juniper woodlands, mes-quite-mixed brush savannah and grasslands. It is one of the most beautiful regions of Texas. 

texas bluebonnet festival
The Texas Bluebonnet
Burnet Texas is deep in the Hill Country of Texas, in the Highland Lakes region. Burnet  is easily accessible from all directions and is located at the intersection of Highways 281 and 29. 

Burnet Texas is surrounded by sparkling lakes and rugged hills. Any time of the year it's a scenic drive just getting there. When the bluebonnets are all along the roadsides the Hill Country becomes a special place. Thousands of people take scenic drives in the spring when the bluebonnets and Texas wildflowers are in full bloom.

Burnet is considered by many as being one of the best places in Texas for viewing wildflowers. Burnet officially gained recognition to this obvious fact in 1981 when the Texas State Legislature officially designated Burnet the “Bluebonnet Capital of Texas.”

The Texas Bluebonnet

The Texas Bluebonnet is a hardy winter annual native to Texas. The Texas Bluebonnet was named as the "State Flower of Texas". The bluebonnet is the most commonly seen variety of Texas wildflower along roadsides and in uncultivated pastures throughout Texas. Bluebonnets have been loved since the first Natives lived and traveled through the vast prairies of Texas. Indians comprised folk tales around the bluebonnet. The early day Spanish priests gathered the seeds and grew the flower all around their missions.

texas bluebonnet artwork
Bluebonnet sculpture
The Founding of Burnet Texas 

Burnet is located at the edge of the spectacular Texas Hill Country about 50 miles northwest of Austin.  Burnet is also about 180 miles southwest of Dallas and about 99 miles north of San Antonio. The town is among the beautiful Highland Lakes.

The settlement was first established as a fort on the Texas frontier in the mid-1800's. This was an area of the Comanche Indian and forts were established as the frontier line moved westward from East Texas. 

Burnet has maintained its pioneer roots and rural charm while adapting to the modern age.

A town was founded next to Fort Croghan in 1852 when Burnet County was established. The town was first named Hamilton after John Hamilton, who owned a league and labor of land nearby. In August 1852 a post office was established in Hamilton and named Burnet Courthouse. In 1857 thirty-five residents of the town petitioned the state legislature to change the name of the town to Burnet since there was another town in Texas named Hamilton. 

>Both the city and the county were named for David Gouverneur Burnet, the first (provisional) president of the Republic of Texas. Burnet also served as Vice President during the administration of Mirabeau Lamar.

burnet texas historic district
The Bluebonnet Festival 

All year Burnet's Historic town square offers visitors a unique shopping and dining experience. Gift, antique, and collectible shops surround the square along with dining establishments.

The annual Burnet Bluebonnet Festival has grown into one of the most exciting and well attended small-town festivals in Texas. Always taking place the second weekend in April, the festival attracts crowds north of 30,000 each year. Each year, activities are added to keep the annual event exciting for first time visitors as well as repeat festival fans.

The Burnet Bluebonnet Festival is an annual tradition for both residents and visitors alike. Many people attend from all over Texas as well as from other states. It is said that once you’ve attended your first Burnet Bluebonnet Festival you’ll be hooked. If your western trip takes you to Texas during April be certain to mark your calendar for the second weekend in April. Chances are you'll come back year after year.

texas hill country flyer train
The Hill Country Flyer
Travel to Burnet Texas on the Hill Country Flyer

The Hill Country Flyer is a train that makes regular weekend runs from Cedar Park Texas, just to the north of Austin, to Burnet to take tourists out to shop at the antique and gift stores in Burnet, to dine in the local restaurants and and to enjoy Hamilton Creek Park.  Call 512-477-8468 for more information.
There's plenty of fun things to do in the Texas Hill Country during your visit to Burnet. A few of these fun venues are described on the links below as well as within this article.

See the Western Trips articles on the links below...

The Frontier Settlement of Dripping Springs Texas 

Visit the Longhorn Caverns of Texas 

The Town of West Texas

Visit Lockhart  / History and the Barbecue Capital of Texas

burnet texas festival
Bluebonnet Festival on Burnet Square
Additional Burnet Texas Attractions

The Fort Croghan Museum is located next to the Burnet Chamber of Commerce on Highway 29 about 1 mile west of Highway 281.  It has exhibits of old guns, restored carriages, antique furniture, and relics from the local frontier days.   The museum is open April through August.  

Visit the Highland Lakes CAF Air Museum - Headquarters for Confederate Air Force Hill Country Squadron. It features WWII fighter planes, firearms, photographs, and memorabilia.  It is located on Highway 281 south of Highway 29 in Burnet. The museum is located next to the Burnet Airport.  

Memorial Day Weekend is the time for the Annual Texas Hill Country Tour and Trade Show sponsored by the Austin Road Riders' Association (ARRA). As many as 1,000 motorcycle from all over the U.S. converge on the town of Burnet for this popular show.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 Western Trips)

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