Luling Watermelon Thump


Plum Creek, Homes for Sale in Kyle TX

Since 1954, Luling, Texas has hosted the Luling Watermelon Thump to honor and support local growers of the beloved summer fruit. For four days, the tiny town that lies just 30 miles southwest of Kyle, will be filled with country music artists, decadent carnival food, arts and crafts, nostalgic carnival rides and watermelons for miles.

Weeks prior are spent refining outfits and plans for the four day Thump. It’s a popular time to show off the best sundresses, 10-gallon hats and watermelon cowboy boots.

The Watermelon Thump is famous for the melon eating and seed-spitting contests. The contestant to consume one slice of watermelon the fastest claims the winning title. And while the seed-spitting contest may seem self-explanatory, it’s actually quite complicated. Three separate divisions include children, adults and teams. Kids and kid teams can play Friday afternoon and adults on Saturday. Adult teams of four members can spit on Sunday. Got that? Okay, great – just make sure you’re not in the line of fire when perusing the festival grounds.

The Thump kicks off Thursday, June 21st and wraps up Sunday, June 24th with a $5 admission charge on Thursday, Friday and Saturday after 1:00 p.m. For more information, please visit the Luling Watermelon Thump website.

(Photo credit: Luling Chamber of Commerce)
 

Farmers’ Markets A-Plenty


Spring is in full swing in Central Texas and residents are rejoicing by getting outside, gardening and seeking out local markets. Farmers’ markets dot our Hill Country landscape and Plum Creek residents are perfectly situated to take advantage of this feast of riches.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

Several markets in Buda, Austin and Dripping Springs lie just north of Kyle’s city limits. The Buda Farmers’ Market takes place every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Main Street, in the parking lot of City Hall. Drive a few more minutes north and you’ll find yourself with even more options. The SFC and Hope Farmers’ Markets cater to different areas of Austin, yet all provide locally sourced produce, artisan crafts and live music. SFC markets offer Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday market days north, south, east and west of central Austin. Hope has two east side markets open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. Just a bit west of Austin, Dripping Springs hosts a Thursday market from 3 to 6 p.m. Local bakers, ranchers, farmers, chefs and craftsmen provide visitors a chance to sample their wares and enjoy a bit of the western Hill Country scenery.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

Shifting the focus to the east of Kyle, the Bastrop 1832 Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesdays from 2 to 6 p.m. This market functions as a business, with a legislative board, a target market and a charitable arm that donates to local nonprofits. Customers are even polled to gauge their experiences and to find areas that could use improvement. For a full experience that extends beyond the normal market, head to Bastrop to find a seamless operation. On the way back home, stop at the Lockhart Main Street Farmers’ Market, open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Along with browsing the fresh produce, baked goods and preserves, visitors can shop artisan crafts and enjoy live music.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

Traveling south, people in search of locally-sourced produce and goods can find and abundance in San Marcos and Wimberley. The San Marcos Farmers’ Market hosts a Saturday and Tuesday market in two San Marcos locations. Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., visitors can head to San Antonio St. for fresh vegetables, fruit, baked goods and more. Tuesdays, the market is located on Edward Gary St. from 3 to 6 p.m.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

If a smaller town experience is preferred, simply head west on Rand Road 12 out of San Marcos until it hits Mill Race Lane in Wimberley, Texas.  The Wimberley Farmers’ Market is open every Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. and is a strictly produce-only market, so be ready to stock up on fruits and vegetables.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

For residents who prefer to keep their money local, Kyle has a market closer to home. Just a few minutes north of Kyle, residents can head to the 150 Market located at Michaelis Ranch on FM 150 for a unique farmers’ market that rotates wares. The first Saturday of the month is dedicated to local artists and craftsman while the other Saturdays feature purveyors of fresh produce, garden plants and other foods.

Gather the reusable bags and containers, make sure you’ve got plenty of cash and fill up the tank for a fun farmers’ market road trip, near or far.

The 25th Anniversary of Old Settler’s Music Festival


The Austonian, Downtown Luxury Condos

With SXSW well behind us, Central Texans are beginning to feel the familiar itch for more music and happenings. Luckily, the Old Settler’s Music Festival is kicking into gear April 19-22 at the Salt Lick BBQ Pavilion and Camp Ben McCulloch in Driftwood, Texas with music, camping, performance workshops, crafts, kid’s activities, food and merriment.

Concert goers can enjoy everything from bluegrass, to Americana, to acoustic jazz – with legends and talent from the likes of Iron & Wine, Amos Lee, Bob Schneider, and Slim Richey’s Jitterbug Vipers among others. For those looking to hone their musical skills, workshops will be taught by the big names themselves, and are free to the public with the purchase of a wristband.

The location of the Old Settler’s Music Festival offers a scenic and peaceful backdrop for attendees to enjoy everything the festival has to offer and to soak up the natural Texas Hill Country surroundings.  Onion Creek runs along the property, providing the perfect place to cool down after a long day of music and fun.

For more information, including ticket and wristband prices, vendor lists, musical lineups, camping regulations, and more, visit the 25th annual Old Settler’s Music Festival site.

(Photo credit: Guide to Texas Outside)

Blue Hole Park


Surrounded by 126 acres of unadulterated land, the Blue Hole Park is one of many natural swimming holes in Texas.  Almost hidden in the center of Wimberley, the Blue Hole is lined by cypress trees that have survived since before the town was founded in 1880.  A vibrant ecosystem of many species of birds, reptiles, insects, amphibians, mammals, and a variety of flora and fauna make the Blue Hole a great place to enjoy some good ole’ fun in the sun, Texas style.

The Blue Hole swimming area opens on May 29, 2010

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Directions

Canyon Lake


Canyon Lake is a man-made lake on the Guadalupe River that offers many activities for all ages and interests.  Sponsored by the Army Corps of Engineers, there are 8 parks with 2 swimming beaches and 22 boat ramps.  Most of the parks offer camping, RV parks, shelters and picnic sites.  The lake itself has 80 miles of shoreline for you to enjoy in your boat or in a rental from Watercraft Rentals or the Canyon Lake Marina.  The Lake Canyon Yacht Club offers its members a 144 slip waterfront for dry sailed boats and over 150 dry storage spaces for motor boats.  The clubhouse also has a party deck, a swimming pool and a boat rigging tower.  Visitors to Canyon Lake can also spend the afternoon tubing down the Guadalupe River or fishing for Rainbow Trout.

In 2002 a large gorge was carved out of the limestone by a flood over the course of just 3 days.  Not only  is this a ridiculously short period of time for this kind of erosion to occur, but it left the gorge virtually devoid of life, which was good for geologists and other researchers.  This flood exposed 111 million years worth of fossils and rock formations.  In 2007, the gorge was opened up for public tours, which may be reserved here.

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Mandola Estate Winery


The Mandola Estate Winery was founded in 2005 by Drs. Stan and Lisa Duchman in Driftwood, Texas, about 13 miles West of Plum Creek.  Native Italian grapes such as Pinot Grigio, Vermentino, Moscato, and Sangiovese alongside traditional French and Californian grapes are all cultivated right on the estate.  They offer “grape to glass” tours on Saturday and Sunday every hour from 12:00-7:00 pm.  No reservation is required as guests are taken through the winemaking process from “grape to glass.”

Mandola Estate Winery Address

13308 FM 150 W

Driftwood, TX 78619-9274

(512) 858-1470

Hours:

Sunday 11 am – 8 pm

Monday Closed

Tuesday-Friday 12 pm – 9 pm

Saturday 11 am – 9 pm

If you desire a bite to eat during your visit, you can simply stop by the Trattoria Lisina located in the vineyard.  Trattoria is Italian for an informal, family-owned restaurant.  Stay for some authentic Italian cuisine and wines from the estate itself or from all over the world!

Hours:

Sunday 11 – 9

Monday Closed

Tuesday-Thursday Noon – 9

Friday 12 – 10

Saturday 11 – 10

Wimberley, Texas


Wimberley, located about 18 miles due west of Kyle, is a town filled with rich history and culture.  Rated one of America’s 10 Best Small Towns by Travel Holiday Magazine, Wimberley is perfect for a day trip or even a weekend vacation.  For a glimpse of what to see and do, see below.

Market Days

Enjoy the oldest outdoor marketplace in Texas.  Every first Saturday from March-December featuring over 475 booths so you can shop ‘til you drop.

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Directions

EmilyAnn Theatre

The EmilyAnn Theatre is a neat outdoor theatre, similar to something you would find amongst some Greek ruins.  Founded on August 1, 1998 in honor of a fallen performer, the EmilyAnn Theatre’s mission is “to reinvest in the dignity of the human spirit.”

Performances:
Grease:  May 28 – June 20 (Friday, Saturday & Sunday Nights at 8:00 pm)

Romeo and Juliet: July 26 – August 7 (No Sunday Performance)

The Taming of the Shrew: September 7 – October 2 (Friday & Saturday Nights at 8:00 pm)

Events:

Trail of Lights: November 26 – December 31 (Daily)

13th Annual Butterfly Festival April 16, 2011 10am-4pm

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Directions

Wimberley Glass Works

In operation since 1992, Wimberley Glass Works offers its patrons an insider’s look into the art of glass blowing.  Owner and Head-Gaffer Tim deJong earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in glass from Temple University.  In 2006, Wimberley Glass Works moved to a larger space to allow for more free demonstrations.  Glass Blowers use a variety of materials, including pure silver and 23 karat gold, to achieve a plethora of unique pieces.

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The Leaning Pear

The Leaning Pear is owned and operated by Rachel and Matthew Buchanan, both native Texans and graduates of Texas A&M University. Upon graduation, the couple relocated to Perugia, Italy, to explore the tastes and techniques of Italian cuisine while teaching English for a year.

They returned to the U.S. for Matthew to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts at the renowned Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. While at the C.I.A., Matthew served as Sous Chef at the historic Bird & Bottle Inn in Garrison, NY, and was also featured in the March, 2003, issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

Post-culinary school, the two returned to the Texas hill country and worked alongside one another as Executive Chef and Assistant Innkeeper at The Inn Above Onion Creek for several years, all the while dreaming of and planning for a spot of their own.

The opportunity to restore the Lowery House at 111 River Road, one of the oldest structures in the Wimberley Valley, came about in October of 2006. With the help of family and friends, Rachel and Matthew worked for months to create a unique casual dining environment that reflected the color and warmth of the Village of Wimberley. They share a fresh, seasonal and local food philosophy that is carried out in the restaurant’s delightful soups, salads and sandwiches. Their love of the Texas hill country and Matthew’s devotion to inventive cuisine inspire an assortment of delectable culinary creations that are featured in the restaurant’s daily soups and entrée specials.

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Creekhaven Inn

With everything Wimberley has to offer, you might be in need of some R&R.  The Creekhaven Inn offers just that.  The Creekhaven Inn offers 14 fully stocked guest rooms, a garden area with a hot tub and fire pits, private swimming access to Cypress Creek, in-room massages, and a buffet-style breakfast.

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