Monday, December 23, 2019

The Seven Must-See Texas Hill Country Holiday Light Trails

The Seven Must-See Texas Hill Country Holiday Light Trails

We can now say we are officially in the holiday season. The weather outside is getting colder, department stores have the same three songs on repeat, and you have random family members coming to your home. If you are looking for something to do with your family to get into a festive mood, holiday light trails could be just what the doctor ordered. There is something magical about looking at beautiful lights around Christmastime. We have put together a list of seven holiday light trails located in the Texas hill country.

1. San Saba Christmas Park

We begin this list by showing off one of the largest light trails in the hill country: San Saba Christmas Park offers over thirty acres of lights, ponds, and trees. If you love holiday lights but hate the cold that comes with it, San Saba Christmas Park has you covered with the entire park being drivable. Starting December 14th, San Saba Christmas Park will begin to offer events and programs for the whole family. Take a leisurely stroll with your favorite glass of wine with the Sip & Stroll tour. For $30 a person, you will receive a souvenir wine glass, tote bag, and ten tasting pours. Festive carolers will perform your favorite holiday classics in the main square of the park. Also, on December 14th, a Christmas Parade will take place in the main square of the park.

two women walking beneath Christmas lights

2. Old West Christmas Light Fest   

If you are a Texas history buff, then the Old West Christmas Lightfest in Boerne, Texas, is the perfect light trail for you this holiday season. During December, the town of Boerne turns the Enchanted Springs Ranch into a winter wonderland with over three million lights spread across over forty old west buildings.

The Old West Christmas Lightfest is offering much more than a light trail this holiday season. Take part in a Christmas themed escape room, or learn with your kids the art of cookie decorating with classes held nightly. If all of that is not enough for you, then maybe a game of laser tag on the Old West streets will get you in the holiday mood. The Old West Christmas Light Fest is not a free event. Tickets for entry are $15 for adults, $10 for children, and military and first responders can take advantage of a $10 ticket price. Escape room tickets will be $35, and laser tag games are $5.21.

Criss-crossing Christmas lights

3. Santa’s Ranch in New Braunfels  

The Santa’s Ranch in New Braunfels wins the most unusual light trail. If you want a light trail filled with Santas and Snowmen, then this is not the trail for you. Aliens, dinosaurs, space shuttles, and cowboys all await you on this bizarre and yet charming trail. The trail is perfect for people who do not like walking in the cold because it is a driving only trail. It will cost you $30 a car or $60 for a season pass that will last you the entire month of December—and let's face it you are going to want to do this trail more than once.

horse-drawn carriage beneath holiday lights

4. San Antonio River Walk Holiday Lights

One of the most iconic landmarks in Texas transforms itself into a festive place to celebrate the holidays. The River Walk, located in San Antonio, is already one of the biggest tourist attractions in Texas, and when you add thousands of lights in the mix, it becomes even better. The event is free as you stroll through the River Walk, perusing the shops and eating at the iconic Mexican food restaurants. If walking isn’t your thing, you can rent a boat that will sail you down the river giving you a unique way to take in the lights. Also, during December, carolers have been known to serenade passersby with classic Christmas songs.

bauble ornaments in street tree

5. Marble Falls Walkway of Lights 

The Marble Falls Walkway of Lights is an excellent option if you or anyone in your family is a dog lover. This light trail that takes place in Marble Falls Texas incorporates over two million lights and 400 sculptures. The whole trail takes place at Lakeside Park, so dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash. Santa has been known to make appearances from time to time. This light trail is free, but the city of Marble Falls asks for donations to help fund events just like this one.

purple christmas lights

6. Johnson City Lights Spectacular

If you are a fan of light trails that don’t mess around, then the Johnson City Lights Spectacular will not disappoint. If you don’t believe us, you can ask NASA since this light trail can be seen from space. The tree lighting ceremony, which takes place on November 29, is the most iconic tree lighting ceremony on this list. Volunteers from Pedernales Electric Cooperative take more than one million lights and wrap them around a bigger than life oak tree. The event is free for everyone, including free horse-drawn carriage rides.

7. Bastrop River of Lights

The last light trail on our list is full of events and special programs. The city of Bastrop has grown a reputation of a small town that loves Christmas, and over the past several years, they have earned that reputation. Starting on November 29th and ending December 15th, the Bastrop River of Lights and Lost Pines Christmas has a full schedule of fun and festive events for the whole family. These events include tree lighting, Country Christmas Farm Street Opry, Twisted Christmas Krampus Haunts, and the famous lighted Christmas parade. This light trail is free to the public.

Lighting Up Your Holiday this Year 

The holiday season is about spending time with family and the people you love. Cities and towns all over the Texas Hill Country are providing the best forms of holiday cheer for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Light trails are a fun and unique way to get the family together and enjoy the holidays together.

Monday, December 9, 2019

11 Great Ways to Spend a Weekend in Fredericksburg, Texas

11 Great Ways to Spend a Weekend In Fredericksburg, Texas

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of big cities lies one of Texas’s hidden treasures. The small town of Fredericksburg, Texas, allows tourists and locals alike to take a step back in time and enjoy small-town living. If you only have a weekend to spend in Fredericksburg, we have put together a list of the top eleven to do for the perfect Fredericksburg Experience.

1. Spend Time Exploring Nature 

It wouldn’t be a small Texas town without vast doses of beautiful nature. Take a stroll to Wildseed Farms and explore the fields of wildflowers that paint the landscape around Fredricksburg. It doesn’t matter what season it is; you will be sure to find something that will catch your eye.

Windmill among purple flowers

2. Main Street

The lively main street of Fredericksburg is iconic in the state of Texas. With over one hundred stores, you will be able to buy anything from antiques to bags of candy. After walking up Main Street, you can stop by any restaurant to enjoy everything from Tex Mex to German food.

Main Street with Shops and Cars

3. Peaches, Peaches, and More Peaches 

The farmland that surrounds Fredericksburg produces more than 40% of the peaches in Texas. You will find it hard to miss dozens of roadside stalls selling the delicious fruit. If you come to Fredericksburg in the Summer, be sure to get yourself a scoop of peach ice cream.

4. Elk Store Winery and Distillery

It wouldn’t be Hill Country without at least one distillery. The Elk Store Winery and Distillery is a unique and fun spot to stop in while you are shopping on Main Street. They are renowned for their homemade moonshine, including a pecan pie variation. If moonshine is not your thing, the Elk Store has a bar that offers wine from around the world. Whatever you are into the Elk Store Winery and Distillery will be sure to satisfy you.

Wine glasses and bottles

5. Fredericksburg Herb Farm

For those of you that want to spend your weekend relaxing, the Fredericksburg Herb Farm is perfect. Take a stroll through the ground of the early 1800s homestead. Take in the smells of fresh herbs and flowers that radiate everywhere. You can book a spa appointment in their 5000 square-foot spa that offers a variety of treatments. The Fredericksburg Herb Farm even offers small cottages where you can stay during your weekend visit.

growing herbs

6.    Learn About the Life of LBJ

If history is your thing, then you will enjoy the fact that the LBJ Ranch is only a short road trip from the streets of Fredericksburg. You will find the Texas White House where LBJ spent some time while he was president. A tour is given where you will learn about the life and actions of the late great president LBJ.

7. Enjoy the Local German Food

The town of Fredericksburg was founded in the year 1846 by German settlers. The town received its name from the prince of Prussia Friedrich. It is because of this history that Fredericksburg offers the best German food in all of Texas. However, the German restaurants you do find can't help but put a Texas spin on traditional German food like schnitzel with guacamole.

assorted platters at a restaurant

8. The Pacific War Museum 

Any World War II buff will fall in love with the extensive Pacific War Museum located in Fredericksburg. The museum consists of a total of three buildings. Two of the buildings follow the more traditional museum with artifacts and information about Admiral Nimitz and his role in the Pacific theatre of war during World War II. The third building consists of outdoor reenactments that demonstrate the most significant battles of the pacific theatre. You can also find a Japanese Garden of Peace that will allow you to reflect upon the costs of war as you examine the beauty of the flowers.

9. Camping at the Enchanted Rock

After spending a day exploring the charming main street of Fredericksburg, you can take a short trip to the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. This area offers an outstanding 2.5 square miles of land where you can camp, picnic, and rock climb. Enchanted Rock is the perfect place for the outdoor junkies that prefer to sleep under the stars then beneath the roof of a bed and breakfast.

10. Enjoy the Local Bed & Breakfasts

Bed and Breakfasts are an iconic aspect of any small town in America, and the ones located in Fredericksburg are among the best. Living and working in a city can be stressful at times. Driving up to a bed and breakfast for the weekend will allow you to shake that stress and replace it with the comforts of southern living. Sleep in small cottages and allow their warmth to fill your senses. Indulge in southern delicacies that will leave you satisfied for days to come. When you return home, you will enjoy a renewed sense of relaxation and comfort.

11. St. Mary’s Catholic Church

The German settlers that first founded Fredericksburg left more than just their taste in food. These settlers also brought the practice known as the painted church. The German settlers would paint their churches in vibrant colors that gave them a now-iconic look. Saint Mary’s Catholic Church is the best example of the painted church style that remains in Fredericksburg. With dynamic stain glass windows and painting, Saint Mary’s Catholic Church is one of the most popular spots in all of Fredericksburg.

Small Town Living is Good for the Soul 

With the modern hustle and bustle of today's society, it can be easy for stress and anxiety to take control of your life. Fredericksburg, Texas is an ideal place to release your tension. Stroll down the bustling main street. Allow yourself to be swept away with all the sounds and smells of the stores and restaurants. Let the aromas of fresh herbs and peaches from the herb farm take you back to simpler times. Whatever you require to relax, Fredricksburg is ready to provide what you need.