Day Trips & Beyond: July Events Roundup

Get hip to these timely travel tips

Route 66, film festivals, and watermelon festivals are calling summer day trippers.

Travelers on Route 66 were welcomed to Texas on the eastern edge of the Panhandle by the ornate Conoco station and Dew Drop Inn in Shamrock. Today it is the town’s visitor center and Historic Route 66 Museum. This year the town hosts the annual Route 66 Festival. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Retracing Route 66 is the ultimate summer road trip. Extending from Chicago, Ill., to Santa Monica, Ca., the 2,448 miles of blacktop stretches into songs, movies, television, and many family vacations. In Texas, most of the traffic across the Panhandle has been diverted to Interstate 40, but 91% of the 178 miles of the original “Mother Road” in the state are still in use as city streets and feeder roads. From Shamrock to Glen Rio there will be special events to celebrate the annual Texas Route 66 Festival.
July 12-15, Texas Route 66 Festival, Shamrock and other locations, 830/373-1427, www.texaswelcomestheworld.com/festival.

Half Widow, a film by Danish Renzu, is the first Kashmiri drama to appear at the Asian Film Festival of Dallas. Begun in 2002, the film festival has grown to become the largest showcase of Asian and Asian-American films in the Southwest. (Photo courtesy AFF)

For 16 years the Asian Film Festival of Dallas has showcased movies from around the world. This year’s edition includes 66 films and six blocks of short films. More than 10 countries contributed films in a wide variety of genres. Several of the filmmakers will be in attendance to talk about their entries in the festival, some of which are having their Southwest premieres. Tickets are available for the entire festival or individual screenings.
July 19-26, Asian Film Festival of Dallas, Angelika Film Center, Dallas, 214/620-0885, www.asianfilmdallas.com.

Travel Notes:

Tickets for the Houston BBQ Throwdown 2018 have gone on sale, but they won’t last long. Set for Sunday, Sept. 16, at Saint Arnold Brewing Company in Houston, the annual meat fest pits barbecue joints against each other for public approval of their innovative and delicious new dishes.

Just in time for the summer holidays from school, Westcave Preserve has extended guided tours to the spring-fed canyon to Fridays. The tour journeys from the upper grassland down into the cool, spring-fed canyon decorated with ferns and chirping birds. Tours are at 10am and noon on a first-come, first-served basis through Aug. 10. Cost is $15 for adults and $7 for children.

Built in 1932 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Indian Lodge has commanded a mountain view outside of Fort Davis and the hearts of anyone who has visited the remote hotel. The 35 rooms have reopened after renovations of the National Park Service pueblo-style building. To make reservations, visit the State Park Reservations page, or reserve a room by calling 512/389-8900.

No matter where you’re traveling this summer you can support Texas State Parks by staying at La Quinta Inns & Suites. By using the special Support Texas State Parks reservation page, the Texas-based hotel chain will donate 10% of your stay to our state parks.

If you’re heading west this summer you’ll want to get a copy of the all-new 2018 California Road Trips guide. The 36-page free magazine features 12 off-the-beaten-path driving tours that let you day trip like a local. The guide, along with a California Visitors Guide and state highway map, is available from Visit California.

Other July Events:

Live Thoroughbred Racing
July 1, 3-4, 13-15, 19-22, Grand Prairie, www.lonestarpark.com

Texas Shakespeare Festival
July 1-29, Kilgore, www.texasshakespeare.com

Celebration of American Independence
July 4, Comfort, www.comfort-texas.com

Fourth at Panther Island
July 4, Fort Worth, www.pantherislandpavilion.com

July Fourth Fireman’s Celebration
July 4, Giddings, www.giddingstx.com

Robert Earl Keen’s Fourth on the River
July 4, Kerrville, www.kerrvilles4th.org

Independence Day Fireworks Show
July 4, Kyle, www.cityofkyle.com/recreation

Boat Parade
July 4, Rockport, www.rockport-fulton.org

Parade & Fireworks Display
July 4, South Padre Island, www.sopadre.com

Summer Rodeo
July 6, 13, 20, Bandera, www.banderacowboycapital.com

Half-Moon Holidays Celebration and Barbecue Cook-off
July 6-7, Shiner, www.shinertx.com

Balcones Heights Jazz Festival
July 6, 13, 20, 27, San Antonio, www.sanantoniocentral.org

Llano Rock’N Riverfest
July 7, Llano, www.llanorocknriverfest.com

Big Scoop Ice Cream Festival
July 7, Wimberley, www.facebook.com/campgoodsamwimberley

Live Pari-Mutuel Horse Racing
July 7-8, 21-22, Fredericksburg, www.gillespiefair.com

Crider’s Rodeo & Dance
July 7, 14, 21, 28, Hunt, www.cridersrandd.com

Rockport Art Festival
July 7-8, Rockport, www.rockport-fulton.org

Polish Heritage Day
July 8, San Antonio, www.texancultures.com

U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship and Raising Cane’s Red River Balloon Rally
July 9-15, Shreveport-Bossier City, La., www.redriverballoonrally.com

ScienceFest
July 11-15, Los Alamos, N.M., www.losalamossciencefestival.com

Marfa Film Festival
July 11-15, Marfa, www.marfafilmfestival.com

Route 66 Festival
July 12-15, Shamrock, www.texaswelcomestheworld.com

Spring Ho Hot as Hell Barbecue Cook-off
July 13-14, Lampasas, www.lampasaschamber.org

International Sister Cities Festival
July 13-15, Laredo, www.visitlaredo.com

Stagecoach Days
July 14, Anderson, www.wheretexasbecametexas.org/about/fanthorp-inn

McDade Watermelon Festival
July 14, McDade, www.mcdadetexas.com

Harvest Festival & Grape Stomp
July 14, Santa Fe, www.haakwine.com

Parker County Peach Festival
July 14, Weatherford, www.parkercountypeachfestival.org

Hemingway Days
July 17-22, Key West, Fla., www.fla-keys.com/hemingway-days

Zoo After Dark
July 19, Houston, www.houstonzoo.org

Shakespeare at Winedale
July 19-Aug. 12, Round Top, www.liberalarts.utexas.edu/winedale

Star Party
July 20, Boerne, www.visitboerne.org

Paris Balloon and Music Festival
July 20-22, Paris, www.parisballoonandmusicfestival.com

Plumeria Sale
July 21, Corpus Christi, www.stxbot.org

FridaFest
July 21, Edinburg, www.edinburgarts.com

Cheeseburger Festival
July 21, Friona, www.frionachamber.com

Boots’N Eats on the Beach
July 21, Galveston, www.galveston.com

White Grape Harvest Festival
July 21, Harleton, www.enochsstomp.com

Living History Saturday
July 21, Washington-on-the-Brazos, www.wheretexasbecametexas.org

Float Fest
July 21-22, San Marcos, www.floatfest.net

“Salado Legends”
July 21, 28, Aug. 4, Salado, www.tablerock.org

Crush for Fun
July 21-22, 28-29, Aug. 4-5, 11-12, Brenham, www.pleasanthillwinery.com

“Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors”
July 21-Sept. 30, San Antonio, www.wittemuseum.org

Great Texas Mosquito Festival
July 26-28, Clute, www.mosquitofestival.com

Moonlit Harvest
July 27, Bryan, www.messinahof.com

Dripping Springs Fair and Rodeo
July 27-29, Dripping Springs, www.drippingspringsfairandrodeo.com

Grape Stomp!
July 28, Seguin, www.bluelotuswinery.com


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 36 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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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Day Trips, Route 66 Festival, Asian Film Festival, Houston BBQ Throwdown, Westcave Preserve, Indian Lodge, Texas State Parks, La Quinta Inn & Suites

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