Day Trips & Beyond: November Events Roundup

It’s time for chili cook-offs, festivals, and all sorts of November fun

Sample the beers at Revolver Brewery’s Saturday Event. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Saturdays at the Revolver Brewery in Granbury are a combination country fair and backyard party. Friends gather around picnic tables, some with their dogs, snacking on the offerings of the food trucks while a band plays. Beer lovers line up inside the modern brewery building to get samples of the nine beers on tap. It’s a fun day of trying the full lineup of one of Texas’ premier craft breweries.

The brewery was founded in 2012 by father-and-son duo Ron and Rhett Keisler with brewmaster Grant Wood, a former brewer with Sam Adams Brewery. The company’s flagship brew, Blood and Honey, is a wheat ale finished with blood orange peels, local honey, and spices. The menu also includes two lagers and a bock. The founders remained with the company after it was acquired by MillerCoors in 2016.

Wristbands to the Saturday Event are $15 at the door for six 8-ounce pours. Arrivals after 4pm only get four pours. Guests under 21 or not drinking are free. Tours have been suspended because of the pandemic.
Saturdays, Revolver Brewery, Granbury, 817/736-8034,

Near the center of Taos, N.M., the Kit Carson Home and Museum presents the frontiersman’s life through his family. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

It’s only an old flat-roofed adobe house, low slung with a porch running its length on the sunny side. Kit Carson bought the house a block off the square in Taos, N.M., as a wedding present for his third wife in 1843. Though they owned and lived in the house for 25 years, Kit and Josefa Carson had their happiest years here from 1856 to 1861. For those seven years Kit worked from home as Indian agent to the Ute tribe. It was the only time the famous frontiersman, explorer, and guide had a job where he wasn’t wandering the trails between the Mississippi River and the California coast.

As the Carson household grew to include seven children and three Navajo orphans, the house increased to 12 rooms. The couple died within a few weeks of each other in Colorado, but were interred in the cemetery behind the house in Taos.

One of America’s great legends, Carson’s life (1809-1868) needs no embellishment. That’s why the simple Kit Carson Home and Museum is such a fitting tribute. Encompassing only three rooms of the original adobe house, the museum is spare, but speaks volumes.

Although Kit spent the majority of his adult life as a soldier and scout, the museum focuses on his family life. There is some military hardware, but most of the exhibits are family photos, housewares, and furniture from the 19th century. Josefa was an accomplished seamstress, and one of the most interesting items is her sewing kit. It is all a remarkable look at one of the first families of the American frontier.
Kit Carson Home and Museum, 113 Kit Carson Rd., Taos, N.M., 575/758-4945, Tue.-Sat., 11am-4pm, $7-10,

Travel Notes:

High-water mark. The Smith Visitor Center at McKinney Falls State Park has reopened after being hit by not one, but two floods. On Halloween Night 2013 the visitors center and museum was inundated with more than 40 inches of water from Onion Creek. Less than two years later, the creek rose again. Last month the center reopened with new exhibits and interactive displays. Only 13 miles from the state Capitol in Austin, the park is on the Camino Real Trail and was the homestead of pioneer Thomas McKinney. It has 2.8 miles of hike and bike trails, 81 campsites, and six newly remodeled cabins. Best of all, it is one of the premier swimming and fishing holes in the area.

Undertold stories. Do you know a little-known bit of Texas history that should be memorialized on a state historical marker? Through Nov. 15, the Texas Historical Commission is accepting nominations for Undertold Marker funding. The program intends to fill historic gaps and promote diversity in the historical markers around the state. Among the 2020 recipients were the stories of Chinese labor on the Texas Central Railroad in Limestone County and the 1949 Bowie Bears Championship from El Paso.

Made in the shade. Sam Houston stayed there. So did the James Brothers between bank robberies. Countless honeymooners have spent the night at the Stagecoach Inn in Salado since 1861. The second-oldest surviving hotel in Texas (the Menger Hotel in San Antonio was opened two years earlier) has changed its name to the Shady Villa Hotel, its original moniker. The historic hotel is now part of the Bunkhouse Group of fine hotels. The restaurant in the original portion of the hotel retains the Stagecoach Inn name.

SRV comes to TSU. Home to the archives of Lonesome Dove, Ray Benson, and many other Texas icons and historical figures, the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos is known for preserving the legacy of the Southwest. Now the center is asking for your help in bringing personal items from Stevie Ray Vaughan to the depository. Fans can donate to the fundraiser to purchase personal items that include SRV’s signature fringe calfskin boots.

Head west. Thinking of heading to Yellowstone National Park sometime in the near future? Beginning on April 5, 2022, the company that operates all lodging, campgrounds, dining, and tours in the park will offer reservations on a 13-month rolling calendar. That means guests can plan a little further out than before. Making reservations online instead of over the phone is always the most expedient.

Other November Events:

Nov. 1-Jan. 30, Houston,

CASI International Chili Championship
Nov. 3-6, Terlingua,

Tolbert Original Championship Chili Cook-off
Nov. 3-6, Terlingua,

Canyon Gorge Tours
Nov. 3-30, Canyon Lake,

Lone Star Motorcycle Rally
Nov. 4-7, Galveston,

First Friday Ghost Tour
Nov. 5, Georgetown,

Dobie Dichos
Nov. 5, Oakville,

Wine, Dine & Jazz Festival
Nov. 5-6, Horse Shoe Bay,

Greek Festival
Nov. 5-7, Corpus Christi,

World Food Championships
Nov. 5-7, Dallas,

Nov. 5-14, New Braunfels,

Old Jail Exhibit
Nov. 6, Fredericksburg,

Day of Stories
Nov. 6, George West,

Brew on the Bayou
Nov. 6, Lake Jackson,

Lubbock Uncorked
Nov. 6, Lubbock,

Nov. 6-7, New Braunfels,

John Fairey Garden Open Days
Nov. 6, 20, 27, Hempstead,

A Conversation with Stacy Abrams
Nov. 10, Grand Prairie,

Anvil Shoot
Nov. 11, Hamilton,

Free National Park Entrance Day
Nov. 11, Various,

Wild West Brewfest
Nov. 11-13, Katy,

Rockport Film Festival
Nov. 11-14, Rockport,

Night Market
Nov. 12, Houston,

Texas Hill Country Cowboy Gathering
Nov. 12-13, Fredericksburg,

Scottish Gathering and Highland Games
Nov. 12-14, Salado,

Santa’s Wonderland
Nov. 12-Dec. 30, College Station,

Heritage Syrup Festival
Nov. 13, Henderson,

The Market at Sawyer Yards
Nov. 13, Houston,

Fall Harvest Festival
Nov. 13, Kingsbury,

Texas Memorial Illumination at San Jacinto
Nov. 13, LaPorte,

Second Saturday at Heritage Village
Nov. 13, New Braunfels,

Black History River Cruise
Nov. 13, San Antonio,

Nov. 13, San Antonio,

Museum Market
Nov. 13, San Antonio,

Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival
Nov. 13, San Antonio,

Boerne Market Days
Nov. 13-14, Boerne,

Friends of the Library Book Sale
Nov. 13-14, Bryan,

Father of Texas Celebration and Grand Opening of Villa de Austin
Nov. 13-14, San Felipe,

Kuhlmann-King Museum Tours
Nov. 13, 27, Boerne,

Fall Foliage Driving Tour
Nov. 13-28, Palestine,

Beaujolais Nights
Nov. 18, Round Rock,

Bird Banding
Nov. 19, Lake Jackson,

Partial Lunar Eclipse
Nov. 19, Everywhere,

Nov. 19-20, Alpine,

Handmade Market
Nov. 19-20, Boerne,

Ranch Hand Weekend
Nov. 19-21, Kingsville,

Ranch Hand Breakfast
Nov. 20, Kingsville,

Trade Days
Nov. 19-21, Fredericksburg,

Polar Express Train Ride
Nov. 19-Dec. 26, Palestine,

Christmas Light Display Driving Tour
Nov. 19-Dec. 27, Palestine,

Nov. 19-Jan. 2, San Antonio,

Christmas Market
Nov. 20, Washington-on-the-Brazos,

Albert and Gage in Concert
Nov. 21, Fredericksburg,

Homestead Fair
Nov. 26-28, Waco,

Starry Starry Night in Llano
Nov. 26-Dec. 31, Llano,

Eisbahn Outdoor Skating
Nov. 26-Jan. 1, Fredericksburg,

Sounds of the Season
Nov. 27, Boerne,

Christmas Parade and Enchanted Forest Tree Lighting
Nov. 27, Jefferson,

Christmas Wine Affair
Nov. 29-Dec. 24, Various,

Christmas Lights:

Santa’s Wonderland
Nov. 12-Dec. 30, College Station,

Christmas Light Display Driving Tour
Nov. 19-Dec. 27, Palestine,

Walkway of Lights
Nov. 19-Jan. 1, Marble Falls,

Nov. 19-Jan. 2, San Antonio,

Winter Fest
Nov. 20-Jan. 2, El Paso,

Christmas Nights of Lights
Nov. 23-Jan. 6, Fredericksburg,

Wonderland of Lights
Nov. 24-Dec. 23, Marshall,

Starry Starry Night in Llano
Nov. 26-Dec. 31, Llano,

Lights Spectacular
Nov. 26-Jan. 2, Johnson City,

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, Revolver Brewing, Granbury, Kit Carson, Taos, McKinney Falls State Park, Texas Historical Commission, Undertold Marker, Stagecoach Inn, Salado, Wittliff Collections, Texas State University, Yellowstone National Park

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