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, www.revolverbrewing.com/tour

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, www.kitcarsonmuseum.org

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:

Calder-Picasso
Nov. 1-Jan. 30, Houston, www.mfah.org/exhibitions

CASI International Chili Championship
Nov. 3-6, Terlingua, www.casichili.net

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

Canyon Gorge Tours
Nov. 3-30, Canyon Lake, www.canyongorgetours.com

Lone Star Motorcycle Rally
Nov. 4-7, Galveston, www.lonestarrally.com

First Friday Ghost Tour
Nov. 5, Georgetown, www.williamsonmuseum.org

Dobie Dichos
Nov. 5, Oakville, www.dobiedichos.com

Wine, Dine & Jazz Festival
Nov. 5-6, Horse Shoe Bay, www.hsbresort.com/wine-dine-and-jazz

Greek Festival
Nov. 5-7, Corpus Christi, www.facebook.com/greekfestivalcc

World Food Championships
Nov. 5-7, Dallas, www.worldfoodchampionships.com

Wurstfest
Nov. 5-14, New Braunfels, www.wurstfest.com

Old Jail Exhibit
Nov. 6, Fredericksburg, www.pioneermuseum.net/old-jail.html

Day of Stories
Nov. 6, George West, www.dobie-westtheatre.com

Brew on the Bayou
Nov. 6, Lake Jackson, www.gcbo.org

Lubbock Uncorked
Nov. 6, Lubbock, www.lubbockchamber.com/lubbock-uncorked

KidsFest
Nov. 6-7, New Braunfels, www.nbkidsfest.com

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

A Conversation with Stacy Abrams
Nov. 10, Grand Prairie, www.texastrustcutheatre.com

Anvil Shoot
Nov. 11, Hamilton, www.facebook.com/cunningham222

Free National Park Entrance Day
Nov. 11, Various, www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm

Wild West Brewfest
Nov. 11-13, Katy, www.wildwestbrewfest.com

Rockport Film Festival
Nov. 11-14, Rockport, www.rockportfilmfestival.com

Night Market
Nov. 12, Houston, www.asiasociety.org/texas

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

Scottish Gathering and Highland Games
Nov. 12-14, Salado, www.saladomuseum.org/scottish-gathering-and-highland-games

Santa’s Wonderland
Nov. 12-Dec. 30, College Station, www.santas-wonderland.com

Heritage Syrup Festival
Nov. 13, Henderson, www.visithendersontx.com

The Market at Sawyer Yards
Nov. 13, Houston, www.sawyerstreetmarket.com

Fall Harvest Festival
Nov. 13, Kingsbury, www.habitablespaces.org

Texas Memorial Illumination at San Jacinto
Nov. 13, LaPorte, www.texasmemorialilluminationatsanjacinto.com/about-us

Second Saturday at Heritage Village
Nov. 13, New Braunfels, www.texashandmadefurniture.com/livinghistory

Black History River Cruise
Nov. 13, San Antonio, www.saaacam.org/events

Luminaria
Nov. 13, San Antonio, www.luminariasa.org

Museum Market
Nov. 13, San Antonio, www.sama.org

Yanaguana Indian Arts Festival
Nov. 13, San Antonio, www.briscoemuseum.org/yanaguana

Boerne Market Days
Nov. 13-14, Boerne, www.boernemarketdays.com/boerne.html

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

Father of Texas Celebration and Grand Opening of Villa de Austin
Nov. 13-14, San Felipe, www.thc.texas.gov/historic-sites/san-felipe-de-austin-state-historic-site

Kuhlmann-King Museum Tours
Nov. 13, 27, Boerne, www.facebook.com/kuhlmannkinghouse

Fall Foliage Driving Tour
Nov. 13-28, Palestine, www.visitpalestine.com/fallfoliage

Beaujolais Nights
Nov. 18, Round Rock, www.goroundrock.com/events/beaujolais-nights

Bird Banding
Nov. 19, Lake Jackson, www.gcbo.org

Partial Lunar Eclipse
Nov. 19, Everywhere, www.earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/partial-lunar-eclipse-november-19-2021

Artwalk
Nov. 19-20, Alpine, www.artwalkalpine.com

Handmade Market
Nov. 19-20, Boerne, www.boernehandmademarket.com

Ranch Hand Weekend
Nov. 19-21, Kingsville, www.ranchhandweekend.com

Ranch Hand Breakfast
Nov. 20, Kingsville, www.king-ranch.com/visit/special-events

Trade Days
Nov. 19-21, Fredericksburg, www.fbgtradedays.com

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

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

Lightscape
Nov. 19-Jan. 2, San Antonio, www.sabot.org

Christmas Market
Nov. 20, Washington-on-the-Brazos, www.wheretexasbecametexas.org

Albert and Gage in Concert
Nov. 21, Fredericksburg, www.fredericksburgmusicclub.com

Homestead Fair
Nov. 26-28, Waco, www.homesteadfair.com

Starry Starry Night in Llano
Nov. 26-Dec. 31, Llano, www.llanostarrystarrynights.com

Eisbahn Outdoor Skating
Nov. 26-Jan. 1, Fredericksburg, www.heritageschool.org/eisbahn

Sounds of the Season
Nov. 27, Boerne, www.cavewithoutaname.com

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

Christmas Wine Affair
Nov. 29-Dec. 24, Various, www.texaswinetrail.com/christmas-wine-affair

Christmas Lights:

Santa’s Wonderland
Nov. 12-Dec. 30, College Station, www.santas-wonderland.com

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

Walkway of Lights
Nov. 19-Jan. 1, Marble Falls, www.visitmarblefalls.org/event/walkway

Lightscape
Nov. 19-Jan. 2, San Antonio, www.sabot.org

Winter Fest
Nov. 20-Jan. 2, El Paso, www.epwinterfest.com

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

Wonderland of Lights
Nov. 24-Dec. 23, Marshall, www.marshalltexas.net/483/Wonderland-of-Lights-2021

Starry Starry Night in Llano
Nov. 26-Dec. 31, Llano, www.llanostarrystarrynights.com

Lights Spectacular
Nov. 26-Jan. 2, Johnson City, www.johnsoncitytexas.info/lights-spectacular.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.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 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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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

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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