The Jolliest Christmas Road Trip

christmas-road-2

At this point, you’re probably running around trying to find the perfect gift for Aunt Sue, decking the halls with ALL the boughs of holly and prepping for the five-course meals you’ll be making for all those Christmas parties. Yet, before the spirit of Christmas gets lost, here’s one last road trip full of giant trees, the brightest lights, and even an ice rink to bring you and your family together in the midst of the Holiday season craziness. This road trip is as magical during the day as it is at night, and you might even get some Christmas shopping done along the way. MERRY TRIPPIN’!

HERE’S THE MAP

christmas-map

dtsite_gpv131215_001

Destination 1: Grapevine Main Street

Of course your first stop on this merry road trip is the “Christmas Capital of Texas.” Shop along Main Street, with stores as full of Christmas gifts as they are decorated with wreaths, garland and lights. Sip hot chocolate and people-watch at Main Street Bistro’s sidewalk cafe or customize your cocoa with peppermint, cinnamon and more at Dr. Sue’s Hot Chocolate Happy Hour from 3 – 6 p.m. At night, see Main Street aglow with hundreds of lights, and stop by the gazebo where a light show plays continuously from 6-11 p.m.

  • Dreaming of a White Christmas?  To make all your snowy dreams come true, stop into the Great Wolf Lodge nearby where it snows in the lobby during story time and every inch of the rustic “lodge” is decked out for the Holidays. For true Christmas magic, stay at the hotel to splash around the indoor water park and dine in a giant Gingerbread house!

 

christkindl

Picture by Texas Christkindl Market.

Destination 2: Texas Christkindl Market in Arlington, TX

Next you’re on to fill your sleigh with gifts from overseas at this open-air market modeled after the traditional Christmas markets in Germany. Peruse tons of authentic German goods straight from the famous Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Village in Rothenburg, Germany. Visit Saint Nicholas to whisper your Christmas wishes in his ear and eat free candy at his Haus. Most importantly, don’t miss the glorious food — get a State Fair weenie from Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, munch potato pancakes at Oma’s German Treats and so much more.

 

sundancesquare_nov13_13810

Picture by Sundance Square.

Destination 3: Sundance Square in Fort Worth

In the heart of downtown at Sundance Square is a live 57-foot tree so decked out in Holiday Cheer, you’d expect the Who Village Choir to be holding hands around it, singing gibberish Christmas songs. Down in front, Santa sits on a candy throne in the Plaza waiting for you to come share your Christmas desires, but he’s got a tight schedule (preparing for that big Christmas Eve flight and all) so check here before arriving. Surrounding the tree and plaza is the beautiful downtown skyline outlined in twinkling lights — quite a sight to see!

  • Christmas Cheer Around The Square: Wander around downtown to see incredible Christmas window displays at Haltom’s Jewelers, Flowers To Go and LOFT. Bring out your inner child at Houston Street Toy Company or just gawk at the giant moving Ferris Wheel in the window. Nearby, wish a season’s greeting to the iconic angels adorning Bass Performance Hall.

 

Picture by Trinity River Vision Authority.

Picture by Trinity River Vision Authority.

Destination 4: Panther Island ICE

Your final stop is to slip…err, um skate around the ice rink at Panther Island. Fort Worth’s favorite summer hot spot has been transformed into the only outdoor rink in Fort Worth (and one of very few outdoor rinks in Texas) so grab a pair of skates, the arm of your favorite family member or friend and hit the ice for a cool time. If you’d rather watch folks slide around the ice than partake in it, sit back and sip hot cocoa from the Coyote Drive-In Canteen.

 

TWO Ultimate Fall Color Road Trips

fall-color-4

It’s fall and you’ve been seeing pictures of wondrous places all around the country with fiery orange and candy-apple red leaves blanketing the tops of the trees. You’re probably feeling discouraged as you look at the green leaves or bare trees around you — thinking that your dear ol’ Lone Star State doesn’t have colorful fall foliage. You may even be planning a trip to New England for a little fall beauty.

However, Texas does, in fact, have some of the most picturesque fall foliage in the country if you know where to look. So here’s TWO Ultimate Fall Color Road Trips (one in the Hill Country and one in East Texas) to give you all the brightly colored leaves and fall foliage fun your heart desires!

Here’s a little tip before you get started: Fall is a fickle creature. In Texas, fall foliage usually hits peak around the middle of November to the beginning of December, but even so, when fall color starts showing and how much there is depends on the yearly rainfall, as well as other factors. So to make sure you’ll get peak red and orange beauty, call ahead to the parks you’re interested in or check their website to see what the color is like.

Hill Country Trip

hill-country-tx

Autumn beauty along the Frio River in Concan, TX. (Hill Country River Region/ visituvalde.com)

hill-country-route Route: Vanderpool, TX to Concan, TX 

Destinations: On this trip, you’ll be trippin’ through some of the tallest peaks of the Hill Country.  Your trip starts in the Lost Maples State Natural Area, one of the most beautiful spots to see fall color in the entire state. For the best view of the fall foliage, take the Maple Trail. Surrounded by fiery red and bright orange Uvalde bigtooth maples, you’ll feel like you’re in New England. Next, you’ll drive into Utopia to dine at Lost Maples Cafe, which was featured in the movie “Seven Days in Utopia,” and serves each plate of breakfast with a mason jar of fresh salsa. Be sure to take a slice of freshly baked pie to go.

You’ll take Ranch Road 1050 out of town for a scenic drive over the serene Sabinal River and through the fall-colored trees covering the surrounding hills, until you reach Garner State Park. At the park, you’ll see beautiful red Bald cypress trees tower over the crystal waters of the Frio River. For a peek at Old Baldy without paying to enter the park, head to Magers River Crossing (one of the best kept Hill Country secrets) where the Frio trickles over County Road 350, a canopy of colorful trees provides shade and the majestic mountain is in full view in the distance. Find the full map here and the Lost Maples Foliage Report here.

And here’s a trip tip: If the fall beauty is too breathtaking to enjoy for just a day, make reservations to stay the night at the River Rim Resort in Concan. Just miles away from Garner State Park and Magers River Crossing, this resort provides amazing cabins, cottages and lodges with access to the stunning Frio River.

East Texas Trip

east-tx2

Fall Color along the trails in Tyler State Park.

east-tx-route

Route: Daingerfield, TX to Jacksonville, TX

Destinations: Take a journey through East Texas for fall color mixed with the deep green towering pines in this area. Starting at Daingerfield State Park, hike the Rustling Leaves Nature Trail to see the oak, maple and sweetgum trees reflecting in Lake Daingerfield like a gold and red watercolor painting. Next, you’re on to Lake Bob Sandlin State Park, which is also an East Texas trove of fall foliage as patches of red and orange pop up in the greenery around the lake.

Take Highway 37 for a scenic drive through part of the Autumn Trails of Winnsboro, TX, where they’ve been hosting a fall foliage festival since 1958. Next you’re on to see trails surrounded by reds, golds and oranges in Tyler State Park and the famous Tyler roses at the Tyler Rose Garden Center.  If your stomach’s growling, stop by Coyote Sam’s Bar and Grille in Tyler for a Kobe burger so mouthwatering, it made Texas Monthly’s Top 50 Burgers List. Your last stop is at Love’s Lookout in Jacksonville, which — though small — provides a stunning bird’s eye view of the East Texas countryside. Find the full map here

Here’s another tip: If you’re yearning to see even more fall beauty, continue on through Rusk, TX and then to Mission Tejas State Park in Grapeland, for just a bit more foliage combined with Texas history.

For more road trips, CLICK HERE.

The HISTORIC Route 66 Road Trip!

ROUTE 66

Here at “The Daytripper” we love road trips, and there is no road trip more iconic than Route 66. So we’ve created the Historic Route 66 Road Trip to remind you of the good old days when folks were driving cross country to chase their dreams and the journey was just as fun as the destination.

Route 66 was paved in 1926 to carry travelers, tourists and dreamers, alike, from Santa Monica, CA to Chicago, IL, and since we’d never ask you to leave this great state, our road trip will take you along the historic route from the Texas town farthest west, Glenrio, east to Shamrock, TX. And while Route 66, itself, doesn’t exist anymore, this road trip passes along where it used to be and where nostalgic treasures still remain. So crank up those tunes, roll down your windows and cruise!

HERE’S THE MAP

MAP66

Destination 1: Ghost Town – Glenrio, NM-TX

Photo by Barbara Brannon/ Texas Plains Trail.

Photo by Barbara Brannon/ Texas Plains Trail.

Your first stop is actually in New Mexico…but it’s also in Texas (confused yet…?) The ghost town lies across the New Mexico-Texas border. Settled in 1905, Glenrio had a liquor store in the New Mexico side of town (where alcohol was allowed) and the post office on the Texas side (but no bars — Texas was dry at that time.) It is also one of the only Exit 0′s in the country. Though you’d never be able to tell from the now eerily abandoned buildings, this town was a hot spot in the Route 66 days.

 

Destination 2: Midpoint Cafe – Adrian, TX

Photo by Barbara Brannon/ Texas Plains Trail.

Photo by Barbara Brannon/ Texas Plains Trail.

This little diner is a Route 66 legend. Built in 1928 and located exactly halfway between Santa Monica and Chicago, it provided the perfect place for travelers to relax along the route, and 88 years later, it’s still doing just that. Midpoint Cafe serves up classics like fried bologna and juicy burgers and contains a Route 66 Souvenir and Antique shop. Most important of all are their “ugly” homemade pies that taste heavenly.

TIP: The next town you’ll pass through is Vega, where you’ll find the strange Dot’s Mini Museum, a little room full of quirky artifacts from the historic Route 66 collected by Dot, herself. The Cowboy Boot Tree that sits in front of the museum is both odd and beautiful.

 

Destination 3: Cadillac Ranch – Amarillo, TX

CadillacRanch

This art installation was originally “planted” by the art group “Ant Farm” in 1974 on billionaire Stanley Marsh 3′s property. It’s become a famous must-see attraction in Texas and no road trip would be complete without it. Be sure to bring spray paint so you, too, can leave your mark!

PHOTO OP: About 25 minutes away from Cadillac Ranch, is another art installation paid for by Stanley Marsh 3 and created by Lightnin’ McDuff called “Huge Pair of Legs” that was modeled after an Egyptian statue. These feet may not be along Route 66 (it’s at 4743 W Sundown Ln.), but it’s weird enough that it’s definitely worth visiting.

Destination 4: Jack Sisemore Traveland RV Museum – Amarillo, TX

RV Museum_Edit

There’s nothing better than a long family road trip in an old-timey RV, and while you can no longer travel in such style, you can visit the RV Museum to learn all about these classic trailers. It’s great place to get your mind in that yesteryear-frame-of-mind as you continue traveling down the historic highway.

TIP: Hungry? As you pass along Route 66 through Amarillo, there are plenty of places to eat like the Golden Light Cantina (the oldest restaurant in town, built on Route 66 in 1946)  in the Historic District on 2906 SW 6th Ave. Of course, we’re a fan of the Big Texan Steak House, view our encounter with their giant 72 oz. steak here.

Destination 5: Lile Art Gallery – Amarillo TX

Photo by Lile Art Gallery

Photo by Lile Art Gallery

If you were looking at Cadillac Ranch and thought, “Man I wish I could wear that” then this is the place for you. Bob “Crocodile” Lile takes chips of paint that have fallen off the iconic cars and through a process of buffing and UV lighting, makes them into beautiful jewelry he’s calling “Cadilite.”

Destination 6: US Route 66 Sixth Street Historic District – Amarillo, TX

Photo by  Barbara Brannon/Texas Plains Trail

Photo by Barbara Brannon/Texas Plains Trail

While you’re in Amarillo, take a drive down the actual Historic Route 66 which is now SW 6th Ave. It still contains buildings from when this was the central part of town as travelers trekked across the country in the 20s like The Nat which was once an indoor pool and then a ballroom where Duke Ellington performed. It’s now an antique shop. You’ll also find Amarillo’s Route 66 Store and tons of live music venues and restaurants along this road.

Destination 7: VW Slug Bug Ranch – Conway, TX

Barbara Brannon/Texas Plains Trail.

Barbara Brannon/Texas Plains Trail.

This next destination is especially helpful if you’re losing at the “Punch Buggy” car game. Just like Cadillac Ranch, this lesser-known car art installation features five Volkswagens that have been buried nose-down in the ground and left for every tourist with spray paint to leave their name. And unlike Cadillac Ranch, chances are it won’t be packed. Find it next to the Conway Inn and Restaurant (9696 Interstate 40).

 

Destination 8: Giant Cross – Groom, TX

Photo by Tony Hisget

Photo by Tony Hisget

In Groom, you can spot this 190 ft. cross looming over the land from the freeway. This structure which is a part of the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ Ministries, is actually the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere.  As you continue through Groom, if you see a leaning water tower, your eyes aren’t tricking you. It’s the “Leaning Tower of Texas” that was built before the cross with a 10-degree lean as a marketing ploy to attract visitors to the small town.

TIP: About 20 minutes after you leave Groom, you’ll come across the I-40 East Rest Area at Mile Marker 129 , which is an attraction in itself. It is built to resemble an old building from the 1950s and now has a Route 66 Museum (as well as actual restrooms) inside…what more could you need??

Destination 9: First Phillips 66 Station in Texas – McLean, TX

Phillips Station_Edit

Built in the early 1920s, this little house was the first Phillips 66 Station in Texas. It has since been restored by The Old Route 66 Association of Texas. It is no longer a working gas station, but it is a great place for a photo op! You can find it at 219 Gray Street.

Destination 10: Devil’s Rope Museum and Route 66 Museum- McLean, TX

Photo by Barbara Brannon/ Texas Plains Trail

Photo by Barbara Brannon/ Texas Plains Trail

One side of the museum is dedicated to barbed wire, with everything from barbed wire types to barbed wire sculptures. The other side is the largest Route 66 museum in Texas featuring over 700 artifacts like the original cow from Amarillo’s Big Texan Steak Ranch, road signs, advertisements and more!  Find it at 100 Kingsley St. And while you’re in town, check out the Cactus Inn — a motel built in 1956 that’s still hosting travelers 1950′s-style!

TIP: As you drive through Lela on your way to Shamrock look out for the RATTLESNAKES sign that was once an advertisement for the famous Regal Reptiles Ranch, a famed Route 66 attraction until the 80′s. The sign is on the corner of Donley and First Street.

 

Destination 11: U Drop Inn Cafe – Shamrock, TX

Photo by Keith George

Photo by Keith George

This 1920s art-deco style building is one of the coolest sights along Route 66, and possibly the most well-known site along the route in Texas, thanks to the 2006 Disney animated-film Cars, where it was featured as Ramone’s House of Body Art. U Drop-Inn was built in 1936 and was a service station and cafe. It is now a visitor’s center, museum and gift shop.

YOU DID IT! Our attractions stop here, but Route 66 continues all the way to Texola, OK taking you through Benonine, TX. If you aren’t done “getting your kicks,” you can continue riding the highway all the way to the end of Texas (or even Chicago…)

The ULTIMATE BBQ Belt Road Trip

BBQ_RoadTrip_blog2

Here in Texas, nothing excites us more than the heavenly smell of meat cooking over an open pit and there is no sound more angelic than the crinkle of butcher paper wrapped around a piping hot brisket just waiting to be devoured. To fuel your love for barbecue, we’ve created the ULTIMATE BBQ Belt Road Trip that will take you through some delicious Texas barbecue joints. So wear your stretchy pants and get ready for one epic food coma as you eat your way through this meaty challenge.

Here’s the map

roadmap

 

DESTINATION 1: Louie Mueller Barbecue- Taylor, TX

MuellerBBQ2

The first stop on your trip is a Texas barbecue icon right off Main Street in Taylor that’s been serving perfectly moist pepper-crusted brisket and beef ribs that are melt-in-your-mouth tender (and the size of your head) since 1949, Louie Mueller Barbecue. This barbecue institution is a must-stop for every Texan. Louie Mueller’s is a no frills joint, just smokey barbecue goodness served on butcher paper…which is the way it should be. And if you must use sauce (although you don’t really need it here) they’ve got multiple sauces to choose from.

DESTINATION 2: Southside Market & Barbeque – Elgin, TX

12246976_1188434197836652_8541899900222233482_n

Picture by Southside Market & Barbeque

After you’ve gotten your fill of moist brisket and dino-sized ribs, follow Highway 95 south to Elgin, where you’ll find one of the oldest barbecue joints in Texas: Southside Market & Barbeque. This local institution began as a meat market in 1882 that delivered its delicious meats all over town.  After owner William J. Moon spent most of his time traveling miles to deliver meat door-to-door, he opened a storefront where his leftovers and specialty “hot guts” spicy sausage links were served to customers at the end of the day. More than a century later, people are still trekking to this joint for a taste of their time-honored ‘cue, which over the years has grown into a full-scale restaurant with a menu that includes classics like the “1882 Sausage” and brisket, as well as unique items like lamb ribs and pork steak.

DESTINATION 3: Black’s Barbecue – Lockhart, TX

blacks_q

After your feast in Elgin, you’re on to Lockhart, the “Barbecue Capital of Texas,” as named by the Texas Legislature in 1999. Follow Highway 130 south to Highway 183 where you’ll find your next three destinations, the first of which is Black’s Barbecue. Opened in 1932, Black’s was one of the first joints in town to serve brisket; 84 years and four generations later, the family is still carrying on the tradition of providing customers with this meaty perfection today. Combine that tender brisket with an extensive menu of other meats (including a fantastic jalapeno cheese sausage) and good ol’ Southern hospitality, and you’ll feel like you’re a part of the Black family, too.

DESTINATION 4: Kreuz Market – Lockhart, TX

Kreuz1_1

Feeling stuffed? Don’t worry, your next stop is only a few blocks down the road at Kreuz Market. At Kreuz (pronounced “Krites”), meat has been king since it opened in 1900, as showcased by the restaurant’s rules of “no barbecue sauce” and “no forks.” But just one bite into their juicy salt-and-pepper rubbed brisket or hand-filled and tied sausage links, and you won’t mind those rules (or your greasy hands) one bit. In honoring owner Charles Kreuz Sr.’s German heritage, sides include hot potato salad and sauerkraut.

DESTINATION 5: Smitty’s Market – Lockhart, TX

smittys3_2

Still in Lockhart, your next stop is Smitty’s Market, a barbecue dream for every Texan that all started with a little family feud between the owners of Kreuz Market and their sister, Nina, who owned the building. The brothers eventually moved Kreuz down the street and Nina opened Smitty’s Market in her building in 1999. The thing to get here is the fatty brisket and the sausage which has just the right amount of juiciness. And for a twist on your normal barbecue habits, pair your meat with the fresh avocados served on the side.

DESTINATION 6: Luling City Market – Luling, TX

city3By now, your pants are no doubt feeling tighter and you’re probably almost on your way to a meat-induced slumber, but you’ve only got one more destination. Follow Highway 183 south all the way to Luling, where your final stop is the Luling City Market.  You order your meats in the same room where it’s cooking on the pit – a tradition, along with the rule of “no forks,” that’s been around since it first opened 50 years ago. And to compliment the already fantastic meat is the sauce…oh, the glorious sauce! Served in little bottles on each table, it’s praised by Texans near and far, and is quite addictive. Just remember, you can’t take it with you…but you can buy your own bottle.

FINALLY, give yourself a high-five, and take that much-needed nap. You have completed the ULTIMATE BBQ Belt Road Trip!

The ULTIMATE Swimmin’ Holes Road Trip!!

SwimminHoles_Header2

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

Map_Edit

1. Barton Springs Pool – Austin, TX

Barton_ATX_Edit

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

Wimberley

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

Hamilton Pool in Dripping Springs, TX

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

krause_edit

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

Devils_Burnet_Edit2

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!

The ULTIMATE Bluebonnet Road Trip

bluebonnet-1

It’s the time of year when wildflowers are popping up all over the countryside painting Texas in shades of red, blue, yellow and white. Here at “The Daytripper” we respect the beauty of all wildflowers, but because we’re Texan, we must say the bluebonnet is the best (it is our state wildflower after all). So, to make sure you get your fill of bluebonnet beauty, we’ve planned the Ultimate Bluebonnet Road Trip through the heart of the Hill Country.

Here’s the map…

Wildflower Road Route

First, you’re going to start in Burnet, TX as Burnet County is the “Official Bluebonnet Co-Capital of Texas.”  Here you’ll drive through rolling hills with bluebonnets bursting along the highways. While you’re in town, don’t miss the photo op with this awesome giant bluebonnet sculpture.  bluebonnet

Next, take Highway 29 west into your second stop - Llano, TX, the heart of Llano County which is the other “Official Bluebonnet Co-Capital of Texas.” You’ll see more beautiful hill country granite and more beautiful shades of blue.

Your third destination is a detour through the Willow City Loop which is a 13-mile scenic drive that will take you through creeks and hills all sprinkled with bluebonnets and wildflowers. The land surrounding the road is private so just enjoy the scenery from your car. To get there from Llano, head south on State Highway 16 and turn left onto Willow City Loop.  Follow this road through twists and turns until you hit Farm Road 1323, then take a right toward Willow City, TX. This road will take you back to State Highway 16.

By this time, you’ll probably be starving for lunch. Just down State Highway 16 is the Knot in the Loop Saloon where you can dine on burgers and sip a cold one while the jukebox plays old tunes.

IMG_0380After lunch, jump back on Highway 16 south into Fredericksburg, TX, where you’re sure to see tons of beautiful flowers and plenty of fun distractions. In Fredericksburg, hop onto US Highway 290 East and ride it through the 290 wine trail all the way to Johnson City, TX.  After that, follow US Highway 281 North to Marble Falls, TX and you’ll be just in time for Pie Happy Hour at The Blue Bonnet Cafe where you can get a slice of historic pie and your drink of choice for $4.  This will be the happiest happy hour ever.

Finish the trip by traveling up 281 back to Burnet, TX.  And you my friends have just taken the ULTIMATE BLUEBONNET ROAD TRIP through the Hill Country.

 

Road Trip – Hill Country Trail of Lights!

HCTrailLights

It’s the most wonderful time of year and one of the most beautiful. The weather is crisp, and the anticipation of Christmas is felt and shown by millions of lights throughout the Texas Hill Country! It’s a sight you won’t want to miss, so gather your friends and family, jump into your car, tune the radio to Christmas Carols and road trip your way through the Texas Hill Country for the best trail of lights experience ever!

Guest Post from Travelin’ Texan Amanda Waltman

Burnet_Courthouse

Your first stop is Burnet, TX where the magnificent and historic courthouse shines like a Christmas beacon in the middle of the town square. The impressive display of lights is well worth the visit if that is the only thing you see on your stop in Burnet but if you are traveling through on December 12th, drop by Christmas on the Square where you’ll find Pinterest worthy Christmas gifts, a parade and other free entertainment that is sure to heighten your holiday spirits and get you pumped up for your next stop!  Photo by Burnet Chamber of Commerce.

Marble_Falls

Next you’re off to Marble Falls, TX, a winter wonderland that has been visited by people all over the world, 32 different countries to be exact. The world famous, Walkway of Lights! This merry and bright display is decked with around 2 million lights that glisten against Lake Marble Falls, a beautiful sight to see. Snap a picture with Santa, grab a cup of hot cocoa or warm apple cider and take it all in!  Photo by Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Pedernales_Coop

Next stop, Johnson City, TX! The Blanco County Courthouse shines like a star in all its glory. With over 100,000 lights on the Courthouse alone. Johnson City has one of the largest and brightest light displays in Texas! The Courthouse is open Saturday-Sunday from 6-9pm, when road-tripping sojourners can stop in to enjoy the splendorous sight of a Christmas tree and lots of Yuletide treasures available for purchase. Before you leave town, don’t miss the Pedernales Co-op’s holiday tradition of 1 million plus lights illuminating an entire block of big beautiful oak trees.

Fredericksburg-2

Your last stop is Fredericksburg, TX, a place so full of holiday cheer that they have a Holiday Guide available to plan your visit. Lights abound throughout four full weeks of festivities including: the charming German Christmas pyramid standing 26ft tall, a ginormous Christmas tree, a parade, an ice skating rink, Christmas Balls, holiday shows and more!

Fburg_2