Category Archives: Outdoor Activities

Starting a New Year, Let’s Revisit Some of My Favorites

Hello Everyone!

It’s been a little while since you’ve heard from me. For the past year, I’ve been working on finishing up my MBA and have only a couple more months to go. (Hallelujah!) I think about Down Home Traveler often and have a ton to catch up on including trips to Kansas (I saw Toto), Chicago, Nashville, Maine and Vermont. Last year was exciting!

It’s always wonderful to plan trips at the beginning of the new year, both near and far. To provide a little bit on inspiration, I wanted to share some of my favorites and hopefully inspire and hear some about some of your upcoming trips!
Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Snow Covered Trees, Richford Vermont, Green Mountains

Take a Hike: I have to be the only one having a backwards seasonal depression – I’m missing the white powdery snow. It’s a great time to get outside and enjoy what there is to offer. Take a hike or go skiing/snowboarding if you’re a little north of Texas or get on your bike or put your hiking boots (or rubber boots as of late).
[Note: If cold weather isn’t for you, I’ve got that covered too. Vermont is great for hiking, fishing, canoeing and an all around exploration of what we love best – the outdoors.
Texas – we went to Knobb Hill Mountain Bike Trails in Roanoke a couple weekends ago and it’s definitely worth the trip!}

Fredericksburg, Texas, VisitFredTX, Wine Trail, Hill Country, Fredericksburg To Do, Becker Vineyards

Fredericksburg, Texas. In Texas and needing a break? Plan a trip to Fredericksburg, Texas. Wine, distilleries, food, hiking, wonderful people and comfort in wonderful B&B’s and Inns all around town. This is truly a unique and affordable getaway for anyone.
Alternative: Dripping Springs, Texas. A short drive outside of Austin, Dripping Springs is flourishing with unique lodging locations, distilleries, wine and production of olive oil.

LostDrawCellars_0374

While you’re in Fredericksburg, I HIGHLY recommend Lost Draw Cellars. Their wine is fantastic but this is more than wine tasting, it’s a piece of Fredericksburg history. If you’re lucky, Troy will be in and he is not only one of the three owners but he is the sixth generation Fredericksburg community member. His family helped to establish Fredericksburg and he believes in keeping the community close. Definitely a place to stop and we can’t wait to go back and visit.

Dancehall, Texas, Historic Places, Bar, Bluff-Dale, Small-Texas-Towns,

Is a day trip what you’re looking for? Maybe something out of the ordinary? Look no further than The Greenwood Dancehall and Saloon in Bluff Dale, Texas. If you blink, you may miss this town – so be ready. A little rustic and full of “country eclectic” decor.

Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival, Fort Worth Texas

Each spring, the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival comes to life. This is by far one of my favorite events and showcases the best of Fort Worth. Whether its BBQ, desserts, whiskey, wine, beer, breakfast, burgers or even food trucks, there will be something for you. Come with an empty stomach, stretchy pants or a loose belt because this will be one of the best food festivals you’ll get to enjoy in Texas!

Sugarhouse, Maple Syrup, Vermont Maple, Vermont, Northern Vermont Maple, Tradition

Maple Sugarhouses. If you’re in Vermont, it’s almost time to enjoy the sweet, sweet Maple gold! There is absolutely nothing like the smell of a sugarhouse and the taste of the freshest maple syrup. Take a drive, look for the steam coming from the sugarhouses and stop in for a visit. It’s the best time of year. [Note: Keep the annual Maple Syrup Festival on your calendars at the April.]

I can’t wait to hear what you have planned for 2018 adventures! What’s on your list?

9 Reasons to Travel to Dripping Springs, Texas

There’s been a lot of buzz around Dripping Springs, Texas lately. Situated just outside of Austin, it really hones in on the Hill Country’s rustic feel just outside the big city. When visiting, these are the top activities that should be on any list when visiting Dripping Springs

  1. Stay
    When in town, go authentic. It’s time to embrace what makes Dripping Springs, Dripping Springs. Cottages, inns, B&B’s, take a pick! There’s so many to choose from but stay in a place which brings character. It’ll add a little pizazze to your story!
    Dripping Springs, Liney Moon, Cottage, Texas, Travel Texas, Accomodations (Above, The Liney Moon)
  2. Eat
    There’s so many great places to eat, the real question is where to begin? The Pizza Cave (below), Rolling in Thyme & Dough or Smoke n’Hops among other local favorites. Come !
    ThePizzaCave_9627
  3. Get Outside
    Dripping Springs is the home to the Hamilton Pool reserve. Enjoy the famous Texas swimming hole over scenic limestone including a waterfall to help you cool off after a hike through one of the nearby parks.
  4. Texas Hill Country Olive Oil
    A growing crop, Texas produces olive oil! Stop in for a tour of the grounds and learn how the production of olive oil is growing in Texas. Inside, enjoy olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings and even pair them with a wine tasting from some of the finest vineyards in Texas.
    TexasHillCountryOliveOil_0558
  5. Explore the Wine Trail
    Did someone say wine?! Dripping Springs is home to vineyards of their own including Solaro Estates Winery and Bell Springs Winery. Looking to stay in town, swing by one of the tasting rooms or wine tours to expand the selection. Need a drive? That’s available too!
  6. Micro Brew Invasion
    Dripping Springs is home to Jester King, Twisted X and Thirsty Planet Brewing Company. Smoke’n Hops and The Barber Shop are the local watering holes to help quench your thirst. Sit back, kick back and relax! Have a cold one!
  7. Distilleries
    The beverages go on and on! Deep Eddy Vodka, Dripping Springs Vodka and Treat Oak Distillery are all in town. Staying in Austin and want to come out for the day? Completely possible with one of the many tours to and from, including the Austin Tour Company which will bring you and your friends to and from downtown Austin to Deep Eddy Vodka for some fun and games.
    Note: All tours at Deep Eddy Vodka must be booked in advance.
    DeepEddyVodka_0565
  8. Mercer Street
    “Take a step back in time on historic Mercer Street. Home to some of the first businesses in town, you’ll recognize that you’re on Mercer Street well before you see a sign. Historic buildings house the dancehall, perfect for the evening two-step, grab a beer or enjoy some frozen yogurt and ice cream. THere’s a place on Mercer Street for everyone.
  9. Drive
    This is the Hill Country. Explore it, embrace it, take it in. It’s best done behind the wheel with endless destination.
    Dripping Springs TX_0563

What’s your favorite attraction in Dripping Springs? 
What’s on the top of your to do list? 

Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Snow Covered Trees, Richford Vermont, Green Mountains

A Winter Hike with Green Mountain Man (and My Favorite Photo of 2014)!

My brother (Mr. Green Mountain Man) and I have a tradition when I visit Vermont, we go on an outdoor adventure. He’s pretty good (really good) at taking me to some of my favorite spots to shoot photos and exposing me to new locations, no matter what season it is. He’s also great at running way ahead of me on a hike and making me feel like I’m a 400+lb person who can’t keep up on a walk. I’m not sure where he gets so much energy! Sometimes I don’t think he’s human (he practically ran up the entire hike up Mount Mansfield).

Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Snow Covered Trees, Richford Vermont Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Barn, Winter Barn, Eden Vermont

This year, we did something a little different – a winter hike. Our first destination attempt was to hike up to the windmills in Eden, Vermont where the view is “incredible”. I don’t doubt that it was but there was no where to park. Good thing there was a backup plan – hiking a trail to a deer camp in the middle of nowhere.

Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Snow Covered Trees, Richford Vermont, Green Mountains

Mr. Green Mountain Man took this one!

Snow Covered Gate, Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Gate, Fence, Eden Vermont

Completely surrounded by white, glistening trees this is as close as anyone can ever get to a winter wonderland. I’m convinced. The woods were quiet, silent, where you could hear the crunch of the snow beneath every step, the chirping of the birds and the sound of the snow falling from the branches overhead. The sun was shining brightly, making the temperature perfect for a walk. Although it was below 30 degrees, the day was perfect to bask in the beauty of the outdoors.

Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Snow Covered Trees, Eden Vermont Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Snow Covered Trees, Richford Vermont, Green Mountains

We left the truck and began walking on the trail thru the woods. The snow wasn’t that deep, with a small ice crust sitting on top for the extra “crunch” sound with each step. Lucky enough, we didn’t even need our snowshoes. We traveled on. As with every adventure with Green Mountain Man, I hear a “let’s go this way” and off the trail we went. I immediately followed with a “we’ve done this before!”. Our trip just got a little longer. Not much longer as we shortly found ourselves back on the trail.

Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Snow Covered Trees, Richford Vermont, Green Mountains Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Snow Covered Trees, Richford Vermont, Green Mountains

The walk led us thru the trees to a deer camp of a friend of my brothers. No running water. No electricity. No plumbing.

Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Deer Camp, Vermont Deer Camp, Hunting Camp, Eden Vermont Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Deer Camp, Vermont Deer Camp, Hunting Camp, Eden Vermont

To my excitement, there happened to be a toilet just sitting on the front porch. Although my brother wasn’t enthused (and it took some convincing), my favorite photo of the entire year was born!

Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Deer Camp, Vermont Deer Camp, Hunting Camp, Eden Vermont, Hunter, Toilet

My favorite picture of 2014. It’s perfect!

After a short photo shoot, the hike continued a little farther up and then back to the truck where we parked. Mr. Green Mountain Man made sure we didn’t go the most direct way, circling thru the trees and off the beaten path. (Perhaps we both have that in common, steering off the direct route, him in trees, myself on the roads.) He refused to take a picture of me on this throne previously so I had to settle for this log. He made it quite known that if I was to fall backwards, he was prompt and ready with the camera.

Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Snow Covered Trees, Richford Vermont, Green Mountains

Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Snow Covered Trees, Richford Vermont, Green Mountains

I think he was praying that I’d fall backwards…

We made it back to the truck, a little exhausted but both glad we had that chance together. It was such a beautiful day, the weather in the 20’s but with the snow, it was perfect. Our own snow globe!

Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Snow Covered Trees, Richford Vermont, Green Mountains

Thanks again Mr. Green Mountain Man! You are the best!

Vermont, Winter Hike, Hunter, Green Mountain Man, Hike

Now onto the next adventure, who knows what it will be!

Vermont, Hike, Winter, Snow, Forest, Snow Covered Trees, Richford Vermont, Green Mountains