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Hill Country Great Escape

Discover Six Luxurious Hill Country Homes at the 2016 Tour of Homes at Comanche Trace in Kerrville www.comanchetrace.com/tour-of-homes

MODERN MARVEL: A HILLSIDE HIDEAWAY HOME IN KERRVILLE

HILL COUNTRY EXPLORER GUIDE


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COMANCHE TRACE Welcomes Visitors to 2016 Tour of Homes in Kerrville

W

e invite you to join us for the 2016 Tour of Homes at Comanche Trace presented by Centennial Bank. The event will be held over the weekends of June 24-26 and July 1-3. Our preferred builders are excited to display their craftsmanship, architectural style, and design. This year our Tour of Homes will feature six luxury homes. Participants in the Tour include BCI Homes, Chambers Design Build, Brad Moore Builders, Stavinoha Homes and White Construction. We are offering developer lot incentives now through the Tour of Homes! Check out our website for more information about this year’s tour at www.comanchetrace.com/tour-of-homes

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Comanche Trace is continuing to experience growth every year and had a record breaking 2015 year. We are excited to have teamed with CENTURY 21 The Hills Realty to lead our sales efforts for Comanche Trace. Toni Manchester and her team of REALTORS at CENTURY 21 The Hills Realty have extensive knowledge of the market place, as well as their command of the local and Texas Real Estate Business. Toni is the broker/owner of this successful real estate firm, and we are proud to count her, as well as several of her agents, among the residents of Comanche Trace. As Comanche Trace continues to grow and develop, it is wonderful to have such an experienced team like CENTURY 21 The Hills Realty to support Comanche Trace’s buyers and sellers. It is a very exciting time for our entire community. Comanche Trace has developed into a highly recognized golf course community in the Hill Country area. Comanche Trace has been named one of the Top 25 Private Golf Courses in the state and Where to Retire Magazine named 50 Best Master-Planned Communities in the USA. We are proud to offer one of the most respected and well-conditioned

golf course facilities in the State. When our development is complete, our community will have an estimated 1,000 homes. Our amenities range from a private 8-acre river park and walking trails to a private catch and release fishing lake. As a Club, we offer a selection of memberships that have been carefully designed to meet individual preferences and exceed all your expectations of a private club. With several memberships to choose from – social to full golf- we are sure you will find exactly what you are looking for. We host numerous social events throughout the year that make living a Comanche Trace an enjoyable experience. The Hill Country, and especially Kerrville, continues to grow and evolve, and Comanche Trace is excited to be a part of this vibrant community. People from across the country are continuing to discover the many great benefits that the Hill Country lifestyle has to offer. These include numerous wineries in the area, the City’s River Trail, Sports Complex, mild climate, and overall beautiful scenery. All of this, combined with the amenities that Comanche Trace has to offer, will ensure the continued growth and excellence of our community for generations to come. 37


When Visiting the Texas Hill Country…. Compiled by Marsha Canright

BANDERA

AUSTIN

www.austin360.com/ www.austintexas.org/visit/events/ It's not everyday that you come across a city that's both lively and laid back. Both the world capital of live music and the capital of Texas, Austin continues to convert new residents and visitors to the way of “weirdness.” Long before the capital city was chartered, people settled along the Colorado River bend for its beauty and bountiful resources. EAT: There are plenty of old favorites offering a quintessentially Austin eating experience. A longtime cornerstone of South Congress Avenue, Guero’s Taco Bar has been serving up delicious queso and cervezas for more than 30 years. It may not be quite as iconic as Stubb’s, but Franklin Barbecue has, in this new era of Austin, come to define the city’s culinary scene since it opened in 2009. SEE: There's so much to see in Austin, it's tough to decide what should come first. You could start by making the climb up the stairs at Mount Bonnell to take in an incredible view of the city: yours for the taking. Or, you could take to the trail around Lady Bird Lake and extend your jaunt over to the boutiques on South Congress Avenue. Art lovers, and really anyone, will find something of interest at the Blanton Museum of Art. PLAY: At cocktail hour, check out the quirky compound of watering holes around Rainey Street. Lots of big names come to play ACL Live at the Moody Center, but a visit to Austin would not be complete without a trip to the decidedly smaller, longstanding beacon of bluegrass, the Continental Club.

www.banderatex.com/ www.banderacowboycapital.com/ Austin may have the market cornered on music, but Bandera takes the brisket in all things buckaroo. Located just northwest of San Antonio, the Cowboy Capital of the World is a very doable one-tank drive from Houston. EAT: For morning caffeination, head to DogLeg Cafe and imbibe in a warm cup of Joe and one of many pastries. At lunchtime, Old Spanish Trail has a cowboy vibe and a menu to match with offerings like the Chuckwagon Breakfast and the Ranchhouse Hamburger Steak. Or, you might grab a bite at the Backyard Bistro, which offers an eclectic menu of American and Mexican cuisines.

prop your feet up, and let nature entertain you. As the stars light up the sky, break out your boots and dance the night away at 11th Street Cowboy Bar or Chikin Coop.

COMFORT

www.comfortchamber.com/ It’s all in the name— Comfort is a place you go when you’re looking to escape the maddening pace of city life. But, there’s more to this little Texas town than just lazy days. Settled by a group of German immigrants who called themselves Freethinkers, the town of Comfort has long been a haven for artists and creatives. EAT: Stop by for a sandwich at High’s Cafe or head over to Comfort Pizza for delicious wood-fired pizzas served out of a 1920s gas station. New to Comfort is Ceslie’s Texas Café, featuring wholesome meals and lively music. 814 A Texas Bistro is on the swankier end of the spectrum, offering the gourmand’s take on Texas cuisine. SEE: There are two wineries, Bending Branch and Singing Water Vineyards, very close by, Buckhorn Golf Course, river access, biking and hiking trails, a bat tunnel and scenic hill country drives.

SEE: A trip to Bandera is about spending time out on the range, but even the burliest buckaroos have to stock up on provisions. Taking an amble down Historic Main Street is nice any day of the week, but on Saturday afternoon, you're likely to come across cowboys, steers, horses, and wagons at the weekly event celebrating cowboy culture. Either way, be sure to stop in at Bandera General Store, and ladies will love Thelma and Louize, a chic-country boutique with lots of fabulous finds. Also in town, The Frontier Times Museum features a 40,000piece collection of old west, pioneer, and prehistoric artifacts. PLAY: Dip an oar, or a toe, into the Medina River with rentals available at Medina River Company. If you’re water-shy, Hike Lost Maples or learn about dinosaurs and animals at the Bandera Natural History Museum. At the end of a long day, grab a cold one,

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PLAY: Rent a colorful cruiser from out front of Comfort Pizza and pedal the streets of Comfort. Nestled among century old buildings, you will find intriguing places to shop: The Elephant Story, Miss Giddy’s, Huckleberrys, Intermezzo Gallery, and Elizabeth Daniel Boutique to name a few, along with several antique stores. At the end of the day, drop by the tasting room at Hill Country Distillers on Front Street for a little bit of cactus moonshine.


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DRIPPING SPRINGS www.cityofdrippingsprings.com/ http://drippingspringstx.org/

It’s hard to believe the quiet Central Texas community of Dripping Springs is only 25 minutes from the sights and sounds of the Texas capital. Come for the views and the wildlife sightings and stay for the barbecue and the spirits. Yes, creeks and spring-fed pools aren’t the only things dripping in Dripping Springs, they’re also known for both vodka and wine. EAT: It’s worth a trip to the Duchman Family Winery and its adjoining restaurant, Trattoria Lisina, which serves creative modern Italian food alongside their label’s Texas wines. For more casual fare, head over to The Barber Shop Brewpub or the Creek Road Café, which has delicious lunch and dinner menus. SEE: History buffs will appreciate The Homestead at the Dripping Springs, a triad of historical buildings on downtown’s Mercer St. Olive enthusiasts will find more than enough to satisfy their palates at Texas Hill Country Olive Company, Texas’ only organic olive orchard, which has a beautiful tasting room for olive oils, balsamic vinegars and wines. If you're a music lover, head on over to Texas Hill Country Guitars, a shop that specializes in handcrafted electric and acoustic instruments. Naturalists who haven’t yet been introduced to the haunting natural beauty of Hamilton Pool should pack their swimwear and take a dip (parks.traviscountytx.gov/find-a-park/hamiltonpool). PLAY: There are lots of places to experience the Central Texas booze culture in and around Dripping Springs. The September Dripping with Taste festival features

local and other Texas wine, beer, distilled spirits, Hill Country food, artisans and music. But, any time of year, you can explore the local establishments in town. When you’re ready for a cerveza, stop by Twisted X Brewery, which serves up Tex-Mex style craft beers. Wine lovers will delight in the offerings at Hawk’s Shadow Winery & Vineyards, where handcrafted wines from the limestone cellar are served with a side of breathtaking country views. One of the hippest spots in town is the Bell Springs Winery & Sidecar Tasting Room, a Prohibitionstyle tasting room in heart of downtown historical district.

JOHNSON CITY

www.johnsoncitytx.org/ Johnson City has long been known as the

boyhood home of Lyndon B. Johnson and the last stoplight in route to taste the best Hill Country wine. However, after a leisurely stroll around the courthouse square and neighboring streets, visitors can seek refuge in an unhurried, charming town with an emerging cultural uniqueness all of its own. EAT: At breakfast time, roll on over to Rolling In Thyme and Dough, which puts out scratch pastries and sandwiches from a renovated 1920s bungalow. Later on, kick your boots up at Pecan Street Brewing Company or East Main Grill for craft brews, Hill Country wine and hearty American dishes. SEE: While strolling around the courthouse square, it’s hard to miss the abundance of historical markers—the James Polk Building, the Blanco County Courthouse and the 1894 Blanco County Jail—which tell the story of Blanco County & Johnson City, which goes all the way back to 1858. One of Main

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Street’s most beautiful is the barn-house red Withers & Spaulding building. Built in 1893, the wood structure originally served as a dry goods store and was fully restored by The National Park Service to showcase the building’s history. After grabbing a hot cup of Joe from the Black Spur Coffee & Emporium, head north to the courthouse and through the Nugent Avenue Arts District. This emerging cultural arts scene includes A Smith Gallery, Taste Wine Art and Lee Casbeer Gallery. The welcoming trio regularly showcases exhibits by local and nationally renowned artists as well as regular receptions. Fine art, painting, drawing, sculpture, jewelry, photography and more can be enjoyed along two city blocks with a glass of wine in hand. PLAY: Looking to spend a day in the great outdoors? Pedernales Falls State Park, Bamberger Preserve, LCRA River Park are a great start. If it’s shopping you want, the local selection of stores offers everything from antiques to handmade artisan goods. Stop by local favorites Stidham Outfitters & Custom Leather, Echo, Vintage 205, Rustik by Choice, Black Spur Emporium, Texcetera, Gypsy Lady, The Old Lumberyard, Junque Dynasty, Pieces of the Past, Nest and Whittington’s Jerky.

HELOTES

www.helotes-tx.gov/ If the Hill Country were a family, Helotes would be the younger sibling— determined to be seen as an individual in spite of the fact that it sits in the shadow of San Antonio. But, that’s not because it’s a bedroom community. Though it was only incorporated in 1981, this easygoing small town was once a stagecoach stop between San Antonio and Bandera, and has been on maps for much longer. EAT: Helotes’ name was derived from the Spanish word meaning “ear of corn”, but there’s a lot more on local menus than just maize. Bobby J’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers, a casual counter-service establishment with cool toppings and cold beer. For fancier fare, put on your Sunday best and head over to the Moss Inn, a quintessentially romantic restaurant with a wine list as long as its history— that opened in 1929. A stop by Gable’s Ice Cream Sliders is a must.


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SEE: It may be small—fewer than 10,000 people live there— but Helotes has boomed over the past few decades and boasts a few can’t miss Hill Country sights. The epicenter of Helotes is Old Town, which grew up around the homestead of Arnold Gugger, who built his limestone residence and general store in 1881, both of which are still standing today. Sixty years later, John T. Floore, then the manager of the Majestic Theater in San Antonio, put his name and his money on a venture that might have seemed more than a little out there: he built a honkeytonk on a patch of land way north of town. John T. Floore Country Store has since become an icon, having hosted the likes of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Patsy Cline.

But there are also three state parks within easy driving distance: Inks Lake State Park, Longhorn Cavern State Park, and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. The local favorite for swimming holes is The Slab on the Llano River.

KERRVILLE

www.kerrvilletexascvb.com/ EAT: At lunchtime, you’ll enjoy the historic ambiance from inside the restored 1890 Weston Building while you enjoy a sandwich or a salad at Francisco’s. When it’s time to wind down, celebrate with a meal and a glass of wine at Grape Juice.

PLAY: With its wide Texas sky, the landscape around Helotes feels never-ending, and especially so with a bird’s eye view. Helotes Hill Country Ziplines gives adventures visitors just this opportunity. If you prefer your feet on the ground, go for a hike or a bike through nearby Government Canyon, a spaghetti bowl of trails more than 40 miles long. After a long day, hop on over to the Helotes Creek Winery for a glass of Blackberry Merlot.

EAT: If you don’t scare too easy, have breakfast or lunch at Grand Central Cafe, which operates out of the actual house where the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed, which was moved to Kingsland in 1998. SEE: Bluebonnets and wildflowers bloom in Kingsland during the spring months, making it a popular tourist attraction. Just down the road from downtown Kingsland, The Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery and the Nightengale Archaeological Center, which has thousands of artifacts from the area’s earlier inhabitants. PLAY: If you’re looking to hit the links, Kingsland boasts two top-tier golf courses.

www.visituvalde.com/index.html For a town with such a rural backdrop, Uvalde has born an impressive number of notable Texans including Matthew McConaughey and Dale Evans. They even have something resembling a walk of fame — plaques lining the outside of downtown’s Janey Slaughter Briscoe Grand Opera House. Nicknamed the Crossroads of America, because of its proximity to two of the longest highways in America, it could also be said that Uvalde’s identity is at a crossroads— somewhere between Old West and 20th century. EAT: Start your day off with a full breakfast at Sunrise Cafe on Main Street. For lunch on the go, swing by Live Oak Drive Thru for Tex-Mex that’s as quick as it is tasty. Later, if you’re in the mood for ‘cue, meet your meat craving at Evett’s.

KINGSLAND

www.kingslandchamber.org/ www.kingsland-tx.com/ On the shores of Lake LBJ, the tiny town of Kingsland is the ideal getaway for water sport enthusiasts or those who want to kick back in a rocking chair and take in the lake views.

UVALDE

SEE: Kerrville plays host to a variety of annual events and activities that are perfect for the whole family. See some of Kerrville’s finest homes on the Tour of Homes by Comanche Trace (www.comanchetrace. com/tour-of-homes or see Page 36 for info). There’s also plenty of shopping—whether you’re looking for hidden treasures in a twostory antique shop or for something that will channel your inner Will Rodgers. Pay a visit to The Museum of Western Art at 1550 Bandera Highway. It’s an opportunity to relive Western heritage through great Western art. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. PLAY: Being built on the banks of the Guadalupe River is just one of the many things that makes Kerrville a unique destination. If you’re planning on exploring by boat, stop by Kerrville Kayak and Canoe to rent gear.

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SEE: Experience the uniqueness of Uvalde's town square on Four Square Fridays… . Uvalde has a bevy of museums worth browsing. Collected by former Governor and Mrs. Dolph Briscoe, the Briscoe Art and Antique Collection has everything from western oils to bronzes, and includes works by Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Remington, Warren, Wood, and Salinas. Housed in an original Garner Army Air Field hanger, the Aviation Museum at Garner Field is dedicated to preserving local and regional aviation history. PLAY: Garner State Park is ideal for families looking to spend the day tubing, swimming or fishing and also for passionate bird watchers on the look out for large flocks of wild turkeys, fleet-footed roadrunners, and rare golden-cheeked warblers, which make their nest in the Hill Country.


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Dream House Frames Hill Country Vistas

The house is built of natural materials to blend in with the setting. By Marsha Canright

B

uilt of carved Leuders limestone, rough-hewn cypress, and stucco, the hill country home rises on a lofty incline overlooking the Comanche Trace, south of Kerrville.

This is the long-awaited dream house for builder Mike Stavinoha (Stavinoha Custom Homes) and his wife, Stacy, a Century 21 real estate agent. The couple built the house in 2013.

“It’s a place of peace and natural beauty. You feel like you are outside, even when you are inside,” Stacy Stavinoha says. Built on three quarters of an acre, the single story house is composed of natural materials so it blends with the exterior

Two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows frame a sweeping view of the pastoral hill country, the wide, blue Texas sky, and to the southeast, a verdant private golf course. Stavinoha designed the house himself and sited the structure to create a panoramic vista in every room.

landscape and reflects the beauty of the hill country. “This is our oasis. It is quiet and we see all types of wildlife: blackbuck antelope, axis and white tail deer, red fox, and all kinds of birds,” she adds. At the end of a slate stone sidewalk is a broad front porch

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Almost every room in the home enjoys a panaromic view of the countryside.

that welcomes visitors. Abundant natural light fills the open concept living space with its 12-foot ceilings. A wall-size stone fireplace anchors the central area, and a woven Turkish rug brings in vibrant colors: orange, blue and brown. The structure contains 3,700 square feet of living space, including a master suite with an exercise room and two guest bedrooms with their own spa baths joined with a private den. The master bath is lined in earth-colored Travertine marble and features his and her walk-in closets, a walk-in shower and a garden tub. A laundry room is attached to the master closet. Kitchen cabinets are made from rifted white oak.

Stacy Stavinoha says her favorite spot is here on the enclosed porch that features a stone fireplace -- perfect for chilly evenings. 46 house& home | June 2016 | www.houstonhouseandhome.net


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The master suite also enjoys access to the outdoors.

Mike Stavinoha has a large home office with built-in shelves, and a wide view of the golf course. The décor is contemporary country and was created with assistance from interior designer Eileen Phillips. To give the house a serene, contemporary look, the Stavinohas chose light maple wood floors throughout and painted interior walls in soft grays and browns. The interior four-panel doors are made of alder. “Our kitchen is a cook’s dream with its oversized island, Thermador professional appliances, a large porcelain sink, and

beautiful rifted white oak cabinetry,” Stacy Stavinoha says. The kitchen counters are made of a granite called crème of valentine. One of Stacy Stavinoha’s favorite places in the house is the back patio with its outdoor stone fireplace, cypress flooring and private garden. “It’s the most comfortable place you can imagine and perfect for entertaining,” she says. Exterior landscaping is the natural countryside – beautiful, easy to maintain, and best for water conservation.

Comanche Trace is the remnant of an ancient Native American trail used by Apache, Comanche and Kiowa tribes who hunted in the region. Dart points, arrow points, fist axes, knives, scrapers and other tools made by early native tribes are found throughout the county. Other remnants left by the early residents of the area are burned rock mounds.

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This is what we call Hill Country living.

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