The ULTIMATE Swimmin’ Holes Road Trip!!

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Texas is HOT no matter the season, but especially in the summer. It’s a fact that every Texan must come to accept. Thankfully, God had the great foresight to give us the perfect remedy for scorching heat: the swimmin’ hole. That’s right, when the sun gets to sweltering, us Texans get to swimmin’. So to make sure you get your fill of cool, natural waters this summer, we’ve created the ULTIMATE Texas Swimmin’ Holes Road Trip. Grab your swimsuits, pack your sack lunch and get to splashing in these Hill Country hot spots!

HERE’S THE MAP

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1. Barton Springs Pool – Austin, TX

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Now, your first stop will be in Austin, TX and though there’s alot you could do in this town to “Keep Austin Weird,” we’re really only concerned with keeping you cooled off. Right in the middle of this city is an urban oasis at Barton Springs Pool with refreshingly cold waters of 68 degrees year round. And while you’re here, be sure to say “hello” to the endangered Barton Springs Salamander swimming around your ankles. Click here to see our video about Barton Springs.

2. Blue Hole – Wimberley, TX

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When you’ve had your fill of city fun, head southwest to Blue Hole in Wimberley, TX, a quaint swimmin’ hole that’s part of Cypress Creek. This swimmin’ hole is surrounded by towering trees which make for some awesome rope swinging. You could definitely spend the rest of your day just hanging around Blue Hole, but when you’re ready for more Texas-style summer fun, pack up and head to one of the most picturesque swimmin’ holes in Texas. Click here for our video at Blue Hole.

3. Hamilton Pool – Dripping Springs, TX

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At this point, you may be a little weary of the sun beating down on you, which is why the next stop is Hamilton Pool in Dripping Springs, TX. This pool is partially covered by a massive limestone grotto making it a great place to float in the shade and get drenched by the waterfalls cascading off the cliffs –  all while taking tons of pictures to make all your non-roadtrippin’ friends jealous. Sit back with your sack lunch and enjoy a picnic on the shores of Hamilton Pool because this awesome road trip is only halfway through. To see our video of Hamilton Pool, click here.

4. Krause Springs – Spicewood, TX

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The fourth stop on your road trip is Krause Springs in Spicewood, TX, which is Texas beauty at it’s best. Underneath a canopy of luscious green trees, you’ll find a refreshing pool fed by 32 natural springs keeping the waters cold and you happily soaked. And you can take your pick between man-made, spring-fed pool or natural swimmin’ hole. There are even caves and waterfalls for exploring along the banks and an awesome rope swing to keep you entertained. Click here to see our video at Krause Springs.

5. Devil’s Waterhole – Burnet, TX

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After you’ve floated all you can float, head to Inks Lake State Park in Burnet, TX for a more adventurous swimmin’ hole, the Devil’s Waterhole. It’s easy to see that the spot’s nickname came from the pink granite cliffs that tower over the lake, inviting those who are brave enough to take the plunge into the cold waters 40 feet below. And if jumping from daring heights ain’t your thing, no worries — there’s still plenty of fresh water for floating and relaxing down below. Click here to see our video at the Devil’s Waterhole.

6. Blue Hole – Georgetown, TX

A photo posted by Chet Garner (@chettripper) on

The last swimming spot on your road trip is the Blue Hole in Georgetown, TX. While the swimming hole is still inside city limits, this town’s got a laid back pace, making it the perfect way to end your day. Take a dip in the San Gabriel River or just layout on the grassy banks and watch as the sun sets above you, letting your summer day slowly come to an end.  And if you start getting hungry again, we suggest that you travel on up the hill to the Monument Cafe for a warm home-cooked meal and a slice of pie that will definitely hit the spot after a day of fun.

Congratulations, you’ve officially swam, splashed and sun-bathed your way through the ULTIMATE Swimmin’ Holes Road Trip…now wake up and repeat for an epic summer!

DogTrippers on South Congress

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002Howdy Daytrippers.  We’re Mason and Lexi, the latest addition to The Daytripper Blog.  Just call us the Dogtrippers.  Chet asked us to travel the state, looking for the best destinations for “Man’s Best Friend.”  For our first travel installment, we wanna show you how to explore our hometown of Austin, but on 4 legs instead of 2.

For a place that’s happy to kennel both dogs and their humans, check in to the Hotel San Jose on South Congress.

The rooms all face outdoors (no early morning elevator rides to attend to “business”), and there are plenty of places to explore and relax outside the rooms.  They charge a very reasonable dog fee of $10/night.

Staying here, we were right in the heart of the South Congress District.  Many of the shops are dog-friendly and some even keep a treat jar hidden behind the counter.  Just make sure to look extra cute.  There’s a reason you’ve got a puppy dog face – use it.  Also, most of the restaurants have outdoor seating and are happy to bring out a bowl of water for well-behaved pups.

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Of course, after a busy morning and lunch, we decided to head back to the hotel for some much deserved napping.

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Now no dog-trip (or any trip for that matter) to Austin would be complete without heading to Zilker Park and Lady Bird Lake.

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Zilker’s “Great Lawn” offers plenty of room for off-leash exploring. The nearby Hike and Bike Trail is another great way to explore the city with your owner.

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And if you’re tired of just admiring the lake from the land, head over to Zilker Park Boat Rentals for some on-the-water adventure.

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None of the life jackets fit us, but oh well.  Luckily our owners were decent paddlers and we never had to swim.  Although we were tempted to jump out and start chasing some ducks.

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There is plenty of wildlife to check out as you paddle down Barton Creek and onto Lady Bird Lake.

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Finally, our owners were hungry for dinner and there are tons of places in town that practically encourage doggy dining.  In East Austin, Silo or Takoba are both great for pets.  And for one of the most family-friendly and dog-friendly places in Texas, head to Freddie’s Place on South First.  But for a great outdoor biergarten with its very own fenced-off dog run, we headed to Banger’s Sausage House in the Rainey Street District.  Our humans were so busy enjoying house-made sausages and their expansive beer selection, they never noticed their phone was missing.

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As you see, there are tons of places in Austin that both pups and people can enjoy.   After all, doggies love day trips too.  Until next time, we’ll see you on the road!  Vaya con Perros.

Guest Post by: Will Garner, Mason and Lexi

A Much Needed Lakeway Getaway

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Every so often I get the urge to stay somewhere longer than a day (hard to believe, right?).  So with the Season 2 in the books and a brief window before Season 3 hit with hurricane-force winds, my wife and I snuck away to the Lakeway Resort and Spa on Lake Travis.

I’d always heard tale of the resort, but it’s secluded location kept it far from my travels.  It’s one of those place you’d never pass by unless you were intentionally passing by.  Which, I think, is the definition of a getaway.

Somewhere between the incredible views of Lake Travis, complimentary lemonade all over the place, multiple swimming pools, massage, and Dr. Pepper-fried quail, I was able to cram what felt like a week’s worth of relaxation into a single overnight trip.  We had an excellent time.  I mean truly, truly relaxing.

Our kids would have eaten this place up too, but sometimes you just gotta leave them at home.

So if you’re looking for more of a Weekend-tripper type of location, romantic getaway, or launchpad for seeing Austin and the Texas Hill Country, Lakeway Resort and Spa is highly recommended.

http://www.lakewayresortandspa.com/ 

Here are some other pictures…Lakeway ResortLakeway Resort

This sandwich was AWESOME.  It was turkey with brie cheese, cucumbers, and sprouts.  I’m surprised I’d never had the combination before.  I know, I know, you don’t expect The Daytripper to recommend something with brie and cucumbers on it, but Trust Me on this one.Lakeway Sandwich

And here is the Dr. Pepper-fried quail.  That is a honey-butter drizzle all over it and a blue cheese potato salad underneath it.Dr. Pepper QuailLakeway RoomLakeway ViewLakeway Wine

Daytripper Disclaimer:  Sometimes I receive free stuff and sometimes I pay for stuff.  Either way, it NEVER influences what I say, what I put on the TV show, and what I put on this website.  NEVER EVER EVER.

Barton Springs vs. Barton Creek

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So, you may have seen our recent South Austin episode featuring the iconic Barton Springs pool. Well, it looks like the episode has inspired some folks to get out and dive into the spring’s icy waters….

If you didn’t already know, there’s a great blog here in Austin called “Free Fun in Austin.”  It is an excellent source of information for families about all the great stuff there is to do in and around Austin.  I’m a fan, but more importantly as the social coordinator for my family, my wife is a fan.

Well, it looks like after the South Austin episode, blogger Heidi’s arm got twisted to finally take a trip to Barton Springs as opposed to heading toward the free Barton Creek.  So, which is better for families?  CLICK HERE to read more and find out.Free Fun in Austin

Central Texas Lightning Storm

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This past Saturday night, April 23, 2011, an incredible lightning storm rolled across Central Texas.  I had the camera rolling…

I’ve seen a lot of lightning storms, but never one quite like this.  It was a continuous fireworks show.  I had my camera close by, so I starting recording.  Here is a short video, but as you can imagine, things like this just don’t really translate to film. Still, it’s pretty impressive.

The Waterfalls of Texas

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A couple weeks back I took a trip to Lake Buchanan, one of Texas’s beautiful Highland Lakes.  Here are some of the photos we snagged.  ALSO – I’ve recently received the privilege of blogging for JanSport.  You can read more about my trip to Lake Buchanan on their BE OUTDOORS BLOG.  Enjoy the pics.

Also – special thanks to Buchanan Adventure Tours for hooking us up with the kayak.Chet kayakingChet kayakingChet kayaking under waterfallChet kayaking under waterfall