Day Trips & Beyond: June Events Roundup

Titanic, turtle hatchlings, and Texas beaches after Harvey

Titanic artifacts come to Texas while the Gulf Coast recovers from Hurricane Harvey, and June festivals keep the fun hot.

Baby sea turtles race into the early morning surf is one of the great events of nature in Texas during the summer. Public releases of the hatchlings happen primarily from mid-June to late July. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

The Padre Island National Seashore outside of Corpus Christi has one of the most active sea turtle rescue programs in the nation. Beginning in April, eggs are recovered from nests on the beaches and collected in incubators at the national park. The hatchlings are then released back into the wild with most releases happening at 6:45am in June and July. Call the Hatchling Hotline at 361/949-7163 to find out when releases are estimated to happen. Currently, the next release is projected to happen between June 14 and 18. Unfortunately, the exact date cannot be predicted.

More than 150 artifacts from the Titanic recovered from the ocean floor will be on display at the Mayborn Museum in Waco. Photo courtesy Mayborn Museum. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

When the RMS Titanic sank on April 14, 1912, she took some 1,500 souls to their watery grave. It would be another 73 years before the ship’s wreckage was discovered 12,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. The Mayborn Museum on the Baylor University campus hosts “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit” – a fascinating exhibition of more than 200 artifacts recovered from the ocean floor. It is recommended that visitors buy the timed tickets online before journeying to the museum.
June 2-Jan. 6, 2019, "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit," Mayborn Museum, Waco, 254/710-1110,

This photo taken Nov. 18, 2017, in Port Aransas shows the pile of debris left by Hurricane Harvey that was once called “Mount Port A." It has dwindled to a tiny hill as the area steadily recovers. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

The Texas coast is making steady progress on its road to recovery from the devastation left behind by Hurricane Harvey last August. The Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce reports that 70% of the island’s restaurants have reopened and 50% of accommodations are back in business. In Rockport, where the storm first came ashore, many of the shops in the main business district are back open. The Texas Maritime Museum has a new roof and is back in business. Harvey was the Fulton Mansion State Historic Site’s eighth hurricane and it is back open for free tours as reconstruction continues. Don’t miss the Windmill Tree behind the mansion that still sports the blade from a windmill put there in the 1919 hurricane.
Tue.-Sun., Hard Hat Tours, Fulton Mansion State Historic Site, Fulton/Rockport, 361/729-0386,

Travel Notes:

Learn the tricks of the trade for building awesome sandcastles with free lessons at Stewart Beach on Galveston Island this summer. The Sandcastle Building Lessons are every Saturday at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. The day begins with a professional sculptor building a sandcastle near the park pavilion from 8 to 11am. Lessons are free, but there is a $15 fee to park. Registration is not required, and participants are encouraged to bring their own buckets and shovels.

From time to time, water quality along the Texas Coast during the summer can exceed acceptable levels of bacteria. Before you grab the sunscreen, check out the interactive map at Texas Beach Watch for updates on water quality at your favorite recreational beaches. Water samples are tested every week from May to September.

Take your two left feet to Gruene Hall for Swing Dance Lessons. Beginning June 5 through August 15, every Tuesday at 6pm they’ll be clearing the dance floor for an hourlong class to sharpen your turns and spins. Classes are $8 per person and you don’t need a partner to join in the fun. Stick around after class to practice what you’ve learned with the rockabilly band Two Tons of Steel. Call 830/606-1601 for more information.

The area between Elgin and Brenham is loaded with scenic drives, interesting stops, and lots of history. If you ever needed an excuse to explore Highway 290 east of Austin then the #Adventure290 scavenger hunt points you in the right direction. Download the entry form and questionnaire from the website and follow the clues. Once you accumulate enough points you win a prize. The scavenger hunt adventure runs June 1 through August 30.

In the dry landscape of West Texas finding an oasis can be extremely difficult and one of the most popular is closed to the public until further notice. The pool at Balmorhea State Park north of Fort Davis is off-limits pending repairs. During the annual cleaning, workmen found damage to the concrete apron under the diving board. Built in the 1930s, it is the largest spring-fed pool in the world with 15 million gallons of water flowing through the 1.3-acre, V-shaped pool daily from San Solomon Springs.

June is Weirdo Month in Santa Fe, N.M. Fruition|Santa Fe merges art, media, science, and technology for a one-of-a-kind festival that spans June 7-24. The first-time festival includes exhibits, performances, and experimentation. Many of the events are appropriate for all ages and are free.

Other June Events:

Billy the Kid Festival
June 1-3, San Elizario,

Kerrville Folk Festival
June 1-10, Kerrville,

Alpine Cowboys Baseball
June 1-July 18, Alpine,

Cat Spring Agriculture Society Fest
June 2, Cat Spring,

Food Truck Championship of Texas
June 2, Graham,

Neches River Rendezvous
June 2, Lufkin,

LBJ Fishing Day
June 2, Stonewall,

International Piano Festival
June 2-10, San Marcos,

U-Pick Blueberries
June 2-July 4, Conroe,

"Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit"
June 2-Jan. 6, Waco,

Buddy Holly Center Summer Concert Series
June 3-Aug. 23, Lubbock,

Children’s Art & Literacy Festival
June 7-9, Abilene,

Chisholm Trail Roundup Rodeo & Music Festival
June 7-9, Lockhart,

World Oceans Day Festival
June 8, Galveston,

Squeezebox Blowout
June 8-9, Angleton,

Robert E. Howard Days
June 8-9, Cross Plains,

June 8-10, Aransas Pass,

Lavender Festival
June 8-10, Blanco,

Texas Folklife Festival
June 8-10, San Antonio,

Czech Kolache Klobase Festival
June 9, East Bernard,

Juneteenth Parade & Celebration
June 9, Elgin,

St. Arnold Brewing Company’s 25th Anniversary Party
June 9, Houston,

Canal Fest
June 9, Irving,

Texas Blueberry Festival
June 9, Nacogdoches,

Texas Water Safari
June 9, San Marcos,

Robert E. Howard Days at Greenleaf Cemetery
June 9-10, Brownwood,

Garden Festival
June 9-10, Port Arthur,

Beer, Whiskey & Chili with JD’s Chili Parlor
June 14, San Antonio,

Legends of Western Swing Music Festival
June 14-16, Wichita Falls,

TX Pie Fest
June 15-16, Cisco,

Stonewall Peach JAMboree & Rodeo
June 15-16, Stonewall,

Adult Soapbox Derby
June 15-17, Marble Falls,

Berges Fest
June 15-17, Boerne,

Cajun Festival
June 15-17, Galveston,

Let the Good Times Roll Festival
June 15-17, Shreveport, La.,

Frontier Times Museum 65th Anniversary
June 16, Bandera,

Western Days
June 19-23, Elgin,

Watermelon Thump
June 21-24, Luling,

Fort Griffin Fandangle
June 22-23, 29-30, Albany,

Bremond Polski Dzien (Polish Festival Days)
June 22-23, Bremond,

“Bleacher Bums”
June 22-July 1, Kokernot Outdoor Theatre, Alpine,

Tomato Round-Up: Home-Grown Tomato Contest
June 23, Dripping Springs,

Jaston Williams: “I’m Not Lying”
June 23, Galveston,

Frank Schlather Day
June 23, Gruene,

Hill Country Food Truck Festival
June 23, Luckenbach,

East Texas Taco Fest
June 23, Marshall,

Juneteenth Heritage Celebration
June 23, Washington-on-the-Brazos,

Comedy of Errors
June 23, Winedale Historical Center,

June 27-July1, July 3-8, Milwaukee, Wis.,

Bastrop Patriotic Festival
June 29-30, Bastrop,

June 30, Bandera,

Key Lime Festival
June 30-July 4, Key West, Fla.,

Gerald McLeod has been traveling around Texas and beyond for his "Day Trips" column for more than 25 years. Keep up to date with his journeys on his archive page.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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