Only 45 minutes west of Austin, bustling Marble Falls has become a popular destination for a quick weekend getaway. Three lakes, Marble Falls, LBJ, and Buchanan, are the primary summer attractions here, but a number of other spots in and around town stand out, including the nearby Krause Springs, Quarry Mountain, and the renowned golf courses of Horseshoe Bay Resort.
Though the sides of Highway 281 running through town are littered with your typical retail stores, the town's 19th-century Main Street offers much in the way of gift, home-decor, and apparel shops, as well as excellent restaurants. And if you happen to be in the area around the holidays, Marble Falls is noted for having some of the most amazing Christmas lights along the lake.
Marble Falls is named for the natural falls formed by a shelf of limestone that runs diagonally across the Colorado River that flowed through the area. At the time, the water over the limestone created a bluish appearance that gave the impression of naturally occurring marble, for which the town was later named. However, visitors won't find marble here, and with the formation of the Highland Lakes, the falls are now completely under water and only visible on the rare occasions when the Lower Colorado River Authority lowers the lakes for repairs to the dam and boat docks.
Marble Falls has since gained fame for the amazing granite outcrops resulting from ancient formations in the Llano Basin, the most obvious marker being Granite Mountain, a monolith rising 866 feet above ground and spanning more than 180 acres. In the late 1800s, much of the economic growth of Marble Falls was due to the quarrying of this rock.
The entire Texas capitol building was constructed from granite quarried in Marble Falls. Other examples of the predominantly pink granite can be found in the construction of countless countertops of residential homes across the state.
Marble Falls at a Glance
Elsewhere in The Hill Country
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
- Horseshoe Bay
- Johnson City