The Austin Chronicle

Day Trips: Gift Guide 2017

Gifts that make it worth a day trip double your fun

By Gerald E. McLeod, December 8, 2017, Columns

Texas gifts worth a day trip are double the fun.

Take a drive to one of Messina Hof Winery's three locations for a bottle of Resilience wine. Proceeds from the dry red blend go entirely to Hurricane Har­vey relief. Hurry, because only 600 cases of the special release are available.

Not far from the winery's Hill Country location on Highway 290 is the Chocolates El Rey tasting room. The Venezuelan-sourced cocoa supplier offers a try-it-before-you-buy-it deal on dark, milk, or white chocolate. Your sweetie will love to find the sampler wheel of chocolates under the tree.

Fruitcakes are a holiday (and comedy) tradition this time of year. Don't laugh until you've tried the donut-shaped cakes in the famous red tin from one of Collin Street Bakery's three locations. Or head to East Texas to pick up a special fruitcake from Eilenberger's Bakery in Palestine. Both bakeries will ship the cakes for you as well.

Fruitcakes are OK, but some people would rather have a fruit pie from Royers Pie Haven in Round Top as a present. Or for that last-minute gift run into one of the three 24-hour House of Pies locations in Houston.

All the holiday food might leave your loved one feeling a little stuffed, so a $70 gift card for a Texas State Parks Pass would help them keep their New Year's resolutions to live more on the wild side.

If you're really cheap or want to send your brother-in-law a message, get them a free Texas State Travel Guide, calendar, and highway map from Texas Highways magazine. You can get the combo at any of the 12 Travel Information Centers or order online for free delivery.

1,376th in a series. Follow "Day Trips & Beyond," a travel blog, at

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