Cinco de Mayo…a Texan saves the day

Cinco De Mayo_Header_New

Grab a margarita and sit back, because here’s a history lesson on the Mexican holiday “Cinco de Mayo.”  Psst… it’s more Texan than you think.

la_bahia

Presidio La Bahia in Goliad, TX

First of all, let’s clear up the misconception that this is Mexico’s Independence Day….it’s NOT!  All this time, you’ve been throwing fiestas thinking you were celebrating “Dia de la Independencia,” but that’s on September 16. “Cinco de Mayo” actually honors the Battle of Puebla in 1862 when the Mexican Army was led to victory by, none other than, a native-born Texan.

But our story begins years before that in the town of Goliad, TX near Presidio La Bahia, where the Goliad Massacre took place. Outside the walls of this historic Spanish fort (in Texas, I repeat!), General Ignacio Seguin Zaragoza, the hero of “Cinco de Mayo,” was born in 1829.  His childhood home is now the reconstructed Zaragoza House.

A smart, young nino - Zaragoza joined the military and moved to Matamoros, Mexico before the Texas Revolution and fought in one of Mexico’s most important battles — The Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. You see, Mexico was in major debt coming off a civil war in 1860, so the president called a two-year halt on paying back debts to France, Spain and Britain. The three countries decided to attack the small, war-torn Mexico hoping to take control, but Spain and Britain withdrew after seeing how determined and well-equipped the mighty French Army was.

“Batalla del 5 de mayo de 1862″ portrays the battlefield at Puebla.

Napoleon III (nephew of the Napoleon you’ve heard of) sent 6,000 French troops to Mexico, hoping to not only receive debt payments but also to invade the country and rule it. Mexican General Zaragoza (our fellow Texan) heard they were coming to Puebla, so he gathered up all the men he could and formed a little army to defend the city. It seemed like suicide for such a small group of men to stand against such a powerful legion of French troops twice its size.

The Battle of Puebla lasted the entire day of May 5.  In the end Zaragoza and his skilled soldiers defended the city and won the battle, killing over 400 French men and losing only 86 of their own.  Zaragoza became a national hero!

Zaragoza statue

The Zaragoza Statue in Goliad, TX

Well, the story doesn’t go well from there. Zaragoza died of fever and France went on to capture Mexico City and win the war.  However, the bravery of that little battalion of men and their leader proved that Mexico was not to be messed with and ignited hope in the hearts of the Mexican nation. They eventually won their independence back from France in 1867.

To show their appreciation to Zaragoza and his Texas roots, the citizens of Puebla, Mexico dedicated a statue of the General in Goliad, TX, his birth place. So today, when you’re toasting your margaritas and eating your tacos, take a moment to appreciate the bravery and courage this day represents.  And it’s all because of a Texan you’ve likely never heard about.  Viva Tejas!

New Episodes Are Here!

Season 7_April

Brace yourselves because here at The Daytripper Headquarters we’ve been traveling to awesome towns around Texas and you won’t believe what we found: Texas-sized dinosaurs, Indian tales, ravenous alligators, towering canyons and Elvis… Starting this week, we’re airing the last FIVE episodes of Season 7, so here’s the list of episodes that you won’t want to miss. Be sure to check your local PBS station for premiere times.

DALLAS

DTSite_dallas160122_019 In Dallas, we soar to new heights on the Reunion Tower, learn about the Alamosaurus (a Texas dinosaur) at the Perot Museum and get into all kinds of crazy adventures in the Bishop Arts District. We also explore the nature side of the Big D on the trails by the Trinity River and eat all the food we can fit into our stomachs at Pecan Lodge and Chicken Scratch.

NEW BRAUNFELS

DTSite_newBraun150924_010 Between holding deadly snakes, feeding gators and learning to water-ski, things get pretty slippery in New Braunfels. But don’t worry, we also take time to enjoy the relaxing float of the Comal River and of course, eat up the delicious German goodies and spicy history in this town.

RICHMOND

DTSite_richmond160321_003 In Richmond we trip across the past, present and future of Texas. We learn about the good ol’ days on the George R. Ranch in the 1930s, eat phenomenal ethnic foods and learn about the mixed cultures in the area, and then catch a glimpse of the galaxy at the George Observatory.

TURKEY

DTSite_turkey160211_002 If you think Texas is flat then check out the Turkey episode to see the beautiful rocky canyons we explore in this Panhandle town. We also learn about the Indians that once inhabited this area from a modern-day Indiana Jones and see tools from the barbershop days of Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing.

HILLSBORO

DTSite_Hillsboro160219_022Our day trip to Hillsboro is a blast to the past – we enjoy homemade ice cream in a 50′s diner and find all sort of classic knick-knacks at the Roadside America museum. We even come across an old jailhouse with cells that hold tales of Bonnie and Clyde, Willie Nelson and Elvis Presley.

Chestnut Square Historic Village

Chestnut-Header

The Chestnut Square Historic Village in McKinney will transport you back in time and give you a taste of life in the late 1800s. The historic village is made up of buildings from the 1800s and 1900s that were moved from their original locations around town to their current spots on the Square.

The Taylor Inn picture by Chestnut Square Historic Village

The Taylor Inn picture by Chestnut Square Historic Village

You can shop at the Dixie Store, a general store from 1819 that was relocated to Chestnut Square in 1994. The classic store has candy, drinks and handmade crafts and toys just like Texans use to buy back in the day. You can also see the historic Taylor Inn from 1863, where tourists could book a room for 25 cents a night.

Johnson House photo by Chestnut Square Historic Village.

Johnson House photo by Chestnut Square Historic Village.

Chestnut Square also has Victorian homes available to tour. The Johnson House, built in 1870, was home to a Confederate Captain and his 13 kids.  The Square offers a variety of public tours including a trolley tour, an afternoon tea tour and multiple ghost tours. Head on over to Chestnut Square for a tour of all nine buildings.

 

 

Can’t Miss Spring & Summer Festivals

new festival header

It’s festival season which means that in the next few months, cities all over Texas will be throwing awesome parties celebrating the best things about Texas. Now this list isn’t comprehensive, but there are enough cool festivals here to keep you and your family busy partyin’ almost every weekend this April through July.

APRIL

RED POPPY FEST – Georgetown, TX

Picture by Live and Play in Georgetown, Texas Facebook

Picture by Live and Play in Georgetown, Texas Facebook

When: April 22-24

Admission: FREE

Each year Georgetown, TX throws a huge weekend-long celebration in April when the red poppies bloom to celebrate their title as “The Red Poppy Capital of Texas.” The 17th Annual Red Poppy Fest includes all kinds of fun events and activities from a classic car show to a self-guided red poppy tour through town. There will be food vendors, live entertainment and a craft fair. All guests are invited to wear red and attend the “Paint the Town Red” parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday – which is actually being hosted by Mr. Chet Garner, himself! And to add to the weekend’s celebration, there will be a performance by country superstar Tracy Lawrence on Saturday night. Find more information here.

 

MAY

 TEXAS SANDFEST – Port Aransas, TX

IMG_9942

When: April 29 – May 1

Admission: $5

This beach festival is all about sand, fun and a little competition. Texas Sandfest is a three-day competition where you can watch as pro sand sculptors create mind-blowing castles and sculptures out of the sand on the Port Aransas beach. Not a pro? That’s alright – they also have competitions on Saturday for amateurs, kids and teens. The festival includes craft and jewelry vendors, live music, a Beer and Wine Garden, and more! Purchase tickets here.

TEXAS CRAB FESTIVAL – Crystal Beach, TX 

Picture by Texas Crab Festival Facebook.

Picture by Texas Crab Festival Facebook.

When: May 6-8 

Admission: Fri. or Sat. entry is $11.54, Sun. is free

Join the city of Crystal Beach for a three-day festival of family fun and lots of seafood at The 31st Annual Texas Crab Festival . The festival features all kinds of activities from a Texas 2-Step Dance Contest to a Crab Gumbo Cook-off. And the Wiener-Dog Race is a can’t miss event! There will also be a 5K Run, a 1K Walk (for those too full of crab to be athletic) and live music. Find more information here.

TACOFEST – Fort Worth, TX

Taco Fest

Picture by Fort Worth Weekly.

When: May 7

Admission: $10 – $50, price depends on pass purchased

If you aren’t getting enough tacos in your diet, then head to the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth for a taco fiesta! This celebration of Cinco De Mayo hosted by Fort Worth Weekly lasts from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and features live music, mariachi bands, vendors and of course lots and lots of tacos from area restaurants and food trucks. At TacoFest, there will also be a celebrity judged taco competition, and from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. is unlimited taco sampling. “Taco” ’bout a good time…(sorry, couldn’t help myself!) Click here to purchase tickets.

HOUSTON CRAWFISH, CRAB & GRILL FESTIVAL – Houston, TX

Picture by Houston Crawfish, Crab & Grill Festival.

Picture by Houston Crawfish, Crab & Grill Festival.

When: May 14

Admission: $20 before event, $25 at the gate

Calling all foodies: This is a party dedicated to Houston’s finest Cajun and New Orleans-inspired eats. HCCGF is a weekend designed for the purpose of stuffing your face with all the scrumptious crawfish specialties, mouth-watering crab dishes and fantastic grilled foods you want from area restaurants and caterers while honoring the culture that created these amazing meals. And what pairs perfectly with delicious Cajun food? Why, live performances from R&B, Reggae and Soul musicians all weekend. Just be sure to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting covered with butter from your crawfish boil. Click here to purchase tickets.

GENERAL SAM HOUSTON FOLK FESTIVAL - Huntsville, TX

Picture by General Sam Houston Folk Festival Facebook.

Picture by General Sam Houston Folk Festival Facebook.

When: May 13-15

Admission: $3 – $5, price depends on age

The town of Huntsville, TX is hosting the 17th Annual General Sam Houston Folk Festival to celebrate one of their most historic citizens. This year’s festival features historical reenactments, craft vendors, live entertainment and more on the grounds of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. There will also be opportunities to learn more about Sam Houston and Texas history from the Lone Star Chapter of the Sons of the Republic. Click here for more information.

MAIN STREET FEST – Grapevine, TX

Picture by Grapevine Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Picture by Grapevine Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

When: May 20-21

Admission: $5 – $15, price varies depending on time

The 32nd Annual Main Street Festival promises to be a blast for kids and adults. Mom and Dad can enjoy a selection of over 80 craft brew beers or a glass of wine from the Grapevine wineries while kids check out the KidZone, museum exhibits and kids shows. There will also be a Carnival and Midway with rides and games for families to enjoy, lots of shopping and live entertainment. You can find more information here.

STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL - Pasadena, TX

Strawberry festival

Picture by Pasadena Strawberry Festival.

When: May 20-22

Admission: $5 – $30, price varies depending on price and day

This is one sweet celebration! The Strawberry Festival has been going since 1974 and is one of the biggest traditions in Pasadena which is deemed the “The Strawberry Capital of the South.” The three-day festival starts with an Opening Strawberry Festival Parade and the unveiling of the World’s Largest Strawberry Shortcake, which is a 2073 sq. ft. cake that is made each year and served throughout the festival. The festival also features a mud volleyball tournament in a 3-foot mud pit, a carnival, performances by Aaron Watson and Eric Paslay, and much more. Proceeds from the event go toward scholarships for area colleges. Learn more here.

THE NATIONAL POLKA FESTIVAL – Ennis, TX

Picture by The National Polka Festival Facebook.

Picture by The National Polka Festival Facebook.

When: May 27-29

Admission: $8 – $25, price varies depending on day

Get your polka on and join the people of Ennis as they celebrate Czech heritage at the 50th Annual National Polka Festival. The three-day festival kicks off with a Polka dance competition, then on Saturday morning guests are invited to watch the free parade through downtown. The festival also features a Kolache-eating contest, a 5K and a weekend full of live music from polka bands including Grammy Award-winning Brave Combo.

 

JUNE

TASTE OF DALLAS – Dallas, TX

Picture by Taste of Dallas Facebook.

Picture by Taste of Dallas Facebook.

When: June 3-5

Admission: $14 – $50, price varies depending on pass purchased 

The residents of Dallas come together every year in Fair Park to experience the best music, food and arts the city has to offer. At this year’s 30th Taste of Dallas festival there is something for everyone like a Kids Zone with a petting zoo and inflatable slides, the Foodie Experience complete with free samples of the area’s best foods, wines and beers, and the Main Stage where a free music festival will be hosted all weekend. In celebration of Taste of Dallas‘s 30th birthday, a cake has been created by “The Cake Boss’s” Carlos Bake Shop and will be passed out at the festival. You can purchase tickets here.

TOMATO FEST - Jacksonville, TX

tomatoes-73913_1920

When: June 11

Admission: FREE

Come join the “Tomato Capital of the World” for a day of music, fun and – of course – LOTS of tomatoes at The 32nd Annual Tomato Fest! Events include a Tomato Peeling Contest, in which contestants peel tomatoes with their teeth; a Tomato Shoot, where kids use BB-Guns to shoot tomatoes and a Salsa Contest. There will be a Farmer’s Market where you can buy some of those famous Jacksonville tomatoes, and you can also eat your weight in fried green tomatoes. Learn more about the event here.

TEXAS FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL – San Antonio, TX

Picture by Texas Folklife Festival Facebook.

Picture by Texas Folklife Festival Facebook.

When: June 10-12

Admission: $5 – $12, price varies depending on age and day

The Texas Folklife Festival was modeled after a celebration of cultures at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Throughout the weekend, the festival celebrates the differences of over 40 different ethnic groups. The Folklife Festival showcases ethnic heritages through foods, crafts, entertainment and more on the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures. Tickets can be purchased at the gates on the day of the event or here.

2ND ANNUAL ROUTE 66 FESTIVAL – Amarillo, TX

route-66-868967_1280

When: June 18

Admission: FREE

The 2nd Annual Route 66 Festival will really help you “get your kicks!” This free festival features all the things you need to celebrate Historic Route 66 from Antiques to Classic Cars. There will also be a Swap Meet, food, live music, shopping and more! So grab your family and plan a road trip to this iconic highway. Check this site to find out more information.

WATERMELON THUMP – Luling, TX 

background-2636_1920

When: June 23-26

Admission: $5 – $15, prices varies depending on day

The Watermelon Thump has been a beloved tradition in Luling since 1954. Start practicing your seed-spittin’ skills in preparation for the World Championship Seed Spitting Contest, and practice polishing off melons promptly because the Watermelon Eating Contest is judged on speed not quantity. The festival also features a mechanical bull, carnival rides, craft fair, live music and more! Learn more here.

JULY

GREAT TEXAS BALLOON RACE – Longview, TX

Picture by Great Texas Balloon Race Facebook.

Picture by Great Texas Balloon Race Facebook.

When: July 22-24

Admission: $12, $15 at gate

Take flight with the city of Longview at the Great Texas Balloon Race. During this three-day festival guests can get up close and personal with giant, colorful hot air balloons and watch as they soar over the festival grounds. A highlight of this festival is the Special Shapes Spectacular, an event when hot air balloons in fun shapes float above the grounds and the Balloon Glow when the hot air balloons are lit at night. There will also be live performances by Aaron Watson and Restless Hearts. Find more information here.

The Blessing of the Vines

VIne_Blog_New

This past weekend, the Daytripper crew did a little wine-trippin’ in Grapevine at the Blessing of the Vines event. We had so much fun celebrating this year’s “awakening of the vines” with the fellow wine-loving Texans who gathered at the Delaney Vineyards on Saturday. The morning started off with a little meeting, greeting and eating. We loved meeting the awesome daytrippin’ fans that showed up to the event. We even drank a glass of wine with Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and his wife, Ariadne. They traveled all the way from Mt. Olympus to join the Grapevine festivities!

IMG_9194_edit

As the crowds gathered, it was time for the procession of distinguished guests to walk through the still-budding vineyard. The parade of people was led by the 12-piece mariachi band. Following them was the American flag and members of the Grapevine Knights of Columbus.

Mariachi_edit

Knights of Colombus

This giant cluster of grapes followed after them in the procession to represent the bounty of the grapes we are asking for this season.

grapes_edit

Dignitaries carried flags (who better to carry the Texas flag than Chet?) and the rest of the guests were invited to join the procession as they made their way through the rows of the vineyard.Chet_Flag_Edit

IMG_9168

The crowd gathered in the middle of the vineyard and Father Ken Robinson of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Muenster began the blessing that dates back to Europe with the rise of Christianity. This blessing, which asks God’s grace on the vines and fruit of the vineyards, has remained the same for the past 400 years.  He also prayed for the health of the workers.

Priest_Edit

He read from Genesis 1:29 and asked God to give an abundant harvest. He gave thanks for the bounty of the past, and asked God for it to continue this season. It was amazing to see this blessing knowing that for centuries people have gathered just like we did on Saturday to ask for God’s hand and blessing in the bounty of the harvest.

Priest_Edit2

After he blessed the budding vines, the procession continued to the other side of the vineyard for more music from the mariachi band, wine tastings and more celebration. And even Miss Grapevine, a truck with a tiara, made an appearance.

Miss Grapevine in all her glory.

Miss Grapevine in all her glory.

IMG_9251_Edit

Pictured here is the cross carried during the processional along with wines from the various vineyards in Grapevine.

Marachi_Row

So cheers, Grapevine, to a wonderful day! It was an awesome experience getting to be involved in a centuries-old celebration.  And this is one tradition that truly does get better with age.

IMG_9259_Edit

 

 

 

Buy Tickets for the “Chet Chat” Event

supply the teachers_blog

Chet will be joining the friendly folks at Supply the Teachers to host the first ever “Chet Chat,” which is a live discussion about all things comedy, history, art and Texas. This event will benefit Supply the Teachers, a non-profit helping Texas teachers keep their classrooms supplied for education without having to use their own money.

And to make things even better, there will be a silent auction to bid on awesome prizes like a dinner for 4 with Chet or a necklace and earrings from designer Kendra Scott. Admission to the discussion is $20 or for $40 you can get a VIP Ticket and a Meet & Greet with Chet!

The “Chet Chat” starts at 6:30 p.m. on April 26 at the AISD Performing Arts Center. So what are you waiting for? BUY TICKETS NOW.

Travel the World From Texas

travel the world_header2

Summer is coming up and you may want to travel the world…but honestly a 20+ hour flight is no one’s favorite part of a trip, and using new currencies is always difficult. So to avoid airports and save you time, here’s a way you can travel the world…while staying in Texas. Here’s a list of Texas cities with names of different countries and the best part is that they are only a day trip away!

Canadian, TX

Picture by canadiantx.org.

Picture by canadiantx.org.

Want to take a trip to Canada, but don’t want to deal with the cold? Well you’re in luck. Almost two hours away from Amarillo is Canadian, TX. Contrary to what you might think, this town wasn’t named after Canada or its residents at all. It is actually named for the Canadian River that runs through town. And while you probably won’t be able to perfect your French speaking here as these are a different kind of Canadians, you can spend your time hiking the 3,225 ft. Canadian River Walking Bridge. There’s also a 50 ft. dinosaur statue in town named Aud.

 

China, TX

You won’t find the Great Wall of China in this town that’s just 20 minutes outside of Beaumont, but you will find a big grove of chinaberry trees.  The Texas and New Orleans Railroad ran through China, TX when this town was established in the late 1800s and it was named for the grove of chinaberry trees that grew near the town’s water stop. And strangely enough, just like Rice Farming is a booming industry in the China of East Asia, rice is also a huge aspect of China, Texas’s economy.

Palestine, TX

palestine

Picture by Palestine, Texas.

You don’t have to travel to the Middle East to find Palestine…no, you just have to travel to the middle of East Texas and an hour away from Tyler is Palestine, TX. This town actually wasn’t even named for the Palestine across the sea, it was named after Palestine, Illinois. Here, you’ll find all kinds of crazy things like Curious which is a hands-on museum for anyone who’s ever been curious (so basically everyone) and the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, where NASA creates giant balloons to study space.

 

Ireland, TX

Ireland, TX sits just over an hour from Waco. And sadly, it wasn’t named after the magical land of four leaf clovers that we all want to visit. It was actually named for John Ireland, the governor of Texas in the 1880s. And while it reached its peak population in 1920 of 400 people after the railroad was built, everyone left once the railroad was abandoned. It is now a ghost town with a population of 60. You won’t find any leprechauns here, but you can still see the dilapidated post office, gas station and general store.

 

Italy, TX

Picture by Starship Pegasus Facebook.

Picture by Starship Pegasus Facebook.

You can say “ciao, bella” to the “Biggest Little Town in Texas”  that’s only 45 minutes away from Dallas. Italy, TX (pronounced IT-LEE, ya’ll) got its name because the postmaster who named it thought this little Texas town had the same sunny, warm weather as Italy. There may not be a Roman Colosseum in the middle of town, but don’t despair, there’s something cooler to take a selfie with…The Starship Pegasus. It was built in 2005 as a tribute to the Star Trek ship “The Starship Enterprise,” and was supposed to become an arcade and restaurant, but that never stuck. Even though it sort of looks like a spaceship crash site now, it wouldn’t be highly illogical for you to take a trek to it for a picture.

 

London, TX

Stop in for crumpets and tea with the Queen in London, TX which is just east of Austin. Actually you’d be hard-pressed to find a queen or crumpets in this small unincorporated community in Kimble County, but I bet you’ll still find some friendly folks. According to the historical marker where London Town Square used to be, it was almost called “Bettie Lewis” after the postmaster’s wife. But since no one but the postmaster and his wife liked that name, the town was named after London, Kentucky.

 

Paris, TX

Picture by Paris, Texas.

Picture by Paris, Texas.

“Bonjour, y’all!” That’s what they say in Paris, TX which is just northeast of Dallas. This town actually was named for Paris, France when it was first settled in 1945. And just like its French counterpart, Paris, TX has its own Eiffel Tower. That’s right, we’ve got a Eiffel Tower right here in Texas…but ours is wearing a cowboy hat! And you can take a “tour de Paris” by riding your bike on the Trail de Paris which is a 5.94 mile trail that winds through the town.

 

Egypt, TX

This town that is just an hour outside of Houston was originally called “Mercer’s Crossing” but the name was changed when a severe drought hit in the 1800s, killing crops in the surrounding communities. Only Mercer’s Crossing was able to supply the surrounding towns with corn, causing people to start calling it the biblical name of “Egypt” (Gen. 41:54), and it stuck. Now most people think of ancient ruins when they think of Egypt, and if you go to Egypt, TX, you won’t be disappointed.  You won’t be able to tour Egyptian pyramids in this town that’s just an hour outside of Houston, but instead you can tour the historic Egypt Plantation which was built by the Northington family in 1830 when Stephen F. Austin first called for colonists to move to Texas.

51 Things to do in Burnet County

Burnet County 51post_new

1. Go underground at Longhorn Cavern State Park

http://www.toddwhite.org

2. Tour a winery and sip some Texas wine

3. Enjoy “Pie Happy Hour” at Blue Bonnet Café

4. Shop Main Street in Downtown Marble Falls

5. Hit the trails at Inks Lake State Park

6. Eat some “sweet and spicy” ribs at Opie’s BBQ

7. Take a selfie with the giant Oatmeal can

8. Celebrate at the Burnet Bluebonnet Festival

9. Go Birding at the Canyon of the Eagles

seagulls 10. Rent a boat and cruise the Highland Lakes

11. Learn about aviation history at the Commemorative Air Force Highland Lakes Squadron

12. Peek into the “Dead Man’s Hole”

13. See history at The Falls on the Colorado Museum

14. Cliff jump into the Devil’s Waterhole

15. Book a secluded lodge for some alone time

16. See bronze sculptures being cast at the Dan Pogue Gallery and Foundry

http://www.toddwhite.org 17. Picnic in the sunshine at a lakeside park

18. Get a paddle board lesson on Lake Marble Falls

19. Go off-roading at Hidden Falls Adventure Park

20. Hang-glide above Lake LBJ with Fly Texas

21. Tour the sunken town of Bluffton (when the Lake Buchanan water is low)

22. Watch the sunset from On the Rocks

23. Admire the beautiful Fall Creek waterfalls

24. Rope Swing into Krause Springs

krause 25. Hike the Balcones Canyon Land & Wildlife Refuge

26. Stargaze at the Eagle Eye Observatory

27. See a Burnet Gunfighter’s Reenactment

28. Take a biking tour of the Hill Country at Marble Falls Bikes

29. Go to the Burnet County Fair and Rodeo

30. Learn about paddlefish and catfish at the Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery

31. See 10,000 year old artifacts at the Nightengale Archaeological CenterDTSite_Athens140724_007

32. Take a springtime wildflower drive

33. Tour the frontier at historic Fort Croghan

34. Horse ride at the Colbert Ranch

35. Enjoy a fossil or plant expedition at Denney Ranch 2 Preserve

36. Catch a whopper with a local fishing guide

37. Test your shot at the Copperhead Creek Shooting Range

38. Hop aboard a Vanishing Texas River CruiseIMG_8808

39. Eat Texas barbecue at Hwy 29 BBQ

40. Mountain bike at Reveille Peak Ranch

41. Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle the lakes

42. Book a lakefront cabin

43. Spectate or ride in the Adult Soap Box Derby

44. Visit Main St. Bethlehem in December

45. Snap a pic with the Giant Bluebonnetbluebonnet

46. Eat a Bison burger and drink a craft beer at Double Horn Brewing Co.

47. Watch the Lake Fest boat drag races

48.See the works of over 20 local artists at the Highland Arts Guild and Gallery

49. Have a pint and tour Save the World Brewing

50. Jump on a Heart of Texas Wine Tour

51. Slow down and relax

Best Western Giveaway!

best western

Our awesome partner Best Western is giving you the chance to win one of 25 $100 gift cards. That’s a TON of travel! All you have to do is stay with Best Western on your next trip, and you’ll be entered to win. The more you stay with Best Western, the more chances you’ll have to win, so if I were you, I’d get to trippin’! But you better hurry, because the offer only lasts until May 31, 2016. For more information on entering the contest, visit www.bestwesterntexas.com/daytripper.

7 Places in Texas to Eat Rabbit

Rabbit Header12

When you think of Easter, you may imagine cute fluffy bunnies that hide eggs for children to excitedly hunt for on Easter day.  Well, we’ve created a list that requires you to hunt for a different kind of prize…and one that’s way more exciting for your stomach. Here are seven places in Texas to find deliciously prepared rabbit meat. So bring your appetite and hop, jump or leap to the restaurant nearest you!

Contigo – Austin, TX

Contigo

Picture by Contigo.

Hop on over to Contigo  in East Austin to get your fill of bunny. They serve up a delicious rabbit and dumplings that’s just as tasty for brunch as it is for dinner. Modeled after the Contigo Ranch in South Texas, this restaurant has a beautiful patio that’s perfect for relaxing with friends and dining under the big beautiful Texas sky.

 

Hudson’s on the Bend – Austin, TX

hudsons

Picture by Hudson’s on the Bend.

Jump to the other side of town in West Austin, and you’ll find yourself at this upscale New American restaurant set in a rustic old barn that specializes in all sorts of exotic meats from rattlesnake to boar. And for a hefty price, at Hudson’s on the Bend you can order a mixed grill of meats that includes rabbit, venison, quail and buffalo. Just be sure to wash your rabbit down with one of their various wines.

 

Thanh Phuong Restaurant – Pearland, TX

tpv

Picture by Thanh Phuong Restaurant.

Thanh Phuong Restaurant, located just south of Houston, dishes out delectable Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine that will make you feel like you’re overseas instead of in a small strip mall in Pearland, TX. Your taste buds will be leaping for joy after you try their specialty deep fried rabbit with garlic and french butter.

 

Sammy’s Wild Game Grill – Houston, TX

Sammy's

Picture by Sammy’s Wild Game Grill

In West Houston, at Sammy’s Wild Game Grill, you will find rabbit heaven. At this glorious restaurant, you can order rabbit sausage hot dogs, rabbit sausage salads, rabbit burgers – basically the list of rabbit specialties hops on and on… You should probably head on over there to have your own bunny-filled Easter Brunch as soon as possible!

 

Lonesome Dove Western Bistro – Fort Worth, TX

LonesomeDove

Picture by The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro Facebook.

Chef Tim Love is serving up rabbit in a yummy abundance at his Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in the Fort Worth Stockyards. On the appetizer menu, you’ll find the true Texas dish of Rabbit-Rattlesnake Sausage, where you can be the ultimate top of the food chain as you devour both prey and predator alike. You can also get Rabbit Confit with Seared Scallops as an appetizer and Rabbit Tenderloin and Confit Leg with Sheperd’s Pie for a main course.

Meddlesome Moth – Dallas, TX

meddlesome moth

Picture by Meddlesome Moth.

 Instead of millions of moths, which you might expect to find at a restaurant named the Meddlesome Moth,  you’ll find over 40 craft beers on tap in this gastropub located in the Design District of Dallas. And what goes perfectly with a cold brew? Why, a warm and delightful rabbit pot pie of course! You’ll enjoy dining and drinking by the light of stained-glass paintings of Rock and Roll royalty like Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden – San Antonio, TX

boilerhouseexterior

Picture by Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden.

At The Boiler House, you can get your Texas cuisine with a side of history. Located in the northern banks of the San Antonio River Walk, this restaurant is housed in one of the original buildings of the 1883 Pearl Brewery Complex that has since been revitalized into a plaza and park.  Among the Boiler Houses’s many unique Texas dishes like Dr Pepper Tomatillo Hog Jowls and Bison Meatballs, you will find Smoked Rabbit Porchetta, which is a gluten friendly appetizer that you can devour with a Texas wine or craft beer to help you truly celebrate this bunny-tastic holiday.