A Fun Weekend in Spicewood Texas
What a fun weekend with camping, live music, two rounds of golf, some good food, and a dip in Krause Springs! I got Larry Joe Taylor's newsletter which stated that he was going to be at Poodies on Sunday night, so we made some phone calls, packed the motorhome, loaded the clubs into the Jeep and hooked it up to the motorhome, and hit the road for Spicewood.
Spicewood is a small town of around 2000 that is about 30 minutes from Austin and nested in the hill country and bordered by Lake Travis and the Pedernales River. Spicewood is best known as the home of Willie Nelson but it's also home to:
- one of the Best Swimming Holes in Texas - Krause Springs
- a fun zip line tour at Cypress Valley Canopy Tours which also has a tree house that you can zip into and spend the night - read about our Zip & Stay
- Willie Nelson's recording studio and his 9 hole golf course
- the infamous Opies which is well known for good barbeque
- award winning wine from Spicewood Vineyards
- easy access to camping, boating, and fun on Lake Travis
After getting the motorhome settled in at Pace Bend RV Park (read our review of Pace Bend RV Park which is a perfect location to camp and explore all that Spicewood and the surrounding Texas hill country have to offer), we unhooked the Jeep and drove less than a mile to Briarcliff Bistro & Bacon Bar to meet my brother and his wife for brunch. What a fantastic spot - good food, unique Bloody Mary's, and live music on their outdoor patio under the trees. Briarcliff Bistro makes some outstanding Bloody Mary's for brunch - for example, here are a couple of the 7 Bloody Mary's that they offer:
- The BBBBrunch Bloody - An “upgrade” to the Fully Loaded, served in a giant 24 oz. Peppercorn Bacon and Salt-Rimmed glass mug filled with Bloody Revolution Pickle Zing Bloody Mary Mix and loaded with a skewer of Cubed Salami, Farmers Cheddar, Smoked Gouda, Applewood Smoked Bacon. Garnished with Pickled Asparagus, Pickled Green Beans and Pickled Okra, as well as Olives and a Pickled Quail Egg
- The Amarillo - Only for the Brave (or Crazy)! Habanero-infused Tito’s Vodka, White Worcestershire, Jalapeno Tabasco, Olive Juice, a Squeeze of Lemon & Lime and a pinch of Celery Salt blended with in-house made Yellow Tomato Juice, and served in a Salt-Rimmed Glass with a Celery Stalk, Pickled Asparagus, Pickled Green Beans, Pickled Okra, Olive and a Pepper Bacon Swizzle. (*Guaranteed to have you screaming “Holy Hell!” all the way to Church!)
Wow - I tried two of the 7 (the Bacon Bloody Mary and the Breakfast Martini) while we listened to Todd Westbrook playing guitar and singing under the trees - he's got a fantastic voice and was a joy to listen too! After two Bloody Marys I was ready to forgo golf, have a couple more Bloodies, and enjoy the music and pleasant afternoon.
But they drug me from my chair, drove me a few miles down the road to Barton Creek's Palmer Lakeside Golf Course, put a club in my hand and said "hit the ball." I swung, missed, and said I would rather go back to Briarcliff Bistro. "Focus and hit the ball" was the response. Swung again and dribbled the ball just past the ladies tee box! It's going to be a long day.
Barton Creek's Lakeside course was designed by Arnold Palmer and it's characterized by excellent conditions, some beautiful homes, stunning views of the hill country and Lake Travis, and some fun and demanding holes with intimidating carries over water and deep ravines, which now have several of my golf balls. Here is a link to our review of Barton Creek's Palmer Lakeside Golf Course which made our list of the Best Resort Courses in Texas. The picture to the right made our list of the Most Scenic Golf Holes In Texas. With a sun burn, slight headache, sand in my shoes and hair, and a golf debt I needed to pay, we headed to Poodies Hilltop Roadhouse for some music.
Poodies Hilltop Roadhouse is a funky bar, grill, outdoor patio, and indoor music stage that was owned by Willie Nelson's stage manager - Poodie Locke who died suddenly of a heart attack in 2009. Poodies has hosted music legends like Willie Nelson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Freddy Powers, Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel, Jerry Jeff Walker, Billy Joe Shaver, Toby Keith, Kevin Fowler, Pat Green, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Billy Bob Thornton, Gary P. Nunn, and lots more. We were there to listen to Larry Joe Taylor, Dave Perez of the Tejas Brothers, Mark McKinney, and Bracken Hale - hard to beat that line-up!
We got there early enough to catch 45 minutes of Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars - very enjoyable with a good country classic sound.
Larry Joe and friends were at Poodies to promote his upcoming cruise to Isla Mujeres and to try and raise some money for Bracken Hale (a recent winner of a singer songwriter contest) so he could join Larry Joe and friends on the cruise. The set started with Dave Perez (plus his lead guitar player and drummer from his band, The Tejas Brothers), Larry Joe, and Mark McKinney taking turns singing some of their classic hits. Very enjoyable.
After a short break, Dave and the Tejas Brothers took the stage and, as usual, were fun and a joy to listen to. And it just doesn't get any better when Dave and Larry Joe sing "Seven Spanish Angels."
Then Bracken Hall took the stage for a great set which ended with he and Larry Joe doing Rusty Weir's "Don't It Make You Want To Dance." What a fun evening but expensive because I had to buy several rounds to pay off my golf bets.
The next morning we drove a couple miles down the road from Pace Bend RV Park to Willie Nelson's Pedernales Cut-N-Putt Golf Course. This is my kind of golf course - no stuffy highfalutin golfers (just some good ole boys in tee shirts), no rules (well, there are some like no bikinis, mini skirts, skimpy see-throughs, or sexually exploitive attire allowed, except on women; and when another player is shooting, no player should talk, whistle, hum, click coins, or pass gas!), country music blaring from the clubhouse speakers, a pro shop with Willie Nelson paraphernalia and tee shirts instead of expensive golf shirts and clubs, and a fun layout with some scenic vistas. Here is a link to our review of Pedernales Cut-N-Putt Golf Course - named such because right next to the pro shop is Willie's recording studio where he and fellow musicians would cut some records and then head to the course.
On our way to Krause Springs to cool off in the spring fed swimming hole, we stopped at Opies which is well known for it's BBQ - good but not the best from my perspective! Krause Springs was perfect after a hot and dusty 9 holes of golf. What a beautiful spot - lots of tall trees, a spring fed swimming hole with a fern grotto and waterfall, a spring fed swimming pool, picnic tables, and more. Read about our day at Krause Springs.
All to soon it was time to button up the motorhome and hit the road for home. A fun weekend.