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.