We recently decided to take a very short drive for an almost “staycation” in Salado, Texas. We live a mere 15 minutes north of this historic village and decided it was a perfect place to get away for a day. If you live in the central Texas area, Salado really is a great place to visit. Salado dates to the 1800’s so there is plenty of history, quaint shops, unique boutiques, interesting eateries and a great little brewery. Here are some of my recommendations for a short but sweet trip to a marvelous little town in Central Texas.
Recently my sweet husband bought me a shotgun for my birthday, it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. So, when Father’s Day rolled around, I couldn’t resist getting him something unexpected too- a trip!!
I purchased two tickets in the Presidential car on the Texas State Railroad. He was about as thrilled with this gift as I was with the shotgun, but as it turned out we both had a blast.
If you live in Central Texas or even Dallas, I recommend driving to the area the night before and see some of the beautiful East Texas Piney woods scenery. We opted to stay in an Airbnb near Athens which was truly perfect.
Late Friday night, Aug. 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey churned through the Gulf of Mexico. It intensified from a tropical storm into a dangerous Category 4 hurricane before its whirling eye crashed into Port Aransas. With winds gusting up to 160 mph, the storm spewed tornadoes that ripped apart homes and buildings . Port A was slammed, and Harvey left destruction and devastation on every street corner.
A year later and thankfully there are real signs of a renaissance.
We recently visited during a cold and bleak Veterans Day weekend. Port A has grit and true character and we felt a sense of homecoming as much of what we recalled remained or had been rebuilt. Restaurants and businesses were open and it was clear that Port A is well on the road to recovery and hopefully set for a fabulous summer season.
Here are some reasons why Port A should be on your list of places to visit any season.
Go for The Beach................
There are 6.5 miles of beautiful beaches to explore . Here at Port A you can also drive on the beach but a $12 permit is required for parking. I love the beaches here especially in the off season as I have often been blessed to have miles of stretches of beach all to myself to walk and discover. The jetty is also a fun place to walk and watch the fishermen at work.
Situated in Central Texas San Saba is said to be the Pecan Capital of the World. It is a beautiful little town nestled in beautiful Texas countryside.
The town of San Saba has so much to offer. There are award winning wineries, historic buildings, speciality stores and lots more. My daughter and I headed out for a mother -daughter retreat. San Saba and the surrounding area prooved to be perfect.
Take a Day Trip to A slice of Heaven Educational Farm in Holland, Texas.
We were pleasantly surprised at the “soft” opening of A Slice of Heaven Educational Farm. This is a fabulous addition to the kid’s friendly activities for families in the Central Texas area.
Situated just south of Salado on the outskirts of Holland this is an easy daytrip from Austin and all the surrounding areas.
I was blessed to spend the afternoon with my grandkids as they got to explore all that this place has to offer which is a lot.
We had tried to take a trip to this part of Texas for years, on each occasion our plans were canceled due to emergencies. We opted to make few plans and just hit the road during the off season. Many said we were insane to head to the desert in the summer, but we had a blast. After spending a fabulous time exploring Alpine, Marfa and Ft. Davis we headed south to the Big Bend area.
Here are some of the highlights and some of the disappointments.
I will say this, Big Bend in the summer months is spectacular and even more so because the park is not inundated with visitors. This part of the world is beautiful no matter the season so if you can take a trip here- the desert sights are food for the soul!
The Drive South
Fort Davis lies 21 miles Southwest of Alpine which makes it a perfect destination for a day-trip if you are based in Alpine. We opted to do just that and it turned out to be one of our best day trips.
Along The Way..............
We stopped to hike at the Chihuahuan Dessert Nature Center . This place is a must see if you are in the area. The gardens are stunning and the hikes beautiful. The center itself is staffed by well informed and helpful volunteers who are passionate about conserving the beauty of the area. WE stayed about 2 hours hiking one of the trails and then exploring the indigenous gardens.
Many of you may never of heard of this little West Texas town but take it from me this town should be on your bucket list.
The Big Bend Brewing Company was established in Alpine in 2012 and it is well worth a visit; in fact, it was our first stop as we settled into town. It is situated just on the outskirts of town and has a tap room. We were greeted by friendly bar staff and introduced to some pretty good beers. I loved the light, pilsner, Tejas and Gene tried a pretty strong darker beer. We both agreed the beer was solid and the choices extensive. The atmosphere is casual, and we pulled up a seat on a wooden bench and met some of the locals.
Seriously this is.................
I know it looks like the Caribbean but this really is Surfside,Texas. Once again I find myself enjoying the Texas coast, this time for a “Leadership Retreat”. Time to spend a long weekend indulging in some well earned beach time.
When in Surfside Stay by the Surf at "On The Rocks"
“On the Rocks” is literally right in front of the surf, on the rocks. This is a beautiful three bedroom, three bathroom property with the most incredible views. It’s updated and tastefully decorated with everything you need to make your stay in Surfside amazing. This was our second time staying here and we were not disappointed. The deck is just perfect for enjoying cocktails ,early morning coffee and late evening meals.
Melanie ,the owner is very responsive and always leaves a welcoming bottle of wine or two. Highly recommend staying at “On The Rocks” any time of year.
Springtime is a magical time in Texas. Nature is once again awakening to its full majesty, the days are longer and the temperatures pleasant. It’s time to consider a day trip. Granbury is a great choice. An hour and half from Dallas and under three hours from Austin makes this a perfect weekend destination or day trip. The drive to this area at this time of year is plain and simple "good for the soul"- Texas wildflowers are truly part of God’s great masterpiece.
Nearby..............Take a Detour!
On our way to Granbury we took a detour to Dinosaur State Park in Glen Rose. If you are in the area this really is a must do especially if you have children. We enjoyed the park together but plan on taking the grandkids soon.
Spring Break Means Family Time at the Beach .......
Every year ,every teacher, every where is on countdown to that magical time of year- Spring Break! Ever since our children were small we have indulged ourselves with a family trip to the Texas coast. Our children are grown now with children of their own and we have been blessed to continue the tradition.
This year we chose Surfside, Texas as our destination. Surfside is a small town not far from Galveston and less than 2 hours from Houston. It is actually an historical site – the place where Stephen F. Austin first arrived in Texas and where in 1832 the First Battle of Texas was fought.
I love this small town and all it has to offer. Originally I booked a house with VRBO but after a dispute plans changed and we were fortunate enough to get a perfect family friendly home through Airbnb. Find out about all of our adventures and read to the end of the blog to find out why you should never book with Home Away or VRBO
Why Surfside..............well of course the beach!
As you may or may not have surmised by now I am a practicing catholic, when I travel I love to go to Mass is new churches .Whether you are catholic or not, the Painted Churches of Texas are most definitely worth discovering. These churches are not only quite stunning they rich in history and are a real part of the Texas culture. The churches are also in some of the most beautiful countryside Texas has to offer. We explored them on one of my birthday trips in the spring. The bloom of the wildflowers along the highway bears no comparison……………….
Shiner boasts one of the most beautiful painted churches in Texas, Saints Cyril and Methodius Church. We have visited many times as our family not only loves to see the church but of course Shiner Brewery is a must when we are in town.
Washington State Olympic Penninsula
This past summer Gene and I embarked on one of our longest road trips to date. We Flew into Seattle then took the ferry to Poulsbo where we began exploring the Olympic Peninsula. This was one of our most favorite trips in the states. The scenery in this part of the world is breathtaking, the people friendly and the towns quirky- we spent 10 days exploring and had a blast. Here are some of the highlights of that trip.
Poulsbro was a great place to position ourselves for a few nights. The town is a great place to explore with plenty of restaurants, shops and a beautiful marina. We were lucky enough to be there for the Fourth of July celebrations with amazing fireworks. If you ae in this area be sure to check out the incredible bakery ………………..delicious!!!