As many of you saw, a few weeks ago I took a trip to a treehouse. The treehouse was the main purpose of my trip but I wanted to make the most of my weekend by consolidating certain things on my bucket list all while finding a few small attractions along the way.
First stop was Krause Springs. A natural spring with a beautiful man made pool and a garden you can walk through and relax in. Krause Springs was only a ten-minute drive from Cypress Valley Canopy Tours and only $8 for a day pass. YES, $8 could get you into the natural spring for an entire day. They even allow re-entry as long as you have your wristband on. I called prior to going and they let me know due to the capacity that at a certain point they would only let one car out and one car in. They had a small garden with the biggest wind chimes I have ever seen (the sounds were so soothing), seating areas, and a hammock. And of course there were plenty of options for swimming between the pool and the spring. Due to the number of people out there that weekend, I personally did not feel comfortable swimming. They did require masks, but it seemed like we were the only ones actually following the rules. I recommend getting there early to beat any crowds and to avoid anyone not social distancing. This is some place I’d definitely visit again in the future. Given the fact that we already drove four hours to be here we figured why not drive forty-five more minutes into Austin? As you guys know, Austin is a fan fave. On the way there we stopped in Bee Cave for a little shopping and some lunch. We found a shopping center that had an H&M with the biggest sale signs in the window, who am I to turn down a sale? We had lunch at Tadashi and I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t had sushi in months, but these were the absolute best spicy tuna rolls I’ve ever had. And everything that followed was equally as good. After we had sushi rolls for an appetizer I ordered a veggie kabob and I really never knew vegetables could taste so good. The veggie kabob was grilled in a Korean spicy sauce. After everything we ordered we were pleasantly surprised with how cheap the bill was. Seriously, if you’re ever in the area I definitely recommend. This was the most comfortable I’ve felt eating out since things started opening back up. There were a few tables between us and the next customers dining in and our server wore a mask the entire time and as you can see from the video below the shopping center was practically empty. We weren’t looking to do much in Austin considering everything, but we did just want to take a drive around and be outdoors. When we got there almost everything was closed. There were a few food trucks open and a store selling alcohol to go while a DJ played music so loud the whole street could hear. We got some donuts from Little Lucys and had a drink outside at a picnic table before heading back to the treehouse.
Prior to my trip, I found myself looking up “tropical places in Texas.” For those of you who have asked how I find these places, as you can see my imagination has me looking up any and everything travel. My original plan was to stay at the treehouse and take a drive to Texas wine country (still on my list), but once I found out about Son’s Island, it immediately caught my attention and we decided to book an evening cabana there on a Saturday night instead. You can rent a cabana for the day, evening, or even camp out over-night. All the pictures I saw before hand didn’t even do it justice and the price of a cabana was truly a steal! We rented a cabana for the evening from 7:30pm-10:30pm for only $65 and it accommodates up to 8 people! Included was a bar top, hammock, table, picnic table, grill, seating, and every cabana had its own dock. They also allowed for kayaking during the day, swimming at your own risk, tubing, and beach volleyball. When you get there, all they do is check your waiver, check you in and allow you to pick any empty cabana. They provide two parking spaces per cabana. Check in was hassle free and the best part was that we didn’t even have to leave our car to do it. When we got there we noticed so many people camping out in huge tents, they allow camping from 7:30pm and they handle everything. I didn’t camp out there but I definitely would! If you’re renting a cabana I recommend bringing a speaker for music, chargers, snacks, food, anything needed for the grill, games, your own tubes, drinks, wipes, napkins, and bug spray.
Natural Bridge Caverns was another place way on the bottom of my list. I honestly thought I’d have to take a completely separate trip for it. It wasn’t until we left the treehouse to head to New Braunsfel that I started seeing flyers for it everywhere. We decided to squeeze it in last minute and I’m so glad we did. We went on a 90 degree day so the 70 degree cavern was a nice escape from the Texas heat. The water falling from the ceiling was so pure you could even drink it. The discovery tour was about an hour long and was definitely a work out. The cavern definitely tested my fears of heights at certain points. And at one point the tour guide said, “Is anyone in the group claustrophobic?” No one responded and he said, “Well, you’re about to find out.” All we could do was laugh, we were already in it. But, honestly it was a great experience. Discovery tours are about $25 per adult. They do have group pricing and offer military discounts. They also offer obstacle courses, ziplining, and mazes that you can do while you wait. The maze was a quick and cheap way to pass time while we waited for the next tour and it was only an additional $5. The discovery tour did not allow for much social distancing but the groups weren’t too big and mask were required. You were allowed to take off your mask to catch a breath but only if you were six feet apart otherwise masks were required.
Directly next door to the Natural Bridge Caverns was the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, which was basically a drive thru zoo. They charged per person rather than by car. It was $24.50 per adult and $15.50 per child, so not the cheapest of activities. This was definitely a different experience but not quite what I was hoping for. It’s a good way to get the family out the house and enjoy the outdoors but if you’re looking to cut costs on your trip, I’d recommend skipping out on this one and heading to the caverns instead.