From beach days at Port Aransas to winery tours in Fredericksburg, these are our favorite ways to enjoy Texas.


Her favorite Texas town: Port Aransas

Why she loves it: “Port A is my happy place. From the beach to the adorable boutiques, the zany locals, the boat-making history, the dolphin spotting and the quirky arts scene, what’s not to love? As local music legend Patsy Jones sang, ‘That’s my island. Once you’ve been there, then you’ll know.’ ”

Activities she enjoys there: “I love relaxing in my beach chair at the ocean’s edge, letting the sun soak into my skin as I watch the pelicans swoop by on their fishing rounds and hear nothing but the comforting sound of the waves crashing.”

Her local recommendations: “For accommodations, I love the Beachcomber, a quaint seaside inn with splendid ocean views. A visit to Farley Boat Works provides a special glimpse into the history of Port A. For dining, it has to be The Phoenix (the oyster sliders are a must) or Irie’s Island Food, which serves up fish tacos on scrumptious house-made tortillas. And I never miss a chance to visit the Salty Dog Saloon for some cold beer (perfect for easing a fresh sunburn) and positively eccentric company.”

Fredericksburg - courtesy of Dawn Weston - Austin Woman Magazine
Courtesy of Dawn Weston


Her favorite Texas town: Fredericksburg

Why she loves it: “One of my favorite things to do is an overnight visit to Fredericksburg, not only for the wineries but for the culture and the food.”

Activities she enjoys there: “Strolling down Main Street and exploring all the little shops. Vaudeville is a fantastic gem. It’s part interior-design shop, part restaurant. You can’t go wrong by grabbing lunch there.”

Her local recommendations: Otto’s is an amazing tiny restaurant with a thoughtful menu and attentive staff. Just next door is La Bergerie, an adorable little shop with a great wine list from the Hill Country and beyond. Plus, there are fantastic cheese plates for pairings. Off the beaten path is Urban Herbal, a local shop where they hand mix custom scents for your lotions, candles and perfumes. Hoffman Haus is an amazing bed-and-breakfast to rest your head after all the food and wine you’ve consumed. They serve warm chocolate cookies to guests and deliver a picnic basket with a delicious breakfast to your door in the morning. On your way in or out of town is Altstadt Brewery. Pop in for some authentic German beers and fish ’n’ chips or schnitzel. Some of my favorite Hill Country wineries include Becker VineyardsMessina Hof WineryLost Draw CellarsAlexander Vineyards and Southold Farm + Cellar, where the Hill Country views are outstanding.”

Marfa by Carrin Welch Austin Woman Magazine
By Carrin Welch


Her favorite Texas town: Marfa

Why she loves it: “It feels completely different than anywhere I’ve been, from the Chihuahuan Desert landscape to the copal-scented air and the effortlessly cool vibe of the locals. Even the six-hour drive from Austin is picturesque.”

Activities she enjoys there: “There are so many gems in Marfa, but my favorite thing is the Donald Judd installation at The Chinati Foundation. Whether roaming on your own to take in the foundation’s collections or taking the five-hour guided tour, there is so much beauty to behold. And, of course, no Marfa trip would be complete without an attempt to view the fabled Marfa Lights.”

Spicewood - Deconstruction Derby - Photo courtesy of Leslie Williamson - Austin Woman Magazinejpg
Courtesy of Leslie Williamson

Her local recommendations: “To stay, Hotel Saint GeorgeThe Capri for cocktails. Do Your Thing Coffee for breakfast. Stellina for dinner. Cobra Rock for shopping.”


Her favorite Texas town: Spicewood

Why she loves it: “I love Spicewood because it feels as though you’re in the country, yet it’s still in close proximity to Austin. This makes it a great destination for an excursion during the day or night.”

Activities she enjoys there: “I really enjoy visiting several times of year. I love to go to Spicewood Vineyards for the annual Pair it with the Claret chili cook-off. My friends run in their annual half-marathon and 10K each year as well. I also thoroughly enjoy the Demolition Derby hosted by the Spicewood Volunteer Fire Department and EMS every fall. It smells like rubber, gas and revelry!”

Her local recommendations: “On the way back from these adventures, I like to stop at Angel’s Icehouse for some queso, to watch a band or to catch a game. Poodie’s Hilltop Roadhouse is sometimes my destination. I like to go see the great live music, enjoy a burger, play a little pool, dance a little bit and drink some nice cold beer on tap.”


Her favorite Texas town: Nacogdoches

Why she loves it: “It’s the best college town in Texas for a university size of 25,000 or less. The city of Nacogdoches is quaint and the stores and restaurants all have that small-town feel. The most amazing part is the mountain-bike trails in the tall pine trees that line the roadways, making you feel like you’re in a different state. Some of Texas’ best history is in East Texas.”

Activities she enjoys there: “Visiting fishing holesmountain biking, checking out the great golf courses.”

Her local recommendations: The Fredonia Hotel, which has many historical buildings on the property.”



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