I pulled into the Cedar Park train depot on a clear Saturday evening. Ticket in hand and stomach growling, I made my way towards the home of the Austin Steam Train. My journey on the Santa Fe Steam Engine would mark the maiden voyage of the Cider Flyer, a gastronomical collaboration between Austin Wine & Cider and the Austin Steam Train Association. [Read more…]
Guest article by Natalie Parra-Novosad
What if you could hop in the car after a long week, drive 25 minutes and end up in the Tuscan countryside sipping Italian wine? Lucky for Austinites, we can get strikingly close to this experience by visiting Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood, TX.
Duchman Family Winery is one of Texas Hill Country’s best wineries, and it’s close enough for some South Austinites to visit on a week day. As you head down the long, narrow driveway and see the Tuscan-style buildings, tall Italian cypress trees and expansive vineyard come into view, you’ll feel a bit lighter as the weight of the real world fades away. [Read more…]
What’s more quintessentially Texas than rolling hills, grazing Longhorns and small town charm, set against an idyllic, pastoral backdrop?
While the small towns southeast of Austin nestled along the Colorado River–notably Smithville, La Grange and Round Top–are not considered part of Texas Hill Country, you only have to spend one afternoon basking in the river views and unrivaled hospitality to realize this region is nothing short of magical.
The kicker is that, even in the middle of the country where the air is clean and phone service spotty, you can find amazing restaurants that rival what you’re used to in our capital city. Just be sure to call ahead and confirm open times before you head out. Counter-intuitive closure dates and funky schedules are standard in rural areas. Before you hop in the car, double-check that your destination is indeed ready to receive you! [Read more…]
People with a passion for history and architecture dream of traveling to Europe for a chance to see some of the most wondrous buildings, bridges and churches in history. While you may not think of Texas in the same way, it doesn’t lack in history!
Austin is a short day trip away from many historical sites, such as the Texas Hill Country castles. A lesser known day trip is the Painted Churches of Texas tour. It’s perfect for anyone interested in art, architecture and small town Texas history. [Read more…]
Picture this (and hopefully it doesn’t sound familiar): you’re standing outside a state park, blistering and squinting under a blaring Texas sun. As you sit on the bumper of a dusty Prius, mosquitoes itching, 20 miles away from the nearest diner, you wonder whether the park rangers will accept four dollars in quarters as payment for a day pass. Murphy’s Law. [Read more…]
The Austin beer scene has been exploding for years, and there’s no sign of it slowing down. Over 30 breweries make their home in the greater Austin area. It seems like a new one opens every month.
As a result, it’s not enough to visit one brewery. These days, you can make a day trip out of it. With four breweries in close proximity to each other, it’s possible to take a beer-drinking day trip to beautiful Dripping Springs, TX. Trekking around the Hill Country while sampling a wide variety of Texas brews? Your ticket to a perfect afternoon. [Read more…]
“What do you dream of being when you grow up?” Do you remember your answer? Astronaut, pilot, super hero, author, dancer, veterinarian, musician or maybe a ship captain?
One man in Austin stayed true to his word. His head and heart are comfortable in the clouds, literally. His childhood dream led him into a successful career that allows him to sweep people off their feet, and into the air. Will Beilharz builds treehouses. [Read more…]
Guest article by Catelyn Silpachai
Around two hours from central Austin, Comfort, Texas is a bit further away than many well-known day trip getaways. But with the rolling hills and running streams of the Hill Country to keep you company, the drive will fly by.
Comfort is a historically German town, founded in 1854. It has a well-preserved town center, with many structures built in the 19th century still standing today. Since I sell antiques, I’m always scouting small Texas towns for gems. I recently headed out with a friend who also sells vintage, Leslie Torbett of Dalena Vintage, for a day of antiquing in Comfort.
We realized that, while Comfort does have a handful of antique stores, it’s the rest of the town’s attractions that really make it worth the drive. Here are a few of our favorites. [Read more…]
In 1933 on a commission from President Roosevelt, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began work on a donated stretch of land in Central Texas that needed a purpose. Through the hard work of Company 1811 and 1805, with 200 enrollees each, a state park and national historic landmark emerged. Today, Bastrop State Park and neighboring Buescher State Park(pronounced “bisher”) encompass almost 8,000 acres of loblolly pines and hardwoods, collectively known as the Lost Pines of Central Texas.
Bastrop State Park gained some notoriety in 2011 as 96% of the park was burned in the Bastrop County Complex fire. I was curious to see how our beloved state park, only 30 miles southeast of Austin, has recovered since the wildfires. How are the recovery efforts going and is the park still worth visiting after so much devastation? [Read more…]
It’s past time to share this culinary treasure, unassumingly nestled between a gun store and mattress outlet. As you enter Farm To Fork, you’ll quickly forget you’re in the confines of a strip mall.
Owner and Chef Shelley Pogue
A colorful tattoo of flames travels up the left arm of Farm to Fork’s owner and chef, Shelley Pogue. The fire stretches toward her left elbow, where colors dissipate and rays of the sun take shape. Short auburn hair frames intense blue eyes. Her posture exudes confidence and strength, softened only by a southern accent, a reflection of her past.
Those blue eyes turn into pools of water as Pogue recollects her biggest culinary influence, the grandmother she affectionately called Mawmaw. In 2004, Mawmaw passed away and bequeathed her home to her granddaughter. The following year, in pursuit of her dream, Pogue made the difficult decision to sell [Read more…]