You don’t have to fly to California to discover a little taste of the wine country. That’s right, just a little over an hour from Houston is the Messina Hof Winery in Bryan College Station. This beautiful estate boasts year round events to please the pallet and tantalize the tongue. Plan your own wine tasting event with family and friends by simply arriving at the winery; anytime. A mere five dollars allows you to sample four different wines, keep the glass and learn about Texas wine. Enjoy the view on the patio as you overlook grapevines,agazeboandlake. MessinaHofWinery and Resort; Messinahof.com
A day spent on the river has got to be better than a day spent anywhere else. Period. What better way to unwind from the stress of your wedding? Start your day at the Gruene River Co. where you can rent tubes (they say toobs), kayaks and rafts. Three and five hour floats are available. Celebrate your union in true Texas Style by two-stepping at Gruene Hall, one of the oldest dance halls in Texas. The entrance to this historic landmark is a venereal hall of Fame to everyone cool in country music. Guests are greeted with a panoramic scrapbook of those who have played before while passing through the historic doors. Of note is George Strait who played here for eight years, before his Ace In the Hole band went national.
Marble Falls is a great home base for a Texas wine country tour. The Marriott at Horseshoe Bay entertains you with the Whitewater Putting Course. Parrots and flamingos surround you as you play this unique course. There are also two resort pools and a luxury motor coach to transport you from winery to winery in first class, air-conditioned comfort.Take the time to explore Lost Creek Vineyard and Winery highlighting Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz grapes. And, say hello to owners Ed and Susan Auler at Fall Creek Vineyards. Plenty of things to do in Marble Falls; what more could you want from a weekend getaway?
After all these years, the San Antonio River Walk is still one of the most romantic spots in Texas. Stay at the famed La Mansion del Rio Hotel, or the Menger and enjoy a piece of old world charm. The river taxis are still cool and can be uber-romantic at night. If you’re lucky enough to be here on a Sunday morning, splurge on the best Sunday brunch in town at La Mansion. After all, your wedding diet is officially over!
Known for peach orchards, a burgeoning wine industry and bed and breakfasts, Fredericksburg is just far enough away to feel like a true escape. The perfect location for history buffs, you can learn the story of the Pacific during World War II. Fredericksburg’s native son, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, was the Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces, Pacific Ocean Area. A recently expanded museum, built in his honor, is designed to engage a new generation of visitors (you and your hubby). Exhibits are interactive and educational. New construction fuses elements of Texas Hill Country architecture and materials with Pacific War era elements. It’s like Hill Country on the high seas. Step back in time at the Hangar Hotel. Set in the 1940’s, guests enjoy the nostalgic airport diner as well as cold drinks in the Officer’s Club bar. Private plane parking is right outside, but this converted hangar is not just for pilots.
Photography by LMV