The Hidden Gems of Hill Country

by Lauren Curry on November 18, 2015 in Living Texas, Austin,
oohla bean
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The Texas Hill Country is close to what one might call the “eighth wonder of the world.” From the rolling hills to the vast landscapes, the hill country is sure to leave you nothing short of speechless.

In late September, three of the hill country’s most striking, unique event and wedding venues came together to host an open house showcasing all they have to offer. Nestled in the scenic rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country, Prospect House, The Greenhouse at Driftwood and Oohla Bean all feature the serenity, beauty, meandering Live Oaks and respite of the Hill Country and are perfect for hosting a dreamlike wedding or memorable event.

Prospect House

chairs leading up to a wedding alter overlooking the sky
The scenes at this venue are sure to leave you breathless. Courtesy Photo

Located in Dripping Springs, this venue was designed by award-winning Texas architect Max Levy, known for creating simple yet dramatic modern spaces connected to nature through light, shadows and breezes. Prospect House is a hill country event space designed specifically for hosting weddings, receptions and other special events. The striking modern architecture set within a beautiful native landscaping features multiple indoor and outdoor spaces to host the event of a lifetime.

Guests will be amazed with the elegance of this venue. Courtesy Photo
Guests will be amazed with the elegance of this venue. Courtesy Photo

As you walk through the doors of the breezeway, a 2,000 square foot covered and screened-in entry hall with exposed framing, a sense of nature is instantly brought indoors. The large space is abundantly filled with natural lighting and an enchanting hill country breeze, making it a grand space for guests to mingle and relax before and after your ceremony.  The main hall, located adjacent to the breezeway, is a 3,000 square foot air-conditioned space with fifteen-foot tall ceilings, built-in seating, the capacity to accommodate 275 seated guests with room to spare for a band or DJ and dancing with the same kind of natural lighting as the breezeway. Just as you begin to think this venue couldn’t appease you more, your eyes catch a glimpse of the main ceremony space. The main ceremony space is a large lawn surrounded by rows of live oaks, giving the space an intimate feel, with a beautifully simple altar area that can be made into a space all your own. But it’s when your eyes finally make it past the altar that you know this is a spectacular venue; the backdrop is a beautiful, long-distance view of the rolling hills that seemingly go on for miles. No matter where you stand on the grounds, the naturalistic architecture and landscaping leave you constantly surrounded by a sense of peace and the serenity.

The Greenhouse at Driftwood

The Greenhouse provides an elegant, unique setting for events in the midst of nature. Courtesy Photo
The Greenhouse provides an elegant, unique setting for events in the midst of nature. Courtesy Photo

This is another special place in the heart of the Hill Country that has been in the same family for three generations and has been generously cared for. With lush, native plants and century-old oaks, The Greenhouse is not your average venue. The diverse outdoor spaces, although nestled throughout 50 acres, provides an idyllic and intimate destination for all sorts of events.

This venue offers a natural feel for a casual evening as well as striking elegance for a black-tie affair. Courtesy Photo
This venue offers a natural feel and striking elegance. Courtesy Photo

The rustically romantic venue features a stunning two-story greenhouse that’s perfect for bridal portraits or engagement photos, a tent slab large enough to seat up to 600 guests, a whimsical deck ideal for ceremonies small and large, and an opulent lawn that’s wonderful for cocktail hours, outdoor lounging, ceremonies or lawn games. The Greenhouse is truly a unique venue that can cater to natural feeling and intimate dinner parties as well as elegant black-tie affairs.

Oohla Bean

Simply put, this venue will leave you in awe. Courtesy Photo
Simply put, this venue will leave you in awe. Courtesy Photo

A new inn and resort in Driftwood, Oohla Bean is an elegant venue that doubles as an impeccable get-away. Owner Robin Garrison has created a space that allows you to feel like a guest staying in a friend’s home, rather than just a customer.

Along with respectful architecture and unhurried, tasteful furnishing, Oohla Bean has ensured that your connection to nature is not limited to the view. Courtesy Photo
Along with respectful architecture and unhurried, tasteful furnishing, Oohla Bean has ensured that your connection to nature is not limited to the view. Courtesy Photo

Oohla Bean, while capable of accommodating as many as 225-seated guests, provides six understated guest rooms with minimal and sleek décor, spacious bathrooms, patio seating and a private view of the soft rolling hills the venue is located on. As I walked through the grounds and birds chirped, hummingbirds buzzed by and butterflies flew freely, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of tranquility and serendipity come over me. Other amenities include a 1,200 square foot natural limestone wade-in pool, complimented by a hot tub and large soothing fire pit; a meeting room easily used for conferences or groom’s quarters; a screened porch with café tables, lounge area and a large stone fireplace; and a great space for morning walks or playing lawn games. If you are looking for a place to relax and reconnect with nature with your loved ones by your side, Oohla Bean cannot be beat. The vast acreage, bountiful landscape and multiple meeting spaces are made to fit a wide range of special events.

While I am nowhere near planning a wedding of my own, having the opportunity to visit each of these stunning venues made this girl’s image of her dream wedding a reality. No matter the size or nature of event you might be planning, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not giving all three of these venues a second look.

By Lauren Curry

 

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