Marble Falls and Austin, Texas -- Unexpected things to do on vacation. Visit some of the most popular and also some unusual places.
Work is great, but sometimes we all need a break -- or two. 🙂 My family and I have had a BUSY summer: selling our house, then moving, settling in, and finally, taking a trip to Marble Falls and Austin in the great state of Texas. If you thought you knew all there is to know about Texas, get ready for the unimaginable. And if you have heard things about keeping Austin "weird," well "extraordinary" is one other adjective that you might want to apply to the Live Music Capital. So come along!
We departed by car from San Antonio, where we live, to Marble Falls -- a gorgeous small town about one and a half hours from San Antonio. On the way, we passed through Johnson City, former president LBJ's boyhood home, where our favorite jerky store is located. If you love jerked meat like I do, it is like landing in paradise. The best dry sausage and of course, flavored jerked meats are on display to make your eyes dance and your mouth water like crazy. Needless to say, we carried away with us the best selection of jerked beef and turkey available... and more. Whittington's always manages to get us to open our wallets wide for preserves like cherry cobbler (yep, in a jar), salsas, pickled vegetables, seasoning dips, and some unique gifts. It has been on our must-stop list for a few years now!
After getting our provisions (and eating most of them on the way), we finally made it in to Marble Falls. The view of the lake is jaw-dropping! Without knowing much about the quaint town, the view alone made me ask my husband if he would consider moving there. After all, we could have access to a stunning view without spending much more than we would in San Antonio. His answer made me upset, to say the least. Ya know! We will be staying in San Antonio -- now don't get me wrong, I don't dislike San Antonio-- it's just that I just need a breathtaking view like this one every now and then to refresh my tired eyes! 🙂
We stayed for about 5 days at the Worldmark by Wyndham Marble Falls Hotel Resort --which is a vacation all unto itself. Pool, outdoor hot tub, exercise room, game room, etc. The girls had a blast, as you can see!
My husband and I were more into exploring the town... kayaking on Lake Marble Falls, swinging on an old-fashioned rope and stick swing, playing with slingshot copters, talking with the ducks and geese...
... seeing the astounding cave rock formations in the Longhorn Cavern State Park, taking in the view of Falkenstein Castle, and sampling many local food specialties were some of our many activities for the week.
I think you have probably heard about Texas BBQ, right? If you ever come to Texas, without a doubt you will be hitting BBQ nirvana. Rudy's may have some of the best in San Antonio, but Chubb's food truck is the place to get your barbecue fix in Marble Falls, hon! The brisket was good but the pork ribs were out-of-this-world. Well seasoned, tangylicious, and falling apart. Ay, ay, ay! Just thinking about them makes me want to smile -- big! Everything is house-made -- even the pickles.
And that's not all! The Bluebonnet Cafe has the most outrageous HIGH-TOPPED meringue pies ever! Don't believe me, well just take a look! And you know what? The variety of flavors is endless...
New Orleans Cajun/Creole cuisine is alive and well, too, in Marble Falls at The Real New Orleans Style Restaurant (yep, outside the Big Easy)...
... and even gelatos and fine chocolates (and the best toffee EVER) find a home at Choccolatte's. Texas is big... so yes, unexpected things frequently find a place here, and can often be just as amazing as at their places of origin/creation. All because 'everything is bigger in Texas -- and better!' as true Texans proudly say.
We also took time to explore a bit more of Austin. This time, we did not go rowing in Zilker Park as usual, but instead visited a few other free must-go sites there. We enjoyed the view of Lake Austin and the city from Mount Bonnell, went to the Texas State Capitol, were enchanted by the Laguna Gloria Mansion gardens and views, and watched hundreds of thousands of bats stream out from their home beneath the South Congress Bridge at 8 pm --a spectacle of nature to wow children and adults.
Down in Austin, the food options are limitless -- ranging from all kinds of ethnic food trucks to typical sit-down restaurants like Almarah Mediterranean Restaurant and Mandola's Italian Restaurant, where I always get my Italian fix. Affordability, simplicity, and great quality food are the name of the game.
We also had so much fun at a thrilling wind-tunnel attraction, iFly Indoor Skydiving -- where you can pay for a family package for up to 5 people and simulate just like you are flying in space. Now how cool is that?!
Last but not least, we went on a tour... more precisely an olive orchard and refinery tour at the award-winning Texas Hill Country Olive Oil Company in the Austin suburb of Bee Cave. Spain and Italy together may produce about 75% of the olive oil consumed in the world, but the state of Texas has one of the best olive oil refineries, believe it or not. Like I said before, expect the unexpected here.
So now when you think you have heard everything there is to know about Texas, think again. 😉
Come and visit us! If you are in town, get your hands on a copy of 101 Fun Things to Do in the Highland Lakes or visit their website for more vacation tips. Marble Falls and Austin (as well as the rest of the Highland Lakes) are waiting for you.
Texas will greet you with open arms. Howdy, folks!
Valéria Neves says
Thanks for taking me to there, I love to go to different places and this was a good trip.
Denise Browning says
Hi, Valeria! I am so glad you enjoyed this article. We had a great experience there. I am looking forward to visiting that lovely town again.
Mary Ann Fletcher says
Thank you for your article about our beautiful gem in the Texas Hill Country, Marble Falls.
Denise Browning says
Hello, Mary Ann! The pleasure was all mine. Marble Falls is a real gem with stunning views. We made amazing memories there -- I am in love with it!
I have never been to Texas! Your travel guide and recommendations are just fabulous! There is nothing better than taking a well deserved vacation with family.
Denise Browning says
You would love it, Deb! It is quite affordable and the views are simply fantastic.
Little Cooking Tips says
Howdy! More like "howdy partner" like Peter Sellers -because of our Greek accent- lol 🙂 What a great post Denise! We laughed so hard at "His answer made me upset, to say the least. Ya know" :):):):)
We saw some of your videos on Instagram, you guys must've had a blast! We wish one day we can visit Texas the place looks fantastic! Plus Texas is so big it has so many places to go, right?
Sending you guys our love!
Denise Browning says
Texans have a real cute accent -- funny yet so welcoming. It has grown in my over the years. xoxo
John/Kitchen Riffs says
Love the pictures! I liked in Texas in the 80s (Dallas) and really enjoyed it. Spent a lot of time in Austin on business -- such a neat city. Sounds like you had a great time. 🙂
Denise Browning says
It is a great state with so many wonderful things to do and hearty food to eat.
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
Oh I so very much enjoyed following alone on your adventures, seeing what you and your family were up to each day. Sure looked like a lot of fun and the perfect balance of food and fitness too. Sending you sunshiny hugs from the Whitsundays in Australia. xo
John B. says
Hi there! Thanks for all the tips and suggestions about what to see and do in Marble Falls. It is such a cute town. My wife and I hope to return there next year. Awesome post!
I live in Dallas and visited Marble Falls this past summer after reading about it here. We were not disappointed though! What a beautiful town with friendly people. Hopefully we'll be able to return next summer and have another relaxing vacation.