Super Bowl LI Trippin’ (in Houston!)

Everyone’s starting to get hyped for Super Bowl LI next Sunday, and the most exciting part is that it’s being hosted right here in Texas! Soon hoards of folks from all over the country will be traveling to Houston to see the Patriots and Falcons face off on the football field. No matter if you’re attending the game at NRG Stadium or just hoping to hang around and pretend like you’ve got tickets, there’s plenty to do in Houston between Super Bowl partying and tailgating. Here’s a guide on what to eat and see while you’re in town.

EAT

Picture by Amy Miller.

Head to Bernie’s Burger Bus for massive burgers. Picture by Amy Miller.

Stay In the Neighborhood…

Bernie’s Burger Bus: Ace lunch by heading to this old-school burger joint where you order gourmet burgers out of an actual yellow school bus. Along with massive burgers and made-from-scratch ingredients (that means homemade ketchup,y’all), you can also choose from eight different kinds of fries, with toppings ranging from chili and cheese to brisket and truffle oil! Wash down your meal with local beers on tap or a Cookie Butter Shake.

Capt Benny’s: If something seems fishy about this boat docked in the middle of town, it is…fresh fish to be exact. This seafood shack has been serving Gulf Coasts seafood to inland folks for the past 50 years. Pop in for a dozen fresh shucked oysters at the Oyster Bar (a local fave) or all the fried fish you can eat.

Jerry Built Homegrown Burgers: Follow the giant cow and mooo-ve on over to Jerry’s for a quick burger with fresh ingredients. They’ve got all your game day cravings from hot dogs and burgers to fried pickles and fries (try the spicy fries for an extra kick). And best of all, they’ve partnered with the Houston-based Saint Arnold Brewery to create a special burger topped with fried jalapenos and guac that pairs perfectly with the beer.

Luigi’s Pizzeria: Head to this family-owned neighborhood pizza joint in either Bellaire or Midtown for some of the best wood-fired thin crust pizza in Houston! Locals love the Supreme — which is so packed with toppings it requires two hands to eat — and the Italian classic Magherita Pizza topped with fresh basil and tomatoes. Don’t forget the fresh gelato for dessert! It is BYOB, but if you go to the Midtown location, you can take your pie next door to the Axelrad Beer Garden for a cold beer and a post-meal nap in a hammock.

Glazed, the Doughnut Cafe: This gourmet doughnut cafe, located just a few minutes from NRG Stadium, is conveniently opened 24-hours making it the perfect place to celebrate a win or perhaps drown your sorrows after the big game. Gorge yourself on decadent doughnuts like their signature Macon, a maple-glazed doughnut topped with bacon, or savory doughnut sandwiches (glazed breakfast sandwich anyone?).

Or Venture Out a Bit…

Montrose: Just a little farther away is this upbeat part of town where all the cool kids are hanging and you’ll find a plethora of Houston’s most iconic and eclectic eateries. For truly amazing Texas classics, head to El Real for authentic Tex-Mex or The Pit Room for beef sausage and brisket served on paper. Dare to try something new? Hit up Houston’s Japanese fusion hot spot, Uchi. If you’re craving Italian, Dolce Vita serves up thin crust pizza with just the right amount of wood-fired char and topped with bubbling cheese and authentic Italian ingredients.

Chinatown: Just a hop, skip and a jump from NRG Stadium is Chinatown, which boasts one of the largest Asian populations in America as well as some of the best foods. If you’re a beginner at foreign foods, head to Golden Dim Sum for amazing steamed dumplings and pot stickers galore — as well as a picture menu so you can see what you’re ordering. HK Dim Sum, also a dumpling house, is another must-visit. A local favorite is Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Pagolac’s Beef Seven Ways: a meal comprised of 7 different beef dishes. And for late night pho cravings, head just outside Chinatown to Pho Bingh by Night which stays open till 3 a.m. and serves pho with a rich broth and bone marrow. 

 

EXPLORE

http://www.toddwhite.org

Say Cheese: Houston is full of building art like the “Houston Is…” mural.

Party some more: Of course nothing could be better than the actual Super Bowl…except for a huge FREE Super Bowl Party! Discovery Green is hosting “Super Bowl LIVE“, an epic nine-day party from Jan. 28 – Feb. 5 featuring food trucks, free concerts, prizes, a Virtual-Reality roller coaster and so much more!

Take all the selfies: If you’re in Houston and don’t take pictures with its most famous murals, were you really there at all? Pose with the psychedelic “Houston Is…” mural, send your friends well wishes with the “Greetings from Houston” mural or find the latest Houston mural obsession #BiscuitPaintWall on the wall of the interior design store Biscuit Home. And of course, no trip to town is complete without visiting the famous Water Wall, a U-Shaped 64-ft. tall waterfall in Uptown Houston!

Choose your Brews: Since you’re in town for the Super Bowl, head to 8th Wonder Brewery which was named after the beloved Astrodome and has a dome-shaped warehouse. Stop by the taproom during the weekend for their fresh brewed “Dome Faux’m” or tour the brewery during the week. Saint Arnold is another favorite brewery in Houston, and Texas’ Oldest Craft Brewery, started in 1994. Visit the brewery during the week and receive a free tour with a smaller crowd, or on Saturday pay a $10 charge but receive a souvenir glass and free samples, but expect a long line.

Be Artsy: If you were hoping to let your inner artist shine through between screaming your lungs out for your favorite team and downing beers, you’re in luck — Houston’s got a huge supply of amazing art museums (find a list here). View classic artworks by iconic artists like Warhol and Picasso at The Menil Collection or head to the ArtCar Museum (aka “Garage Mahal”) to view cars made into whimsical art pieces like giant rats and helicopters. For even more art, head to the Rice University campus at sunset to watch the sky change colors in the trippy art installation “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace by James Turrell. The best part? All three of these are FREE.

Act Like a Kid: No matter your age, you’ll definitely want to push the mysterious Red Button on the Preston Street Bridge for a laugh. Be sure to look into the Buffalo Bayou immediately after for a surprise (click here if you like ruining surprises)! Act like a monkey at the Houston Zoo, cure your curiosity at the Houston Museum of Natural Science or go batty by watching 250,000 bats fly out from under the Waugh Drive Bridge at dusk.

Check out our trip to Houston for more travel ideas!

San Antonio Premiere Party AT THE ALAMO!

Trippers, get ready because we are throwing the most EPIC Premiere Party EVER!! Join us on Thursday, Feb. 2 from 6:30-8 p.m. for the premiere of our Downtown San Antonio episode on the lawn of The Alamo (300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio)! Yeah, that’s right, we’re premiering the episode at one of the most HISTORIC SPOTS IN TEXAS!!

Besides the premiere of the San Antonio episode, we’ll also have live music by country artist Katy Mckenzie, a performance by folk dance group Grupo Folklorico de Bendiciones, tons of PRIZES and so much more! There’s no RSVP or ticket necessary– all you gotta do is show up and have fun!  Be sure to bring blankets (not chairs) for you and your family to sit on the lawn. You don’t want to miss out on this TEXAS-SIZED PARTY!!!

CLICK HERE to check out the Premiere Party’s Facebook event!

 

 

11 Jaw-Dropping Bird’s-Eye Views

It’s not hard to find beauty in Texas – whether you’re looking out over the sprawling lands of West Texas or taking in the luscious woods of the East. But sometimes to truly appreciate all there is to see, you gotta get a bird’s eye view! From hilltop and mountain to bridge and skyscraper, here’s a list of 11 of the most stunning views in Texas!

1. Love’s Lookout – Highway 69 – Jacksonville, TX

Photo by My East Texas

Photo by My East Texas

2. Hancock Hill – Sul Ross University – Alpine, TX

Alpine

Watch our Alpine episode here.

3. Mount Bonnell – Austin, TX

See the South Austin episode here.

4. Old Baldy – Garner State Park – Concan, TX

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5. Palo Duro Canyon – Canyon, TX

Palo

Find our episode in nearby Amarillo here.

6. Wyler Aerial Tramway – Franklin Mountains State Park – El Paso, TX

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See our El Paso episode here.

7. Reunion Tower – Dallas, TX

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Watch our Dallas episode here.

8. Masada Ridge – Big Bend Ranch State Park – Presidio, TX

Masada Ridge

Photo by Chase Fountain/TPWD.

9. Davis Mountains State Park – Fort Davis, TX

Fort Davis_Blog

See our episode in Fort Davis here.

10. Guadalupe Peak – Guadalupe Mountains National Park – Salt Flat, TX

Van Horn

See our episode in nearby Van Horn here.

11. South Rim – Big Bend National Park

http://www.toddwhite.org

Watch our Big Bend episodes here.

7 Refreshing Getaways in Texas

Between the food-coma-induced pains of Thanksgiving, the frantic gift searches of Christmas and immense stress of already failing at your New Year’s resolution, you’re exhausted and you deserve a break. You loved being surrounded by family and friends during the endless parties of the holidays, but now you’re ready for the relaxation and peace of mind only Texas can provide. Luckily for you, the hard parts of trip planning have already been done — all you gotta do is take a deep breath, get your planner handy and choose how you’d like to indulge yourself at one of these 7 Texas getaways.

Get Refreshed in Nature

Picture by Chase Fountain.

Take in the view at Palo Duro Canyon. Picture by Chase Fountain.

If your idea of a getaway is breathing that fresh Texas air, spending hours getting lost in nature, and freedom from the hustle and bustle of life, than these nature getaways are perfect for you.

Palo Duro Cabins: Spend the night in these cabins at Palo Duro Canyon that are basically made of the canyons themselves and you might just have one of the prettiest views in all of Texas. You can hike the canyons if you wish, or just sit out on the porch with a cup of coffee and watch as the sun moves over the canyons. There’s no way to get bored at these cabins.

Canyon of the Eagles Resort: At this resort in Burnet, TX, your days will be filled with hiking through the beautiful Hill Country landscapes of this 940-acre nature park. End your day of hiking and mountain biking with a gourmet dinner and a view of the sunset on the lake at The Overlook restaurant or a “Star party” at the Eagle Eye Observatory.

Dixie Dude Ranch: Mosey on down to Bandera, TX to spend the weekend like a real life cowboy: at a working longhorn and goat ranch that’s been around since 1901! Enjoy a weekend free of stress (and cell phone service), horseback ride or hike through the countryside, sing songs around the campfire and just take in that country air.

Get Pampered at the Spa

Relax by the pool at Travaasa Austin. Picture by Travaasa Experiential Resorts.

Relax by the pool at Travaasa Austin. Picture by Travaasa Experiential Resorts.

Does just the thought of spending the day sitting around, eating desserts and being treated like royalty instantly put you at ease? Than read on, my friend.

Travaasa Austin: This spa in the heart of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve in Austin has everything you need to relax your body and mind, but it specializes in providing you with awesome experiences. Along with the offerings of a full-service spa (including a men’s spa package for those who need a mancationcomplete with Texas craft beer on tap), Travaasa also offers a full range of fun adventures from cooking sessions and Texas Two-Step lessons to archery and hatchet-throwing that’ll have you checking things off your bucket list.

Trellis Spa: If you’re looking for the more traditional spa experience filled with massages, hot tubs and not having to lift a finger (except during your manicure), than this full-service spa in Houston is for you. Sure, it’s pricey, but it’s got all you need to unwind, and there are even packages for men, teens and pregnant women — so everyone can take a breather! And if at the end of the day, you’re just too relaxed to travel home, it’s connected to the luxury Houstonian Hotel!

Get Lost in the City

Stay on the Riverwalk at Hotel Contessa.

Stay on the Riverwalk at Hotel Contessa. Picture by Hotel Contessa.

If your idea of unwinding is being surrounded by skyscrapers and having tons of eclectic restaurants, shops and clubs at your fingertips, than get yourself to one of these urban getaways stat!

Hotel Contessa: Enjoy a romantic getaway at this beautiful luxury hotel on the San Antonio Riverwalk. Saunter along the river, gorge yourself on some of the best Tex-Mex in the state or just enjoy relaxing in a cushy bed with a stunning view of the Riverwalk from your hotel room. The hotel has tons of room discounts and packages, including specials just for being a Texan and packages that include a luxury suite, champagne and chocolate (my three favorite things…)

The Ashton Hotel: This hotel with a history in downtown Fort Worth, is right in the center of all the fun. Walking distance from Sundance Square, the mellow Scat Jazz Club and Bass Hall, you can choose to explore the city and catch a show or stay cozy in the hotel. Make reservations to sip tea and munch on desserts at the Winter’s Tea each Saturday (pinkies up!).

Behind the Scenes in Palestine, TX!

In Palestine, we got ourselves into all kinds of crazy adventures like hunting Big Foot, checking out some giant weather balloons and even….doing choreography — a Daytripper first! Check out the video for a peek behind the scenes of this epic episode!

Find more behind-the-scenes videos here.

Podcast 39 – “Talkin’ Texas Jan 2017”

Happy New Year Daytrippers! In this episode, we talk about what’s going on around Texas including a real Grinch story, how does Chet decide which hat to wear, when are new episodes releasing for Season 8 and what Texans like to watch (check out the Texas Monthly article).

We love your questions or feedback on the show…so if you have comments or questions you’d like us to address or topics you’d like us to feature, email us at: podcast@thedaytripper.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud and the Windows store!

iTunes
Windows – Search for the Daytripper Podcast in your dedicated podcast app.
Soundcloud
Stitcher

Thank you to our sponsor for this episode, The City of Georgetown!

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The Crew’s 2017 Travel Bucket List

As we start out the New Year at The Daytripper Headquarters, we are super excited about traveling across Texas to make new episodes and explore exciting new cities. But we’ve also made a list with a few travel ambitions of our own for 2017. The crew has spoken and from right here in Texas to far across the sea, here are some of the places we each hope to explore this year!

Chet – “I want to visit the Rock Art in the Lower Pecos River Valley. It’s some of the best rock art in the country!” (You’ll find these paintings dating back thousands of years at the junction of the Pecos River and Rio Grande in Southwest Texas.)

Tosha – “My family wants to travel to Yellowstone National Park to see the Total Solar Eclipse on August 21.” (Fun fact: The last total eclipse visible from the United States was in 1979, and you’ll only be able to see the whole eclipse from certain states. Check out this map to find the best spots to watch it!)

Daniel – “I’d love to take my wife to Ireland so we can explore our Irish roots.”

Linsey – “I want to spend a weekend in Comfort, TX. The main street has been upcycled to form this really vibrant little town where you’ll find an old gas station that’s now a pizza parlor and the 130-year-old Hotel Faust is still running. It’s kind of a cool mixture of Gruene and Fredericksburg.” 

Richie – “I’d love to travel to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. I want to see Neil Armstrong’s moon walker suit, I wanna see Apollo capsules and I wanna see an SR-71 Blackbird.”

Karey – “My wife and I want to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico. That seems like a really pretty place!”

Todd – “I want to go to Lufkin. We have filmed an episode there and I’d love to go back and get lost in the East Texas Pines. Find a quiet B&B and enjoy some down time, good food and beautiful wooded scenery.”

We encourage you to create your own 2017 Travel Bucket List to help you keep on trippin’ to new places! And stay tuned for an upcoming podcast with Chet, Todd and Texas Monthly‘s Jordan Breal for more places that are Bucket List worthy in Texas!

Pick The Daytripper’s Season 8 Finale!

We’re giving YOU the chance to grab the wheel and choose where we film the Season 8 Finale. All you gotta do is vote for a Texas town that you’d like to see an episode on in the Google form below and stay tuned on our website to see which town wins! The episode will air in Summer 2017. Good luck!

CLICK HERE to see if your favorite town is already an episode.

Podcast 38 – “Where to Ring in the New Year in Texas”

Join us this month as we talk about where to celebrate the New Year in Texas! We searched the internet and asked around to find some of the hot spots for New Years parties across the state and here are just a few of the ones we discuss.

We love your questions or feedback on the show…so if you have comments or questions you’d like us to address or topics you’d like us to feature, email us at: podcast@thedaytripper.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud and the Windows store!

iTunes
Windows – Search for the Daytripper Podcast in your dedicated podcast app.
Soundcloud
Stitcher

Thank you to our sponsor for this episode, The City of Georgetown!

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Walking Through a TEXAS Wonderland

One wintry night, I found myself wandering through a magical land, surrounded by colorful shops glistening with thousands of lights and overflowing with candy canes, toys and all sorts of Christmas marvels. The sweet smell of hot cocoa wafted through the air and in the distance, I heard the joyous sound of children’s laughter as they were filled with wonder and cheer at the sight of Old Saint Nick, himself. Soon, a slow powder of snow drifted through the air, covering the village.

No, I hadn’t trekked to the North Pole, but somewhere much closer and alot more Texan — Santa’s Wonderland in College Station.

txflag

This 69-acre Christmas village has been bringing the magic of the North Pole to Texas since 1998, and it’s enchanting enough to bring out the Christmas cheer in even the Scrooge-iest of us all.

When you first enter, you’re greeted by the first million lights (possibly an exaggeration…) of the over three million total lights adorning every inch of the Old West village.

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Inside the village is everything you’d need for a true Texified Christmas. Dueling guitarists and jammin’ fiddlers play twangy Christmas carols as cowboys and cowgirls sing along. The Town Market and Trading Post provide visitors with the gift shopping of their dreams – offering Texas goodies and Christmas-themed items galore. Radiantly shinning at the far end of the village is the iconic Texas Flag lights display perfect for festive photo-taking.

storytime

It’s truly overwhelming in the best way — but that’s not even the best part! If you walk past the Food Village (yes, you read that right — an entire village with every kind of glorious food imaginable) you’ll find the main attraction: a wondrous hayride through a mile of dazzling lights and Christmas scenes.

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castle

Along the trail, you’ll be immersed into a spectacular world, lit up with Christmas favorites like glimmering snow scenes, reindeer and Santa’s Workshop!

tunnel

snow

You’ll see all kinds of animals from dolphins leaping out of the lake to alligators swimming in a stream and squirrels climbing a tree. Since everything’s bigger in Texas (especially Christmas), along the lights trail you’ll find Holiday fun with a Texas twist. See the cannons roar in front of the Alamo, giant Texas flag-decorated cowboy boots and more!

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gbt longhorn

To remind us all of the reason for our Christmas cheer, the lights trail features a glowing portrayal of Jesus’s life and death. You’ll see the Savior born in the manger in the Nativity Scene, as well as the cross where Christ was crucified, an empty tomb and the risen Christ surrounded by a host of angels. It’s a chilling moment as the hayride slows down for you to take it in.

jesus

Tip: Be prepared for long lines to this popular hayride and get in line as early as possible to avoid a super long wait. And if you really hate lines, you can buy a carriage ride in the park for a smaller wait time and more private experience. Check Santa’s Wonderland’s Facebook for crowd forecasts.

If you’re feeling cold after the hayride, cozy up to one of the campfires all around the park or roast marshmallows and hot dogs over the fires at the roasting pits (which just happen to be next to a giant screen playing Christmas movies on loop).

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Nothing gets you toasty faster than roasting marshmallows by the fire while watching Christmas Vacation. 

movieAdd to the fun: towering slides, a petting zoo and a life-sized snow globe that you can climb in to, and you’ve got yourself one Texas-sized Christmas celebration! Yet, as if over 3 million dazzling lights and hours of seasonal fun weren’t magical enough, each night it SNOWS in the main village as Santa rides in on a horse wearing his finest cowboy hat!

Head to College Station to find yourself walking through a TEXAS Wonderland for the Christmas experience of a lifetime! In the words of Santa’s Wonderland: “Merry Christmas to y’all and to y’all a Goodnight!”

merrytx

Santa’s Wonderland is open daily (including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve) until January 1. Purchase tickets online or at the gate.