The rolling hills, lakes and valleys of the HILL COUNTRY, north and west of Austin and San Antonio, were inhabited mostly by Apache and Comanche until after statehood in 1845, when German and Scandinavian settlers arrived. Many of the log-cabin farming communities they established are still here, such as New Braunfels (famous for its sausages and pastries, and, more recently, its watersports), Fredericksburg and Luckenbach. You may still hear German spoken, and the German influence is also felt in local food and music; conjunto, for example, is a blend of Tex-Mex and accordion music. The whole region is a popular retreat and resort area, with some wonderful hill views and lake swimming, and some good places to camp.

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