Before the music started at one of our favorite music festivals we explored Driftwood, Wimberley, and Dripping Springs to sample some wine, rum, and good food, listen to some excellent music, and play a round of golf.
Our main goal was to attend Old Settler's Music festival in Driftwood which is a 3 day music festival with camping, 3 stages of music, and over 40 very talented musicians. The campground is always alive with some excellent pickin' and singin' at several different campsites, the smell of bacon to BBQ and oak burning in a fire pit, laughter and good times. The setting for the music is beautiful and the music genre varies from blues and bluegrass to country, folk, reggae, and Americana. The music fans are friendly and outgoing and always looking for someone new to pull up a camp chair, open a cold one, and join their music circle. Read our review of Old Settler's Music Festival to learn why this is one of our favorites.
The music at Old Settler's starts on Thursday night around 5 and around noon on Saturday and Sunday, which means until it starts there's time to explore the local area which offer lots to see and do. We arrived at Camp Ben McCulloch in Driftwood on Tuesday to make sure we got a good campsite for the music. After getting the RV settled in we took off for nearby Kyle to play golf at Plum Creek Golf Course.
Plum Creek Golf Course is spread out over 200 acres and the course layout takes advantage of the natural beauty of the Texas live oaks, limestone, rolling hills, and Texas wildflowers. It offers a good mix of challenging holes thanks to dog legs, ponds, bunkers, and creeks and some great birdie opportunities. Here is a link to our review of Plum Creek to tell you more about this great course.
We got back from golf just in time to enjoy a great BBQ dinner at one of the best and most well known BBQ restaurants in Texas - Salt Lick BBQ. Zagat describes Salt Lick as "These 'landmark' bastions of beef provide a 'quintessential Texas BBQ experience' to loyal locals and 'out‑of‑towners' thanks to moist brisket, terrific ribs, first‑rate sausage and its famous tangy sauce." The food is great, the setting is cool with indoor and outdoor seating, and the bar serves some local wine and beer. After a bucket of beer and way too much BBQ we waddled across the street and back to our motorhome and joined our neighbors as they picked and sang around their campfire.
Wednesday morning we set off to explore Wimberley which is about 15 minutes from Camp Ben McCulloch. Our first stop was to check out Blue Hole Regional Park which is a great park and home to one of the Best Swimming Holes in Texas. It was a tad too cold for swimming but we enjoyed a easy walk down to the swimming hole which is beautiful with cypress trees, clear water, green grass, and picnic tables. The rope swing looked inviting but I decided to wait until summer. The park has 3.5 miles of trails, picnic areas, a community pavilion, playscape, basketball court, sand volleyball court, and an amphitheater.
After a short walk along the trails it was time to feed the tummy so we headed to downtown Wimberley for some good food and to browse the shops. First stop was Wimberley Cafe - a laid back country cafe with breakfast dishes, sandwiches, and home style entrees served in old-timey quarters with counter seats. We enjoyed a couple of delicious sandwiches and set off to explore the local shops - all within walking distance of the Cafe.
Some of us set off to explore the shops while the other one of us did some bar hopping to check out the local hangouts. Within a few blocks of the Wimberley Cafe you'll find a good wine store, a couple more restaurants, and several quaint shops with everything from popcorn to antiques, to artifacts to clothes, art galleries, and more. I headed to Ino'z which has a beautiful deck overlooking Cypress Creek and their back lawn features 2 bocce ball courts for your competitive spirit, or you can simply stroll along the peaceful banks of Cypress Creek. A perfect place to settle in with a cold beer and wait for the shopping to end.
As we walked around Wimberley, we couldn't help but notice the painted cowboy boots spread throughout the town. Turns our the colorful large boots are part of Bootiful Wimberley - an art project that started in 2014 as a way to promote the arts and attract tourism and today it includes over 32 boots painted and sponsored by local artists and businesses. Really cool!
Next on our list was Cypress Creek Reserve which is a small rum distillery on the edge of Wimberley. The distillery is owned by David Watson and his wife Laura. David built much of the distillery equipment himself and a couple of his rums won gold and silver medals. He's got a small patio and alcove under the trees for sampling his rum and the distillery is in a small building next door. David was kind enough to take us on a short informative and educational tour. Maybe I'll start distilling rum!
After a few samples of rum we stopped by Jacob's Well which is in a preserve that includes 81 acres surrounding the Jacob’s Well artesian spring. Jacob's Well is the largest continually flowing karstic spring in the Texas Hill Country and it's beautiful with limestone cliffs and native vegetation surrounding the spring.
That evening we enjoyed some more great pickin' and singin' around the campfire with our new friends. It was another late night of fun, laughter, good music, and too many beers.
Thursday morning after sleeping in and lunch we set off to visit a nearby winery and brewery. About 10 minutes from our campsite is Twisted X Brewing Company which is the birthplace of Tex-Mex styled beer in a very cool 10,000 square foot brewery and tasting room in Dripping Springs. Twisted X "brews high-quality Tex Mex style craft beer that satisfies the thirsty palate and quenches the fire in your throat and the result is a flight of high-quality craft lagers, pilsners, IPAs and more, with an expanding selection and endless mojo." A cool setting with an outside patio - we thoroughly enjoyed a flight of 6 different beers - a premium lager, a Vienna lager, a Jalapeno pilsner, and India Pale Ale, a strong ale, and a tropical larger. I was in heaven and hated to leave!
Just three blocks up the road from Camp Ben McCulloch is Fall Creek Vineyards which opened a tasting room in 2015 in a very cool country home with a perfect patio to enjoy some wine samples or a bottle of wine - and they are within walking distance of Camp Ben McCulloch and Salt Lick BBQ. The patio overlooks stone walls, a small pond, and waterfalls and it's quiet and peaceful - doesn't get much better and Fall Creek continues to be a "leader in the world wine industry, and its wines have received countless awards in state, national and international competitions. Fall Creek is the only Texas winery to receive a BEST BUY in the Wine Spectator."
After sampling some good wine we got back to Camp Ben McCulloch for the kickoff of Old Setter's Music Festival with music on the campground stage. The music was outstanding over the next two days. Here is a link to our review of Old Settler's Music Festival.
Can't wait to do all of the above again next year.