Kickin’ it in Kerrville!

Kerrville is a part of the Hill Country that often gets passed by in favor of the burg to the north flowing with wine and German cuisine and its southern neighbors where the Frio runs clear. So I decided to give this town a chance, and I actually discovered that it doesn’t get enough credit for how cool it is.

Just like any Central Texas town, it’s got those hilly green valleys that roll through town, and it’s situated right on the pristine Guadalupe River — and if the nature’s not enough to get you there, there’s plenty to do in town!

As any great day trip should, I started my journey through Kerrville at the Hill Country Cafe. Small though it was, this nondescript building on Main Street was packed with folks grabbing a bite to eat before heading to work. It’s got all the classic decor and the overflowing breakfast plate of country chow we’ve all come to know and love at hometown cafes.

After scarfing down as much as I could of this countrified breakfast (which was probably about half), I discovered a newspaper article near the cash register proudly claiming that this cafe sits in the spot where Mrs. Florence Butts opened the first HEB in1905!

Next, it was time to tackle the main event: the James Avery Headquarters and Museum. Yes, before he was selling his famous silver bracelets and necklaces nationwide, James Avery was working out of his garage in Kerrville and selling his jewelry out of a cart in local neighborhoods and at nearby church camps.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect — a giant store, maybe a small museum? But let me just tell you — the headquarters is basically what I picture heaven to be like. Tucked away in rolling green hills of an old farm alongside duck-filled ponds, just driving around the campus, itself, is a glorious escape, but the real treasure is inside the on-site store.

Attached to the store is an awesome museum about James Avery’s life, including the bench where he used to work and some of his workshop tables that seem completely untouched, as if Mr. Avery might just walk right in and pick up where he left off.

For all you of who aren’t Avery-fanatics, there are exhibits on the jewelry-making process from sketching out new ideas and making models to the finished products. You’ll even see a haunting handwritten note from space shuttle Columbia Commander Rick Husband’s wife, Evelyn, which James received just two days before the space craft burned upon re-entry. In the note, she thanked him for the two silver charms he designed for Rick to take to space in honor of their family.

Out back of the store is a wide porch with a sweeping view of the Hill Country, but I was ready to get a little deeper into nature at the Riverside Nature Center. Inside the Center, they’ve got exhibits about the native plants of the area, but my favorite part was the Certified Butterfly Garden. Not only was it filled with Texas wildflowers and plants, but it was fluttering with butterflies!

I wandered back behind the Center to find that it is connected to the Kerrville River Trail which runs throughout the city along the Guadalupe River. What an awesome retreat in the heart of the city!

Heading back into downtown, I stumbled upon what may be one of the few remaining Gibson’s Discount Centers — a one-stop shop that started in Abilene in 1958 and grew to be a favorite store nationwide in the 60s and 70s. The famous chain eventually died out due to competition with Kmart and Walmart, but Kerrville’s little discount center still remains as a proud, over-packed and adoringly discounted relic of the “good old days.”

Next, I decided to explore downtown which wasn’t quite bustling yet. Down this little street right next to the Guadalupe (aptly named Water Street), I found the famous Grape Juice wine bar with a patio that backs up to the river. Word to the wise, get here early and be prepared for a long wait because the locals love this place!

On my way out of town, I stopped by the Museum of Western Art on the other side of the river. It was a beautiful gallery full of works (both paintings and bronze statues) depicting daring cowboys and life on the wild frontier! Out on the back patio, I took in the view of the sprawling hills.

Sure, its neighboring towns may get all the press, but Kerrville is a city truly deserving of recognition. It’s a little bit of everything all mixed together in one picturesque setting. Whether you’re a history buff, an art fanatic, James Avery’s biggest fan or just looking for a fun way to spend the day, this is the place for you!

15 Festivals to Kick Off Your Summer!

Summer is so close, you can taste it (and feel it in those blazing 87 degree days) — but it’s still spring. Instead of getting the summer blues, check out this list of 15 rockin’ festivals around the state to keep you partying until spring is over and help you welcome in the gloriously hot days of summer!

Taste of Irving – May 20

Picture by City of Irving.

Food is the big event at this festival (and that’s honestly the best part of any festival, right?) Sample gourmet dishes from 24 local restaurants, purchase some of their signature dishes for only $5 and watch food demonstrations by chefs from the Art Institute of Dallas’s International Culinary School! Besides the food fun, there will also be live music, a craft show and a fun zone for kids!

Scarborough Renaissance Festival – until May 29

Picture by Pongo.

Jousting knights,  mystical mermaids, dazzling princesses, epic sword fights…sound like a fantasy? It’s also a normal day at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie. Step into an enchanted fairytale and become a part of the magic at this recreation of a 16th Century English Village under the reign of King Henry VII. From sword fights and historic demonstrations to all the food you can imagine (including giant turkey legs), this festival is one awesome adventure! And with themed weekends, you never know what you’ll discover!

Kerrville Folk Festival – May 25 – June 11

This is one festival that keeps rockin’ and rollin’ — for 18 continuous days! Join Kerrville in this huge gathering of singer-songwriters for TONS of live music as well as multiple workshops including blues guitar, ukulele and songwriting workshops! To add to the musical fun, there are also Canoe Trips on the Guadalupe each Friday and a 26-mile Hill Country bike ride every Saturday. Hit up the festival on Memorial Day weekend to take part in the Texas Wines & Texas Craft Beers seminars!

Houston Greek Festival – May 19-21

Picture by Alexandra Maria Photography.

It’s time to get your Greek on at this Houston fest where you can learn all about the Greek culture. Enjoy traditional dances, handmade Greek crafts and jewelry, a Non-Greeks dance competition and, of course, all the delicious Greek foods and pastries! Ticket proceeds from this year’s festival benefit the Ronald McDonald House Houston.

National Polka Fest – May 26-28

Picture by Ashley Colunga.

Grab your dancing shoes and head to this festival celebrating Polka music and the Czech heritage! The festivities start on Friday night with a Polka dance and guests are encouraged to wear traditional Czech costumes. The fun continues on Saturday and Sunday with a parade, live Polka music, kolache-eating contests and so much more! You’ve gotta “Czech” it out!

Big Pines Blues Festival – June 2- 3

If there’s two things you can count on finding in Longview, TX, it’s BIG pines and a BIG sound! Since 2006, this Blues festival has been showcasing blues legends and newcomers, alike! The festival begins with performances by new artists on Friday night. On Saturday, enjoy music by 2016 Blues Hall of Fame member Elvin BishopJohnny and the Nightcrawlers, and Jimmy Wallace and the Stratoblasters!

West Texas Swing Festival – June 7-10

Picture by Snyder Chamber of Commerce.

Grab your boots and dance partner and make your way out west to Snyder, TX for this weekend celebrating the official music of Texas: Western Swing! Dance the days away to live music by Rance Norton, Jody Nix, Jake Hooker and more! Besides tons of two-stepping, you can also browse through the Craft Fair!

Chisholm Trail Round-up – June 8-10

This festival is a Rodeo, mixed with a Carnival in the Barbecue Capital of Texas — Lockhart! Join the community for three days of fun, food, craft fairs, washer throwing and golf tournaments! There will also be live music by country artists including Justin TrevinoNathan Colt Young and Reckless Kelly.

Shrimporee – June 9-11

With a name like that, you know this is gonna be one EPIC festival. Head to Port Aransas on June 9-11 for shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp. At this coastal celebration, you can enter a shrimp eating contest, enjoy a shrimp boil, watch the Miss Shrimporee Contest or even partake in the Outhouse Race! Or you can just grab a shrimp cocktail and relax to live music from over a dozen musicians!

Blanco Lavender Festival – June 9

Picture by Willard Gibbons.

This may be one of the best smelling festivals in Texas! Blanco is hosting its 13th Annual Lavender Festival, and it’s your one-stop shop for all things lavender! There will be a lavender market outside the Historic Old Blanco County Courthouse, but you can also visit the local farms to see the lavender growing, and possibly even pick your own! Attend the lectures by guest speakers about lavender, gardening and bee-keeping, or relax with a “Lavender Lizzie” from Real Ale Brewing and listen to live music.

Wine & Clay Festival – June 10-11

Enjoy a luxurious evening in the Texas Panhandle! Sip some of Llano Estacado Winery’s finest wines in Slanton, TX while you view artworks, handcrafted jewelry, pottery and more!

Jacksonville Tomato Fest – June 5 -10

Picture by April Barbe.

Join the folks of Jacksonville, TX, for their 33rd Annual Tomato Fest when the mayor proclaims the city “Tomatoville” for the week! There will be all sorts of fun events (like a Dodgeball Tournament on Tuesday and a Golf Tournament on Friday) leading up to the big festival on Saturday! The Tomato Fest will be ripe with all kinds of opportunities to enjoy tomatoes, including Tomato Eating, Salsa and Home Grown Tomatoes Contests. The kids can also join in the fun with Tomato Peeling, Tomato Shoot and Tomato Packing Contests. And of course, you can gorge yourself on fried green tomatoes among other delicious foods!

Boerne Berges Fest – June 16-18

Picture by Boerne Berges Fest.

Boerne is hosting its 51st Berges Fest and you’re invited to help them honor all things German! There will be a Parade to kick-off the festival, then throughout the weekend activities include a Bratwurst Eating Contest, Daschund Races, a Root Beer Drinking Contest, Wheelbarrow Races and more! There will also be a carnival and live music.

Stonewall Peach JAMboree – June 16-17

Picture by Stonewall Chamber of Commerce.

If you love peaches, this is the JAMboree for you! At this fest in Stonewall, you’ll find peaches galore in the form of ice cream, cobblers and, of course, fresh peaches. Compete in the peach salsa, baking or preserves contests to put your peachy skills to the test, hit the rides at the carnival or stop by the rodeo to watch the mutton bustin!

Bandera Riverfest – June 24

Picture by Jackie Demers.

Mosey on down to Cowboy town to join in the fun on the Medina River. You’ll find a little bit of everything — from a water-themed rodeo (with events like “tube roping”) to contests for your furry friends (Water Fetch competition anyone?). Show off your talent at the Bandera Idol competition, or your food-eating skills at the Watermelon or HotDog eating contests! Add in a BBQ Cook-Off, the “Anything That Floats” Regata and an Arts & Craft Show, and you’ve got yourself an epic day!

Behind the Scenes in Mt. Pleasant, TX!

Things get pretty crazy behind the scenes of The Daytripper! Check out this exclusive look at our time shooting the Mt. Pleasant episode in this behind-the-scenes video!

7 Mother’s Day Gifts in Texas

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and here at The Daytripper, WE LOVE MOMS! We know that moms are a huge part of what makes trippin’ the state so great, so we’ve created a list of 7 awesome ways to show your mom some Texas-sized love. Whether she’s a lover of wine, chocolate, flowers or even just having some alone time, pick a gift from this list and you’ll be sure to make your mom feel special!

Let Her Un-Wine

Photo by Julie Kuhlken/ Pedernales Cellars.

 

Ok, let’s admit it, we all whine to our mom about our problems on the daily, and — being the amazing mom she is — she always listens. But this Mother’s Day, it’s time to let your mom do the whining — or wine-ing that is… And luckily, Texas is filled with tons of award-winning wineries (that could almost kinda possibly rival Napa Valley…) Take a tour of a winery like Pedernales Cellars in Stonewall where they’re having a Roses and Rosé tasting event, or if you can’t choose just one winery, take a self-guided wine tour on the Grapevine Urban Wine Trail or a guided one with Heart of Texas Wine Tours.

Give Mom a Historic Retreat…

William Reeves House photo by Stacy Luecker Photography.

Whisk your mom away to the luxuries of yesteryear with a tour of some of Texas’s most historic and indulgent homes from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Take a tour of the largest historic neighborhood in the southwestern United States at the Fairmount National Historic District Mother’s Day Weekend Tour in Fort Worth to see restored homes with amazing architectural styles of the late 1800s and early 1920s. You can also hit up the Menard Mother’s Day Brunch and Tour, for an elegant brunch by Chef Mary Bass that mom will love at the oldest residence in Galveston and a tour of the Historic Homes District.

Nothing Says, “I Love You, Mom” like Chocolate…

Give your mom the gift of heavenly gourmet chocolate! In Dallas, you can choose between multiple Mother’s Day Chocolate Tours where you can try sweet samples from up to five of Dallas’s top chocolate shops. If you’d rather try your hand at making your own, take a chocolate class with mom at Araya Chocolates in Houston or Wiseman House Chocolates in Hico.

Step up your flower game…

Header photo and this photo courtesy of the Dallas Arboretum.

Your mom may be tired of receiving a bouquet every Mother’s Day, so step up your flower game with a Texas twist on this classic gift. There is no better way to spend Mom’s special day then by taking her to see some of the most beautiful blooms in Texas. You’ll find roses galore (even in the middle of the barren El Paso land!) at the El Paso Rose Garden and the Rose Garden Center in Tyler. For a more formal floral event, head to the Dallas Arboretum where you can celebrate Mother’s Day with a special exhibit in A Woman’s Garden while being serenaded by Serenata Strings, or take mom to Chappell Hill Lavender Farms where she can cut her own lavender as well as buy tons of lavender scented goodies in the gift shop!

Brunch: A Win-Win for you and mom

Show your mom you love her a “brunch” with several courses of gourmet food and champagne. Choose an upscale brunch like at the Driskill Hotel in Austin or the Colonial Room Restaurant at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio. Enjoy something more laid back like brunch at the Aquarium Restaurant in Kemah where you can eat with the fishies, or something all-you-can eat like the buffet at the Overton Hotel in Lubbock where you and mom can eat as much as you want.

Afternoon Tea: The Royal Treatment

Pip, pip, cheerio! Treat mom like the queen that she is by taking her to high tea (in Texan that translates to a tea party with tons of sweets at around 3-5 p.m. in the afternoon). You can book your spot of tea at the Full English Cafe in Austin or Hotel Granduca in Houston. Bond with your mom over multi-tiered trays of fresh scones, fancy finger sandwiches and a tea pot. Just remember pinkies up!

Give Mom a Day to Herself at the Spa

Maybe all your mom needs is a little time to rejuvenate by herself, and the perfect place to do that is the spa. Whether you join or not, she will be sure to get the VIP treatment at Barton Creek Spa in Austin where her day will be filled with awesome facials, massages and even a gold manicure! For a spa that mixes history and luxury, check in to Hotel Galvez where mom can get a special Mother’s Day massage, manicure or facial!

My First NASCAR day trip

It’s even louder than I expected.  Like earth-shaking, bomb-exploding loud.  And the cars go faster than I expected.  Like paint-peeling, motion-blurring fast.  But most of all, it’s way more fun than I expected.  Fun in a – I might be changed forever thanks Ricky Bobby – sort of way. Just watch this clip (make sure your volume is up).

Truth be told, I’ve never been a NASCAR fan. But I’ve always heard that in order to understand it, you have to see it (and hear it) in person.  So, when Chevy called and invited Laura (my wife) and I up to Fort Worth to see a NASCAR race at the Texas Motor Speedway, I couldn’t pass it up.  And on a Sunday Morning in April, we headed north for the midday race.

This is the Silverado they loaned us to drive.  A 2500 HD “High Country” edition. It was epic.

When we arrived we joined a group of Chevy Truck Legends. Basically, if you’ve driven a Chevy truck over 100,000 miles or owned multiple Chevy Trucks, you can be part of this group and be eligible for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. All the folks in this photo were picked to have a NASCAR experience.  I’m the goofball in the back with my hands up. If you’re eligible – make sure you sign up.

Chevrolet Truck Legends Event Sunday, April 9, 2017 prior to the start of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Susan DeVault/HHP for Chevrolet)

As soon as we arrived at the track, we were whisked away for a tour of pit row and the garage bays.

Some of the truckloads of tires waiting to be shredded on the track.

Chase Elliott’s car going through pre-race inspection.

The Chevy SS pace car.

After the tour was the most incredible part.  We were all taken onto the track before the race and loaded up into a black Chevy truck.  Soon, an actual NASCAR driver hopped into the bed and we set off as part of the driver parade. It was insane! I felt like everyone was cheering for me, but then realized they were just cheering for my cargo – driver Jeff Earnhardt.

The Midnight Edition Silverado 2500 that we drove around the track. (Photo by Susan DeVault/HHP for Chevrolet)

Laura catches the breeze.

Jeff Earnhardt waves to thousands of adoring fans.

Then came the actual race.  It was an experience for sure.  Laura and I spent our time going back and forth from the suite to the stands. Rather than just watch cars go around in circles, you can rent headsets and listen to the radios from every driver.  You get to hear the drivers and pit crews chat about strategy, when it’s time to change tires, and/or talk smack on others when they get cut off.

How does this thing work?

A good day for racin’.

All in all, this was an insanely fun day. Chevy-driver Jimmie Johnson took home the trophy, but we had the best time.  Even if you aren’t a NASCAR fan, you’ve gotta go and experience a race in person.  I might be hooked.  But even more surprising – my wife might be hooked.  If you register for the Truck Legends program, maybe you’ll hit the track with me for the next race, cause I’ll never miss one.  Huge thanks to Chevy for the invitation.  Vaya con Dios Amigo.  And remember – “If you’re not first, you’re last.” – Ricky Bobby.

Exploring Waxahachie!

Last fall, I headed up to the Metroplex to check out what is possibly the spookiest mansion in Texas — but after surviving my tour inside the haunted house, I decided to explore Waxahachie and see what I could get into. The answer? Alot. Growing up in Fort Worth, occasionally the strange name of this Dallas suburb would pop up in conversation, but I’d never ventured there myself. After spending a day there, I found that Waxahachie is as fun as it’s name is to say (altogether now: WAHKS-UH-HATCH-EE)!

When you stumble upon the #StarshipPegasus as you’re getting gas 🖖🏼👽 #SpaceshipForSale

A post shared by Linsey T. (@linseylouu) on

On my way into town, I decided to stop off at a gas station to fill up, and to my surprise, right next to the station was the ever-elusive, magnificent Starship Pegasus! This tribute to the Star Trek spaceship the “Starship Enterprise” was originally built in Italy, TX to be an arcade and restaurant, but that never stuck and now it’s just an abandoned spaceship sitting in a field next to a Shell station off Interstate 35 and the perfect selfie destination.

My first stop in town was going to be the Ellis County Museum, but the Ellis County Courthouse was so mesmerizing, it pulled me off track. Right in the middle of the bustling Town Square, this looming historic courthouse, built in 1897, looks more like an enchanted castle, with its grand architecture and turrets shooting into the sky.

After circling the courthouse a few times (turns out courthouse-gawking while driving is exceptionally difficult), I finally headed on to the Ellis County Museum right off the Square. It’s so packed with information about Waxahachie and Ellis County, I could have spent hours there.

What’s cool about the museum is that it recounts history through the eyes of the locals. I perused exhibit after exhibit packed with personal photos and audio clips describing first-hand accounts of significant moments like blackout drills during WWII, the rising career of Waxahachie native Paul Rapier Richards from a local baseball player to a world-renown player for the Dodgers and Giants and even the impact of the failure of the Superconducting Super Collider (it sounds like a Sci-Fi weapon but it was actually a billion dollar super collider in town that was shut down before it was even finished being built). There’s so much history in this town!

While walking the Square, I found the old Texas Theater, Waxahachie’s first theater that was built in 1895. Sadly, it’s no longer open, but it’s still quite a sight to see. Another point of interest on the Square is Webb Gallery, which could also be described as the weirdest museum in Texas…This art gallery is a collection of art pieces that are both odd and wonderful like a toothpick Ferris wheel and old circus posters!

After making a few trips around the Square, I was parched — luckily Pop’s Burger Stand was just a few blocks away. At this 50s-themed diner, I found relief in a giant frosty mug of Root Beer and a sack full of salty, crispy fries. Also not to be missed are the ginormous burgers!

The Historic Missouri-Kansas-Texas Depot from the late 1800s has been transformed into a chic shop where you can buy a new shirt and learn about the history of this rail line. And since I like my history with a side of retail bliss, this was one of my favorite places. Out back, an old MKT caboose is parked on the original tracks.

Next it was on to Tuscan Slice, a family-owned strip mall pizza joint, that was packed…even at 2 in the afternoon! As I waited for my pizza and shoved fresh wood-fired garlic bread into my mouth, I watched the chef toss pizza dough and, after giving them their own little balls of dough, taught three giggling little boys how to make their own crusts. Soon enough, my perfectly round Chipotle Chicken Pizza arrived, still steaming from the wood oven and decked in fresh jalapenos, purple onions and marinated Chicken. It was quickly devoured and I decided this was surely a slice of Italian heaven right in the middle of town.

As the day ended, and I parted from Waxahachie, I was already making plans to return (I’ve honestly been craving that pizza ever since…) After exploring, it turns out there’s way more to this town than just its funky name! From homemade eats and decked-out diners to history — both eccentric and educational — Waxahachie is definitely worth the trip!

Road Trip the Texas Revolution

Happy Texas Independence Day! We remember March 2, 1836 because on that day Texas declared its independence from Mexico at the Convention of 1836. Yet, there were many significant events that led up to this final important moment (and you can find a timeline here). Here’s a list of all the modern day places that are significant to the Texas Revolution, in chronological order of their place on the revolution timeline. You can retrace Texas’s fight for independence by following this entire list on a road trip or just choose a few to find artifacts and retrace certain moments on Texas’s road to freedom.

(1) Gonzales Memorial Museum – Gonzales, TX

The journey to Texas Independence started in Gonzales on Oct. 2, 1835, when Texans — already angered by Santa Anna’s tyranny — refused to surrender a cannon to a troop of Mexican soldiers and taunted them with a call to “Come and Take It”. The Texans attacked the Mexican troops thus igniting the revolution. You can view this important cannon, artifacts from the early days in Gonzales, and a memorial dedicated to the men who died in the Alamo at the Gonzales Memorial Museum.

(2) The Alamo – San Antonio, TX

Every Texan is sure to “Remember the Alamo,” where General Santa Anna and his troops surprised the Texans after the Siege of Bexar, leading to defeat after a 13-day battle at the Alamo. Visit this iconic Texas mission in the heart of downtown San Antonio to see the line Travis drew in the sand asking his men to join him in the fight for Texas, learn about the fateful battle and honor the men who lost their lives here.

(3) Washington-on-the-Brazos Site – Washington, TX

In the video above, you’ll see our time at the site where 59 men gathered on March 2 to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence claiming Texas as free from Mexico’s control. Not only can you still tour Independence Hall, the little cabin where Texas first gained freedom, but at this site you’ll also find the Star of the Brazos Museum and Barrington Living History Farm, where you can learn about and experience early Texas life.

(4) Fannin Battleground State Historic Site – Victoria, TX

After the fall of the Alamo, Santa Anna was angry that the Texan army was increasing, so he ordered all prisoners from battle be shot. To escape death, Commander James Walker Fannin, Jr., surrendered at the Battle of Coleto on the condition that they be escorted back United States. This historic site is where the Battle of Coleto was fought, and you’ll find a monument marking the spot where Fannin surrendered.

(5) Presidio la Bahia – Goliad, TX

After Fannin and his men surrendered at the Battle of Coleto Creek and Mexican General Mexia agreed to their condition of being treated as prisoners of war and escorted back to the United States, the prisoners were delivered to Presido la Bahia. But instead of keeping his word, on March 27, Mexia had the Mexican troops execute the Texan soldiers by the side of the road. Fannin and the other injured soldiers were executed in front of the chapel. Visit this site in remembrance of the brave men who died at the Goliad Massacre. Down the road, you’ll find the Fannin Memorial Monument, marking where Fannin and his men are buried.

(6) New Kentucky Park – Hockley, TX

This park near Tomball is the site of Sam Houston’s famous “fork in the road” decision during the Texas Revolution. As he was traveling with the Texas troops, he had to decide whether to turn left and head for safety in Louisiana or turn right and face the Mexican Army. He headed right toward San Jacinto to face the Mexican army head on. Stop by to see the marker signifying this fork in the road.

(7) San Jacinto Battleground Site – La Porte, TX

The Battle of San Jacinto was the last major battle of the Texas Revolution, when the Texan army surprise-attacked the napping Mexican troops. During the 18-minute battle, the Mexicans were defeated and Santa Anna was captured the next morning. Walk the area where Houston and the troops claimed victory for Texas, visit the San Jacinto Museum of History to learn more about the battle and ride the elevator to the top of the monument for a bird’s-eye view of the battleground and the bay.

(8) San Fernando Cathedral – San Antonio, TX

In this cathedral are the few remains of the Texas heroes who died at the siege of the Alamo, including Travis, Crockett and Bowie. After the battle of the Alamo, Santa Anna ordered the remains of the Texas troops burned and scattered, but Juan Seguin gathered them and hid them in this Cathedral. Stop by to pay your respects to these great men.

Click here for ten epic Texas Independence Day parties around the state!

Chevy’s Bringing in the Awards!

There’s a reason we trust all our road-trippin’ to Chevy — not only can it handle miles and miles of exploring Texas, but for the fourth consecutive year, Chevrolet has earned more J.D. Power Initial Quality awards than any other brand…and that’s a HUGE deal! The J.D. Power Initial Quality awards recognize Chevrolet’s ongoing commitment to Quality, Reliability & Dependability.

Check out their latest awardees:

Equinox – “Highest Ranked Compact SUV in Initial Quality in a tie, Two Years in a Row”

Silverado HD – “Highest Ranked Large Heavy Duty Pickup in Initial Quality.”

Silverado LD – “Highest Ranked Large Light Duty Pickup in Initial Quality.”

Tahoe – “Highest Ranked Large SUV in Initial Quality.”

Spark – “Highest Ranked City Car in Initial Quality, Two Years in a Row”

From design and safety to performance and fuel efficiency, Chevrolet continues to deliver on their promise of quality and long-lasting dependability. Learn more about these award winning vehicles that help YOU explore Texas, by visiting chevy.com to today!

 

#QueBrewTexas Social Media Contest

Howdy Trippers! As you know, Texas Independence Day is coming up on March 2nd. But as you probably didn’t know, on his way to Washington-on-the-Brazos to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836, Sam Houston stopped by Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q to enjoy some Texas Bar-B-Q and a cold Lone Star Beer. It was this moment when he realized that Texas must become a country to preserve its unique traditions.

To honor Sam and our other Texas founding fathers, we want you to enjoy the “Most Texan Meal Ever” on March 2nd (Texas Independence Day). Tag the photo with #QueBrewTexas.

We’ll be giving away prizes to the best ones. The first place winner will receive a Lone Star BBQ set, as well as Rudy’s brisket and a side shipped to their door via RudysAnwhere AND a Daytripper decal. Second place winner will get a Lone Star hat and shirt and a $20 Rudy’s Gift Card. Third place gets a Lone Star Bandana and Rudy’s Meat Rub.

What are you waiting for??? Get to eatin’ and postin’!

10 Texas Independence Day Parties

It’s almost time to wish Texas a “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” Next Thursday, March 2, marks the 181st Anniversary of Texas declaring its freedom from Mexico by signing the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836 (brush up on your Texas history here). And you know how everything’s bigger in Texas? Well that goes for the parties too! Show your love to the Lone Star State by hitting up one of these EPIC Texas Independence Day celebrations around the state!

181st Anniversary of the Siege & Battle of the Alamo – San Antonio, TX

Picture by Amelia White.

When: Feb. 23 – March 6

To commemorate the number of days the Alamo was under siege and honor the Texans who lost their lives 181 years ago, San Antonio and The Alamo are hosting a 13-day event complete with daily historical readings and live reenactments, and concluding on March 6 with a special reenactment of the memorial service Col. Juan N. Seguin hosted in honor of the fallen Texans one year after the attacks. Click here for a complete list of the events.

Sam Houston’s Birthday & Texas Independence Day Celebration – Huntsville, TX

When: March 2

Join the town of Huntsville in celebrating TWO significant Texas holidays — Texas Independence Day and Sam Houston’s birthday (which happens to also be on March 2!) Events will be hosted all around town throughout the day, starting with a Coffee and Reception at the Walker County Museum at 9:15 a.m. and ending with a “Toast to Texas” and Birthday Cake at the Sam Houston Statue at 2 p.m. Other events include a special ceremony honoring Sam Houston and a Memorial luncheon. Click here to see the full schedule.

“Texas 181 Years” – Gruene, TX

When: March 2

Gruene is honoring Texas Independence Day with TONS OF FREE STUFF AND CONCERTS! Enjoy free music at The Grapevine and Gristmill River Restaurant, discounted food at multiple eateries and even 181¢ beers (possibly the most Texan discount ever!) While Gruene Hall won’t be open, you can stop by the town starting at 3 p.m. to take advantage of these special offers and party it up Texas style! Find more discounts here.

Texas Birthday Bash – Navasota, TX

When: March 3-4

Navasota is throwing a FREE Texas-sized two-day birthday party. It starts at 5:30 p.m. on Friday night and the party continues until 11 p.m. on Saturday night. The festival includes live performances from Texas artists like Kevin Fowler, Asleep at the Wheel and Neal McCoy. There will also be a Chili Bowl Cook-off, a Wild West Shootout and a “Made in Texas” craft fair. Kids will love the mechanical bull and petting zoo. Find more information here.

Stroll Through Texas History – Acton, TX

Picture by Acton, TX.

When: March 4

Head to Acton, TX  to attend the “Stroll Through Texas History” hosted by the Texas Heroes Foundation from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Festivities include crafts, live period music, rifle demonstrations and even the chance to meet some famous Texans like William Travis, Davy Crockett, Sam Houston and more! Find more information here.

Texas Independence Celebration – Luckenbach, TX

Photo by Robbyn Dodd Photography.

Where: March 4

Head to the town where “Everybody’s Somebody” for an epic Texas celebration. The fun starts at 1 p.m. with an Official Texas Flag retirement ceremony with Former Texas Rangers, then spend the afternoon enjoying a FREE concert by the Doug Moreland Trio! Click here for more information.

Texas Independence Day Cook-Off – San Angelo, TX

Photo by the San Angelo CVB.

Where: March 4

Join San Angelo for a day of food, fun and music! Festivities include a craft fair, live music from the Ice House Brass Band and performances by square dancers, cloggers and local bluegrass and country groups! There will also be a Barbecue Cook-Off, so come hungry and ready for tons of good ol’ Texas ‘que! Find more information on the city’s calendar.

Washington on the Brazos Celebration – Washington, TX

Picture by J. Williams.

When: March 4-5

The birthplace of Texas is having a Texas-sized party to celebrate the Convention of 1836 on March 2 when 59 elected men met at Independence Hall to write a new Constitution and the Texas Declaration of Independence. The convention established Texas as a new sovereign nation. Along with free admission to Independence Hall, Star of the Republic Museum and the Barrington Living History Farm, Washington on the Brazos will host a variety of events including live cannon and musket firings, historical reenactments and a historical play about the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Find more information here.

Alamo Defenders Remembrance Ceremony – Austin, TX

Picture by Peggy Vallas.

When: March 5

The Texian Legacy Association and Celebrate Texas are hosting a remembrance ceremony at 2 p.m. at the “Heroes of the Alamo” Monument on the Capitol lawn to remember all the brave men who died defending the Alamo. There will be a guest speaker, and the names of each fallen Texan will be read, followed by the firing of muskets in their honor. Click here for more information.

Texas Independence Celebration & BBQ Cook-Off – San Benito, TX

When: March 11

The Texas Heritage and Independence Celebration Association is throwing a huge celebration in San Benito with reenactments of the Battle of Gonzales, the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. There will also be a signing of a replica of the Texas Declaration of Independence, as well as live music, craft vendors, food and art contests. For more information, click here.