Hill Country Highlights

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Whitewater Rocks

Just steps from the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels sits a multi-million dollar music venue that rivals any big city music hall and has showcased such artists as Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and ZZ Top. The Whitewater Amphitheatre was designed to draw from its natural surroundings, with breathtaking cliffs and ancient Cypress trees providing a backdrop for the state-of-the-art stage, sound and lighting. A gently sloping, fan-shaped seating area ensures the acoustics and views are perfect from any position. Bars are conveniently spaced throughout the venue, and VIP Skyboxes and tables can be reserved for comfortable seating and larger parties. By day, tubing and other water activities can be accessed from Whitewater Amphitheatre. But as the sun begins to set, soft tree lights and torches are lit to provide an almost mystical ambience.

Their line-up of artists isn’t too bad either.

May
22: Billy Curington w/ Sam Hunt
23: Girl Talk & Ludacris
30: Life Palooza Festival w/ Spazmatics

June
6: Randy Rogers Band
20: JMBLA. 2015
26 & 27: The Avett Brothers w/ Old Crow Medicine Show

Whitewater Amphitheatre
830.964.3800
Whitewaterrocks.com

The State Gem of Texas

Did you know Texas has a state gem? It’s the Texas Blue Topaz, and it’s found only in west and northwest parts of Mason County. While pure topaz is colorless, impurities can often add a variety of colors, with natural blue being the rarest. If gem hunting interests you, three ranches in Mason County offer digging areas – and you can keep what you find! Topaz can shine brilliantly when faceted by an expert. However, there’s no need to be discouraged if you come up empty handed. You can buy the treasured Texas Blue Topaz at several gift shops in Mason.

For more information, visit Masontxcoc.com/attractions

Bar M Ranch
February through September
$15 per person/per day with equipment rental for $6
830.203.1611/325.265.4223
Barmranchservices.com

Seaquist Family Ranch
Mid-January through October — Two-Day advance reservations required
$20 per person/per day, $5 for children ages 7-12, and free for those 7 or younger
325.347.5413
Masontexastopaz.com

Lindsay Ranch
Rock hunting is for overnight guests of the ranch, only.
$15 per person/per day
325.347.4052
Lindsayranch.net

Pick-Your-Own Peaches

While there’s always the threat of a late winter freeze wiping out our beloved peach crop, the Hill Country Fruit Council says that 2015 will be the most abundant peach season since at least 2010. And that’s good to know because Gillespie County produces 40% of all peaches grown in the State of Texas. Highway 290 between Fredericksburg and Stonewall may be well known for its wineries but it’s as equally dotted with peach orchards. Stop at any number of stands and markets to stock up on fresh or canned peaches, jams or cobblers. Plus, many sell peach ice cream for a real treat.

If you would rather enjoy the experience of picking your own peaches, Marburger Orchard is the place to be. Right off Highway 87 (if you’re coming from Boerne, there’s a turn-off before you get to Highway 290), Marburger Orchard provides the perfect opportunity to take home fresh-picked peaches. Peach harvest season runs from mid-May to early August so you might be able to find a few strawberries left as well, or grab blackberries which are in season around the same time. Pricing varies depending on weather conditions, quality and quantity of the fruits so visit their website regularly for up-to-date information.
The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch has reserved a trip on June 5th to Marburger for Club Members. Contact the Club at 830.336.9000 to secure your spot on the Club’s Mercedes van for a day of fresh Fredericksburg peach pickin!
Texaspeaches.com provides general updates on the harvest with an extensive listing of peach vendors.

Marburger Orchards
830.997.9433
Marburgerorchard.com

Snowball Fight

There’s snow year-round in Boerne. Kick off your summer party season with Bahama Buck’s Sno2Throw™ and be the coolest host in town. The powdery soft, fluffy shaved ice that makes their desserts so irresistible is shaped into soft spheres of snowy fun. Sno2Throw comes in Avalanche packs of 24 and 60 snowballs packaged in insulated “super coolers” — you keep the cooler! Bahama Bucks can prep 24 snowballs within a day’s notice, but for 60 it’s best to call 48 hours ahead. 24 for $12.99 and 60 for $24.99

Bahama Buck’s
210.698.9501
Bahamabucks.com

Vino Al Pastor

Literally translated as wine and a “shepherd-style’ meat, Vino al Pastor is a collaboration between the wineries along Wine Road 290 and the Texas Pork Producers Association. Each of the 13 participating wineries will team with a top Hill Country restaurant to prepare a dish using pork which is then paired with their finest wine. In the tradition of Mexican Tacos al Pastor, pork is generously seasoned with spices and pineapple juice, and then slow roasted. Hill Country chefs will create dishes based on their interpretation or inspiration derived from the original version.

Simply visit each of the participating wineries on Saturday, June 13 and receive a complimentary sample of food and wine. Hours will vary by winery. Regular tasting fees apply at most wineries, but the Vino al Pastor event does not require an additional fee.

Wineroad290.com

18 Days & Nights Of Music

Every Memorial Day the Kerrville Folk Festival attracts over 30,000 guests to what is known internationally as the Mecca for singers and songwriters. Founded by Rod Kennedy in 1972, it’s the longest and continuous musical festival in North America. Yes, it is 18 straight days and nights designed to promote a variety of musical styles and emerging artists. Robert Earl Keen and Lucinda Williams played here early in their careers. However, nationally known artists have graced the stage, and Emmylou Harris and David Crosby are scheduled for this year’s event running May 21-June 7.

Tent and RV campers are invited to Quiet Valley Ranch during the festival. In fact, it’s in the campgrounds where you can experience the magnitude of talent with impromptu jam sessions or guitar solos by the campfire. The original music is so spectacular that no recorded music is allowed in the campgrounds. The website even says: Bring a guitar and your tent.

Special package deals are available if booked in the fall of the previous year — you can even buy Lifetime packages. For now, purchase day tickets online.

Kerrville Folk Festival
830.257.3600
Kerrville-music.com

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