THE NAPA VALLEY OF TEXAS

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I’ve been to Napa, its heavenly. But sometimes you just don’t want to make the schlep all the way to Northern California. If you live in Texas.and are looking for a nice wine and food weekend that’s just a road trip away, Fredericksburg is the place. And if wine isn’t your thing, check out the new book Spectacular Weekend Getaways of Texas, which highlights the hidden gems from every pocket of the state. There’s something for all tastes in this beautiful book, from secluded country inn’s, chic city hotels, fun family resorts, dog friendly cottages, romantic B & B’s and more. Here are a few places to add to your travel bucket list.

Cotton Gin Village and Cabernet Grill in Fredericksburg with rustically romantic cabin lodging for foodies Romantic. Historic. Memorable.

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For a Texas getaway unlike any other, head to Cotton Gin Village in Fredericksburg and see why people love this bed & breakfast. Not quite your ordinary lodgings, the accommodations are made up of seven rustic cabins that take you back to a simpler time. Guests get to experience the authenticity of Texas Hill Country-style housing with tin roofs, wood-burning fireplaces, and timber walls. You’d never know the inn is located less than three miles from Fredericksburg’s Main Street: The lush greenery, koi pond, and soothing waterfalls allow you to immerse yourself in a peaceful atmosphere. Thinking about dinner? You don’t have to go far for an amazing meal. Cabernet Grill delivers exactly what a Texas Wine Country restaurant should: a service-oriented, chef-driven restaurant with fresh, seasonal offerings, and an impressive all-local wine list—the largest in the state, in fact. Thanks to author, owner and executive chef, Ross Burtwell, the menu offers unique Hill Country cuisine that brings guests back year after year. Think green chile and crab-stuffed shrimp, oak-smoked pork tenderloin, and grilled Texas quail. For dessert? How about Fredericksburg peach crisp with lavender ice cream or chicken fried pecan pie? Ultra-fresh seafood, Angus beef, and wild game plus a memorable dessert menu- keep guests happy. Photos below by Steve Rawles.

Hoffman Haus, luxury boutique hotel meets bed & breakfast in the heart of Texas wine country

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If you’re looking for a Hill Country getaway that has it all, Hoffman Haus located in Fredericksburg is your ideal destination. Tucked just one block away from the hustle and bustle of historic Main Street, Hoffman Haus is situated in a calm residential neighborhood and strikes the perfect balance between a boutique hotel and a traditional bed & breakfast. With upscale service and serious attention to detail, the Hoffman team creates a memorable Hill Country experience for every visitor. Modern amenities meld gracefully with local traditions. For example, guests can expect a warm gourmet breakfast delivered directly to their rooms in a timeless picnic basket. Vegetarian? Gluten free? Low carb? No problem. The culinary team happily prepares meals to fit any special diet. Hoffman Haus sits on three beautiful acres and has 23 accommodating spaces rooms, suites, and cottages—in a variety of styles, all distinct and individually designed by owner Leslie Washburne. While fine linens, soothing colors, and modern bathrooms welcome guests to every room, each space has its own story to tell. The property is a mix of old and new, from the Basse House, constructed in 1871, to the modern details of Ada’s Cottage. Hoffman Haus even has an ideal space for events, in its elegant Great Hall—a beautifully restored Kentucky tobacco barn from the 1800s. Photos below by Claire McCormick.

Spectacular Weekend Getaways of Texas is available on Amazon.




A secret secluded spot to unwind and escape. A place far far away from the noise and hustle of everyday life.

The glowing reviews for the Spectacular Weekend Getaways of Texas book keep rolling in!  What this reviewer from a big Texas newspaper said was music to my ears.  "First of all, the photos are unique and creative! Even if you don’t bother to read any of the captions or descriptions, this book serves as delicious eye candy for at least an hour or two. I guarantee you’ll do quite a bit of backtracking with certain photographs that made the hidden adventurer inside you giddy with wanderlust."

It's true, the photography in the book is spectacular.  I chose this particular sweet getaway spot for this post because the photography is some of my favorite submitted for this book.  We couldn't publish all of their images so I am sharing them here.  I almost chose the big oak tree shot as the cover of the book.   

There's a saying among writers that goes something like this, "good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader - don't just talk about the fact that it is raining but create the feeling of being rained upon."  I think the notion of evoking feeling can be applied to many forms of art, including cooking, painting, design and more.  The art here is photography and the artist behind the lens has captured the feeling of calm through composition, lighting, staging and focus.  My mind slowed down as I was carefully sifting through which images to use here.  Enjoy the relaxing effect of these photos.  Photography by Jumping Rock Photos.

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BlissWood Bed & Breakfast is located at Lehmann Legacy Ranch, a 500-acre working ranch just an hour west of Houston. Spend a day, a week, or longer in this peaceful country setting with your choice of accommodations—there’s a mix of 12 different houses and cabins. All lodging is private with kitchens, bathrooms, and antique furnishings. Enjoy a Texas sunset while you sip refreshments on your front porch and unwind next to the majestic live oaks. Visit blisswood.net.

WANT YOUR KIDS TO PUT DOWN THEIR DEVICES AND listen WHEN YOU SPEAK? TELL THEM TO PACK A BAG FOR A TEXAS ROAD TRIP!

SO YOU'D RATHER GET A ROOT CANAL THAN DEAL WITH AIRPORTS?  

I don't have to tell you twice, airports in the summer are chaotic.  It makes you not want to go anywhere right?  No worries, you don't need to hassle with hectic air travel when there are plenty of places to go right in your backyard.  Gas up the car, rally the kids and hit the highway for a Texas road trip.  The new book Spectacular Weekend Getaways of Texas has a slew of family friendly, dog friendly, activity filled spots to hang your hat.  Not only are road trips a lot less stressful than air travel, they are bonding opportunities.  Let the kids come up with an awesome playlist, stop somewhere on the way to your destination for lunch, no rush, no stress....doesn't that sound nice?  We've done all the research for you - here's a few recommendations on where you might consider going this summer!  No root canal required.

 

LAZY RIVER FOR KIDS, SPA FOR MOM, FISHING & HUNTING FOR DAD AND GOURMET FOOD EVERYONE WILL LOVE

 Photo courtesy of Rough Creek Lodge

Photo courtesy of Rough Creek Lodge

Rough Creek Lodge is one of my favorite places in all of Texas and here's why.  It's an hour or so from Dallas (my hometown) and it feels worlds away from the big city lights.  Located on a wide open stretch of land with views for miles, this resort has it all.  It's made for the busy bee in the family - they have hunting excursions, zip lining, kids pool with a lazy river, archery, skeet shooting, a putting green and so much more.  If you're looking to just lounge around, you might opt for the quiet adult pool after a massage in their beautiful spa.  The rooms have luxurious bedding.  The breakfast is a spread of everything you could ever dream of.  Dinner will blow your mind, chef Gerard Thompson uses farm fresh ingredients and has an amazing menu.  It's the perfect getaway with or without kids. roughcreek.com

 

VARIETY OF ACCOMMODATION CHOICES FROM DOG FRIENDLY COTTAGES, CAMPING,  A TINY HOUSE OR A REAL TIPI

 Photo by Jim Trent

Photo by Jim Trent

Mystic Quarry caters to everyone's style.  Set just outside of New Braunfels at Canyon Lake in the beautiful Hill Country.  The large meeting hall, pool, shady arbors, hammocks, rooftop deck, nature trails, and lawn games make this an ideal location for big groups or families.  Don't miss out on the seasonal Friday night series Music Under the Stars, featuring local artist entertainment in the courtyard.  Take a minute to stop into the sweet little town of Gruene while your in the area.  You must see Texas' oldest dance hall, Gruene Hall then have a root beer float at the General Store across the street.  Best part about this spot to me, you can bring your dog!  mysticquarry.com

 

 

CHARMING SEASIDE COMMUNITY WITH OVER 200 RENTAL HOMES, CONDOS AND TOWNHOMES

 Photo courtesy of Cinnamon Shore

Photo courtesy of Cinnamon Shore

Cinnamon Shore is nestled in protective dunes on the outskirts of Port Aransas.  These residences have serious porch appeal, paved side walks and palm tree lined streets.  The perfect beach side destination for those seeking relaxation with a small town vibe.  You'll find nautical rentals, pool time, surf lessons, parasailing, movies on the lawn, fine dining, equipment rentals like golf carts and large beach umbrellas, concierge services and tons of cool activities like sandcastle-building lessons and beach yoga.  Imagine yourself hanging out at the bistro over cocktails with friends while the kids build their dream house in the sand.  cinnamonshore.com

Share this article with all your friends who need an easy breezy getaway.  Purchase your copy of Spectacular Weekend Getaways of Texas on Amazon for more great staycation ideas.