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ESCAPES

Destination: Blanco Visiting the Heart and Hub of the Hill Country

Blanco State Park

By Cindy Brzostowski

In need of an escape from Austin’s hustle and bustle? Head west and set your sights on the charming town of Blanco for a sweet taste of a slower pace of living.

can still buy its lavender products year-round at Brieger Pottery, located on the square in downtown Blanco.

Spend some time relaxing by the spring-fed Blanco River, which runs through the town center. A great place to do this is Blanco State Park. It’s located right on the banks of the river, so you can easily fill your time with fun activities including swimming, fishing, picnicking and kayaking. If you’re a fan of trail rides, contact Travis P Trail Rides (travisptrailrides.net) to schedule a 60- or 90-minute ride. Rides are offered every day of the week for ages 6 and up. For visitors looking to squeeze in a round of golf, the 18-hole championship course at Vaaler Creek Golf Club (vaalercreekgolfclub.com) awaits players of all skill levels. You can book your tee time up to 14 days in advance from its website. Hill Country Lavender (hillcountrylavender.com), Texas’ first commercial lavender farm, gives visitors the chance to roam lavender fields and to pick their own lavender if the harvest is abundant that year. The farm is open for the season normally from mid-May to mid-July. If it’s closed, you

24 WATERWAYS | June 2020

This small town delivers big flavor at its local restaurants. Redbud Cafe (redbud-cafe.com) offers an assortment of soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers. Its Classic Reuben sandwich and Bacon Bleu Cheese burger are particularly delicious. Head to Chess Club Café for country cooking. Its chicken -fried steak is sure to hit the spot, and the eggs Benedict is another crowd-pleaser. If you’re in the mood for some barbecue, visit Old 300 BBQ (old300bbq.com).

Take Time for a Tipple Blanco has a small but thriving brewing and distilling industry. Real Ale Brewing Company (realalebrewing.com) has been brewing beer in the Hill Country for more than 20 years. Wednesday through Sunday you can stop by its taproom. Brewery tours are offered on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Is whiskey more to your liking? Andalusia Whiskey Company (andalusiawhiskey.com) has a cozy tasting room, and it offers in-depth tours of its zero-waste production >>

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON BRUMBALOW; GODADDY SOCIAL; EARL NOTTINGHAM

Grab a Bite Play and Explore

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