Day Trips & Beyond: April Events Roundup

It’s a beautiful time of year to get your daytrippin’ on

Just in time for State Parks Month, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced new or renewed public access sites along the Brazos, Llano, and San Marcos rivers for fishing and paddling trips. With the great majority of river frontage in Texas privately owned, gaining access to the water is often difficult at best and impossible at worst.

Access to Texas rivers can often be difficult due to private property rights. The Kingsland Slab off FM 1431 now has additional access for anglers and kayakers due to a lease agreement with a RV park. TPWD has more than 20 lease agreements with landowners on eight rivers. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Since 2012, more than 20 public river access leases have been established with landowners. The access points open more than 211 miles of water on the Brazos, Colorado, Devils, Guadalupe, Llano, Lower Neches, Sabine, and San Marcos rivers. The two new locations are the Brazos Outdoor Center near Granbury and Spencer Canoes and Shady Grove Campground downstream from San Marcos. The Kingsland Slab RV Camp between Llano and Marble Falls renewed their lease, which increases access to one of the best swimming holes in Central Texas. These leases provide alternative entrée to navigable streams and are paid for by a combination of sources including the Texas Rivers Conservation License Plates.

W.C. Clark plays at Hays City Store on Monday nights. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Blues in the hills. A short distance from South Austin between Driftwood and Wimberley, the Hays City Store is home to W.C. Clark on Monday evenings. Known as the “Godfather of Austin Blues,” Clark plays with his band on some nights, but it is the solo evenings that are truly special. The 81-year-old plays a litany of blues and soul standards on the outdoor stage that is magical. If you haven’t been to the Hays City Store lately, it’s worth a return trip. They have expanded the patio area and socially distanced the dining room. The chicken-fried steak, truck-stop enchiladas, and fish tacos still rock all the time.
Mondays, W.C. Clark, Hays City Store, Driftwood, 512/722-3905,

Travel Notes:

Pop-up art in the Alamo City. Pabst Brewing Company, the maker of Lone Star Beer, is stirring up the art community in San Antonio again. Collaborating with Wide Awake Creative, the brewery is bringing a new interactive and immersive art pop-up to the Aztec Theatre, April 9-15 from 5 to 10pm. In Living Pixels features seven San Antonio-based artists creating interpretations of the digital and natural world. The artists use TVs, cameras, lights, and mirrors to create alternative perspectives where the viewer is part of the art. Admission to the pop-up is free, but time slot tickets must be reserved in advance online. In March the brewery opened a new gallery, Pabst Blue Ribbon Studios, at 1112 S. St. Mary’s St. in San Antonio.

Gone to the dogs. Dallas-based writer Andrew Chalk has probably visited as many Texas wineries as anyone. A life-long dog lover, he has always had a soft spot for the four-legged members of the wineries' staff. Now he has compiled photos and biographies of the pups in Texas Winery Dogs, a must-have for the libraries of dog and wine lovers.

Four sheets to the wind. It isn’t often that you get to see a tall ship with its sails in action. On April 9, 11, 12, 14, and 17 the Elissa will be doing its annual sea trials out of Galveston. Tickets to ride on the ship are sold out, but tickets on the harbor tour vessel Seagull II are available. The tour boat will follow the sailing ship offering incredible photo opportunities as the crew trims the 19th-century ship’s sails.

Starry night in Houston. Tickets have gone on sale for the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit coming to Houston beginning on August 10. The exhibit lets visitors “step inside” the art like never before in a symphony of light, colors, movement, and music. The show has sold out in venues around the world.

Other April Events:

Llano River Chuck Wagon Cookoff
April 1-3, Llano,

Old Jailhouse Tours
April 3, Fredericksburg,

Fiddle Fest
April 3, Llano,

Wild & Scenic Film Festival
April 3, McDade,

Wildflower Celebration
April 3-18, Fredericksburg,

Bon Temps Rouler Cajun Throwdown
April 9-10, Hitchcock,

Texas Vintage Motorcycle Fandango
April 9-11, Fredericksburg,

Strawberry Festival
April 9-11, Poteet,

Splashway’s Wine Walk
April 9-11, 16-18, Sheridan,

Castell Grind
April 10, Castell,

Scarborough Renaissance Festival
April 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, May 1-2,8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-31, Waxahachie,

April 15-18, Galveston,

Crawfish Open
April 16-17, Llano,

Bluebonnet Trails and Festival
April 16-18, Ennis,

Vintage RV Rally
April 16-19, Matagorda,

Spring Tractor Pull and Handcrafted Market
April 17, Boerne,

Cotton Gin Festival
April 17, Burton,

Spring Fish Fry
April 17, Fredericksburg,

Spring Native Plant Sale and Festival
April 17, Kerrville,

San Jacinto Celebration
April 17, La Porte,

Texoma Earth Day
April 17, Sherman,

Spring Art Fair by the Bay
April 17-18, Rockport,

Birdiest Festival in America
April 21-25, Corpus Christi,

Live Horse Racing
April 22, Grand Prairie,

1836 Chuck Wagon Races
April 23-25, Palestine,

Birding the Border
April 29-May 2, Del Rio,

Buc Days
April 29-May 9, Corpus Christi,

Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games
April 30-May 2, Decatur,

In search of more virtual or IRL travel ideas? Visit our Out of Town listings.
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 and follow him on Facebook.

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Day Trips, Texas State Parks, W.C. Clark, PBR, San Antonio, Aztec Theatre, Andrew Chalk, Texas Winery Dogs, Tall Ship Elissa, Seagull II, Immersive Van Gogh, Houston

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