There’s plenty of land in the Hill Country , and apparently it’s somewhat similar to the environment of the creatures that roam the spacious grounds of the Exotic Resort Zoo (four miles north of Johnson City on Hwy. 281, 830/868-4357, www.zooexotics.com , 9 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, $10 adults, $8 children). Visitors take a guided open-bus tour through the expansive property while guides describe the characteristics of the zoo’s animals, including giraffes, lemurs, kangaroos, zebras, bears, ostrich, and buffalo.
Some of the friendly beasts will even let visitors pet them (the treats handed out by the guides offer an extra incentive). The Exotic Resort Zoo also operates several cabins, three with kitchenettes, for those who really want to experience life on the range.