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Pie-High in Marble Falls

The many fruits of Marble Falls
Written by Chet Garner. Photographs by Hogaboom Road, Inc..


The legendary “marble falls” may have been submerged in 1951 when Lake Marble Falls was formed, but the namesake town still flows with history, adrenaline-pumping adventure, and pie as high as the Texas sky. All of this and more awaited me on a recent trip to this Hill Country hideaway.

Contact the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Center at 830/693-4449.

Chet Garner is the host of The Daytripper travel show on PBS.

9:00 a.m. On Main Street, 100-year-old buildings seamlessly mix with a range of funky art sculptures. And at the Highland Arts Gallery, more than 50 local artists display and sell their works, depicting everything from bluebonnets to buffalo. For edible art, I stopped into Choccolatte’s for my morning cup of coffee and a bag of homemade Pecan English Toffee, which I polished off immediately.

10:30 a.m. I headed to The Falls on the Colorado Museum, housed inside the 1891 Granite School building, where historical photos and artifacts relate the town’s early days. A display of old saddles in the hallway recalled the Wild West, when the area was inhabited by more renegades than retirees.

11:30 a.m. I drove four miles southeast of town and peered into Dead Man’s Hole. Marked by a small opening in the earth, the natural cave plummets 155 feet and was reportedly once a dumping ground for those who found themselves on the opposing side of Civil War disputes. I shouted into the darkness and heard someone shout back. I hope it was my echo but didn’t stick around long enough to find out.

12:15 p.m. I stopped by The Real New Orleans Style Restaurant and found tasty crawfish étouffée and boudain worthy of The Big Easy. I wasn’t surprised when I found out the owners are NOLA natives who brought their Cajun cooking to Texas after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Boy am I glad they did.

1:00 p.m. Next up: Hidden Falls Adventure Park for a post-lunch adrenaline rush. This 2,700-acre outdoor playground contains more than 200 miles of trails ready for cruising on your choice of off-road vehicle, provided by Hill Country Adventure Rentals onsite. I rented a four-wheeler, and after a few hours of gut-clenching climbs, drop-offs, and low-water streams, I was happily exhausted—and completely filthy.

3:30 p.m. I rented a stand-up paddle board from Go Paddle Down and proceed-ed to the center of Lake Marble Falls, where I plunged into the water and let the gentle waves wash away the dirt of the trail along with every other stress in life.

4:30 p.m. I realized I was about to miss Pie Happy Hour at the Blue Bonnet Cafe. So after a quick dry-off, I bellied up to the bar and devoured a piece of warm coconut pie with a sky-high meringue. But somehow I managed to fit it all in and even found room for round two.

5:00 p.m. I tripped over to Save the World Brewing Co., America’s first 100-per-cent philanthropic brewery, meaning it gives all its profits to charity. I toured the facilities and tasted their authentic Belgian-style brews. I must say that giving never tasted so good.

6:30 p.m. Back on Main Street, I popped into local favorite R-Bar & Grill and found myself staring down a house-smoked pulled-pork sandwich topped with all the fixin’s. I needed a crane to pull me out of my chair once I was done licking my plate.

8:00 p.m. Seemingly on cue, the crowd inside the restaurant started to migrate next door to the connected Uptown Theatre. I joined in and found myself sitting inside this renovated 1942 movie house awaiting the night’s performance. [No upcoming performances scheduled at press time].

With guitar in hand, a Texas troubadour took the stage and the tunes started flowing as rich and deep as the water and spirit of Marble Falls. I let out a happy sigh and thought to myself, “I need to come here more often.”  So whether you follow my footsteps or forge your own path, I hope to see you on the road.

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