The thing about a trip to the Hill Country is that it's modular. With so much to do in the center of our gigantic state, any trip west of Houston can be tailored or suited to your interests, be they culinary, outdoor, historical or something else entirely. New Braunfels puts you in the center of more than just an inner tube on a lazy river. The city has two great venues in Gruene Hall, which should be on your Texas music bucket list, and Whitewater Amphitheater, which is one of the best spots in the state that no one talks about. From New Braunfels you can dip down into San Antonio for tacos or up into Lockhart for BBQ. New Braunfels may not have the same cred as Austin, but give it a shot and you'll find the place is pretty legit.