Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The 7 Best Spots To Paddle Your Way Through the Texas Hill Country


The Texas Hill Country is dotted and crisscrossed with hundreds of miles of spring and river waterways. So whether it is kayaking, rowing, rafting, canoeing, or even stand up paddle surfing, there’s a spot for everyone to spend their quality time.

Either alone or with your loved ones, these 7 spots in the Texas Hill Country are totally worth your time.


South Llano River

Navigate through the quiet pools, smooth waters, and gentle rifles along the 6 miles of the South Llano River in the Texas Hill Country. The water levels are generally shallow (they reach waist level) and are almost perfect in all seasons.

This spot is great for fishing, overnight camping, swimming, canoeing, and kayaking. You might, however, consider renting kayaks from established outfitters who will transport you to the spots, especially if it’s your first day in the area.

If you don’t want to spend your entire time in the water, you can enjoy spending some time birding and scouting for wildlife. Afterward, you can treat yourself with delicious chicken-fried steaks at Isaack’s Inn Junction.


San Saba River

The San Saba River is a scenic site located on the northern boundary of the Edwards Plateau, Texas. The sparkling clear waters and the beautiful surroundings make the area look like a little paradise. One visit there and you will definitely wish you had known the place earlier.

It is a great spot for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing among other fun activities. Enjoy the thrill of swishing your kayaks through the wide open spaces surrounded by cedar, oak, and pecan trees along the river banks.

The absence of nearby residential areas makes the place relatively calm and thus a great spot for daily escapades.

Water levels of the San Saba River fluctuate with weather conditions. You might, therefore, consider checking the status with an outfitter before your planned trip.


Guadalupe River

Guadalupe River is by far the most popular river in the region, mainly because of the spectacular view of limestone cliffs and avenues of bald cypresses that accompanies it along the 9.9-mile stretch.

The spot offers great tubing, rapids, canoeing and kayaking activities. Another feature contributing to its popularity is the kid-friendliness of the place. Therefore, if you are looking for a relatively inexpensive place for a family out, this is your perfect spot.

The upper part of the River passes through the Guadalupe River State Park, which is among the best places to hike and camp in the region. The lower section of the River, below the Canyon Lake, is wider, deeper and slower. Most recreation activities take place in this section.

Guadalupe River, being among top 100 trout fishing rivers in the USA, also has some best fishing activities in the region.


Pecan Bayou

With a trail length of 3.2 to 4 miles, Pecan Bayou offers a peaceful stretch with slow-moving water that can be paddled in either direction as a loop trail.

Pecan Bayou is an overflow from Lake Brownwood and is controlled by rainfall and dams. It is readily influenced by rainfall runoff that sometimes create temporary high flows and undesirable water quality conditions. You might, therefore, consider checking out with an outfitter before scheduling a visit.

Besides paddling activities, you can enjoy some fun fishing activities too. With simple lures such as spinner baits, plastic worms, and jigs, you can catch a variety of fish ranging from mouth bass, crappie, catfish, and brim.


Lady Bird Lake (Austin)

The Lady Bird Lake (originally known as Town Lake) is a 400-acre reservoir ideal for SUPing, rowing, swimming, canoeing, and kayaking activities. The lake doesn’t allow most motorized boats, so the conditions are calm and safe.

Lady Bird is an ideal and a perfect place for individuals seeking to have a nice, long day on the water.

You can either choose to paddle for hours on the 6-mile stretch of river or choose among the popular 3-to-5 mile loops. If you are looking forward to a calm yet eventful trip, this might just be the perfect place for you.

You can also indulge yourself in fishing activities which are also an option on the spot. Largemouth bass and sunfish are the most common in the area.


Canyon Lake

Located northwest of San Antonio, Canyon Lake was made by damming the Guadalupe River. It is one of the most scenic lakes and among the best-known water recreational spots in the whole of Texas.

Besides the many public parks surrounding it, Canyon Lake is also a great fishing spot for Guadalupe bass.

You can also choose to explore the rocky limestone on its shoreline by either boat or on foot. Being a good-sized lake, a trip to its shorelines can be a full-day endeavor. All the same, the experience has proved to be quite exhilarating.

The temperatures can be very high especially in the summer seasons. It is, therefore, advisable to bring along your own shade since there’s no shade at all on the shoreline.


Lake Bastrop

Lake Bastrop is a 900-acre lake in the Lost Pines, Central Texas. It has been perfect for all types of paddling, and SUPing is now becoming a popular activity in the area.

Because of its large size, the Lake offers plenty of room for families and groups planning to spend their day paddling or fishing.

Recently, sailing and water skiing activities have become very popular on Lake Bastrop. As a result, the South Shore Park now offers canoe rentals for those without their boats. Also on the south shore, are campsites and cabins available for any group size.

Surrounding the Lake are trails that are great for experiencing other activities such as hiking, trail running, and mountain biking. If you decide to stick with paddling, you will have plenty of room to stand up on a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard.

Lake Bastrop provides a good mix of recreational activities making it a perfect place for a family outing, event, or gathering.



During the high season, it can be difficult to get in any good paddling because of the tube traffic that accompanies these areas. It is, therefore, advisable to contact outfitters in the Hill Country to inquire about tube traffic before scheduling a trip.

It is also a good idea to talk to the ones in charge about any potentially dangerous conditions you might encounter. If any, discuss the proper precautions that need to be taken before you enter the water. Remember, safety first!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

10 Best Farmers Markets in Texas Hill Country


Farmers Markets are not only the best place to go when you need fresh affordable produce; they are sanctuaries of culture, colors, and local flavors. You can discover a huge number of things by walking through them while enjoying and tasting new ingredients or dishes. Here are the best 10 farmers markets located in Texas Hill Country.

Hill Country features many popular farmers markets in different towns. Saturdays and Sundays are the popular days; however, this can vary. The products go from fresh produce to collectibles, art, and home-made goods.


1. BLANCO MARKET DAY

Visit the beautiful county of Blanco and enjoy the taste of real honey, sweets, and fruits while you walk around the square and the courthouse grounds. The market is held on the 3rd Saturday of the month, from March through November. A special day was added in December as part of the Christmas Market Day.
Check out this amazing market and take the kids out for an amazing experience.

Hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm



2. LONE STAR FARMERS’ MARKET AT BEE CAVE

Enjoy Austin’s best local vendors and produce at this farmers market. You will love dancing to the rhythm of live music while tasting the most delicious, homemade delicacies and drinks! The market is open to families and pets as well, so nobody stays behind.

Open every Sunday.
Hours: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm


3. BOERNE MARKET DAYS

Make grocery shopping a great experience and visit Boerne’s farmers’ markets. Open Saturday and Sunday, this event has become the gathering place of many local artists and vendors. Spend your day buying delicious produce, food, collectibles, while dancing to amazing Texan music. 

Hours: Saturdays 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Sundays 10:00 am – 4:00 pm



4. TEXAS FARMERS MARKET AT MUELLER

Hang out at the coolest farmers market, voted Austin’s favorite farmers market for four years and be charmed by the friendliness of the vendors, and the freshness of their produce. The market is the ideal place to eat, shop, and enjoy alongside family and friends.

Open Sunday and Wednesday.
Hours: Sunday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Wednesday 5:00 – 8:00 pm.



5. BUDA DOWNTOWN FARMERS MARKET

The Downtown Buda Farmers Market is the greatest place to gather to find the best and most organic fruits and vegetables in the country. Vendors and shoppers will enjoy games, live music, crafts, fresh honey and much more. 
Visit Buda and fall in love with their amazing vibe.

Starts May 6th Sundays 10:00 am – 2:00 pm



6. BANDERA SAGE GARDENS FARMERS MARKET

This awesome market offers an open-air experience for the whole family. Local vendors and farmers offer fresh eggs, organic produce, honey products, unique Asian vegetables, herbs, spices, and many other things. Held April to October.
You can find it in front of Sid's Main Street BBQ at 702 Main Street in Bandera, Texas.

Open Thursdays, 8:00 am – 11:00 am and Saturdays, 8:00 am – 11:00 am.



7. FREDERICKSBURG FARMERS MARKET

The Fredericksburg Farmers Market is a seven-month long, weekly, open-air market that brings locally grown, organic food to the Texan community. The Fredericksburg Farmers Market is located at Kinder Halle Pavilion in Marktplatz, which is one of the best locations in Fredericksburg. The market’s objective is to support the local economy while delivering an amazing event for the whole family. This farmers market focuses on seasonal veggies and delicious fruit!
Come visit with the family and taste the best produce this beautiful city has to offer.

Open every Thursday, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
May - August and October - November.



8. LLANO FARMERS MARKET

You will never find a more inclusive place than Llano’s Farmers Market. Here, you will be able to find carved wood items, fresh produce, and even doggie biscuits. Located at the Llano River at Grenwelge Park, this great event will fill with joy your day.

Open most Saturdays from 8:00 am to 11:00 am.




9. WIMBERLEY LIONS MARKET DAYS

Wimberley hosts the oldest outdoor market in the Texas Hill Country and the second-largest in the state. It is an amazing place where to go with your pooch for a stroll or with your family. Open 1st Saturdays, from March to December, 7:00 am – 4:00 pm at Lions Field, Wimberley. Over 400 booths will be open for you to check out and purchase fresh produce, clothing, furniture, tools antiques and much more; and do not worry, there is plenty of place for parking!




10. KERR COUNTY MARKET DAYS & HILL COUNTRY SWAP MEET

This event is planned by a non-profit organization of farmers, artists, and food producers who got together to give kids and families the best experience in the Texas Hill Country. Open every 1st Saturday of the month, from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm, no matter the weather. From March to June and from September to December.
This event showcases local artist working along each other to sell beautiful, unique pieces like jewelry, toys, collectibles, and more.