Around here I wear many hats. Not only am I the farmer’s wife (AKA cheerleader) and Cattle Coalition Secretary, but I’m also the tender of the chickens, dog rounder-upper, veggie garden researcher and designer, resident blogger, and freelance travel writer. And as a travel writer for Heart of Texas Magazine and TexasHillCountry.com, I get to discover many of Texas’s hidden gems. Like last summer when I got to sit down with Chef Burtwell of Cotton Gin Village in Fredericksburg. Divine local Texas cuisine, hiking, and too many wineries to mention made for an unforgettable Fredericksburg getaway.
Then there was the backstage pass to Austin where I was granted a peek behind the scenes at Austin City Limits Live (complete with an exclusive soundcheck and concert). That night I kicked back and savored unique cocktails from rooftop bars while gazing at the downtown lights. My favorite was the personalized “Detour” I received from one of Austin’s incredibly talented artists.
And let’s not forget the weekend spent feasting on Hill Country BBQ while winery hopping through San Saba! I can still taste the butter pecan waffles at Oliver & Company’s and the chic boutique Dofflemeyer Hotel is certainly on my “Top 5 Coolest Hotels” list!
Speaking of cool lodgings, the ultra-modern, cliffside SKYHOUSE in Canyon Lake is certainly worthy of praise! So when I found out that Trace Jurica, developer and designer of SKYHOUSE, opened a new property, I knew I was heading back to New Braunfels.
Inspired by the New Urbanism movement taking hold in cities across the nation, Trace and his brother Shawn set out to develop the luxurious, nature-centric community of Town Creek just a mile from downtown New Braunfels. With 2 suites and 2 rooms, visitors can experience the kinship of Town Creek like a local. For more information about this novel development, click their website.
Each room or suite comes with access to the Clubhouse. The fridge stays stocked with water, wine, and beer while coffee and fresh fruit can be found on the counter. Pour a glass of wine on the balcony while watching deer graze along Dry Comal Creek. Stroll down the block to Dos Rios Mexican Bar and Grill and watch the game on the outdoor patio bar. Or take an easy 10-minute walk downtown to explore the antique shops, colorful murals, and cafes.
Such as Krause’s Cafe, which delivers a steady lineup of live music and more than 70 beers on tap. For $8 enjoy a flight of 3 different beers in the outdoor Biergarten while flags of German surnames lazily sway overhead. A few dollars more gets you a hot and chewy house-made Bavarian pretzel.
Or head underground for a hand-tossed, brick oven fired pizza. Follow the signs and the steps to the entrance located under the old City Hall. Choose between a dozen chef-designed pies and calzones like the Piegasm. This pizza is crafted with handfuls of red peppers, black olives, sweet roasted garlic, all kinds of meat, fresh mozzarella and a sprinkling of arugula. Or build your own perfect pizza pie starting at just $8.50.
Head back to Krause’s on Saturday mornings to peruse the countless booths of the Farmer’s Market. As farmers ourselves, we absolutely love browsing and supporting fellow small farm and craftsmen. The comforting aroma of fresh baked artisan bread and pastries waft from the C’est La Vie’s booth. Meander among crates of fresh new potatoes, cauliflower, and carrots. Check out the booth next door overflowing with handmade pottery. Sift through mounds of bright yellow squash, massive heads of cabbage, and bundles of turnips. Glance over the grass fed beef price list on the Braune Farms table. Keep strolling to find farm fresh eggs, tomatoes, craft cheeses, and more among the numerous vendors.
Drive 20 minutes west of downtown New Braunfels to discover one of Texas’s premier cavern systems. Descend 180 feet belove ground to admire colossal columns and waves of bacon-like cave ribbons. Study delicate soda straws formations and wonder at countless stalagmites and stalactites that are still growing. One of the tours even lets you experience total darkness while deep in the belly of the cavern.
Life here on the farm seldom becomes mundane. Whether nursing an injured chicken, chasing off my father-in-law’s donkey, or digging around in the compost pile, farm life keeps me on my toes. Much like our little getaways where every day brings amazing discoveries, new ideas, and great people. Forever curious and eager to explore, who knows where my next whim or assignment will bring us! If you have any recommendations, leave them in the comments below!