Run for the Hills

Two Hill Country Road Trips for Christmas Light Fanatics

When you've seen all of Houston's Christmas lights and you don't mind driving.

By Gwendolyn Knapp November 15, 2019

Austin Trail of Lights is lit.

With Thanksgiving Less Than two weeks away—everybody panic!!!—and Christmas following close behind, here's a reminder that if you've seen all the great lights that Houston has to offer, there's more on offer just a short road trip away. 

The 29th Annual City of Marble Falls’ Walkway of Lights opens on Nov. 22, with nightly strolls offered from 6–10 p.m. through New Year’s Day. This holiday event is the single largest tourist attraction for Marble Falls, brought to life by both the city and its nonprofits, with 2 million twinkling lights arranged on more than 130 sculptures. It takes about 30 minutes to walk through them all, plus there are visits from Santa and a light-up parade on Nov. 22, too. 

You'll also be close to Longhorn Cavern in Burnet and more area attractions.

If you spend the night: Try Horseshoe Bay Resort, a sprawling 7,000-acre destination that includes a hotel, palm villas, yacht club, marina, four golf courses, spa, restaurants, tennis courts, and more amenities.

The 55th Annual Austin Trail of Lights will return to Zilker Park this Dec. 10-23 with 2 million lights, 90 lighted holiday trees, 70-plus holiday displays, and lighted tunnels. This year's visitors will see local merchants, new modernized displays, and interactive spaces coupled with local musical talent featured in conjunction with Live at the Trail. There are also lots of special nights this year, including the Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting on Dec. 1; the Annual Austin Trail of Lights Fun Run on Dec. 7 (it’s a 2.1 mile course); Heroes Night for vets, active military, and first responders on Dec. 11; and a Home Alone screening on Dec. 12. (Buzz, your girlfriend, woof!) The public grand opening, on Dec. 10, includes free admission, as do more dates—check ticket availability, special programming, and the full schedule at

If all that doesn't tire you out, there's also the Christmas Light Show at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, with its outdoor deck overlooking Lake Austin tricked out with over a million LED lights that dance to the beat of classic holiday tunes.

If you spend the night: Try the East Austin Hotel a boutique hotel less than three miles from Zilker Park and a quick walk to downtown or other eastside attractions, with 75 cabins, rooms, and suites to choose from, plus a diner, Sixth and Waller, and two bars, The Upside and Pool Bar.

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