Bigger and Better at the State Fair of Texas

September 19th, 2015

State Fair of Texas“Go big or go home” is the mantra of many competitive athletes out there today but one could also say it fits to be the slogan behind the greatness of the State Fair of Texas. This state fair, that was actually started in 1886 believe it or not, has been put on almost every single year since its humble beginnings. If you have never experienced the best state fair in America, we highly encourage you to make your way over to Dallas, TX this fall!

Happening September 25th – October 18th, 2015, the State Fair of Texas will be offering a range of fantastic exhibits, incredible entertainment and services that are unrivaled by any annual fair in North America. It is nearly impossible to list every detail of this fair in one short article but we’ll highlight some crowd favorites bring people back each and every year:

  • Chili and Barbecue Cook Off
  • Contest Kitchen & Celebrity Kitchen
  • Farm Day at the Fair
  • Largest New Car Auto Show in the Southwest
  • Headliner Concerts (85!) on the Chevrolet Main Stage
  • Daily Shows such as Pig Racing and BMX Stunt Shows
  • Midway featuring more than 70 rides
  • Breathtaking views of Fair Park from the Texas SkyWay
  • Never ending drinks and culinary delights

Ferris Wheel at Texas State FairThis fair goes way beyond rides and food. More than 40 landscaping firms from the across the state have installed beautiful landscaping beds throughout the fairgrounds. Visitors can test drive a Corvette or Camaro at the Ride and Drive event, and you are close to other incredible local attractions such as the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, the Texas Discovery Gardens, the African American Museum, and the Music Hall. There are also 15 different shopping locations around the park so you can get a jumpstart on your Christmas list.

While there is no shortage of hotels and motels to choose from for accommodations during your time at the festival, we encourage you to slip away from the crazy crowds and relax at one our bed and breakfast properties that are part of the Texas Bed and Breakfast Association. They are near the action but offer peace, privacy, and all of the modern amenities you need to feel at home.

State Fair of Texas Logo

Cajun Catfish Festival in Downtown Conroe, TX

September 14th, 2015

Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival“Let the good times roll!” That is the theme and idea behind the Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival, an annual festival with roots back to 1990 that now draws in 30,000 to 40,000 every year. Conroe, TX lies just 40 miles north of Houston and about 30 minutes from Huntsville, TX. If you are looking for a fall Texas road trip, then make your way over to downtown Conroe on October 9-11, 2015 for a huge party you won’t want to miss!

The Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival will have more fun than you can handle and it starts with three stages that will be showing off non-stop entertainment. You’ll see artists such as Parker McCollum, Bayou Roux, Josh Ward, the Casey Donahew Band, Dirty River Boys, Roger Creager Crowd, and The Fab 5. Other festival fun includes a car show, street performers, a carnival, catfish pageant, kid zone, and small fry stage where you can see young performers from area dance and drama schools. You can of course count on a never ending supply of fantastic food and beverage choices and wile catfish and Cajun specialties take center stage at this festival, you will also find Funnel Cakes, Gumbo, Boudain, Chicken-on-a-Stick, and beer and wines from the Go Texas Wine area.

You can purchase a one-day pass for $12 or a three-day pass for $20 and tickets are available online or at the entry gate. The carnival is free on Friday but requires a ticket for Saturday or Sunday and if you bring two or more canned goods then you earn yourself $1 off a one-day ticket!

We also want to note that the funds raised at this festival are used for youth scholarship programs, to support local nonprofit community organizations, and allow for contributions to be made to the arts & culture of the area. You get to have fun and make a difference.

As this festival brings in crowds of people, we encourage you to escape just a half hour down the road to Huntsville during your time in the area and enjoy a relaxing stay at a bed and breakfast. The Whistler B&B and Hodge Podge Lodge are two fantastic choices that offer peaceful luxury!

2015 Austin City Limits Music Festival, TX

September 3rd, 2015

Austin City Limits Music FestivalSince 2002 the Austin City Limits Music Festival has been bringing in music groups from all different genres for a multi-day music extravaganza. What started as just one festival weekend has now become two in a row as huge crowds from all over the country converge for this incredible event. This year the ACL festival will take place October 2-4 and 9-11, 2015. To give you an idea of the popularity of this festival, around 75,000 people attend each day of the festival so hold on to your hats because it is going to be awesome!

Zilker Park, a 350-acre recreational area in the heart of south Austin is the venue for this festival. There is a diverse lineup of acts every year that perform on 8 different stages. This year you will be able to watch more than 130 bands from genres including rock, indie, country, folk, electronic and hip hop. To give you a sneak peak at the lineup here are a few fan favorites that will be making an appearance: Foo Fighters, Drake, The Strokes, Florence + The Machine, Alabama Shakes, Billy Idol, Nero, and Dwight Yoakam.

The hours each day will be 11am – 10pm and tickets are going fast and some are selling out so you need to act now if you want to be there. Prices and types of tickets vary so check here for updated information. The ACL Festival Box Office is located at Zilker Park and you can find out their hours of operation here. In addition to all of the incredible music, there will be a creative and fun kids area, an art market with goods made by dozens of local artisans, and no shortage of delicious food and drinks at the Austin Eats Food Court, Barton Springs Beer Hall, and Hope Farmers Market. At the Chef Showcase event goers can experience the best that Austin has to offer by gourmet Austin Food and Wine Festival chefs and menus that change daily.

As you can see this is a music festival like none other so get your tickets quick and book a stay at one of the several fantastic bed and breakfast properties around Austin that are part of the Texas Bed and Breakfast Association.

Padre Island National Seashore: Preserved and Protected

August 27th, 2015

Padre Island National SeashoreUntouched by a bustling society and undeveloped are two ways to describe the beautiful and pristine Padre Island National Seashore. For travelers near the Gulf Coast, this area, which is a short drive from Corpus Christi, is a perfect destination to visit.

The Padre Island National Seashore is a remote stretch of seashore over 70 miles long—it is actually the largest stretch of undeveloped barrier island beach in the world. It separates the Laguna Madre from the Gulf of Mexico and although remote in nature, you will find there is a myriad of activities to do and places to visit. The park is open 24 hours a day every day of the year and it costs $10 per vehicle or $5 for walking or biking in. There is a wonderful visitor center if you need some questions answered or advice on what to do.

Some of the more popular activities include fishing, camping, birding, swimming, surfing, and shell collecting. Long isolated stretches of sand make you feel as though you are in your own special piece of paradise. Another fantastic event to catch here is the releasing of Kemp’s ridley sea turtle hatchlings. While the releases for 2015 are over, it is worth mentioning so you can plan your getaway for next year around these events. There is an incubation facility that offers 15-25 releases of the hatchling turtles. The public is invited free of charge and thousands of people attend every year. You can call the Hatchling Hotline at (361) 949-7163 for the latest information.

Breathtaking coastline, a rich history, the sea turtles and over 380 bird species are just a few of the great things to be found here. Only a 30-minute drive to Corpus Christi and you can also find the perfect Texas accommodations—an upscale bed and breakfast on a historic ranch is the place you want to be for a memorable, relaxing getaway. Find out more about Knolle Farm & Ranch Bed, Barn & Breakfast and plan your next vacation today!

Carefree Summer Fun at Canyon Lake, TX

August 21st, 2015

Tubing down the Guadalupe River near Canyon Lake, TXWhen the summer sun is beating down one of the best places to retreat is on or near the water! Canyon Lake, located on the Guadalupe River, is approximately half way between Austin and San Antonio, TX, and a great place to relax and unwind during these last days of summer.

As one of the deepest lakes in Texas, Canyon Lake is a hot spot for local fishing. You’ll find an abundance of White and Striped Bass, Catfish, and Largemouth Bass. Maybe you will be the one to catch the next record fish! With 80 miles of scenic shoreline, this area is a true scenic escape when you want to enjoy some outdoor fun. There are several communities that surround the lake, including two yacht clubs, and eight public parks along the shoreline where you can play, picnic, or set in your boat. The public beach areas are not crowded and perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The Canyon Lake Dam is an interesting spot to visit—it is 5km in length and makes for a breathtaking spot to take pictures by the water.

A favorite activity is to go tubing down the Guadalupe River. There are several outfitters along the river that can get you geared up and ready to go. Other activities to try include parasailing, boat rentals to tour the lake, scuba diving, charter a fishing boat, and shopping. At the end of the day there are several waterfront restaurants with fantastic food to enjoy such as Sailor’s Lakeside Grill.

Canyon Lake is only a 30-minute scenic drive to New Braunfels, where you will find six fantastic bed and breakfasts to stay at during your time in the Texas Hill Country. Don’t let these last days of summer pass you by without creating some amazing memories.

Texas Reds Steak & Grape Festival – Bryan, TX

August 13th, 2015

Texas Reds Steak and Grape FestivalEven though summer is still in full swing it is not too early to start making fall plans especially when there is a great event coming up such as the Texas Reds Steak & Grape Festival in Bryan, TX. Steak and red wine make a great pair and this festival pays special tribute to this pairing with a huge party that happens every fall.

The Steak & Grape Festival will be taking place September 26-27, 2015 in historic downtown Bryan. With no admission charged this is one of Texas’ best free festivals and crowds pour in from all over Texas and states from across the country. This year’s event organizers promise that it will be bigger and better than ever so mark off your calendars and plan to attend if you live nearby or are up for a fun road trip.

Throughout the two-day festival you will be able to peruse a myriad of arts and crafts vendors including those selling pottery, clothing, wine accessories, and more. The popular Artist’s Showcase will be back with incredible artists from all over the country selling their artwork. Hotspots will be the Texas Winery & Craft Beer Tents, Grape Stomp, live music stages, and of course the mouth-watering food vendors. A highlight for many is the Steak Cook Off—if you have an award winning secret recipe, grab a team and try for the top honors! While the festival is free, tickets are required for wine tastings, the Saturday Night Steak Dinner, and the Kid Zone. All tickets will go on sale August 1st and will be cheaper if you buy them in advance.

We have you covered when it comes to the perfect place to stay. Skip the crowds in Bryan and drive a short ten minutes to College Station where you can enjoy a peaceful luxurious stay at the 7F Lodge & Spa—the ultimate home away from home while in central Texas.



12th Annual Colorado River 100 – Bastrop, TX

August 7th, 2015

Colorado River 100 canoe race in Bastrop, TXOne of the most relaxing and enjoyable summertime activities is canoeing. A day out on the water with a gentle breeze, the warm sunshine, and a picnic lunch or perhaps a fishing pole is a day well spent. If you love to canoe, have a competitive side, and will be near Bastrop, TX this fall, you need to check out the Colorado River 100.

The Colorado River 100 is a race that has been going strong for twelve years now. This year it will be taking place September 5, 2015 and it will start in Bastrop, TX, which is about 40 minutes outside of Austin. Registration is now open for this mighty race that takes participants 100km down the Colorado River. It is a true adventure challenge that will test the endurance, strength and true will power of each racer. The portion of the river between Bastrop and the ending point, La Grange, is free flowing, hazard-free, and offers some of the best views of the river.

Whether you are an experienced paddler or a beginner with an adventurous spirit, this race is for anyone. While you won’t have scary rapids to navigate, there are cut off times and you will have to bear with whatever weather comes your way, the heat, fatigue, and night travel. There are three mandatory checkpoints and a 17-hour time limit. This is one of the most difficult endurance races that Texas has to offer so if you are up for a challenge, make sure to register before all spots are taken. You can also find a helpful training guide online to help you prepare.

Our association has some fantastic properties in Bastrop and in nearby Austin so whether you are planning on being in town for a race like this or are just road-tripping this summer, enjoy a truly relaxing stay at a bed and breakfast where you can kick your feet up and be treated like family.

Dining, Shopping & More at the Kemah Boardwalk – TX

July 30th, 2015

If you are looking for a great getaway just outside of Houston, TX we suggest taking a quick, scenic trip to Kemah, TX. This quaint town on Galveston Bay was ranked the top tourism spot in the greater Houston area. What was just a small fishing town has now become a bustling city with tons of tourist destinations—the most popular being the Kemah Boardwalk.

The Kemah Boardwalk is a 60-acre waterfront paradise that is the ultimate entertainment destination. Considered one of the premier boardwalks in the country, it opened in 1999 and was built along the shores of Clear Lake and Galveston Bay. There is something for everyone here as features include a charter yacht, 400 slip marina, rides, midway games, more than 10 fantastic restaurants, and countless shops and attractions. One of the highlights for those with an adventurous spirit is the Boardwalk Bullet, a 96-foot tall, 3,236-foot-long roller coaster. There is also the Wonder Wheel, Double Decker Carousel, Ferris Wheel, C.P. Huntington Train, Wipeout, Boardwalk Tower, Aviator, Drop Zone and a whole bunch more! It is a one-stop shop for fun and entertainment with someone for the whole family.

Coming up on August 1st, 2015 you can enjoy Salsa Beats in the Plaza all day long and some of the best tribute bands in Houston will be playing on August 4th and 11th, 2015. Live music on the boardwalk called Rock the Dock will take place Thursday evenings until August 27th and select Mondays are Kid Krazy Mondays where meals and passes are discounted for kids.

Experience a relaxing and peaceful stay at one of our bed and breakfast properties near the boardwalk, The Clipper House Inn. It is close to all of the attractions but private and complete with all of the amenities to make a perfect home away from home.

Margarita & Salsa Festival in Waco, TX

July 21st, 2015

Margarita and Salsa Festival in Waco, TXIf you are in favor of a fantastic festival that mixes delicious margaritas with superb country music then you need to make your way to Waco, TX for the Margarita and Salsa Festival! Since 1996 this amazing event has been drawing crowds for the biggest party of the summer and this year you won’t want to be left out.

It will all take place on August 29, 2015 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco. There is an average of 10,000 people who come out for this summer bash so get prepared for an exciting and enjoyable jam-packed day full of fun and entertainment. The entertainment line-up for this year’s 20th festival includes William Clark Green, Randy Rogers Band, and Ryan Bingham. One of the great things about this event is that it gives back—all proceeds benefit the Scholarship Program at the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo.

Margarita and Salsa Festival live entertainmentAside from the live music, the main attraction is of course going to be margaritas and the Margarita Making Contest is back! If you think you have a winning secret recipe and the skills to take the crown, sign up with your team. There are only 15 spots open so you will want to join in before it’s too late. Top honors will get a trophy, ultimate bragging rights, and free entry for next year.

Right in Waco we have an amazing bed and breakfast property that is part of our association. Experience Southern charm and true hospitality at its finest and enjoy luxurious amenities and a relaxing getaway during your time in central Texas.

Big Summer Fun: Giants of the Jurassic at The Dallas Zoo

July 19th, 2015

Giants of the Jurassic at The Dallas ZooWhat comes to mind when you think of something huge, gigantic, remarkable, impressive, and scary? We’re not sure about you but we think of dinosaurs! If you are looking for some big time summer fun and happen to be passing through or staying near Dallas, TX we encourage you to check out the Giants of the Jurassic exhibit at The Dallas Zoo.

This impressive and very popular exhibit open now until September 7, 2015, features more than 20 animatronic dinosaurs that roar and come to life before your very eyes—whether you are young or old, these creative works of art bring an experience you won’t forget. See the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brachiosaurus,Stegosaurus,Triceratops,and many more. At Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live you will get to meet and interact with some of the most impressive life-like dinosaur puppets in a live theatrical performance. This 30-minute show happens four times a day, five days a week as part of the Jurassic exhibit. You can also take in DinoSOAR, a 20-minute interactive wildlife show that features a variety of different birds and mammals. Entrance to this spectacular exhibit is included with your zoo admission.

Get ready to snap some pictures with these larger than life creatures, learn about their features, habits, and habitats, and enjoy all that this zoo has to offer. It is a day well spent in the Dallas area and if you need accommodations during your travels, we have some fantastic bed and breakfast properties nearby that will make you feel “at home” while on the road.