Day trips and beyond: March events roundup: Prepare for spring with travel tips and eclipse news – Travel

Day trips and beyond: March events roundup: Prepare for spring with travel tips and eclipse news – Travel

Hit the road in March to enjoy the state’s wildflower season.

Ranch Roads 335, 336 and 337 outside of Leakey in the western Hill Country provide an exciting ride on two or four wheels. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

One wild ride. The Texas Hill Countryroughly defined as the area west of Austinnorth of Uvaldesouth of Bradyand east of Rocksprings, has a well-deserved reputation for its unique beauty and scenic highways. The spring wildflower season explodes on the roadways from March to June.

Exploring the back roads will lead to eclectic art displays at ranchers’ gates, fields of bluebonnets and scenic vistas. West of Kerville the roads twist and turn like a rodeo bronco.

Also known as Twisted Sistersthree roads from the ranch to the market outside Leaky (pronounced “Lake-y” by locals) are recognized as one of the best rides in Texas by motorcyclists, but the roads are also good by car (preferably a convertible).

Using a 100 mile tour Ranch Roads 335, 336 and 337 it can easily take four hours or more to complete as you maneuver hairpin turns, left legs and tight U-turns. Take your time and enjoy the scenery. Just one 15-mile section has approximately 65 turns. The limestone cliffs drop right down to the two-lane asphalt, which disappears around a bend. Cell phones are almost non-existent here, so this is no place for car trouble.

If you want to try Twisted Sisters without the time commitment, drive 37 miles on RR337 between Medina and Leakey. The scenic drive has a full range of ups, downs, twists and turns.

Travel Notes:

Bang-bang, the trolley goes. Take a trolley tour of Victoria on the occasion of the city’s 200th anniversary. The once-a-month tours began with a walk in 1892 Victoria County Courthouse before boarding a replica of an old-fashioned trolley for a ride through the historic district. On-board docents share stories and insights along the way. The next tour takes place on Saturday, March 9, and ends with lunch at the historic PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar. Tickets are $35 or you can take the free self-guided Old Victoria Driving Tour.

Several parks in the area, such as Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area, are known for their fields of bluebonnets. (Photo courtesy of LCRA Parks)

Wildflower reports. The height of wildflower season in Texas it ranges from March to May, but a lot depends on the weather. This could be a banner year for buds. To see where the blooms are in real time, try these websites:

The total solar eclipse will cross Texas around 1:30 PM CDT. (Illustration courtesy of NASA)

Lights out. If you haven’t made reservations to visit an unforgettable place for the Total Solar Eclipse of Monday, April 8, you better deal with it. Places are developing quickly and tourism people are predicting huge crowds. Texas is in zone of totality of two eclipses within eight months is pretty cool. If you missed it annular eclipse in October, you’ll want to prepare for solar eclipse bragging rights now. First and foremost, get a pair eclipse viewers. Inexpensive paper filter glasses are essential. The moon will begin blocking the sun shortly after noon and it will all begin at 1:30 PM CDT near Eagle Pass and move northeast across the state. Totality will last from a few seconds to about 4.5 minutes depending on where you are in relation to the road. Austin, at the southern end of a roughly 100-mile-wide path, will experience about 1 minute and 46 seconds of total solar eclipse at 1:36 PM CDT. The center of the path with the longest totality times will cross near Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Llano, Gatesville, Waco, Terrell, Sulfur Springs and Clarksville. The next total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States will occur on August 23, 2044.

Make your reservations for sailing the tall ship Elissa from Galveston in April. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Welcome on board! Join a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure aboard the 1877 Iron Barque ELISSA. This year on Official Tall Ship of Texas returns to the waters of gulf of mexico for her annual daytime canvas series, April 5-19. As one of the oldest and longest sailing vessels in the world, the annual daily sails keep her where she works best, with sails set, sailing the waters of the Persian Gulf. Tickets start at $300, but the experience is priceless.

Other March Events:

Go to Region: Big Bend | Gulf Coast | Hill Country | Panhandle | Piney Woods | Prairies and Lakes | South Texas


BIG BAND

Take a tour of Seminole Canyon State Park and the surrounding area to see some of the best rock art sites in the world. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Shumla treks to rock art sites
March 17, 23, 24, Comstock, shumla.org/shumlatreks

GULF SHORE

Sea Turtle Saturday
March 2, Galveston, www.galvestonnaturetourism.org/event-sea-turtle-saturday

Fulton Oysterfest
March 7-10, Rockport, fultonoysterfest.org

Old Victoria Bicentennial Trolley Tours
March 9, Victoria, www.explorevictoriatexas.com

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 16, Surfside Beach, www.beachblarney.com

Buffalo Bayou Affiliate Regatta
March 23, Houston, buffalobayou.org

Boil on the Bayou
March 23, Lake Jackson, www.gcbo.org

Bayeux Art Festival
March 23-24, Houston, www.bayoucityartfestival.com

MUDDY COUNTRY

Established in 1851, Fort McCavett served as a frontier fort and was rebuilt in early 1961. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Fort McKavett State Historic Site Archaeological Exhibit
March 1-31, Fort McCavett, www.thc.texas.gov/historic-sites/fort-mckavett

SXSW Film, Music and Interactive Conference and Festival
March 8-16, Austin, www.sxsw.com

Rodeo Austin
March 8-23, Austin, www.rodeoaustin.com

Folkfest Second Saturday
March 9, New Braunfels, www.texashandmadefurniture.com

Art Squared Art Market
March 11, San Marcos, www.artsquaredmarket.com

Spring Break Living History Week
March 11-16, Fredericksburg, www.pioneermuseum.org

Texas Country Music Festival
March 14-23, Brady, hillbillyhits.com

Llano River Chuckwagon Cook-off
March 15-16, Llano, www.llanochuckwagoncookoff.com

Wildflower Festival
March 15-April 30, Fredericksburg, www.wildseedfarms.com

Enjoy the music and entertainment around the old shop in Luckenbach. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Market days
March 16, Blanco, www.historicblanco.org/market-day

Spring Equinox Concert in the Cave
March 16, Boerne, www.cavewithoutname.com

Gillespie County Historic Schools Open House
March 9, 30, Fredericksburg, historicschools.org

Mud Festival and Chili Cook-off
March 16, Luckenbach, www.luckenbachtexas.com

Windsync Woodwind Quintet in concert
March 17, Fredericksburg, www.fredericksburgmusicclub.com

Dripping Springs Brewers Festival
March 23, Dripping Springs, www.destinationdrippingsprings.com

Hill Country Indian Artifacts Exhibit
March 23, Fredericksburg, hillcountryindianartifacts.com

Dinosaur Day
March 23, New Braunfels, www.theheritagemuseum.com

Tour of the Doeppenschmidt-Weidner Ranch
March 23, Spring Branch, tpwd.texas.gov

God bless the grape and the good things that come from it. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Blessings of the Vineyards: A Manor Feast
March 24, Stonewall, www.visit.kuhlmancellars.com/blessing-vines

Wine and Wildflower Journey
March 25-April 19, Hill Country, texashillcountrywineries.org

Violin Festival
March 30-31, Llano, www.llanofiddlefest.com

HANDLE

Outlaws and Legends Music Festival
March 29-30, Abilene, outlawsandlegends.com

PINE WOODS

East Texas celebrates the flowering of the dogwood. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Festival of ancient music and cymbals
March 21-23, Palestine, oldpalmusic.com

Herb Festival
March 23, Huntsville, www.texasthymeunit.org

Stained glass tours
March 23, 30, Palestine, www.visitpalestine.com

Texas Dogwood Trails Celebration
22 March – 7 April, Palestine, www.visitpalestine.com

PRAIRIES AND LAKES

60 years since the birth of Lake Bastrop
March 2, Bastrop, tpwd.texas.gov

Go back to the days of the kings and queens of the Sherwood Forest Faire.

Sherwood Forest Fair
March 2-April 21, McDade, www.sherwoodforestfaire.com

The Farm Street Opry in concert
March 7-June 6, Bastrop, www.farmstreetopry.com

Texas Steel Guitar Jamboree
March 7-10, Irving, texassteelguitar.org/jam.html

Texas Ranger Day
March 9, Burton, www.burtonheritagesociety.org/celebrate

Spring festival and local plant sale
March 9, Lockhart, tpwd.texas.gov

Rajun’ Cajun Throwdown
March 9, Luling, www.lulingmainstreet.com/RajunCajun.php

Spring Antique Show
March 14-31, Round Top, www.exploreroundtop.com

Texas Pinball Festival
March 15-17, Frisco, texaspinball.com/tpf

St. Patrick’s Day Holiday
March 17, Seguin, www.johnnypicklesdistillery.com

Dallas Arboretum Food and Wine Festival
March 21, Dallas, www.dallasarboretum.org

See the People: RC Hickman’s Photographs of Black Dallas, 1949–1961
March 29-May 18, Irving, www.irvingartscenter.com

SOUTH TEXAS

Return of Travis’ letter to the Alamo
March 1-24, San Antonio, www.thealamo.org/visit/return-of-the-travis-letter

A Southwestern experience
March 2, Hebbronville, www.eventbrite.com/e/southwest-experience-tickets-693285053257

Anhalt Cajun Festival
March 16, Spring Branch, anhalthall.com


Gerald McLeod has been traveling around Texas and beyond for his Day Trips column for more than 25 years. Keep up with his travels on his archive page and follow him on Facebook.

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