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Low-risk escapes amid local coronavirus concerns

We found some great escapes that you can do with your family without putting them or you at risk over spring break.

AUSTIN, Texas — As you navigate your way through the cancellations and spring break, many of you are likely searching for things to do with your family while still keeping your distance from crowds.

We found some great escapes that you can do with your family without putting them or you at risk.

Nature is one of the great escapes and these are things where you won’t be fighting the crowds.

Wildflower routes

The wildflowers are beginning to bloom in the Hill Country. So it's the perfect time to take a drive to Johnson City, Marble Falls, Kingsland and Llano.

Some of our favorites include along 71 through Spicewood and into Marble Falls. Take 281 into Marble Falls to find one of the favorite spots – the Bluebonnet House. It’s located just on the other side of Pedernales Electric, on the Burnet side of the city. Typically this time of year the field is filled with bluebonnets – thus the name Bluebonnet House. It’s a great place to stop and take pictures.

You can also take 1431 into Kingsland. There you’ll see lots of Indian Paintbrushes and Bluebonnets and Lake LBJ.

Take 281 toward Burnet and stop along Park Road 4. Pay close attention to the castle that comes into view as you make your way closer to Inks Lake. Park Road 4 eventually winds its way to Inks Lake Park and back out to Highway 29. If you take a left you can wind your way around Lake Buchanan, another beautiful drive.

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Take 2341 to get back to Highway 29.

Horseshoe Bay also has some beautiful bluebonnets along the drive this time of year. It’s on the southside of the lake. Take County Road 2147 off Highway 281 in Marble Falls.

Just outside of Fredericksburg is one of the most cherished scenic drives of the Hill Country called Willow City Loop. This is a 13-mile, two-lane road through some of the oldest geology in Central Texas. Expect to see bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, phlox, coreopsis, prickly poppies, sunflowers, firewheels, winecups and prairie verbena in the spring. There tends to be a lot of traffic on the weekends. And the land beside the road is privately owned, so don't stop or park along the route.

Directions: From Fredericksburg, head north on TX 16 for approximately 13 miles, go east on Ranch Road 1323 for nearly three miles to Willow City, then turn left onto Willow City Loop. Return to Fredericksburg via TX 16. Google it!

Marble Falls has a week's worth of events taking place all of spring break week. 

Johnson City even has a map of some of the best wildflower routes.

Virtual tours      

Then check out these virtual museum tours.

To start, go on a virtual tour of some Texas museums, like the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Houston's Museum of Fine Arts, the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Witte Museum in San Antonio.

Google has also partnered with some of the best museums in the world including Guggenheim, the British Museum in London and even the National Air and Space Museum, where you can take a virtual tour inside the space shuttle discovery and learn how astronauts go to the toilet in space.

You can take virtual tours of some of the most famous works of art. The National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City features art through fashion and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., has an exhibit featuring early American fashion.

Here are some of the other museums features:

More outdoor, kid-friendly spaces

And speaking of Art, check out Laguna Gloria. It's a contemporary art exhibition that you can walk through.

There are some really great art pieces on display right now and it's all outside.

So is the Umlauf Sculpture Garden. Keep in mind some of these gardens and outdoor museums are monitoring the coronavirus situation and they may close if it is recommended. It's a good idea to check their websites before going.

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The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is always a great spot to not only see and enjoy nature and wildflowers, but to enjoy art. Right now the center is open but the programs are closed.

The Zilker Botanical Garden is another great spot. It has canceled its planned Dino Day event but the garden will still be open to the public. There will not be any activities or special tours.

Old Settlers Park in Round Rock is hosting a youth fishing derby March 21.

Bring your own fishing rod and bait and cast your line to win prizes. You can pre-register and if you check in by 9 you get a T-shirt. Again, this is on for now but may change, so check the website closer to the date.

Note: The Thinkery is closed through at least March 22.

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