Wednesday, October 3, 2018


This near-lifelong native of Houston is increasingly bewitched by the notion of small-town life. Even my current hometown, The Woodlands, is becoming more and more city-like. Not that that’s bad, but it’s just my soul is craving the slower pace of life, charm, and wide-open spaces that only small towns can offer.

The Labor Day U.S. holiday allotted us a long weekend, so it sounded like the perfect time for a short family road trip. It is still excruciatingly hot in September, therefore we set out to find some of the greatest swimming holes Texas has to offer. So, we cranked up the sounds of Head and the Heart, and off we went, out long stretches of highway, with all signs pointing to the town of Wimberley, in the Texas hill country.

If you know me, you know that I love airstreams and that every dilapidated airstream I pass, dumped on the side of road with a ‘for sale’ sign in the window, gets embedded in my daydreams. So obviously, when we stumbled across this airstream on Glamping Hub, it sounded like a fun place to lay our head at night. Leave it to this quirky town close to Austin to offer glamorous camping (glamping) without getting eaten alive by Texas-sized mosquitoes. I might’ve had the chance to tell you more about it if the evening prior to our check-in, the water heater hadn’t busted and turned our plans a bit topsy turvy. Again though, if you know me, then you know I love a good detour – “detours are the best kind of tours” is what I always say. Our backup plan took us to Canyon Road Olive Ranch, an adorable craftsman tiny house on an olive ranch and grape vineyard in Johnson City. In spite of being “tiny,” it delivered all the comforts of home. And way cuter!

Wimberley, dubbed “little bit of Heaven,” emulates what Austin is all about: art, food, design and music without the car traffic, foot traffic, and over-priced parking. The boutique shops downtown feature unique treasures, artwork and furniture by local artisans. One aspect of this town that I love the most, is that there isn’t a Starbuck’s or McDonald’s in sight.

There are places in Texas that Mother Nature doubly anointed with advantage; Jacob’s Well and Blue Hole are certainly on that list. Located in Wimberley, both are naturally surreal and secluded swimming spots surrounded by prodigious boulders and colossal Cypress trees. 

Be sure to schedule your visit online for Blue Hole and/or Jacob’s Well. Upon your arrival, and a short walk from the parking lot to the check-in window, you’ll be met with smiling staffers who, understandably, appear overjoyed to be precisely where they are. They are ever-present, walking the grounds and monitoring the activity (although no lifeguard is on duty).

As Robert Earl Keen said, “The road goes on forever and the party never ends.” Every time I sing that line I can’t help but think of Texas. After all, old farms, back roads, historic markers, and dive bars—all housing equal degrees of character—are quite abundant in the Lonestar State providing endless routes for exploration, and endless opportunities for pit stops. I favor all the above.

There's plenty of small towns across the big honkin’ state of Texas. No matter what direction you go in, you're bound to find some place charming, quirky or that takes your breath away.
If you want to learn more about this great state, turn your real-time travels into a history lesson by downloading the following app:
  • Texas Time Travel Tours: to bring history to life with images, videos, interviews, and visitor info for historical sites across the state.

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