Day Trips & Beyond: April Events Roundup
It’s a beautiful time of year to get your daytrippin’ on
By Gerald E. McLeod,
4:00PM, Thu. Apr. 1, 2021
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.
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.
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, www.hayscitystoretx.com
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, www.llanochuckwagoncookoff.com
Old Jailhouse Tours
April 3, Fredericksburg, www.pioneermuseum.net/old-jail
April 3, Llano, www.llanofiddlefest.com
Wild & Scenic Film Festival
April 3, McDade, www.pplt.org/wildandscenic
April 3-18, Fredericksburg, www.wildseedfarms.com
Bon Temps Rouler Cajun Throwdown
April 9-10, Hitchcock, www.btrcajunthrowdown.com
Texas Vintage Motorcycle Fandango
April 9-11, Fredericksburg, www.thetexasfandango.com
April 9-11, Poteet, www.strawberryfestival.com
Splashway’s Wine Walk
April 9-11, 16-18, Sheridan, www.splashway.com
April 10, Castell, www.castellgrind.com
Scarborough Renaissance Festival
April 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, May 1-2,8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-31, Waxahachie, www.srfestival.com
April 15-18, Galveston, www.galvestonfeatherfest.com
April 16-17, Llano, www.llanocrawfishopen.com
Bluebonnet Trails and Festival
April 16-18, Ennis, www.bluebonnettrail.org
Vintage RV Rally
April 16-19, Matagorda, www.tincantourists.com/event/1st-annual-vintage-rv-rally-golden-oldies
Spring Tractor Pull and Handcrafted Market
April 17, Boerne, www.theagricultural.org/tractorpullengineshow
Cotton Gin Festival
April 17, Burton, www.burtontexas.org/page-1856100
Spring Native Plant Sale and Festival
April 17, Kerrville, www.riversidenaturecenter.org
San Jacinto Celebration
April 17, La Porte, www.sanjacinto-museum.org
Texoma Earth Day
April 17, Sherman, www.earthdaytexoma.org
Spring Art Fair by the Bay
April 17-18, Rockport, www.rockportartcenter.com
Birdiest Festival in America
April 21-25, Corpus Christi, www.birdiestfestival.org
Live Horse Racing
April 22, Grand Prairie, www.lonestarpark.com/live-racing
1836 Chuck Wagon Races
April 23-25, Palestine, www.1836chuckwagonrace.com
Birding the Border
April 29-May 2, Del Rio, wildlife.tamu.edu/birding/birding-the-border-2021
April 29-May 9, Corpus Christi, www.bucdays.com/festival-grounds
Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games
April 30-May 2, Decatur, www.texasscots.com/tickets.html
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.