If people ask what’s my best idea for a day trip, I’ll tell them to go to Luckenbach, Texas. This was the best one-day excursion we’ve done since moving to Austin.
Since we went to Luckenbach, I’ve mentioned it to many people. Many people who’ve lived in Austin way longer than we have. People who even graduated from the University of Texas and never left. And guess what? Many of them have never been to Luckenbach, Texas. Not with Waylon. Not with Willie. Not with the boys.
Take it from your friendly intentional adventurer, if you go to Luckenbach this weekend, it won’t be too soon, and you sure won’t be sorry.
Here’s the perfect agenda for your day. This was all planned by our friends who had been before, and I wouldn’t change one single thing.
11:00 a.m. Wildseed Farms, Fredericksburg. You’ll need about an hour here to look at the flowers, meander through the butterfly garden and purchase something really cute at a great price from the gift shop. I bought a super cute shirt for $17.95. Woot, Woot!
12:30 p.m. Wedding Oak Winery. The actual winery is in San Saba, but they have a tasting room on-site at Wildseed Farms. Some of the peeps in our group did a tasting, thought it was good, and purchased a few bottles to take home. I would like to visit the San Saba location and see the huge oak tree from which comes their name…but that’s for another day trip.
1:00 p.m. Grape Creek Vineyards, just a little jog down the road, where you’ll share some fantastic pizza and a bottle of consistently smooth and delicious red or white wine. Once again, Grape Creek was relaxing and a great place to visit while enjoying pizza second to none. It’s still our favorite winery experience in the Texas hill country.
2:30 p.m. Luckenbach, Texas! I had no idea it was only 7 minutes away from Grape Creek. I also had no idea what to expect. I expected a town, like with streets and buildings. Nope – it’s a post office, a dance hall, a general store, and a rustic wooden stage situated under huge oak trees, where listeners park themselves at large wooden picnic tables, getting up occasionally to mill around and take group pictures in front of the massive old oaks…
…or buy a cool hat.
All of the music we’ve found in Austin is good. Like really good. Most of the time, we’ve never heard of the artists, but that’s just because we’re new. These people play wherever they can, night after night, and they’re all amazing. Mike Blakely and his band strummed and sang for two hours like it was no time at all. For a couple of songs, a guy with a harmonica appeared out of the trees and played with them, then off he went, maybe to a second gig. (We’ve also learned that these musicians might be part of 3 or 4 bands at a time.)
I know how hard it is for these guys to get this good at what they do. My parents were banking on our blended family being a musical version of the Brady Bunch, so they gave me piano lessons while my brother and step-brother tried to learn guitar and banjo. We literally drove the teacher (who taught all three instruments at a cut rate) to drink. Literally. It’s one of my mom’s best stories.
What was once a trading post to pioneer farmers is now described as a “Texas state of mind.” The state of my mind improved drastically while we were there.
5:00 p.m. Alamo Springs General Store and Cafe. I’m having a hard time deciding how to describe this cafe that’s down the road about 15 minutes from Luckenbach. The decor is very biker-cafe-ish, and the menu is a pretty good conversation piece in itself. From fried avocados to peach crisp, it’s the kind of menu that forces everyone around the table to take a poll of what everyone else is having before deciding for themselves. The burgers had a reputation, so we all ordered up. On her third bite, one of the friends said it was hands down the best hamburger she’d ever eaten. The rest of us agreed – with our mouths full. Blue cheese, green chili, however you want your burger, they’ve got it – and onion rings that are perfect, I’m telling you, perfect.
9:30 pm. Back home, in your jammies, texting all the friends to be sure they made it home safely and telling them thanks a million times over for a great hill country day.
So, there you have it. The best day trip we’ve taken since moving to Austin.
Do it like we did, or spice it up with another side spot, but be sure to make Luckenbach the star of the day.
Encouraging intentional adventure and a Texas state of mind,
PS – Have you been to Luckenbach? Who did you hear while you were there?