Thursday, December 20, 2018

10 Great Holiday Events in Texas Hill Country

10 holiday events in Texas Hill Country blog cover image

The lights are on and the gingerbread smell is taking over. This holiday season is the perfect occasion to celebrate with the ones we love and cherish. In this blog post, we will share with you some of the most exciting events that are taking place in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, where the fun never stops, and the smiles are everywhere. Enjoy the winter with what Texas has to offer.

lit sign, tree, and Santa figure

The enchanting trail of lights in Santa’s Ranch

November 2nd, 2018 – December 30th, 2018
Time to gather the kids and turn on the camera, Santa’s Ranch is here to bring some of the beauty of the north right to your car. This display will dazzle your eyes while you greet Santa’s reindeer and friends. This attraction will also display a beautiful nativity full of lights and vibrant colors.

49th Annual LBJ Tree Lighting

December 16th, 2018
Nothing’s better than the fresh smell of pines while enjoying the company of friends and family, and so, the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site is celebrating the holidays with refreshments, games, and a spectacular tree lighting (oh, and Santa will be there too!). Strike a pose and be ready to take your best selfie surrounded by stunning lights and beautiful Christmas trees.

blooming red and blue fireworks

Hill Country New Year's Festival

December 28th, 2018 - December 31st, 2018
Enjoy delicious food, drinks, and games in the valley. The perfect getaway for a romantic weekend or a family vacation full of fireworks, golf, activities and lots of s’mores. Visitors will enjoy beautiful sunsets and dance parties while singing the most amazing holiday music hits. Believe us, there is no such thing as too much fun. The event offers a variety of options for lodging, so you don’t miss anything. For times and info about lodging and the activities, check their website.

lit sign at the Walkway of Lights entrance

Marble Falls Walkway of Lights

November 16th, 2018 - December 26th, 2018
What if we told you there is a place where you could be surrounded by 2 million lights — yes, it’s true! The Marble Falls Walkway of Lights is one of the biggest and most amazing places to visit over holidays in Texas Hill Country. Over two million lights and 100 sculptures are going to be illuminating Lakeside Park until December 26th. It’s more than a Christmas event, it is a carnival of lights! Enjoy the trail and walk through the lights while you meet Santa and drink some delicious hot cocoa.

outdoor restaurant seating and boardwalk on either side of a river

Holiday Lights on The River Walk

November 23rd, 2018 - January 6th, 2019
Explore the River Walk on a boat this year! The strings of light will be on until January 6th for you to admire a rainbow of beautiful colors and a warm ambiance. Play, dine and enjoy the nightlife this beautiful park has to offer while in the company of your friends and the ones you love. The River Walk is a public park; therefore, the holiday lights are meant to be enjoyed at no cost, which makes this destination even more awesome. Spend your day here and create beautiful memories!

long hallway filled with Christmas lights

Old West Christmas Light Fest

November 22nd, 2018 - December 30th, 2018
Enjoy traditional food, a wonderful, shiny walk-thru and the smile of Santa. This amazing place offers multiple activities for everybody including mazes, scavenger hunts, and a mouth dropping light tunnel. The event will feature over thirty buildings covered in amazing lights and jolly decorations as well as photo booths where you will travel to the past while taking a zillion selfies. Do not miss it!

Midnight Ball Drop

Join the countdown and welcome 2019 during the Midnight Ball Drop. The occasion will have a Fredericksburg touch so be ready to party at this amazing family-friendly event. There will be multiple food trucks and places where you can enjoy great food, games, music and of course…Christmas lights! So, put a pin on this magical festival and let’s get this party started. The Ball Drop will take place in downtown Fredericksburg.

Liberty Hill Christmas Festival

Saturday, December 15th, 2018
Enjoy a little bit of everything at the Liberty Hill Christmas Festival on December 15th in Lions Foundation Park. The event would be filled with amazing parades, vendors and yummy food for you to share with family, friends, and neighbors. Take lots of pictures of wonderful shows, and go visit Santa´s village, where you will be greeted by the elves and other friends who will share their jolly songs and tales!

Starry Starry Nights Lighted Christmas Park

November 23rd, 2018 - December 31st, 2018
Get the family, buy some hot chocolate, and go for a stroll in this marvelous location this December. The Llano River and its surroundings will present beautiful Christmas lights and other displays during this holiday season. Santa will be present (as usual) along with great places where to dine and drink.

Winter Wonderland at Circuit of The Americas

November 23rd, 2018 - December 30th, 2018
This is it! One of the biggest light events in Texas is here to give you the time of your life. The Circuit of The Americas will be offering amazing activities for all family members; from food trucks to mazes, train raids, and carousels. It is going to take more than a day to enjoy all these amazing events, oh and don’t forget to go ice skating.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

7 Best Camping Spots In Texas Hill Country

7 best camping spots in Texas Hill Country blog cover image

The Lonestar State of Texas has many diverse areas but nestled in the southwest corner is the rugged terrain of Hill Country. Here, you can camp out under the stars and be at one with nature. To help you plan your next adventure, here are the seven best camping spots in Texas Hill Country.

rolling hills and mountains in the background

Davis Mountains State Park

In one of the more western regions of Texas, you can find Davis Mountains State Park. While it is unusual to find mountains in Texas, it is still a possibility, and this scenic camping area takes great advantage of the natural beauty. There are miles of trails to discover, which you can do so by foot or by horse. Trail lengths vary so whether you want just a pleasant morning stroll or a full day adventure, there is something for everyone.

In addition to the plentiful areas made for tent camping, there is also a historic motel, named Indian Lodge. It includes a restaurant and a swimming pool, so if you have smaller children, or need a break from the elements, you can sleep under a roof but still be in the middle of nature

a calmly flowing river with overhanging tree branches

Guadalupe River State Park

The Guadalupe River winds its way through this namesake park, enriching almost 2000 acres of pristine wilderness. The river is great for fishing and while many areas of water can be a bit tumultuous, there are enough calmer areas for swimming. It is great for canoe trips. On land, there are numerous trails for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding. 

As a special treat, many of the campsites have both water and electricity. So if you want to camp, but don’t want to completely rough it, then this is the place for you.

a mountain and its reflection in the still waters of a lake beneath

Garner State Park

At the heart of Garner State Park, you will find the Frio River which is large enough to accommodate swimming, paddle boats, and inner tubes. If you find yourself on dry land, explore the 10 miles of hiking trails that wind their way around the river. For sleeping, there are campsites, screened shelters, and even cabins, so no matter if you want a bit of convenience or simply want to fall asleep counting the stars, there’s an option for you. 

One of the biggest draws of those visiting Garner State Park is the social aspect. Since the 1940s there has been a jukebox dance on summer evenings, a tradition that continues to this day. Be sure to arrive early for the dance as parking for the area is limited

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

If you’ve ever felt that nature is a bit magical, then you’ll want to head to Enchanted Rock, which is just north of Fredericksburg. There is plenty of hiking to be had, along with the popular activity of geocaching. But the main attraction is the giant mound of pink granite that creates a domelike natural structure. The trails wind around this rock but you are also able to rock climb to the top. Be aware that if you plan on rock climbing, you need to check in ahead of time at headquarters. It may not be a large rock, but the surface is fairly smooth, and you will need to have some experience to make it to the top.

rocks and driftwood above the surface of a creek

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Children and adults alike will love the thrill of seeing ancient dinosaur tracks embedded in the rock. Just 90 minutes southwest of Fort Worth, you can easily check out this state park for the day or plan on camping for a few nights. The Paluxy River runs through Dinosaur Valley State Park, and hiking trails meander nearby it. You can set off and explore, but don’t spend too much time gazing at the natural beauty around you. Instead, be sure to pay attention to where you step as millions of years ago, dinosaurs tread the same area. Thankfully, while it can be easy to miss the dinosaur tracks, there is a handy GPS map that you can download straight to your smartphone. With it, you will be sure to find all the amazing prints.

Colorado Bend State Park

For those that want to really escape from it all, then be sure to check out Colorado Bend State Park. It is two hours northwest of Austin and is a marked change from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Instead, you will find the babbling Spicewood Springs and the awe-inspiring Gorman Falls. There are 35 miles of trails to explore, so it is perfect for the true outdoors enthusiast. In addition to all this, there are natural caves that you can enter. Reservations are required, but each tour comes with an experienced guide. 

For those staying a few nights, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can opt for a drive-in site with neighbors relatively close up, or you can go all out and choose a hike-in only site

Krause Springs

Camping and swimming go hand in hand, and this is most evident if you visit Krause Springs. It is less than an hour west of Austin and is truly a place of wonder. The property is privately owned, and the Krause Family has taken great pains to highlight the natural beauty of the area. There are 32 springs on the property, many of which flow together into a man-made pool. They also run into nearby Lake Travis. All of the pools and springs can be swum in. Next to the flowing water, you will find centuries-old trees that are magnificent. There are multiple camping sites for both tents and RVs, so no matter how you plan to camp, there is something here for you.

Texas has nights filled with giant swaths of stars. It has lazy rivers and ancient rock formations. There is no shortage of flora and fauna. Experience a return to nature by camping in Texas Hill Country, a place that will truly inspire you.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Best Art Galleries in Fredericksburg - 2018

best art galleries in Fredericksburg blog cover image

Choosing the best art gallery is very difficult because we cannot deny the relativity in preference. To find your favorite, we suggest visiting a few from this list of our favorites. Whether you love sculptures or oil paintings, there is something for everyone, in Fredericksburg. Here are some great places to visit while you're in Fredericksburg:

paintings and sculptures displayed in the AW Studio Gallery

1. AW Studio Gallery

If you find yourself in Fredericksburg's Historic District, you need to check out the AW Studio Gallery. This is the working studio of Alan Wilcox, who is a painter and artist. The building is like a 1941 cottage and gives you the chance to walk through history. You'll find the works of Alan Wilcox displayed alongside other estate pieces. If you stop by at the right time, you can see AW at work.

2. Urban Herbal

Much more than just a gift shop, Urban Herbal is a greenhouse, garden, and art gallery. Family owned and operated, Urban Herbal has been a staple in the Fredericksburg herb industry since 1985. You need to check out Urban Herbal not only for cooking herbs, medicinal herbs, and organic personal care but also for the art gallery and gardens.

paintings and sculptures of horses displayed at Gallery 330

3. Gallery 330

You'll find the work of both regional and national artists at Gallery 330. The displays are done using lots of different styles and mediums so you're bound to enjoy the variety. Located in the Agust Itz Building, which provides lots of history in and of itself, Gallery 330 specializes in contemporary realism and impressionism.

4. Yellow Door Studio

There's nothing sweeter than visiting Fredericksburg's first community arts education center, also known as Jill Holland's Yellow Door Studio. The center offers lots of training for artists of all skill levels. Come with a friend and bring a bottle of wine with you! You can enjoy a class or a professional workshop and the Studio is family-friendly for kids, as well.

street view of the InSight Gallery

5. InSight Gallery

At the InSight Gallery, you'll find the finest works of painters and sculptors focusing on still life, impressionism, landscape, figurative work, wildlife, and Western art. The InSight features the best originals of regional and national artists.

6. Gallery at Vaudeville

The Gallery at Vaudeville is a unique place where you can find contemporary art in the heart of Texas Hill Country. The primary goal of the Gallery is to serve and enrich the community by sharing contemporary art. Who knows, you may leave with a piece of artwork to take home.

external view of the RS Hanna Gallery

7. RS Hanna Gallery

This gallery is known as Fredericksburg's "jewel box of fine art." Featuring many works by fine artists, you'll find watercolors, bronze and woodwork, oil works, and lots of emotion. The RS Hanna Gallery is meant to feature the fine local talent in Fredericksburg.

8. Larry Jackson Fine Art & Antiques

Nothing beats the feeling of the old school. Larry Jackson galleries specialize in 18th- and 19th-century art and antiques from America to Europe. With new arrivals daily, you'll be fascinated with antiques bargains and deals on furnishings and decor in the consignment area.

9. The Grasshopper

The Grasshopper is a gallery of fine gifts from all over the world, especially local-made woodwork. Discover their extensive selection of German nutcrackers and beer steins as part of their wide array of collectibles. Find the fine art of works from people like Jack Terry, the pottery from Ron Hollister, and the sculptures from Mark Hopkins.

10. Eyfells and Eyfells

Johann and Kristin Eyfells put together this art gallery of oversized geometric paintings of celebrity faces and bold, organic sculptures. This gallery is a wonderfully interesting stop to include in any visit to Fredericksburg.

There's lots of fun to be had in the many art galleries of Fredericksburg. Relax and enjoy the unique qualities of each gallery.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

10 Best Restaurants in Fredericksburg - 2018

10 best restaurants in Fredericksburg blog cover image
In this age of searching for the most Instagram-worthy dining spots, restaurants are hard-pressed to continually step up their game. Whether it’s for a rustic feel or a chic new look, foodies are flocking from far and wide to get the perfect snapshot of delicious food in a stellar atmosphere. In the cozy, historic town of Fredericksburg, Texas, you’ll find everything you need for a memorable dining experience, foodie or not. The local cuisine uniquely reflects the town’s German heritage mixed with Texas Hill Country flavor, all while sticking to locally-sourced ingredients handled by world-class chefs. Below is a list of 2018’s ten of the best restaurants to experience in Fredericksburg, Texas.


230 E Main St, Fredericksburg TX 78624

This three-story destination is more of a full experience than your usual eatery. A restaurant, wine cellar, event venue, art gallery, and gourmet market, all rolled into one, Vaudeville is the collaborative vision between chef Jordan Muraglia and artist Richard Boprae. With food inspired by both French and Southern fare, their daily specials range from crawfish etouffee to duck confit. Dine here to enjoy upscale dishes inside a trendy backdrop, with a special “supper club” tasting menu crafted by the chefs every Friday and Saturday night.

front patio at Otto's restaurant


316 E Austin St, Fredericksburg TX 78624

Listed as one of the “5 Best Restaurant Scenes for 2017” in Celebrated Living, Otto’s German Bistro provides an intimate atmosphere with a seasonally crafted menu focused on authentic European and German cuisine. Enjoy duck schnitzel or a ribeye steak out on their heated patio, all locally-sourced. On Sundays, make sure to check out their brunch-only menu. Try their lemon ricotta pancakes with a Maria Felix, their tomatillo-inspired take on the classic Bloody Mary.

August E’s

203 E San Antonio St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624

Combining international flavor with classic Texas fare, August E’s has a unique take on Nouveau Texas Cuisine. The owners, Dawn and Leu Savanh, have traveled the world to gather unique dining experiences to add to their own restaurant. Their menu utilizes ingredients from locally-sourced meats including venison, boar, antelope, elk, and steaks, to sashimi-grade fish, shipped internationally overnight, for sushi. Try the grilled filet mignon with sautéed wild mushrooms and bone marrow bordelaise sauce or a sushi sampler with a Japanese beer. On Tuesdays, Chef Leu pays homage to his heritage with Thai Tuesdays, which feature delicious Thai-inspired dishes.

front entrance to Fredericksburg Pie Company

Fredericksburg Pie Company

108 E Austin St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624

At Fredericksburg Pie Company, they challenge themselves to serve you a pie as good as your grandmother’s. This family-owned company completes the experience of going on a visit to grandma’s house by even offering handmade quilts and vintage treasures for sale. With every pie from Key Lime to German Chocolate, they can even whip up a sugar-free fruit pie within 24 hours’ notice for you. Fredericksburg Pie Company pies last until they’re sold out, so make sure to arrive early and enjoy a slice with a fresh cup of coffee.

Lincoln Street Wine Market

111 S Lincoln St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624

At Lincoln Street Wine Market, they have a bottle of wine for everyone. Over the years, this wine and cigar bar has evolved into a restaurant that features a patio, fireplace, and a beautiful indoor venue for live music. They offer delectable sandwiches, pizza, gourmet meats and cheeses, all with suggested wine pairings. From sommelier to casual wine drinker, all guests will appreciate the casual elegance of Lincoln Street Wine Market.

friends enjoying wine and food in a busy restaurant

Cabernet Grill

2805 S State Highway 16, Fredericksburg TX 78624

As its namesake suggests, Cabernet Grill is a place dedicated to fine wines and delectable steaks. Located at the Cotton Gin Village Bed & Breakfast, this restaurant boasts over 75 different wines from across the state of Texas and food with meticulously selected local ingredients. All their quail, wild game, seafood, gourmet meats, cheeses, and more, are locally-sourced. They even have their own herb garden. At Cabernet Grill, you can enjoy true Texas Hill Country cuisine, from grilled quail stuffed with bacon-wrapped jalapenos to crab-stuffed shrimp with mango slaw and lemon cream.

Nest Restaurant

607 S Washington St, Fredericksburg TX 78624

Renovated from a Fredericksburg cottage built in the early 1900’s, Nest Restaurant offers a quaint, cozy atmosphere for a night of true fine dining. Nest Restaurant has received glowing reviews from publications such as the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express and has been frequently described as truly “sophisticated.” The décor is warm and simple, even as the menu offers entrees such as pan-seared sea scallops with chipotle lime hollandaise and roasted New Zealand rack of lamb with a pecan pesto. Frequent diners suggest leaving room for dessert.

plates of nachos, fries, and salads

Hondo’s on Main

312 W Main St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624

This live music venue, restaurant, and bar, is a friendly place to dine and have fun. Hondo’s on Main is named after local legend ‘Hondo’ Crouch, who was a humorist and writer known for being the self-proclaimed mayor of Luckenbach, Texas, where he garnered quite the following. True to its namesake, Hondo’s on Main is highly favored among locals. At Hondo’s, guests can enjoy live music every night while serving themselves freshly grilled tamales or Texas fried chicken from the kitchen pickup window.

Farm Haus Bistro

405 Whitney St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624

Located in the Fredericksburg Herb Gardens, Farm Haus Bistro is set in a historic rock house among stunning gardens, charming cottages, and relaxing spa facilities. With locally-sourced ingredients, their menu is always evolving with items like eggplant lasagna with sautéed kale and roasted sweet potatoes, and chicken duxelle served with lemon thyme pilaf. Farm Haus Bistro is a getaway eating experience, a place to enjoy a fine meal nestled within a quaint, natural setting.

various appetizers being served on logs


323 E Main St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624

This restaurant and Biergarten is unique among the German eateries in town with its festive atmosphere and wide selection of beers. Specializing in Bavarian cuisine, this spacious restaurant is an excellent place to bring a group of friends to enjoy entrees like the Texaschnitzel, an Auslander exclusive schnitzel covered in ranchero sauce, sour cream, and guacamole, or a classic Rueben sandwich. The Auslander has been a favorite among locals for over twenty years and frequently features live music shows.

naan bread and various curry dishes

In Fredericksburg, you can find international and local flavors all in one place, without having to compromise on quality or authenticity. From spending a boisterous night out at the Auslander to an intimate one at the Nest Restaurant, visitors are sure to have a memorable dining experience here. No matter the occasion, make sure to check out each of these eclectic restaurants in Fredericksburg, but just make sure to remember, camera eats first.

Monday, October 22, 2018

10 Amazing Golf Courses in Texas Hill Country

10 amazing golf courses in Texas Hill Country blog cover image
Known for its longhorns, cowboys, and massive state capitol, Texas has always been the epitome of the rough and tumble culture of the Wild West. But these days, golf, a more refined, focused sport, finds quite a suitable home in southeast Texas. Here, there are beautiful rolling hills, rushing rivers, and wildlife - a perfect panoramic place to golf. If you find yourself near the beautiful Texas Hill Country, make sure to check out these golf courses, which not only take advantage of the primal natural beauty of the area, they are also lauded for their challenging, thrilling, and memorable championship courses. Here are ten amazing golf courses in the Texas Hill Country.

green and water obstacle at dawn

Hill Country Golf Club: Par 72   6,940 Yards   132 Slope (Black)

Voted “Best Golf Course” by San Antonio Magazine, this 27-hole golf club is a part of the Hyatt Regency Resort in San Antonio and not only caters to every level of golfer, but they also have a dynamic commitment to the environment. Split into three 9-hole courses (The Oaks, The Creeks, and The Lakes), these courses also feature an express tee specifically tailored for families. Awarded again this year as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, Hill Country Golf Club has committed to making sure their beautiful courses provide sanctuary to local wildlife and even recently renovated their bunkers to better suit a more natural feel and improve playability.

rolling hills, trees, and water obstacle

Vaaler Creek Golf Club: Par 72   6,864 Yards   140 Slope (Gold)

Located in Blanco, Vaaler Creek Golf Club, Texas Hill Country’s newest golf community, features an 18-hole championship golf course, a sizable driving range, and a lush putting green, outfitted with bunkers. With a 5,500 square foot deck adjacent to a junior Olympic-size pool, a Grill, and a preexisting ranch-turned-clubhouse, this course is designed to help you relax and really urges you to enjoy the course as well as the panoramic landscape. Though it’s relatively new, Vaaler Creek has already won numerous awards, including “#1 Golf Course in The Texas Hill Country” by Golf Now.

clubhouse overlooking sand traps, green, and water obstacle

La Cantera Golf Club: Par 72/71   7,021/6,926 Yards   134/134 Slope (Black)

Located in San Antonio, La Cantera Golf Club features 36 holes total, divided among the Resort Course, designed for every level of golfer, and the Palmer Course, a championship course designed by none other than golf legend, Arnold Palmer. Besides being rated one of the top ten courses by state by both GolfWeek and Golf Magazine in 2017, the Palmer course features waterfalls, a majestic lake, and a scenic landscape that makes play both challenging and breathtaking.

trees and water at Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course

Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course: Par 71   6,686 Yards   127 Slope (Black)

This newly renovated course in Fredericksburg has been improved to provide peak performance and playability to Hill Country golfers. Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course features 18 holes that are dotted with bunkers and rolling terrain designed to thrill and challenge golfers of every level. Their commitment to the course shows as they’ve quickly started to become one of Texas’ favorite municipal golf courses.

The Golf Club of Texas: Par 72   7,137 Yards   130 Slope (Black)

This awe-inspiring, private San Antonio golf course underwent over 6 million dollars in renovations three years ago and now prides itself on exclusive, selected Zoysia grasses to give you a one-of-a-kind golfing experience. Along with a scenic 18-hole golf course, The Golf Club of Texas also features exclusive venues for weddings and a top-quality restaurant, all for an affordable membership fee.

large sand traps and scattered clouds

Landa Park Golf Course: Par 71   6,205 Yards   136 Slope (Black)

Landa Park Golf Course at Comal Springs is located at New Braunfels, conveniently between San Antonio and Austin. Recently renovated, this 18-hole course offers a serene golfing experience in a natural environment. With wildlife sometimes spotted on the green and sprawling hills, this golf course is perfect for a round or two or even to host a private event at their venue. Come here to relax or up your game with their PGA-rated professionals.

Delaware Springs: Par 72   6,891 Yards   127 Slope (Black)

In Burnet, cradled within acres of trees and rolling hills, Delaware Springs is a scenic natural getaway that helps you focus on your golf game. Strategic water hazards and sand traps in this 18-hole championship course are all designed to challenge players of every level. There is top notch quality all over this course. From professional lessons to championship grass greens, to delicious meals at their restaurant, Delaware Springs is easily a favorite among Hill Country golfers.

Silverhorn Golf Club: Par 72   6,922 Yards   129 Slope (Gold)

Considered one of San Antonio’s most treasured golf courses, Silverhorn’s beautifully contoured greens, tree-lined fairways, and strategically placed sand and water, make this a majestic, upscale 18-hole course to play. Keeping in line with its upscale image, Silverhorn regularly accommodates weddings and private events at its pavilion and venues. It’s been rated among the “Top 25 Courses” in Texas by the Dallas Morning News.

The Club at Concan: Par 72   7,333 Yards   138 Slope (Black)

At Concan, near the Frio River, this 18-hole golf course is a scenic drive away from San Antonio. The Club at Concan is a thrilling golf getaway, with picturesque views and a quality, well-maintained championship course. The Club also features a “Stay ‘n Play” package, so you can turn a one-time getaway into a fulfilling weekend and enjoy the beautiful landscapes from a rented home in Concan.

Legacy Hills Golf Club: Par 72   7,088 Yards   131 Slope (Black)

Located in the city of Georgetown, Legacy Hills Golf Club takes advantage of the natural environment to create an 18-hole course that offers true balance with the environment. Look out over gorgeous views as you strategically place your shots from alternating elevations. Part of the “Top Ten New Courses” list, by Dallas Morning News, when it first opened, Legacy Hills was lauded for its playability and its active golf community.

Whether you want to spend the weekend at a quiet getaway or just an afternoon at an upscale course, Texas Hill Country has the course to fit your golfing needs. Since so many of these courses are near one another, take your time and find a favorite. Challenge yourself to play them all. Whatever you do, just make sure to take advantage of this time to knock a few strokes off your game and either relax or compete at one of these championship golf courses. Book a tee time today and enjoy the best game of golf you’ve ever played.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Eight Texas Hill County Wineries Worth Visiting

Being the second most visited wine region in the United States, Texas Hill Country AVA is second only to Napa and the region stretches across a distance of about 15,000 square miles. Texas Hill County is home to about 30 different wineries and it is difficult to decide which one of these wineries to choose from as they all have remarkable scenes and excellent wines. The following, however, are the best 8 of the wineries that are worth visiting:

gift shop at Torre di Pietra

Torre di Pietra

Owned and operated by the Maxwells over ten years, Torre di Pietra happens to be one of the warmest wineries in the region; it makes sure that its guests get a homey experience and also allows pets. Ken Maxwell, the owner of this winery, was taught by his grandfather and his great-grandfather. He currently partners with his son, Ben, and they both have succeeded in turning their grapes into great creations.

The top picks of this winery include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Claret (both Cabernet and the black Spanish blend)

It costs $15 to taste six wine samples and also obtain a souvenir wine glass.

Torre di Pietra hosts special dinner events all through the year whilst featuring live music on Saturdays.

Becker Vineyards farmhouse exteroir

Becker Vineyards

Becker Vineyards was established in 1992, making it one of the oldest wine vineyards in Texas Hill County and it is the third largest wine vineyard in Texas. Stretching across 46 acres, the Vineyard is filled with lavender fields and a late 19th-century reproduction German stone barn that houses the tasting room amongst other things. Now a 100,000 case-per-year winery, Becker Vineyards has received several awards for its wines.

The wines are produced purely from Texas fruit and are labeled Texas symbols such as the "Rawhide" of the Malbec label. 

The top picks of this winery include: Reserve Malbec and Viognier. 

It costs $20 to taste six wine samples and also obtain a souvenir wine glass.

main entrance of Messina Hof Hill Country Winery

Messina Hof Hill Country Winery

Another one of the multiple-award-winning wineries of the southwest. Messina Hof stretches across 1,050 acres, with the one in Hill country sitting across 10 acres. Messina Hof also makes its wine from 28 vineyards, producing 85 wines from 27 varieties. There are more than 50 options available in this winery and they are all mind-blowing. It is family owned and operated.

The first vintage wine was produced by Paul Bonarrigo and his wife, Merrill in 1983. 

The top picks of this winery include: Gerwurtztraminer, Primitivo (Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Syrah, Pinot Noir), Rose of Sharon, 2014 Tempranillo Private Reserve.

It costs $10 to taste five wine samples.

pouring Hilmy Cellars wine into a flute in front of the vineyard

Hilmy Cellars

With the team including guinea fowls, Great Pyrenees, sheep and other animals whose jobs range from keeping the insects down and protecting the vines from deer. All part of the plan of the owners; Erik and Neldie Hilmy to do what is best for the land in order to produce the best wine. This biodynamic approach employed has certain effects on the grapes grown on the vineyard and the wines they produce. 

The top picks of this winery include: Erik Hilmy a.k.a. Viognier and Hilmy Cellars Sangiovese. 

It costs $20 to taste six wine samples.

patio seating looking out to the grounds at Pedernales Cellars

Pedernales Cellars

Pedernales Cellars sits atop 145 acres of land in Hill County. Its presence on the highway provides commuters with great views. The presentation at this winery is a formal one and it includes the overview of the wines during tastings. 

Pedernales Cellars was established in the 1990's by a Larry and Jeanine Kuhlken when they planted a vineyard near Fredericksburg. 

Their wines are 100 percent Texan. They offer two options for tasting depending on whether it is general wines or reserve wines you are interested in tasting. 

The reserve wines tasting are made available exclusively for the wine club members. 

The winery is popular today for its Spanish and Rhone-style wines.

It hosts special events like cooking demonstrations which feature live music on Saturdays. This happens all throughout the year.

The top picks of the winery include: Tempranillo Reserve and GSM (a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre)

They charge $15 for wine tasting and a souvenir glass. 

Reserve Room and barrel tastings are also available.

Grape Creek Vineyards

The Vineyards opened their doors in the mid-1980's, making them one of the first vineyards to be opened in Fredericksburg. The first two things that welcome you on your arrival to the vineyard are the bell tower and the banner that tells you of your arrival at "Tuscany in Texas." The Tuscan-style villa overlooking the Vineyards is the site where you can try the 14 varieties and blends that the winery offers.

The current owners of the winery, Brian and Jennifer Heath acquired and expanded the winery in 2006 and it is owned and operated by their family. 

On the weekends, there is live music that can be enjoyed on the patio with a glass of wine. 

The top picks of the winery include: Viognier, Bellissimo (Super Tuscan) 

It costs $18 for six samples and a souvenir wine glass. They charge $35 for a cellar tour and barrel tasting.

William Chris Vineyards

This vineyard is a super premium, boutique winery that is family owned and also deals in 100 percent Texan wines.

The owners of this vineyard, Bill Blackmon and Chris Brundrett are winemakers that grew grapes and also produced wines for other companies till the time they broke out and started their own Vineyards in 2008, naming it William Chris Vineyards. The tasting room of this vineyard used to be in a small barn but it has since been upgraded. The new tasting room offers you an amazing view that overlooks the outside seating area and vineyard. 

The top picks of the winery include:  2014 Cinsault Rose, 2013 Skeleton Key, and 2013 Artist Blend.

Woodrose Winery

The first vines of this Winery were planted in 1999, about 13 miles east of Fredericksburg. Winemaker and Owner Mike Guilette took charge of the winery in 2005 and since then, has groomed the grapes steadily, expanding the production. 

The guests of this winery sit at tables and make their selections from one of four menus that include sweet wines, whites, reds or a mix of red and white varieties and blends which is also known as Mike's flight.

The top picks of the winery include: Seven (Cabernet and Zinfandel) and Zinfandel. 

It costs $10 to taste and an extra $2 for the souvenir glass.

The wineries in Texas Hill Country own being Texan with their live music and Texas hospitality as well as their heavy reliance on the grapes that grow well in the Mediterranean. These wineries are regarded as some of the best wineries in the region with their exquisite and delicious tastes.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

9 Fantastic Halloween Events in Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg, TX is a great place to visit all year, but you can’t beat some of their Halloween events. The town is welcoming to guests and bursting with culture and heritage and that shows in their events and in what happens in the surrounding areas. There are fun things to do for everyone from hikers to amateur artists to wine connoisseurs and all of these great happenings are centered around that spooky holiday, Halloween.

Pumpkin Patches

pumpkins on hay bales in a field
Fredericksburg has several excellent pumpkin patches. Some of the best are at Vogel Orchard, Jenschke Orchards, and Wildseed Farms. Where better to relive some memories of Halloweens past and create some new ones? Head out to any of these pumpkin patches to pick out your own pumpkin to carve into a jack-o-lantern, bake into a pie, or anything else you may wish to do. Most of them also offer hay rides and other fun fall activities. Pumpkin season begins on September 28th!

Der Stadt Friedhof Cemetery Tour

main gates of the Der Stadt Friedhof cemetery
Take a tour of the Der Stadt Friedhof cemetery with Glen Treibes who is a retired schoolteacher, a native of Fredericksburg, and a historian. He teaches visitors all about those buried in the “City Cemetery” who lived in Gillespie County. It’s as if the tombstones can talk and share their stories. Tours are only on Thursdays, so if you want to go, you should be sure to make a reservation. The tours run from October 4th through October 25th.

Halloween Wine Pairing at Messina Hof Hill Country

Messina Hof Hill Country is one of the largest wine tourism destinations in the country. This winery has nearly 10 acres of land and boasts its own vineyards. They frequently offer pairing specials for visitors, but for Halloween, they decided to go with something a little different. They will be pairing wine with Halloween candy! So be sure to bring your sweet tooth and your sense of adventure to this wine tasting. This event happens on October 29th.

Freddyburg Youth Theater’s Haunted House

cast at the Freddyburg Youth Theater singing a song
Freddyburg Youth Theater promises to host a unique haunted house. This theater company is putting everything from their lighting and tech experts to their costuming and makeup masters behind this production. They will also have chilling special effects. Be prepared for a scary good time at this haunted house! Tickets are available online, at the box office, or at the event. This haunted house is only open on October 31st.

Art and Vino Painting Class “Sugar Skull”

This is an art class for adults where there is no judgment - there is no need to be an experienced painter to enjoy this class. Guests just need to have a love of painting and of wine. There will be local artists and teachers to help you recreate the painting for the night. For this particular class, they will be painting a sugar skull in honor of Halloween. Paint, canvas, and brushes are provided, so bring your favorite wine and some friends and come out for a spooky night of painting and wine. This class will be on October 27th.

Harvest Moon Celebration

food vendors at a carnival with Ferris wheel in the background
This is an annual Halloween festival in Comfort, TX, just outside of Fredericksburg. This is more than just a festival, however. It supports the Last Chance Forever Bird of Prey Conservancy, which helps rehabilitate injured birds of prey. The festival runs all day and offers food, education, crafts, entertainment, and contests. Costumes are encouraged, in the spirit of Halloween. There will also be birds of prey demonstrations and an owl walk once it gets dark. The festival begins at noon and runs until 9PM on October 27th.

Creatures of the Night Halloween Walk

jack-o-lanterns in front of a spooky house
Combine trick or treating and an evening nature hike at Inks Lake State Park. All ages are welcome at this event to discover the creatures of the night at the park. It’s the perfect addition to any Halloween. This event happens along the Devil’s Waterhole Nature Trail. It is a self-guided hike, with candy as long as supplies last. Costumes are encouraged. The hike happens on October 27th from 6:30PM until 8:30PM.

Scarecrow Invasion of Comfort, TX

In the nearby town of Comfort, every October, scarecrows descend. Forget standing in a field, these scarecrows do everything from flying to having a spa day. Residents have gotten very creative with what they have their scarecrows doing. Every year, they have a contest for their scarecrow invasion. They give out prizes for various categories, including “Only in Comfort” and “Best of Invasion”. Scarecrows begin going up on October 1st, but it is best to see them is around October 8th. By that time, all of the scarecrows will have gone up. It is a treat to drive around town and see which scarecrows you think should win.

All Hallow’s Eve Hike

This hike is also at Inks Lake State Park. This is a guided hike where visitors can learn about the fall traditions of Hill Country and the people who lived there before. The hike will be about one mile in length. Hikers will settle in to look at the stars during the hike, so be sure to dress for the cool weather. Hikers will also want to wear good walking shoes and bring a flashlight and water. The hike is from 6-7PM on October 30th.

There are many great things to do for Halloween in and around Fredericksburg, TX. Some of these happenings are in line with typical Halloween traditions, and some might start a new tradition for you. With such a great place to stay and so many cool and spooky things to do, there’s no reason not to visit Fredericksburg this October. Just be sure to decide which events you want to do before you come since there are too many to try to do them all.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

10 Adventures in Texas Hill Country

10 adventures in Texas Hill Country blog cover image

At the crossroads of West, Central, and South Texas lies a beautiful destination known as Texas Hill Country. If you are a nature lover, then the Hill Country area should definitely be on your bucket list. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, with plenty of adventurous activities and scenic areas waiting to be explored. Check out 10 incredible adventures you must have when visiting Texas’ Hidden Hill Country.

1. Climb to the Mesmerizing Gorman Falls

water falling down mossy rocks

While in Hill Country, be sure to head to Colorado Bend State Park. This park is made up of more than 5,000 acres of pure beauty, though one of the most sought-out parts is Gorman Falls. For those looking for a bit of adventure, taking this 1.5-mile hike is an absolute must. Be prepared for some steep and rocky walkways, though the beautiful mist coming off of the 60-foot high moss-covered falls is worth every step. Let the silence settle you as you drink in every moment of misty glory.

2. Catch the Sunset at Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock at sunset on an overcast day

If you’re looking to find sweeping views of the Hill Country, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is your spot. For the adventurous at heart, you’ll be more than satisfied with the 11 miles of hiking trails. One of the best places arguably in all of Texas to catch a sunset is from the top of the ancient dome of Enchanted Rock. The half-mile climb to the top will be absolutely unforgettable, especially as the sky begins to change colors and the sun starts to set. Be sure to listen up, as legend has it that the rock will talk to you at night. Though the scientists believe it’s the sound of the granite shrinking and expanding from the varying temperatures, the Native American tribes believed it speaks because it has something to say.

3. Kayak Along the Medina River

Get ready for a day of water-bound fun as you kayak down the glistening Medina River. This is the perfect way to explore the towering green trees and crystal-clear water. Organize a kayaking or tubing trip through The Medina River Company to be taken with a guide, or rent a single kayak or tube to float along at your own pace. Both include shuttle rides to conveniently pick up and drop you off along the river.

4. Dive into Natural Pools

If you’re looking to dive right in, then there are plenty of options for you in Hill Country. Blue Hole, Hamilton Pool, Krause Springs, are just a few. The Blue Hole Swimming Area in Wimberley is the perfect place for a dip. Enjoy the pristine waters and beautiful surrounding ecosystems in a 126-acre park. The Hamilton Pool, located west of Austin, was formed when an underground river collapsed thousands of years ago. The 50-foot waterfall and stalactites are some of the most picturesque features. This protected habitat and preserve is more than 200 acres. Krause Springs, founded in the 1950’s is also west of Austin. This area boasts more than 30 springs, which are absolutely delightful and refreshing.

5. Soak in the Scenery from Farm Road 337 and Highway 16

Aside from using these roads to travel throughout the Hill Country area, you should certainly take a drive to soak in the scenery. Farm Road 337 winds its way through large hills and rock ledges. While the driver needs to keep their eyes peeled to the road ahead, passengers need to have their eyes glued to the windows. The scenery passing you will take your breath away. On Highway 16, you’ll be blown away by the ancient oaks and yucca plants scattered along the roadway. Take it easy on the winding roads, the slow pace will allow you to drive safely and enjoy the scenery throughout the way.

6. Frolic Through Lavender and Bluebonnet Fields

rows of lavender at sunset

Depending on the time of year you visit, there’s almost surely a field of flowers you’ll want to frolic through. In March & April, it’s the Bluebonnets, and the best way to find the most abundant locations for them is to stop by the area’s cafes and ask the locals. Beginning in mid-May, the scent of Lavender permeates throughout the area. If you’re visiting in June, you’ll definitely want to attend the Blanco Lavender Festival.

7. Stay in a Garden Cottage

various flowers and herbs growing outside of a cottage

At the Fredericksburg Herb Farm, stay in an adorable Sunday Haus Cottage. At this charming farm, indulge in a unique relaxing treatment with organic products at the 5,000-square foot Nature’s Spa. Feeling hungry? You won’t have to venture far from your cottage with the delicious three-meal-a-day Farm Haus Bistro, which uses the farm’s own ingredients to whip up tasty fare.

8. Go Peach Pickin’

One of the sweetest parts of Hill Country is its incredible farms and orchards like Marburger Orchard. Depending on the time of year, you can venture out to the orchards to pick fresh and juicy fruits. The crop seasons begin in March and run through August. While the farm is best known for its delectable peaches (which is the primary crop grown here), you can also pick strawberries, blackberries, and even summer vegetables. Talk about a sweet, healthy adventure to be had.

9. Gaze Up at the Stars

Just as the song indicates, “the stars at night being big and bright” in Texas. On a clear night, you’ll have one of the best vantage points from the Tres Lunas Resort. With little artificial light to cloud your vision or brighten the sky, detailed constellations and bright stars will make an appearance for your viewing pleasure.

10. Chow Down on BBQ & Pies

A trip to Texas, and especially Texas’ Hill Country, wouldn’t be complete without getting to chow down on some of the area’s best-known delicacies. Though the entire state is known for its dedication to good ‘ole BBQ, you haven’t tasted authentic Texas dishes without a trip to Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que. As you pull up, your nostrils will be filled with the scent of mesquite and smoked meats, and it won’t be long before you’re going to town. Choose from brisket, sausage, ribs, cabrito (or get a bit of everything), with the comfort of southern sides like homemade coleslaw, potato salad, and more. Hill Country also has what’s considered the apple capital of Texas with its plethora of orchards in Medina. There’s nothing sweeter than a freshly baked apple pie in the heart of Hill Country.

If your soul speaks to the adventures listed here, then a trip to Texas’ Hidden Hill Country is an absolute necessity.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

10 Best Things to Do in Fredericksburg, TX

10 best things to do in Fredericksburg blog cover image

In the middle of Texas Hill Country and immersed in German culture, Fredericksburg, Texas is perfectly set between San Antonio and Austin and is a great place to spend the weekend, or for a couple of days on its own, the next time you’re passing through the Lone Star State. Here are the top ten things you need to see on your next visit to Fredericksburg:

old-fashioned stores on Fredericksburg's Main Street

Fredericksburg's Main Street and Marktplatz (Market Square)

To see the town’s German roots and influence, look no further than Main Street. From the quaint storefronts and trendy art galleries to the centerpiece of Main Street, the Marktplatz, there is plenty to see and do. You may even be greeted with a “Guten Tag,” from a shop owner. There’s always something happening at the Marktplatz as it’s the epicenter for the town’s many festivals and community events.

grape vines in a vineyard with trees

Have a Glass of Wine…Or Two

Fredericksburg knows how to do wine, and they do it well! Located in the heart of Texas “wine country,” the city itself is home to over two dozen wineries and tasting rooms and there are dozens less than 2 hours outside of Fredericksburg. You can’t come to Fredericksburg and not indulge in some of their incredible wine.

main entrance to Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park

Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park

A day at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park is the perfect way to unwind and have some fun! The 150-acre complex includes facilities for baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball, and tennis. There is also a swimming pool, camping grounds, nature trails, and a fishing pier near Live Oak Creek. Four of the outdoor pavilions are equipped with barbeque pits and are perfect for cooking out with family and friends.

Vereins Kirche Museum

Built in the early 19th century by German settlers, the Vereins Kirche is the oldest building in Fredericksburg and an ode to the city’s rich history and culture. You can find this historic building in the heart of the Marktplatz. This multi-purpose structure was the city’s first public building and was used for everything from a place to worship for all denominations to a fort, and even a school. Today, the museum is home to photos and artifacts that document the city’s pioneer history.

Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site

This beautiful state park named for our country’s 36th President could keep you busy for days. The Visitor Center is home to a wonderful collection of memorabilia from President Johnson’s presidency and interactive displays about the area in which he grew up. Next to the Visitor Center, check out the Behrens Cabin built by German immigrant H.C. Behrens in the 1870s. The park is also home to abundant wildlife such as the Official Texas State Longhorn Herd, buffalo, and white-tailed deer. There is so much more to do here, you’ll just have to visit and see for yourself!

actors on stage at Fredericksburg Theater Company

Fredericksburg Theater Company

Even in Fredericksburg, you can enjoy a night out at the theater! The Fredericksburg Theater Company regularly hosts big-name productions such as Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. They also offer a variety of acting, playwriting, and youth theater workshops and programs.

main entrance to the museum at night

National Museum of the Pacific War

Texas Hill Country is probably the last place you expect to find a museum dedicated to the Pacific Theater of WWII. But, you will be pleased to discover that Fredericksburg has the only museum in the U.S. dedicated solely to the history of WWII in the Pacific and honors the 8 million Americans who served and 100,000 who gave their lives in the war against Japan. The museum features the Memorial Courtyard, the Japanese Garden, the Plaza of Presidents, and the newest addition, the George H.W. Bush Gallery. The Gallery contains impressive multi-media exhibits and hundreds of original artifacts and photos. The Pacific Combat Zone has regularly scheduled combat re-enactments.

Old Tunnel State Park

Between May and October each year, you can visit the real “bat cave.” You won’t run into Batman, but you will have the chance to see more than 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats and over 3,000 cave myotis bats. The best time to visit the cave is at sunset when the bats make their daily emergence. You can get great views from the hiking trail leading up to the tunnel, but you can’t enter in order to not disturb the bats. You can also book a lower viewing area tour for a closer look.

Fort Martin Scott

If you like history and free stuff, you’re going to love Fort Martin Scott. Built in 1848, this U.S. Army outpost was one of many forts built to protect local settlers and pioneers from Indian attacks. The fort once consisted of 21 buildings, but the only original structure remaining is the limestone guardhouse. The fort was abandoned in 1853 and remained in disrepair until the Fredericksburg Heritage Federation began extensive restoration efforts in 1986. The free, self-guided tour takes a little over an hour and you get to see reconstructed versions of the commander’s quarters, the military hospital, a blacksmith shop, and much more.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

This magnificent pink granite dome is visited by over 250,000 visitors each year. This large rock formation is located just outside the city limits of Fredericksburg. The rock is 425 feet high and the Area spans over 640 acres. Native tribes thought the rock to be supernaturally powerful, thereby resulting in the name “Enchanted Rock.” Hiking the miles of trails surrounding the granite formation will give you breathtaking views, but of course, the most enchanting view is from the top!

Whether you are just passing through, or Fredericksburg is your vacation destination, you won’t be at a loss for things to do. This beautiful city is conveniently located on the thoroughfare between Austin and San Antonio, so you really have no excuse not to stop! There is so much to explore from rich German history and culture to military museums, wine trails, and enchanted rocks. So, sit back, grab a glass of wine, and enjoy the natural beauty Fredericksburg, Texas has to offer.