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#family time

A far out hike, close into Austin

So close, yet so far out…a gorgeous family-friendly hike near to downtown

When most visitors think of Austin, they think bars, music, nightlife. But just as crucial to Austin’s attractiveness as a tourist haven, is its natural setting and opportunities for being immersed in nature while still within the city limits. A great spot for getting away from it all close to town is the Lower Bull Creek Greenbelt in Northwest Austin.

Less than a 20-minute drive from downtown Austin is the trailhead to “Inga’s Trail” at the Inga VanNynatten Memorial Trail & Bull Creek District Park. You will want a car to get here from downtown. Near the intersection of Spicewood Springs Road and 360 on Lakeland Drive is a gravel lot (when you are near the Marquis Apartments entrance, you’re close) where hikers park. Across from this lot is the trailhead marker that will lead you into the greenbelt.

Seasonal waterfalls on Lower Bull Creek Greenbelt.

Along the trails…

After meandering down and over the first creek crossing, you will begin hiking on a rocky incline that will lead you above the creek and offer views on your right. These are sheer drops of 30 feet or so, so watch your footing, but there are great sightings of the creek from this vantage.

After about 15 minutes of climbing up the rocky path (there is the occasional bench for resting), you will pop out into an open field where the distant hills rise up to look slightly like you’re in a different setting, like a hike in a meadow in Colorado. If you are hiking this in summer, it won’t feel like Colorado but the views of the hills are still lovely. If you’re hiking in spring, lucky you, as the wildflowers will be in full bloom.

After about 10 minutes of this landscape, you descend down and to the right to begin meeting back up with the creek. Watch carefully, particularly in summer for poison ivy lunging at you from the wall of foliage. You’re in nature, in Texas (snakes live here), so, watch where you’re going.

At this point, you can hear the water roaring again, and the ground gets muddier as you are nearing the side trail off to the right, leading straight down to the water. You can see it as you walk. Or if it’s summer and overgrown, you can hear it. Follow the sound. You are looking for a muddy side trail to take you down to the creek. If it’s a weekend day, just follow the dogs and their owners. All dogs love the falls.

The Big Reveal…

After hiking for about 20-25 minutes or so, you’ve found the lower falls at Bull Creek Greenbelt. What’s great about this spot, is that you can swim, wade and play in this shallow rock ledge of a water expanse in almost every season. Cold winter days, no. It’s much too cold. But, on warm winter days, you can hike down here to see the change in grasses and trees. In summer, it’s fun to swim and rest in the shallow water. On a hot summer day, by the time you walk back to the car, you’ll have dried off.

Now that you’ve reached the falls…you’ve earned a rest. Have a seat on the rock overhang, enjoy whatever food or small picnic you’ve packed in (and will pack out), lay on a towel, or watch the dogs play. (This is not an official off-leash park but most dogs are roaming).

When you’re soaking in the sights at the falls, you can see why so many hippies set up base camp in Central Texas in the 1960s/70s after visiting the city’s many greenbelt trails. The real reason that Austin is “hip” now is that it was “hippie” then. So, get out there and take a hike.

Planning ahead…

Most of Bull Creek is fairly primitive and used primarily for hiking, so:

  • Make sure to bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen. Hats and towels during the summer are advisable. You can wear a swimsuit as well if you plan to swim.
  • You are hiking in a city park, but there are no facilities along this trailhead.
  • This trail is not recommended for young children as this is hiking and the terrain is uneven.
  • This is, however, a great trail for dogs. There are plastic bags at the Inga’s Trail marker and be polite and pack out any “donations” your dog may leave behind!
  • Try to hike this trail in spring or before noon in the summer.

August 10, 2018

Do Holidays Right With a Vacation Rental Home

Package with tag and caption Vacation Homes for the Holidays

Is the thought of getting your home ready for holiday guests dragging you down? Are you worried that there just isn’t room for everyone? Will you be lucky to get time off to spend with family—and just forget about having days to cook and clean for visitors!

Why not let someone else take the hassle out of holiday hosting? Here are a few good reasons to book a vacation rental home for your next holiday gathering.

5 Holiday Reasons to Rent a Vacation Rental Home

group of four photos showing vacation rental homes in Austin for holidays

1. Grow a Spare Bedroom

Package with gift tag showing Top Trip Rentals logoGetting together as a group can be tough, especially when you have a big family. Many vacation rental homes maximize space with flexible floor plans; they’re set up to accommodate more guests.

For example, Top Trip Rental’s amazing private residence, the Graeber House, has multiple living areas, two kitchens, three bedrooms, and 3.5 baths (nobody’s waiting for a shower here!). A little secret for grown-ups: an indoor pool plus its location in the heart of Austin’s downtown destination, 6th St., provide amazing “wow” factor for special occasions.

 

2. Get Along Better with Family

Package with gift tag showing Top Trip Rentals logoThese days, many families are blended. Not everybody can comfortably share space. Why not book a cluster of rooms? Vacation rental homes’ more affordable pricing makes multiple books a realistic option for family members with varying needs.

Littlefield Lofts in Austin was recently holiday “home” for Top Trip Rentals company owner Chereen Fisher’s extended family.

“It was great,” Fisher said. “The kids opted to sleep in Grandma’s room as a special treat. We picked one loft, #701, where the families ate and gathered together. And my brother and sister-in-law had private, quiet space for baby in their own home.”

Littlefield Lofts’ 24 vacation rental homes within one building ensure a combination of space and privacy that works for your family. The Top Trip Rentals reservation team is happy to help you select the best lofts for your groups’ needs.

 

3. Let Someone Else Sweat the Prep

Package with gift tag showing Top Trip Rentals logoWouldn’t it be nice to simply spend your holiday time enjoying friends and loved ones? That vacation rental home you’ve booked for Thanksgiving will be clean and ready for company, plus you’ll be rested and ready for family fun.

Done celebrating? Someone else can wash sheets, clean bathrooms, and handle that messy kitchen.

Not everyone wants to cook a big meal. If you’d like to order in, Austin has several ways to work out having holiday dinner without the hassle.

Staying at Top Trip Rentals’ Hyde Park Hideaway? Maybe your crew would like to sup on Hyde Park Bar & Grill’s fabulous Cajun fried turkey. Since 1982, this local destination decorated by a giant fork has been wowing folks with comfort food (and everything on the menu can be ordered “take out”).

 

4. Pull Together a Friendsgiving

Package with gift tag showing Top Trip Rentals logoSometimes it’s the family we choose that needs celebrating. Why not make that holiday with friends an outing?

Choose a vacation rental home where everyone can fully relax. If you’re used to tiny house living, a large home with a spacious outdoor patio area might be just the thing for gathering together and kicking back. Go for a roomy kitchen for all the festive cooking you can’t accomplish in a crowded apartment.

Top Trip Rentals’ University Hills vacation rental home has four bedrooms (two are master suites with their own private baths!) and a big backyard patio. Plus there’s plenty of room inside to relax and watch those bowl games.

 

5. Make Holidays a Destination

Package with gift tag showing Top Trip Rentals logoGetting away to focus on the people you love is truly special. A beautiful location makes that precious time with family even more memorable.

If lakeside chats, strolls along the shore, and happy hours on the deck appeal to your family, book Top Trip Rentals’ Sunset Shores vacation rental home.

This large, 3,500-sq. ft. home, situated right on the shores of constant-level Lake LBJ in Marble Falls, provides plenty of room to roam and relax for as many as 12 people. And Central Texas’ mild winter temperatures allow you enjoy the outdoors no matter what season.

End every day of your special holiday retreat with a gorgeous sunset view from the deck!

 

Three photos showing Austin vacation rental home and New Year's Eve and holiday decorations

Rooms pictured here are Top Trip Rentals vacation homes ready for your holiday fun.

Book Now!

 

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November 8, 2017