Archive for the ‘Texas Travel’ Category

What? You never stayed in a B&B

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

 

texas bed & breakfast

Are you one of those folks who love to travel, go explore and experience new things?  I know there are lots out there who do, and yet I hear often, they have never stayed at a bed & breakfast.  So, let’s talk about why you never have.

We first need to dispel some of the thoughts about sharing baths, old linens and Grandma’s picture hanging on the wall in your bedroom. All of the members of the Texas Bed & Breakfast Association have lots of unique properties, but all are highly inspected for quality control of what is offered and safety and personal touches for your experience.   I honestly don’t think there are any b&b’s that make you share a bathroom with any one any more, most properties want your privacy to be of up most importance.    They offer new bedding and most have very nice luxury sheets and some of the nicest amenities that you can find.   There are some wonderful b&b’s that will still have the beauty of the furnishing that make their historic inns what they are.   But, you will also find many of the properties have taken on a new more modern look.  As innkeepers, we try hard to cater to all folks from the more mature traveler that may love the historic inns to the younger crowd who want a more clean line look and all the electronic gadgets a room can have.

Most of the properties will be offering you a breakfast, which may be a wonderful in room continental breakfast, a large buffet to enjoy with other guest or some offer breakfast delivered to your room.  Which ever you love best, you will find a property that will offer what you are looking for.  Most have coffee ready early morning for you to have or in room coffee makers so you can make it at your time of arising.

You will find bathrooms that go from the quaint clawfoot tub, or the luxury jacuzzi with all the bells and whistles. You will find the amenities you need like personal bath products and hair dryers and some even offer a personal toothbrush, cotton swabs and all that you might have in your bath at home.

I would like for you to take a glimpse at what we have to offer as the Texas Bed & Breakfast Association, the best spot is to start on our Pinterest page and view some of the properties that catch your eye.  After that, head on over to our website and book your stay at one of the many great stays of Texas.

 

happy travels!!bed breakfast in Texas

Texas Our Texas, all hail the mighty state!

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

 

 

I love Texas!  I am a native Texan whose families are Texans for generations – ranchers and farmers to be exact.  I grew up with my mother telling me the story of the Alamo at bedtime and learning Texas songs not only in school but at home.  Some people have said that I am an extreme Texan.  When I lived abroad in St. Louis, Missouri, someone asked me why Texans are so proud of their state.  I responded with “why aren’t you as proud of your state?” Texas pride is hard to explain to someone who has never experienced the beauty, ingenuity, loyalty, independence and hospitality of Texas and its people!  Who couldn’t be proud of such a great land and people!

I grew up in Central Texas, Lampasas and Austin to be exact, but spent my childhood summers at my grandparents in Kerrville and Sonora.  I attended Texas Christian University (TCU) in Ft. Worth and settled in Arlington with my husband, Keith.  Our two native born children, Joyce and Tommy, are pretty hard core Texan themselves, although Joyce and her husband, Dan, are living abroad in St. Louis. I grew up going to the Texas coast – Galveston, Angelton, Surfside, South Padre and Corpus Christi.  In the 1990’s my children and I traveled with my mother, Betsy Ross, visiting as many county courthouses across the state as possible during Spring Breaks.  We saw the Paris tower, Gainsville circus, the red in the Red River and the beauty of Wichita Falls.  I have a purple pearl from the Concho River in San Angelo, wine from the hill country and decorative woodwork from the state capitol.   My favorite date in high school was going to the state capitol (seriously it is an impressive place).  I traveled across East and Central Texas playing tennis as a teenager and attending Tyler Junior College for tennis camp.  I have been to Del Rio and crossed the border to buy Mexican vanilla.  My point being, I have seen a lot of Texas.  But, there are places I haven’t seen – Big Bend National Park, the Marfa lights and Amarillo.  And there are places I saw twenty plus years ago that are different now!

This year, as president of the Texas Bed and Breakfast Association (TBBA) I have a once in a lifetime chance to see this great state of Texas by taking a self mandated “Tour of Texas” to visit our members and see their amazing and unique properties!   This tour of Texas will give me a chance to not only learn how these Texans share their “Great Stay of Texas” with travelers (Texans and foreigners alike) but to see a different side of Texas than I have seen before.  This time I will get to hear the stories of the historic homes and their current owners, see the small and large towns on foot and experience Texas hospitality at its finest!

To document my TBBA “Tour of Texas” I will be using this blog, FaceBook and Instagram with both my personal and TBBA accounts. Each month I will hop in my car and go visiting the great stays of Texas!  I hope you will join me!

Suzy Hankins

TBBA President 2015-2017

Texas State Parks Geocache Challenge

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

Texas State Parks Geocache ChallengeAre you looking for adventure? A challenge perhaps that will get you out of the office chair or couch and onto the open highway and into nature? We have the perfect outdoor activity for you and it is the Texas State Parks Geocache Challenge.

If you have never heard of geocaching before, let us get you all caught up on the ins and outs of this popular outdoor challenge. It is basically a treasure hunt at the root of it all. Geo means earth and cache means hidden item. So, it is a hunt for a hidden item somewhere on the earth! You use a GPS unit or an app on your smartphone to find the coordinates of a nearby geocache and you head out! The hidden items can be small or large and are most often camouflaged so you have to put your best sleuthing skills to the test.

Texas State Parks Geocache ChallengeNow this geocaching adventure we are talking about happens to take place all over Texas in over 90 State Parks! So, no matter where you are, there is a strong likelihood that there is a hidden treasure nearby just waiting to be found. You’ll learn exciting facts along the way, see some beautiful Texas scenery and even win some cool prizes.

The first thing you have to do is download the Geocache Challenge Passport. You will write down the coordinates of the hidden cache on this passport before you go. When you find the cache, there will be a logbook in which you will sign your name and a message and it will also contain secret information that you will copy into your passport. There will also be a special punch for your passport card to prove that you did indeed find the cache. Then you put the cache right back where you found it for the next treasure hunter.

There are rewards for each level of geocaches found. Prizes range from a keychain to a free night of camping—all you have to do is mail inTexas State Parks Geocache Challenge your completed passport. Sounds like a ton of fun and a great way to see the beauty around the state of Texas. So, get out there and start hunting!

Bourbon Orange Pecan Pie Recipe from Fredericksburg TX

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

slice of pecan pie on a plateAs a little gift to any who may be stocking up on delicious Texas pecans this summer, we wanted to share a very special recipe. This delicious recipe comes to us from Joe Cloud, owner of The All Seasons Collection. Joe used to own a pie shop and this particular recipe was a fan favorite that flew off the shelves.

BOURBON ORANGE PECAN PIE

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup Packed Golden Brown Sugar
1 ¼ cup Light Corn Syrup
¾ Stick Unsalted Butter, melted
4 Large Eggs
3 tbs Bourbon
1 tbs Grated Orange Peel
1 ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
¼ tsp Salt
1 ½ cups Pecan Halves
Oven Temperature:  350

Whisk brown sugar, corn syrup and melted butter in large bowl to blend. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Stir in Bourbon, Grated Orange Peel, Vanilla and Salt. Place Pecans in bottom of pan and cover with filling.

Pie Crust: Uncooked – no holes

Bake Time: Bake uncovered for 35 minutes. Cover with Foil and Bake for an additional 15 minutes. It’s done when top has cracks and it moves only slightly when jiggled.

If you would like to learn a bit of history on pecans and how they came to be so popular in Texas, please read one of our previous blog posts here.

First Friday Art Trail in Lubbock, TX

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

canvas_m_19497364In 2007, arts advocate Dana Giola gave the Commencement Address at Stanford University and boldly stated, “There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as stories, or songs, or images. Art delights, instructs, consoles. It educates our emotions.” The Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts in Lubbock, TX sought to ensure that all forms of art are continually honored, admired, and celebrated and created the First Friday Art Trail. It happens the first Friday of every month so if you happen to be passing through Lubbock this summer during this time, we highly encourage you to take part in this fantastic community event.

The Lubbock Cultural District is home to the First Friday Art Trail, which is a free, self-guided tour around several galleries, museums, art centers and businesses. There is truly something for everyone, whether you are a collector or just enjoy taking the time to appreciate the incredible talents of the artists in this area. It is held from 6-9 pm, rain or shine and you can choose to grab a map and be your own chauffeur or hop on one of the five free trolleys that circulate around the First Friday route. There is no defined order, you can start at any venue and just use the map to find your way around. There is also a First Friday Art Trail map for IPhone and Android. Some of the official venues include the Buddy Holly Center, Charles Adams Gallery, Culture Clothing, Peachtree Gallery, Glassyalley, and Museum of Texas Tech.

We have some gorgeous bed and breakfast properties here in the heart of northwest Texas and with tons to do in the area; it is a perfect summer vacation just waiting to happen! View each B&B website, book directly online and get ready for an amazing getaway you won’t forget.

National Museum of the Pacific War – Fredericksburg, TX

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Throughout the Texas Hill Country you can always find a superb city to explore, a fun event to attend, a great place to shop, an award-winning winery to visit, and a delicious, mouth-watering place to eat. If you are someone who loves and appreciates history, a museum stop is always memorable and the National Museum of the Pacific War is one you won’t want to miss.

Located in Fredericksburg, TX, this museum is dedicated solely to telling the story of the Pacific and Asiatic Theatres in World War II. This world-class museum occupies six-acres and is one of the premier military museums in the nation. There are approximately 900 artifacts, 40 media installations, many interactive exhibits, and hundreds of photographs. The breadth and scope of the information here is truly outstanding. You can also take a guided tour of the Pacific Combat Zone, which is an indoor/outdoor exhibit featuring restored WWII vehicles and weaponry. Experience a Living History reenactment—the sights and sounds will make you feel as though you are on the front line!

A couple of tips would be to wear some comfortable shoes as there is a fair amount of walking and there is a lot of detailed information to read so allow plenty of time to be able to thoroughly go through each section of the museum. You also don’t want to miss visiting the outdoor exhibit two blocks away from the main museum—it is well worth the guided tour.

The city of Fredericksburg is also full of charming shops and a host of things to see and do so you will have plenty of activity to keep you busy. In addition, there are more than ten fantastic bed and breakfasts to choose from that are part of the Texas Bed and Breakfast Association. Try the traditional Das Garten Haus, the romantic Bella Vista Cottage, elegant Magnolia House, or one of the incredible properties of The All Seasons Collection. Make your time in the Texas Hill Country one you won’t forget.

 

True Perfection at Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, TX

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

In the heart of the Texas Hill Country you will find tall rugged hills, gorgeous wildflowers, breathtaking views, and some of the best entertainment, food, and hospitality around. If you have a special love for incredible wine, you will also find that this area of Texas has an abundance of top, award-winning wineries.

Becker Vineyards is a superb winery located near Stonewall, TX—a place that is known for it’s delicious peaches and for being the home of our 36th President, Lyndon B. Johnson. The city sits on the Pedernales River and located right between Stonewall and a neighboring city called Fredericksburg, just a little ways off the beaten path, is where you will find Becker Vineyards.

They farm 46 acres of estate fruit and there are 64 tanks and over 2000 barrels in their 10,000-square-foot operation, which resembles a 19th century German stone barn. They produce and bottle year round and tours are given hourly on weekends and at limited times during the week. You can also visit for a wine tasting which costs $12 and includes 6 samples and a souvenir crystal wine glass. The serving staff is friendly and willing to answer any questions you may have about the wines and there is a great variety of bistro food available.

Hours:

Sun 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Mon – Thu 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Fri – Sat 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Contact – (830) 644-2681

Sit, relax, and enjoy the wine and the gorgeous view—you may find you never want to leave! When it is time to head home, skip the standard, cramped hotel and opt instead for a luxurious night or two in one of the gorgeous bed and breakfasts around Stonewall. Rose Hill Manor is one property close to the vineyard that offers true luxury and elegance, with a gourmet, three-course breakfast. There is not much more that would make a trip to the Texas Hill Country more perfect.

 

 

Experience the Magic of Christmas in Grapevine, TX

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

There are many cities around the United States that are famous for something in particular. For example, Philadelphia, PA is known for its Philly Cheesesteak, Seattle, WA is known for its coffee, and Chicago, IL is famous for its delicious deep-dish pizza. Since it is officially the Christmas season, we had to highlight the wonderful city of Grapevine, which just happens to be the Christmas capital of Texas!

Grapevine is a historic city in the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth area with a great cultural feel, tons of shopping and restaurants, a one-of-a-kind urban wine trail, and a myriad of fun activities the whole family can take part in. It is also the perfect place to celebrate Christmas. This city truly takes the cake when it comes to celebrating the Christmas season and believe it or not, you can find over 1000 holiday themed activities during a 40-day span of time each year. Whether you live nearby and are looking for a fun day or nighttime outing or are looking for a place for you and a friend, loved one, or the whole family to escape to this season, Grapevine is definitely a holiday hot spot you should check out. Below are just some of the highlights that you may want to see:

ICE! At the Gaylord Texan Resort – Until January 3, 2015 you can see 15,000 ornaments, 2 million lights, an incredible 54-foot tree, the beautifully decorated 8-foot tall gingerbread house, and the featured ICE! exhibit where Frosty the Snowman has been carved and you can watch a master carver in the live ice carving zone.

Palace Theatre – Catch the Christmas Spectacular, the Texas Tenors, and a variety of Christmas movies such as It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story.

Christmas on Main in downtown Grapevine – walk around the beautifully decorated Victorian-style buildings, take a wagon ride, and enjoy live entertainment at the gazebo in the town square.

Northpole Neighborhood – check out the general store, take a picture with Santa, and explore the fine art studios such as Vetro Glassblowing and The Blacksmith Shop.

The Octonauts at SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium – young fans can meet their favorite Octonauts characters and the whole family can enjoy exploring the 160,000-gallon ocean tank and more.

One of the best ways to escape the hustle and bustle, even if you are in Grapevine for just one night is to skip the small hotel room and stay in a cozy, elegant bed and breakfast. The Garden Manor B&B Inn is only ½ block to the shopping district and other activities. Relax in comfort and luxury. Make this holiday season extra special as you create new memories in Grapevine!

 

 

 

ARToberFEST in Galveston, TX

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Art lovers unite! The much anticipated, ARToberFEST is back in Galveston, TX. This will be the 17th year for Galveston’s premier art event, which will be taking place October 18-19, 2014. Visitors and residents will have the chance to peruse the works of dozens of artists from around Texas. In fact, over 125 artists will be showcasing their original art in all kinds of media.

This event, presented by the The Grand 1894 Opera House, will take place on Postoffice Street in historic downtown Galveston. The beauty of the Islands, the relaxed atmosphere, and the hospitality of residents and event organizers truly sets the stage for an amazing setting. You don’t have to be an art connoisseur to truly appreciate great talent. The works of art that these artists bring to the table are breathtaking and are such that the whole family will enjoy. This year you will be able to see jewelry, metal sculptures, photography, ceramics, oil paintings, pottery, textiles, print making, mosaics, fused glass, silver, wood work, hand painted fabrics, and watercolor art to name just a few.

October 18-19, 2014

Saturday 10am–6pm & Sunday 10am–5pm

Festival entrances are located on Postoffice Street at 21st and 23rd Streets, and on 22nd Street at Church and Market Streets.

This is a fantastic fall festival that will bring the whole community together and a great reason to visit the Galveston, TX area. There is so much to see and do and just a short 30 minute drive you can avoid the hustle and bustle of all the art festival tourists and stay at one of the Gulf Coast bed and breakfasts part of the Texas Bed and Breakfast Association. The Old Parsonage Guest House in Seabrook, TX and the Clipper House Inn in Kemah, TX are both fantastic choices where you can truly relax in style and privacy.

Summer Concert Series in Lubbock, TX

Friday, August 1st, 2014

In the center of the South Plains region you can find Lubbock, TX, a city with West Texas charm and small town hospitality. It has award-winning wineries, the largest cowboy symposium and a rich musical heritage that residents are proud of. You can find this homage to great music at The Buddy Holly Center, a historical site that collects and promotes the legacy of Buddy Holly and the music of West Texas. It is here that the fantastic Summer Concert Series takes place.

It isn’t rocket science to put together music with a beautiful Texas summer evening. Music fans of all genres have enjoyed concerts at The Buddy Holly Center since 2001 and over 5,000 residents and visitors spend Thursday evenings in Lubbock, TX to celebrate Texas culture and enjoy fantastic music. The wonderful part about these summer concerts is that they are completely free to the public and all of the exhibitions at the Buddy Holly Center are also free during the concerts. If you have a family tagging along there are some wonderful educational activities going on as well.

Performances are every Thursday evening from 5:30pm – 7:30pm in the Meadows Courtyard. The schedule for August brings:

August 7 – Mariachi Lindo – Mariachi

August 14 – Chris Hudgins – Indie, Lyrical, Pop

August 21 – Buggaboo – Americana Rock

August 28 – Reverend Al and The Pythons – West Texas Rock & Roll

Grab your friends and family, a blanket or lawn chair and a picnic basket and get ready to enjoy some great end of summer music. Find more information on the event website. Whether you are in Lubbock, TX for a weeknight, weekend or weeklong vacation, skip the cramped hotel room and give yourself a REAL treat and check into one of our bed and breakfast inns in the Texas Panhandle? You’ll not find a better place to rest and relax.

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