We Won an EMMY!!


This past Saturday night in Fort Worth, Chet Garner won the 2016 Lone Star Emmy Award for Outstanding Program Host / Moderator / Reporter. It is the show’s 7th Lone Star Emmy, and Chet’s 3rd win in this category. We are incredibly excited to share this news with all of you.

“While this may technically be an individual award, there’s simply no way I would look half as good on camera without my amazing crew. I owe this award to their hard work , to my wife’s support, and to God’s blessing. Trust me, I didn’t get here on my own.  I’m simply not that talented or lucky”

- Chet Garner 

 A huge “Gracias” to all of our fans, supporters, PBS stations and sponsors for making this show possible. Keep watching PBS this month so you don’t miss our new episodes for Season 8.

Also CONGRATS to all the other PBS winners across the state.

  • KLRU (Austin) – Human Interest Award for Arts in Context
  • KLRU (Austin) – Cultural Documentary Award for “El Despertar”
  • KLRU (Austin) – Topical Documentary Award for Arts in Context
  • KLRU (Austin) – Special Event Coverage Award for SXSW Flashback 2015
  • KUHT (Houston) – Director Live Newscast Award for HOU Decide
  • KUHT (Houston) – Arts/Entertainment Program Award for “Body Art”
  • KUHT (Houston) – Interview Program Award for Manor of Speaking
  • KTTZ (Lubbock) – Texas Heritage Program Award for “There Will Be No Bad Talk or Loud Talk in This Place.”

The Spookiest (& Kookiest) Texas Mansion


It was a dark and foggy morning as I pulled into the driveway of the Munster Mansion. The ominous house seemed to spring up out of nowhere as I turned the corner of Brown Street. I parked, took a deep breath and walked through the towering iron gates. As I knocked on the antique door-knocker, my heart thumped louder and louder. I wasn’t sure what to expect in this creepy house…a witch? Frankenstein, himself? Would this be the last time I ever saw the light of day?

However, to my surprise, there was no monster on the other side of the door, just the warmly smiling (and definitely non-monster) Sandra McKee, owner of the Munster Mansion in Waxahachie, TX. “Come on in,” she beamed. At first, I was taken aback by the dragon peaking out at me from underneath the staircase, but then I realized Spot was just as friendly as anyone’s pet dog would be.

Spot This is a typical reaction for guests visiting Sandra McKee’s replica of the mansion on 1313 Mockingbird Lane from The Munsters, a 1960′s sitcom about a kooky family of monsters living an average life.

Since it was built in 2001, the Mansion has attracted fans and curious on-lookers, alike — which surprised Sandra.

“We just thought everyone would say, ‘Oh there’s just those weird people on the corner,’” she said. “But now we’ve been on tons of TV shows and have had fans travel all the way from Australia to see it.”


Each year, the McKee’s host a huge event so fans can mingle and get a look at the house, and this year’s event is on Oct. 21-22 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Ticket sales benefit the Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center.

At the event, you can tour the Mansion, peruse the Munster’s gift shop, play tons of games and ride the Ferris Wheel in their backyard. You can even meet Pat Priest, who played the Munster’s beautiful, non-monster niece Marilyn. There will also be performances by a magician and a fire-breather.


The idea for the now-famous replica first started when Sandra and her husband, Charles, were looking for a home in 2001. After not finding the perfect house, she jokingly brought up the idea.

“I said to him, ‘You know, we could just build the Munster Mansion’ and to my surprise, he said okay,” Sandra said. “I just ran with it before he could change his mind.”

In 2001, the McKee’s began building their dream home. They didn’t have actual blueprints, so instead, Sandra meticulously watched episodes of the sitcom over and over again to get the house exactly right.

“I knew Lily [Munster] was about 5 ’4″, so I could tell by how many steps she took as to where to place things throughout the house,” she said.


Furnishing the house has been an ongoing process to find the exact match for each piece of furniture. Every room is laid out exactly like in the show, whether it’s actual props from the show (like the items on the dining room table pictured above) or recreations (Sandra had the electric chair in the living room custom-made).

electric-chair As you roam through the cobweb-covered rooms of the Mansion, you’ll find Herman Munster reclining in the hazy living room watching reruns of his famous show.

livingroom2 Mrs. Lily Munster will show you around her eerily beautiful dining room, complete with tattered wallpaper and picture frames just barely hanging on the walls. But, careful, she’s just vacuumed (which she likes to do in reverse so the dust blows out and cakes the entire room…)


And if you look closely in the entry hall, you’ll find the famous coffin-phone. Upstairs, you can stir up trouble with mad scientist Grandpa Munster in his lab…but be warned, you never know what kind of hair-brained potion he’ll concoct next. You can even hang out with werewolf son Eddie and his stuffed doll, Wolfie in his room — which is full of more pointy objects than should ever be allowed around a growing boy.



You never know quite what you’ll find in this spooky and kooky mansion, so be sure and drop by on Oct. 21 and 22. The event is cash only and parking is at Finley Junior High, where shuttles will pick up and drop off visitors at the Mansion. Click here for more information.

Deep in the Heart of Brady


Since Chet and I have started writing a Hill Country Travel guide, I’ve researched and visited pretty awesome towns like Gruene, Belton and Salado (which basically means going on adventures to see if they’re epic enough for y’all!)  I recently traveled to Brady and Melvin, and it’s become one of my favorite trips!

Brady is located in the geographic center of Texas, making it the “Heart of Texas.” But on my journey deep in the heart of Texas (cue the clap, clap, clap) I found that Brady is Texas’s heart for so many more reasons than just being in the exact center — the true essence of our great state pumps through every inch of this little town!

My first stop in town was the Heart of Texas Country Music Museum, and I gotta admit that I was expecting this museum to just be a little homage to a few Texas artists with a tiny collection of photographs and replicas of costumes — and boy was I wrong!


Started by Tracy Pitcox, host of the internationally famous 1989 radio show “Hillbilly Hits,” this museum is filled with wacky and fun personal items from many country legends that were personally donated to Tracy by each artist.

You’ll find everything from handwritten notes by Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn to a brick from Hank William’s home and a bumper car ridden by the King, himself, Elvis Presley!  You can even tour Jim Reeves’ tour bus!


After catching a glimpse of a different type of life on the road in Jim’s tour bus, I hopped in my own car and headed to the center of town to find the especially regal-looking McCulloch County Courthouse. The beautiful stone building almost looked like a castle built out of Legos! And right in front of the Courthouse, I found the selfie-worthy “Heart of Texas” marker, signifying that I was literally in the center of Texas!


Next, it was time for lunch and I had been excited about where I was eating for quite a while. You see, I’d recently read an article in Texas Monthly raving about the inside-out burgers at Jacoby’s Cafe in neighboring town, Melvin. Yet, as I started the drive and my GPS lead me farther and farther from civilization into very flat farm lands… I started to get nervous. The growl of my stomach pushed me on.


When I finally arrived at Jacoby’s (which is a small cafe right next to the Feed and Seed store and below two ominously towering grain elevators), I walked into the dark wooden room and sat at a little booth among friendly farmers who all knew each other and were catching up with the week’s gossip. When I ordered my burger and was asked if I wanted fries, onion rings or the heavenly choice of fried okra  – I knew I was in the right place and quickly ordered the okra!

As I waited on my food, I heard tidbits of conversations, my favorite being the man in the flannel shirt next to me saying to the waitress, “Well, you know I normally get the special, but I hear there’s a big to-do about one of your burgers, and I’m feeling left out cause I’ve never had it, so I’m gonna get that today.” And neither Mr. Flannel Shirt nor I were disappointed with our burgers.


I bit into my inside-out burger (which hardly fit in my hands it was so big) expecting the cheese, peppers and onions stuffed into the patty to spill out in an overwhelming ooze — but was pleasantly surprised that it was not oozy at all! The inside-out burger had just the right amount of spice and the meat had the perfect amount of juiciness.

As I ate my burger with strangers all coming together over good homecookin’, in a small town cafe surrounded by wide expanses and deep blue skies, I realized that I’d never been anywhere that exemplified Texas quite like this. Looking back at my day in Brady, and the surrounding area, I understood exactly why it’s called “the Heart of Texas” — the kind folks, one of a kind museums and good eats are exactly what makes Texas so great!

Texas Pumpkin Patches


Halloween is on it’s way and Thanksgiving’s not too far behind. If you don’t already have a porch decked out in Jack-o-Lanterns and a fridge full of Pumpkin Pie – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of awesome Pumpkin Patches across the state that are have a plethora of pumpkins for your perusing!

The Great Pumpkin Patch - Bastrop



Images courtesy of Barton Hill Farms

When: Weekends through Nov. 13

Where: Barton Hill Farms

What: At this scenic farm, you’ll find a variety of pumpkins, both big and small in the Great Pumpkin Patch! You can also wander through the Lonesome Dove Maze and the Spooky the Pumpkin Kiddy Maze. You can even say “hello” to the farm’s furry friends at the new Barnyard, which contains Sheep, Pigs and Goats! Other activities include riding the grain train, competing in a ring toss or bouncing around the huge jumping pillow! Find more information here.

Autumn at the Arboretum – Dallas




Images courtesy of Dallas Arboretum

When: Daily through Nov. 23

Where: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

What: Visit the Dallas Arboretum to see a magical wonderland of over 90,000 pumpkins at the one-acre Pumpkin Village in the Pecan Grove. The village showcases pumpkin artworks like Cinderella’s Pumpkin Carriage and the state of Texas made completely out of pumpkins, as well as a garden of fall flowers. You can also find your way through the Haybale Maze and the Great Pumpkin Search Scavenger Hunt. Click here for more info.

The Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch – Medina



Images courtesy of Bryan Hutzler

When: Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays in October

Where: Love Creek Orchards

What: APPLES AND PUMPKINS? Sounds perfect! At Love Creek Orchard’s Pumpkin Patch, you can pick fresh apples, choose the perfect jack-o-lantern pumpkin and buy a bale of hay! You can even play with cute animals at the petting zoo, enjoy unlimited hayrides, and take a tour of the apple orchard and cider mill! Find more information at their website.

Fall CountryFest – Devine



When: Weekends through October

Where: Devine Acres Farm

What: While this patch has an epic selection of pumpkins in every size to choose from, it’s also got everything you need to celebrate fall. You can dress up a Scare crow, cruise on a Farm Hayride, get lost in a Pumpkin Vine Maze or cozy up to a campfire. And if horsin’ around with goats, chickens and pigs are more your style — they’ve got a barnyard where you can feed the farm animals. You can even check out their famous Christmas Tree farm…just for an early peek of course! This pumpkin patch will help you spend a day with your family having farm fun! Find information here.

The Maize – Lubbock


When: Daily (closed Mondays) through Nov. 12

Where: At’l Do Farms

What: At this patch, you can pick your pumpkin and your Maze! Adults will enjoy the Giant Maze and kiddos will love the special maze through the corn fields that tells the story of “Young Quanah and the Rabbit.” After you’ve wandered through the Mazes, you can hop onto a hayride and ride out to the patch where you can pick your perfect pumpkin, or shoot corn out of the corn cannon. After dark, there will be a Pumpkin Hollow, showcasing over 150 jack-o-lanterns glowing with designs of Disney, Star Wars, Peanuts characters and so much more. Learn more about the patch here.

Pumpkin Days – Cleburne


Image courtesy of Mainstay Farm

When: Weekends in October

Where: Mainstay Farm

What: Head to the Mainstay Farm for all kinds of pumpkin fun. You can browse through their pumpkin and gourd selection in the Pumpkin Tent, crawl all over Hay in the Hay & Play Barn, catch a ride on the hayless tractor hayride and fly through the fall breeze on the Flying Fox Zipline. At the end of the season, join the farm for an extreme day of Pumpkin Smashing. The farm takes a few leftover pumpkins and sends them barreling through the air from a 40 ft. tower into a wall on the ground…causing the most epic CRASH! Find more information here.

Dewberry Farm – Brookshire

Image courtesy of Krista Runge, Dewberry Farms

Image courtesy of Krista Runge, Dewberry Farm

Image courtesy of Dewberry Farm

Image courtesy of Dewberry Farm

Image courtesy of Dewberry Farm

Image courtesy of Dewberry Farm

When: Weekends through Nov. 13

Where: Dewberry Farm

What: There’s no shortage of Fall Festivities at this Pumpkin Patch! You can get yourself lost in the 8 acre Corn Maze, peruse acres of pumpkins or walk through the Punkin Hollar (which showcases over 500 lit pumpkin designs!) Kids will love the Little Farmersville playground and SpringTown where they can ride a pony and watch Pig Races. If you’ve had enough Fall fun, then hop on the DewVille Express Railroad and take a look at the trees growing in Christmas Tree Forest. Learn about these activities and more at Dewberry Farm’s website.

Sweet Berry Farm Pumpkin Patch – Marble Falls


When: Daily (closed Wednesdays) through Nov. 6

Where: Sweet Berry Farm

What: Celebrate Harvest Season at the Sweet Berry Farm with all sorts of activities. You can stuff your own Scarecrow, hop on the Scarecrow Island Hayride or munch on grilled corn. Test your Texas knowledge at the famous 4-acre Texas-shaped Hayfield Maze where you must try to find all 12 of the cities that correspond to the questions on your game card!  There’s also a Candy Corn Hay Maze for the kids to race through. And, of course, you can pick from various pumpkins, gourds and fall items at the Pumpkin Patch. Find more info here.

Going Gruene!


Recently, I made the journey that every Texan must make — to the magical, antique and wine-filled town of Gruene. I’d been to this Mecca of music and handmade crafts once before, but that time I made the mistake of going to the Gristmill at 7 p.m. on a Saturday without a reservation (gasp!), and waiting three and a half hours in a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. I have no regrets (because let’s face it, those sangria’s are worth the wait!), but I decided this time to visit on a slower day and take my time exploring this old-fashioned village.

As I entered Gruene, surrounded by old brick and wooden buildings, I was transported back to the 1800s, and almost expected to see a horse and buggy pass me on the gravel streets. In fact, this “town” is actually an entire village that was built in the 1840s by German immigrant, Ernst Gruene. In the 1970s, it was re-discovered by UT student, Chip Kaufman, who had accidentally floated too far down the Guadalupe and spotted the water tower in the distance. After learning that it was about to be turned into a housing development, Chip petitioned to have the entire district added to the Texas Historical Commission, and with the help of new business owners, upcycled Gruene into the destination it is today.

My first stop in this historic district was the Gruene General Store, one of the district’s most popular stores which is housed in the 1878 mercantile building. As soon as I entered, it was clear to me why this store draws travelers from near and far — its license-plate-patched floors and hodge-podge of every jam, peanut butter and salsa embody the unique magic that is Gruene. In this one shop, I perused Tex-ified Christmas decorations, tried Jalapeno Peanut Butter (surprisingly amazing!) and heavily considered buying a jar of their homemade Maple Bacon Jam.


Across the street, I found the Gruene Antique Company in the 1903 mercantile building. It should actually be called “Antique World” because the store has rows and rows of shelves overflowing with precious treasures of yesteryear, from gold-plaited dishes to crystal jewelry.


I even found a glorious monument to beer — you know we, here at the Daytripper love a good Lone Star!


Down the street, next to the legendary Gruene Hall and Gristmill, I stumbled upon my new favorite shop, The Gruene Haus. This 1880s home-turned-shop has an overwhelming overload of Texan things. And if you like words as much as I do, then this is your haus – seriously, every inch of it is covered with metal signs, shirts and mugs with corny sayings about Texas, the lake and beer. There’s even a room full of “mantiques.” If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, then it doesn’t exist.


Gruene Haus sits on the edge of the historic village, and as I exited, I saw a steady stream of cars disappearing down the winding hill, away from Gruene. I couldn’t imagine why so many people would be in such a hurry to leave this enchanted land of shops, so I followed them to see what the hullabaloo was about. As I made the drive down the winding hill, I ended up right outside Gruene, on a bridge overlooking the rushing Guadalupe River. What a breathtaking surprise! I joined the folks pulled over in an abandoned parking lot to journey closer and take in the view.

A video posted by Linsey T. (@linseylouu) on

Countless families floated past me on tubes as I marveled that this peaceful nature scene was just minutes from the bustling Gruene.


I drove back up the hill and grabbed a cup of joe for the road at Gruene Coffee Haus before saying my goodbyes to this mystifying town. As I left the magic of Gruene behind, the picturesque scene in my rear view mirror looked like a postcard from another era beckoning me to stay just a little longer.



Howdy Trippers!

ARE YOU READY TO PARTY?? Join us Thursday, Oct. 6 on the Georgetown Square to kick of Season 8 from 6-8 p.m. We’ll be premiering our Big Bend episode and giving away EPIC prizes. There is no RSVP necessary — all you have to do is show up and have fun! The party will be in the parking lot in the middle of 809 and 811 S Main St, Georgetown, TX 78626 (right next to the Grace Heritage Chapel).

We’ll have free Lone Star Beer to anyone of age.  And delicious Rudy’s Bar-B-Q for only $5 that’ll get you a chopped beef sandwich, chips and iced tea. Sweet Lemon Inn will be selling desserts.  And so much MORE!!!!  It is a parking lot, so please bring lawn chairs for you and your family.

It’s gonna be a TEXAS-SIZED PARTY, so don’t miss out! See you there!

Fall Festivals


It’s officially fall, so the weather will get cooler, the leaves will change and you can start pulling out your sweaters…well, sorta… We all know that in Texas, we’ve still got a few more weeks (or months…) of blazing hot weather, meaning that you’re gonna need something else to help you feel those warm, cozy fall feelings. So here’s a list of festivals around Texas to get you in that fall mood!

Fort Worth Oktoberfest – Fort Worth


Picture by Trinity River Vision Authority

Toast the beginning of fall with the Fort Worth Oktoberfest on Sept. 22-24! At this festival, you’ll find no shortage of epic German fun, from authentic schnitzel, sausage and strudel to live music and dancing! And don’t miss the ceremonial tapping of the Spaten kegs on Thursday night. There will even be fun German games like a Stein Hoisting Competition, in which contestants must hold a liter of beer (which weighs 5 pounds) out in front of them for as long as they can without sloshing the beer! Find more information here.


Texas State Forest Festival - Lufkin


Picture by the Texas State Forest Festival

Head to the Texas State Forest Festival for all kinds of forest fun from Sept. 21-25. There’s no telling what you’ll find at this fest, from a carnival and kid’s tractor pull competition to a stunt dog show and a jalapeno eating contest!  The event also includes performances by World Champion chopping team, the Axe Women Loggers of Maine. Learn more about the festival here.


25th Annual Cotton Pickin’ Fair – Hillsboro

Picture by Sheri Himrick.

Picture by Sheri Himrick.

Join the folks of Hillsboro for their 25th Annual Cotton Pickin’ Fair from Sept. 23 – 24. There will be a craft fair, a BBQ Championship, and live performances by the Tejas Brothers and more! Kids can enjoy climbing through obstacle courses and whooshing down slides at Inflatable Alley, as well as water slides, laser-tag and a zipline. Click here for more information.


 Kolache Fest - Hallettsville


There is no better way to celebrate the beginning of fall then with all the kolaches you can stuff in your mouth! So join Hallettsville for Kolache Fest on Sept. 24. Not only will there be various vendors selling homemade kolaches and other goodies, there will also be a kolache-eating contest, live music and polka-dancing, a classic car show, and more! Find more information here.


Texas Craft Brewers Festival – Austin

Picture by  Tyler Malone.

Picture by Tyler Malone.

Nothing says fall like a cold beer on tap, and this Austin festival features over 60 Texas craft breweries. From Spoetzl and Saint Arnold to Live Oak Brewing and Whitestone Brewing, at this festival there’s plenty of beer to go around. So grab your friends and toast to fall at the Texas Craft Brewers Festival on Sept. 24. Find more information here.

 Surftoberfest – Corpus Christi

Picture by DLG Photography.

Picture by DLG Photography.

Surf out of summer and into fall at Corpus Christi’s tropical twist on this German festival. Surftoberfest on Oct. 1 combines all the fun of beer and the beach mixed in one! There will be live performances by POLKA bands, Steven James & The Jaded, Larry Joe Taylor and more! And while you get your dance on, you can enjoy dozens of local and German beers on tap and chow on gourmet eats from local food trucks! Find more information here.


Big Country Balloon Fest - Abilene

Picture by Doug Hodel

Picture by Doug Hodel

Join Abilene for high-flying adventure at the Big Country Balloon Fest on Sept. 23-25, a festival that’s been a beloved tradition since 1994. The festival will feature Hot Air Balloon and Kite Demos, as well as tethered balloon rides. Throughout the evening, there will be live performances by Kirk House, Treading Water and more! There will also be mechanical bull rides, inflatable slides, and a Children’s Area. Click here for more information.


 Oktoberfest - Fredericksburg


Picture by Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg.

Say “gutentag” to this German tradition that’s been happening in Fredericksburg for the past 36 years! During this three day festival from Sept. 30-Oct. 2, you can enjoy live Polka music, all the Chicken dancing you can handle, authentic German food and over 50 beers on tap! There will also be artwork and crafts on sale, as well as a kids’ area. Click here for more information.

Punkin Days – Floydada


Head to this Panhandle town that’s the official “Pumpkin Capital of Texas” for an epic fall celebration on Oct. 8. You can stock up on pumpkins, take part in the pumpkin pie contest and even play Cow Patty Bingo! The festival also features a craft fair, car show, 5-K run and more! Visit http://www.floydadachamber.com/punkin-days for more information.


Gruene Music Wine Fest – New Braunfels


No one throws a party like the folks of Gruene! Join them for their 30th Annual Music and Wine Fest from Oct. 6-9, where you can ring in fall with tons of wines, delicious foods and live performances by Jack Ingram, The Marshall Tucker Band and more! There will also be a craft fair, wine and beer tasting events, a silent auction and plenty of prizes! Ticket proceeds benefit the United Way of Comal County. Find more information and purchase your tickets here.

39th Annual Scarecrow Fest – Chappell Hill

Picture by  Joel Romo/ Texana Public Affairs

Picture by Joel Romo/ Texana Public Affairs

Join the folks of Chappell Hill for their 39th Annual Scarecrow Festival on Oct. 8-9. This free festival includes a craft fair, live entertainment and a Children’s Activity Corner with with face painting, barrel train, pony rides and more! You can also enjoy fantastic homecooking and tours of historic Chappell Hill. For more information, visit their website.

College Football Trippin’


It’s football season, meaning that you are planning to follow your favorite team across the country, and we’re here to help you turn the weekend into a full-on road trip! Whether you’re hoping to gather with fellow fans or looking to spy on the enemy in their natural habitat, here’s a guide to fun in these Texas college football towns. (P.S. – We are not responsible for any fights and arguments that may ensue if you roam in the opposite team’s stomping grounds…;)) HAVE FUN!

 University of Texas

A photo posted by Chet Garner (@chettripper) on

To Eat: If you find yourself in the land of the Longhorns (Austin, for any of you who are living under a rock), the place you can find fellow UT fans or perhaps the enemy if you’re the other team is at the oldest continually run tavern in Texas, Scholz Garten — a bustling beer garden serving all things fried, Texan and German (beer included) to UT students and alumni since the 1866. If you’re looking for somewhere within walking distance of the stadium to tailgate before the game, head to Posse East (an Austin mainstay since 1971) and toast a cold one as you munch fries on the giant patio.

To Do: If you need something to do in between cheering on your team and toasting the touchdowns, visit The Drag which is the strip of shops and restaurants along Guadalupe St. on the west side of campus. You can find all kinds of burnt orange paraphernalia and Austin swag at shops like Tyler’s on the Drag (“Keep Austin Weird” shirts anyone?) or University Co-op. If you’re on the opposing team, you can fraternize with the enemy as you walk along street where the Longhorn fans roam.


Baylor University

Picture by Baylor University/Marketing & Communications

Picture by Baylor University/Marketing & Communications

To Eat: If you find yourself trippin’ through Waco, and want to find where the Bears like to hibernate before the game, head to Vitek’s BBQ where you’ll find Baylor students and alumni chowing down on the joint’s signature “Gut Pack” which is a messy (and addicting) pile of Fritos, cheese, chopped beef, jalapenos, onions and BBQ sauce that has gained them world-wide recognition. Or hit up George’s Restaurant, a local institution since 1930, for a “Big O” (an 18 oz. frosty beer) and some Crazy Wings (chicken, cheese and jalapeno all wrapped in bacon and deep fried.)

To Do: While there is always tons of fun to be found on campus (like visiting the Bear Habitat or playing a round of Giant Chess), you can also catch some rays or chow down at food trucks at the new Magnolia Market, paddle the Brazos River (which flows right next to campus) and grab a pre-game caffeine fix at Common Grounds.

View our trip to Waco here!


Texas Tech


To Eat: If you find yourself trekking through “Raiderville” for a game, follow the massive crowd of students across University Avenue from Texas Tech to Spanky’s, where you’ll find cold beer, strong margaritas and fried cheese – honestly, what more could you need to prepare for cheering on your team? You’ll also find Raiders munching on the perfect post-game pizza and bigger-than-your-face calzones at One Guys Pizza, which is also across from campus.

To Do:  Once your voice needs a break from all that cheering, catch a movie and a breath-taking West Texas sunset at the Stars & Stripes Drive-In, or learn about local rock legend Buddy Holly at the Buddy Holly Center! And if you have more time to spare, check out our trip to Lubbock for more ideas!


University of Houston


Picture by University of Houston.

To Eat: Visit Calhoun’s Rooftop Bar which is across campus from the TDECU Staduim, for cold beer, great “Coog” comraderie and amazing burgers. And if you’re on the opposing team and really looking to breach enemy territory, then trek to the on-campus bar, The Den, where you’ll definitely find the cougars lounging before and after the game.

To Do: When you’re in Houston, do as the Cougars do and head to nearby Downtown Houston to take in the sights and sounds of town. Here, you’ll find everything from the Saint Arnold Brewery (tours and free beer anyone?) to multiple parks like the Discovery Green and the Market Square Park.


To Eat: Of course, if you’re a Horned Frogs fan (and even if you aren’t) you’ve gotta visit Dutch’s, the iconic burger joint named after TCU’s Coach Leo “Dutch” Meyer. This old-fashioned hole-in-the-wall serves up tasty burgers and shakes and is sure to be hopping with Frogs. And to toast the touchdowns (or perhaps drown your game-loss-sorrows) head uptown to the TCU hot spot Varsity Tavern. Whether you were an MVP in high school or not, you can still eat like one at this bar and grill that serves upscale burgers and ice cold beer with an incredible rooftop view.

To Do: Leap over to West 7th where you’ll find a movie theater, tons of shops and even dessert (Steel City Pops has to-die-for gourmet Popsicles!) Or put on your best dancin’ boots and head to the stockyards where you’ll find TCU students enjoying some good ol’ Texas two-step and live music at Billy Bob’s.

If you’re really up for roamin’ Fort Worth, check out our trip here.

Texas A&M

Picture by Texas A&M University.

Picture by Texas A&M University.

To Eat: A trip through Aggieland wouldn’t be complete without stuffing your face with a pre-game burger and beer at the Dixie Chicken, which has been an Aggie Tradition since 1974, and don’t be surprised if you see students dropping their rings into towering mugs of beer…Or if you need a post-game snack, you can’t miss drowning your crispy golden chicken fingers and Texas Toast in secret sauce at Layne’s Chicken Fingers.

To Do: After you’ve completed all the on-campus Aggie traditions (be sure to say “Howdy!” to the Century Tree and Sullivan Ross Statue), the place to be is dancing at Hurricane Harry’s, a dance hall that has been around since 1992.  And if you’ve got time to spare and clothes that need washing, head to Harvey Washbangers — the ULTIMATE college hangout. This joint is part self-service laundromat, part bar and grill…so you can wash down your burgers with a cold one while you wash out your game-day jersey.

For more Aggieland tips, watch our trip to Bryan/College Station here.

A Getaway in Salado


While helping Chet write a Hill Country travel guide, I’ve gotten to explore some pretty awesome towns to do research. Just like Belton, Salado is often overlooked. But we’ve been wrong to drive past it all these years, as we trekked down I-35 in search of an escape from the hustle and bustle of Austin or Dallas. Salado’s got everything you need for a Hill Country getaway.

Upon first entering Salado, it was nothing like I’d expected. I was assuming I’d find a concreted small city with maybe an old diner and perhaps even a Walmart. Yet, as I drove down Main Street, instead I found a bubbling brook winding around downtown, shops full of handmade goodies, art galleries clustered together in old wooden buildings and trees forming shady canopies over the road. This town had an all-together quaintness like you’d find in Fredericksburg. It was as if I’d left the modern world behind once I exited off the highway and stepped back in time into an enchanted village.

My day trip started at a small coffee shop that was hidden away in one of the wooden villages. After walking down an alley between medieval-looking buildings selling artworks and clothing, I found Lively Coffee House and Bakery. Each morning they make fresh bread and bagels, which was apparent as the heavenly smell of warm bread hit me as soon as I opened the door. Sitting at one of the mismatched tables and chairs in the quiet, cozy cafe, I enjoyed my piping hot bagel and a latte. Coffee_Shop After breakfast, I moseyed on to Salado Creek, which wraps in and around town. I noticed the locals didn’t need a fancy park to enjoy its waters, they splashed right in from the banks no matter the spot – be it under the bridge across Main Street or where the creek flows behind the local shopping center. But being less brave, I went to Pace Park, which has gravel trails with a perfect mound for surveying the gently flowing creek. In the morning air, all was calm – the only sounds being the busy birds and the trickle of the water. Creek Next, I left in search of Salado’s Sculpture Garden. Now, since I’ve started trippin’ I’ve seen many a sculpture garden (and don’t get me wrong, they’re all beautiful!) but this one was by far my favorite. This sculpture garden has some of the funkiest and most fun works of art I’ve ever seen! We’re talking a giant sock monkey, a crow made out of tires and a red moose! Crow

A photo posted by Linsey T. (@linseylouu) on

My final stop in town is possibly Salado’s biggest attraction that I’d never heard of. Right next to the Central Texas Area Museum are the ruins of the 1859 Salado College, which was the first co-ed college in Texas…in fact, it’s now a park with signs explaining the history.This is a huge deal! How did I not know that Salado has a park where you can just casually explore the ruins of the college that forever changed learning for both men and women? I loved making my way through the ruins, reading the signs along the path explaining the college’s significance, and taking in the natural beauty around the site.

CollegeAt the end of my time in Salado, I realized I had barely scratched the surface of all there was to do in town. There were so many amazing galleries (like a glassblowing studio where you can watch or partake in the making of a masterpiece) and cool stores (if anyone needs to find handmade pottery and fudge, I know a place you can get both) that I could have spent way more than just a day here. While I am a city girl, escaping the go, go, go of the big city is nice and necessary every once in a while — especially if that getaway means the steady flowing streams and enchanted little shops of this quaint village. Salado, I’ll definitely be back!

Texas on Tap: Craft Breweries

Texas on Tap_Header

Although it’s September, the summer days are still blazing hot and we’ve got quite a while until it’s officially fall. But don’t worry, there is a sure fire way that you can cool down until the heat lets up…by drinking a good ol’ Texas beer. And with the craft beer explosion that’s taken over in Texas, you can always try something new. So here’s just a few Texas breweries to quench your craft brew thirst!

Real Ale Brewing – Blanco, TX

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Surprisingly, one of the biggest contributors to the Texas craft beer scene is down a little dirt road in Blanco. Real Ale Brewing (creator of Fireman’s #4) may produce a high volume of craft beers, but when you visit this brewery, you’ll feel like you’re kicking back with a beer at a friend’s house. On the weekends, they offer free tours of the brewery and take you through the brewing process. Wednesday through Sunday, you can visit their tasting room and sample their crafted masterpieces. Real Ale even offers beers that have aged for months in wine barrels, creating a distinct taste.

Fredericksburg Brewing Company – Fredericksburg, TX

Picture by Fredericksburg Brewing Company.

Picture by Fredericksburg Brewing Company.

Prost, y’all! This brewpub combines house-brewed lagers and authentic German food in the most delicious of ways! Stop in to the Fredericksburg Brewing Co. in the historic heart of downtown for a plate overflowing with schnitzel, sauerkraut and brats, and wash it down with pint of their Enchanted Rock Red Ale. View our time at the Fredericksburg Brewing Co. here.

Save the World Brewing Company - Marble Falls, TX


Picture by Save the World Brewing

Ever wish you could change a life just by sipping a beer? Well now you can at Save the World Brewing Company! As America’s first fully philanthropic brewery, it gives 100% of its profits to charities like Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity. On weekends, you can take a tour of the facility or visit the taproom to try their brews on tap. Saving the world never tasted so fantastic! Click here to see our trip to Marble Falls.

The Barber Shop – Dripping Springs, TX

Picture by John McIntosh

Picture by John McIntosh

 This bar has been the place where friends meet since 1925 when it was a gas station, then a motorcycle repair shop and then an actual barber shop in the 1980s. While you can no longer get a cool new hairdo here, can you drink an iced-cold brew at this Barber Shop. Along with craft beers on tap, you can also get a pint of other Texas beers from around the state. Check our trip to the Barber Shop here.

Pecan Street Brewing – Johnson City, TX

Pecan Street

At this bar, you’ll definitley get “the Johnson Treatment”. Sitting across the street from the Blanco County Courthouse, this brewpub’s beer names have courthouse and city themed names like the 1897 Jailbreak IPA, the Judge & Jury Stout or the Ladybird’s Wit. And to pair with your pint of craft beer is delicious comfort food like the Pecan Sweet Chicken (which is fried chicken topped with honey butter and pecans!) Check out our trip to Johnson City here.

Wimberley Brewing Company – Wimberley, TX


Picture by Wimberley Brewing Company

What’s better than washing down a delicious slice of hand-tossed pizza with an ice cold pint of craft beer? Absolutely nothing. Bruce and Holly Collie and their family run both the Wimberley Brewing Company and Brewster’s Pizza, and they’re in the same building. Stop in for a pint of one of the microbrewery’s nine craft beers on tap or order a flight to try them all! And don’t forget a few slices of pizza…You can find our time in Wimberley here.