Photo courtesy of Visit Lubbock

Did you know that around 80 percent of all grapes sourced by Texas wineries come from the High Plains AVA in West Texas? Or that Lubbock has its own signature cocktail? The city's craft beer scene has also exploded in the past five years.

All of this means that the West Texas city is now bubbling up with ideas for a refreshing getaway, whether you're a hophead, oenophile, or even a mocktail maven.

Curious to taste these bevvies for yourself? Here's what's brewing in Lubbock:

Cheers for beers

Two Docs Brewing Co.: The double doctors in the brewery's name are Dr. Eric Cunningham (a veterinarian) and Dr. Tyson Purdy (a family medicine practitioner), cousins who took their love of beer public in 2019. Located in the Cultural District, the environmentally-conscious brewery is known for its Buddy Hoppy IPA, Lubbock Light lager, and Two Docs Bock.

The Brewery LBK: USA Today crowned this newish brewery the Top Brewpub in the Nation, and it's a title head brewmaster Sally Taylor and general manager Mike Nghiem don't take lightly. The beers are a mix of classic profiles and inventive flavors, with plenty of seasonal rotations and nods to Hub City. Try the Low Hanging Fruit, made with Albarino grapes from the local Veesart Vineyards. Wine on the nose with flavors of bright citrus complement a wheat and barley backbone with farmhouse ale notes.

Good Line Beer Co.: What began as a true garage start-up is now a celebrated brewery in the historic Tech Terrace neighborhood, putting out brews with whimsical names like Catastrophe Girlfriend (a raspberry weisse), Range Life (a pilsner), and Bitter Buffalo (an IPA). Owners Chris Troutman and Shawn Phillips are heavy on community, with local artist Dirk Fowler creating the label designs.

Wine time

Syrah is one of the key grape varieties grown here, alongside Tempranillo and Grenache — two other varieties known to perform well in warm, dry climates like the Texas High Plains AVA. White grapes are also grown, but to a much lesser extent, mostly from Viognier, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc..

Seek out your next favorite glass (or bottle!) at Bolen Winery Vineyards, Burklee Hill Vineyards, English Newsom Cellars, McPherson Cellars, La Diosa Cellars, and Llano Estacado Winery, the second-oldest winery in the state. Adelphos Cellars will also open soon, inviting Lubbock into the city's newest winery, tasting room, and event venue.

The famous Lubbock Chilton

Called "a cocktail as bright and pure as the West Texas sun" by Texas Monthly, the Chilton is a refreshing cocktail comprised of vodka, fresh lemon juice, bubbly water, and a salted rim. The story goes that years ago, a parched Dr. Chilton instructed a bartender at the Lubbock Country Club to mix these ingredients together, and a signature sip was born.

You'll spot the Chilton all around town, with variations that range from fruity to spicy and even as the inspiration for a few seasonal beers. Here's a primer if you're not sure where to start.

Zero-proof pours

Alcohol isn't required for a great drink — just ask The West Table Kitchen and Bar and The Nicolett.

Everyone is included in the toast at The West Table with offerings such as the tropical Riki Tiki and "gin" rambler Baby Blue, among others. Each libation feels even more elegant thanks to the restaurant's location within the historic Pioneer Building in downtown Lubbock.

Two Docs Brewing Co

Photo courtesy of Visit Lubbock

Two Docs Brewing Co. was actually founded by two doctors.

At The Nicolett, 2022 James Beard Semifinalist for Best Chef: Texas and owner of The Nicolett, Finn Walter incorporated several non-alcoholic beverages into his cocktail menu to serve a craft experience for all to savor. From the botanical Garden Gimlet to the sweet-tart I Love Yuzu, each showcases an alcohol alternative in the ingredients list.

Where to rest your head

Stow your suitcase at the newly opened Aloft hotel, or check into an Airbnb managed by Home on the Range LBK, which owns four beautifully decorated properties all near Texas Tech University.

Looking forward

In the coming months, Lubbock will see the debut of Milestones Park and a new Dave & Busters. Even if you've visited before, there's always more to discover in Hub City — plan your next visit now.

Photo courtesy of Margaritaville Lake Resort

Conroe is a natural escape for lake lovers seeking outdoor adventures

Hit the Road

Nature is at the heart of every visit to Conroe, and not only because of its famous 22,000-acre lake. It also boasts more than 250 miles of forest thanks to W. Goodrich Jones State Forest and Sam Houston National Forest — one of only four national forests in Texas.

And all this natural beauty is just north of Houston, making Conroe an easy escape. Here's a look at what else you can enjoy and explore while in town.

Lake Conroe
Let's start with the big one: Houston's aquatic playground. This massive lake is perfect for every recreational activity, from boating and kayaking to fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, and more.

Opt for a guided fishing trip to help land all kinds of fish, from largemouth bass to black and white crappie. Tours and charters provide everything you need from the boat to the gear — all you have to do is cast your line.

The great outdoors
Off the shores of Lake Conroe, visitors can hike, bike, geocache, and more through miles of forest. In fact, the city's founder, Isaac Conroe, decided in 1881 to settle in the area based on its leafy surroundings — the original towering pines were preserved and still frame the city today.

Get your fresh air with a side of swings by checking out one of the city's many golf courses, including The Golf Club at Margaritaville Lake Resort and Panorama Golf Club.

Be one with nature without an agenda at Lake Conroe Park and 7 Acre Wood, an old-fashioned family fun park with swings, putt-putt, and a petting zoo.

Where to eat
Many restaurants take advantage of their location and offer lakeside dining, with bonus points for sunset views while you dine. Take it a step further with a dinner cruise aboard The Southern Empress, an iconic paddle wheel boat on the lake.

Conroe’s culinary scene brings forward local flavors at more than 40 restaurants, from Tex-Mex favorites at Fajita Jack's on Lake Conroe and authentic Texas barbecue at McKenzie's Barbeque & Burgers to lakeside lounging featuring the freshest catch at Margaritaville's LandShark Bar & Grill.

Visitors can also try locally crafted mead at The Ferm Meadery, or sip on craft beer and wine at spots like Copperhead Brewery, Pacific Yard House, and The Lounge on Main - B E Winery's tasting room.

What to do
View the original Lone Star Flag at The Lone Star Monument & Historical Flag Park, then head 15 miles west to sister city Montgomery to visit the Heritage Museum of Montgomery County.

Historic Downtown Conroe is dotted with decorated art benches, three art galleries, antique shopping at Conroe Central Market and Mimi’s On Main, and additional shopping at local shops and boutiques like Main Street Merchants.

Stop in at the Crighton Theatre to enjoy everything from musicals and plays to live concerts, or pay a visit to the Owen Theatre, which is home to The Players Theatre Company.

Mark your calendar
Conroe is known for hosting long-standing events such as Kidzfest on April 29, 2023, and the annual Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival, held this year October 13-15.

Dress up for the Texas Renaissance Festival, located just down the road, on Saturdays, Sundays, and Thanksgiving Friday, happening this year from October 7-November 26.

Get pumped for the Conroe 10 Miler in December and feel the holiday vibes at the Toby Powell Conroe Christmas Celebration, held the second weekend of December.

Escape to Margaritaville
Margaritaville Lake Resort is a Jimmy Buffett-inspired island paradise located on Lake Conroe. Expect well-appointed rooms, heated pools, a spa, golf course, lakeside dining options, and more.

Other lodging options
The brand-new Hyatt Regency Conroe and Convention Center is accepting reservations for August 2023 and beyond, while bed-and-breakfast seekers can rest easy in The Caroline House.

Conroe is also home to hotels such as Holiday Inn Express & Suites, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Best Western, and other recognizable names. Unique boutique stays are offered at Historic Hill House and Farm.

Conroe’s stunning naturescapes offer visitors a retreat-like getaway with a charming small-town feel, all without compromising on amenities and experiences. Plan your visit to Conroe here.

Family boating on Lake Conroe

Photo courtesy of Margaritaville Lake Resort

Lake Conroe is the hub for water sports.

Photo courtesy of Frisco Bar & Grill

From piano bars to speakeasy stages, where to find live music in Frisco

Turn It Up

On May 11, 2023, country music's top stars are taking over Ford Center at The Star in Frisco for the Academy of Country Music Awards. This is the awards show's grand return to Texas, having last been hosted here eight years ago in Arlington.

This new pairing of Frisco and the ACM Awards makes a lot of sense, as Frisco is recognized as a Music Friendly Community by the Texas Music Office — meaning Frisco is serious about attracting and developing the growth of the music industry.

If you’re headed to town for the ACMs or just want to know where you can find live music on your next trip to Frisco, check out the hot spots below.

At The Star in Frisco

Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar(music Thursday-Saturday): The recently opened Frisco location of this beloved bar (now with food) features a high-spirited show with talented players performing all the greatest hits. Attendees are encouraged to sing and dance their hearts out to rock classics, pop chart-toppers, and karaoke standards.

Concrete Cowboy (Regular events and live music often, check website for schedule): This industrial-chic hangout at The Star in Frisco features live music and DJs. Attention, night owls: It’s one of the few nightlife spots in Frisco open until 2 am.

In the Rail District

Didi’s Downtown (music Wednesday-Sunday): Whether on the patio or inside, there’s always good food and great tunes served up at Didi’s. A bonus is the heated enclosed patio, making this destination an excellent choice year-round.

eight | 11 place (music Wednesday-Saturday): This locally owned wine bar and kitchen boasts cozy fire pits outside, live music, and wine flights. Sit for a spell if you want to be entertained by local, emerging artists who fit the vibe of the intimate and rustic setting.

Frisco Rail Yard (music Friday-Sunday): An open-air concept with food trucks, outdoor games, and a covered bar that's great for families and casual hang-outs with friends.

The Nack Theater (check website for schedule): This 200-seat theater hosts concerts featuring everything from local talents to world-renowned artists and bands.

All around town

The Revel Patio Grill (Weekly events and live music, check website for schedule): Turns up the volume with live party and rock bands, tribute bands, karaoke, and dueling piano duets in this large venue that has plenty of room for dancing.

The Frisco Bar & Grill (Karaoke Wednesday and Saturday; live music Friday): Don’t let the name "bar" fool you — there's excellent food to be found in this casual-yet-classy space, along with a variety of music.

Rare Books Bar (Weekly live music, check website for schedule): This secret speakeasy inside J. Theodore serves up rare whiskey, craft cocktails, and interesting reads. Check the social media pages before visiting so you know what book to ask the librarian for to gain entry.

Bottled in Bond Cocktail Parlour & Kitchen (Weekly live music, check website for schedule): Niche cocktail parlor and kitchen with a focus on bold cocktails, this is a great environment for casual dinner dates, small groups, and late-night imbibing.

The Green Gator (Weekly live music, check website for schedule): A Cajun-themed restaurant and bar located near Toyota Stadium, it's the perfect place to take in live music before a FC Dallas game.

The Westin Dallas Stonebriar Golf Resort & Spa (Music Friday and Saturday): Revel in the sounds of live music with plenty of eats and drinks on hand at Beans and Barrel, located inside The Westin Dallas Stonebriar Golf Resort and Spa.


Find more fun in Frisco by visiting here.

Musicians at Frisco Bar & Grill

Photo courtesy of Frisco Bar & Grill

Experience a variety of music at the casual-yet-classy Frisco Bar & Grill.

Rendering courtesy of Omni

You can now book your getaway at the new $520 million Omni PGA Frisco Resort

Hole in One

Get your clubs ready: The $520 million new Omni PGA Frisco Resort is now accepting reservations for May 2023 and beyond.

This eagerly anticipated new hotel isn't just for golfers though — it's a complete getaway destination with its own entertainment district, full-service spa and salon, four swimming pools, 500 guest rooms and suites, 10 private ranch houses, and 13 unique dining options.

Here's everything that guests can expect:

Swing time
The resort boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses, collectively known as Fields Ranch. Fields Ranch East was designed by Gil Hanse, and Fields Ranch West by Beau Welling.

Registered guests can book tee times 120 days in advance of their stay to play Fields Ranch, which will be home to 26 major championships starting in May and continuing through 2034. Local residents will also be able to book in late April.

Part of the excitement around PGA Frisco is that you don’t have to be a resort guest to enjoy all the happenings. Anyone can take advantage of The Swing, a lighted 10-hole, par-3 short course; The Dance Floor, a two-acre putting course and entertainment area; the first Lounge by Topgolf; PGA Coaching Center for a high-tech, data-driven club-fitting and instruction experience; Fields Ranch Practice Facility; and a variety of retail and dining concepts throughout the mixed-use development.

Oasis of wellness
Omni’s signature full-service salon and spa, Mokara Spa, boasts 20 private treatment rooms.

Guests can also refuel at Green Cactus Cafe, relax at the spa pool with private cabanas, and recharge at the fitness center and walking trails.

Mouthwatering meals
From grab-and-go to a signature steakhouse, the eatery options at PGA Frisco are sure to please any palate.

Unwind after a day of golf with classic American fare at Ryder Cup Grille or socialize with friends and colleagues over a round of happy hour drinks at the indoor-outdoor Ice House.

Get pumped for the day with Toast & Tee Coffee Collective, choose from an array of in-room and private dining experiences, or indulge in a sweet treat at Margaret's Cones & Cups.

Rest your head
The resort is debuting 500 luxurious guest rooms and suites, with rates starting at $403 per night.

Those seeking a truly luxurious retreat can book one of the 10 four-bedroom private Ranch Houses, each with panoramic golf course views, upgraded amenities, and a 24/7 Experience Concierge for an added VIP service experience.

“Omni PGA Frisco Resort is an ambitious new resort concept for the state of Texas and in one of the nation’s fastest growing cities,” says Jeff Smith, vice president and managing director for Omni PGA Frisco Resort. “The sprawling complex will be a leading destination for entertainment, dining, shopping, wellness, and golf-driven experiences that will be unparalleled for those who are advanced players, new to the game, and everything in between.”

To celebrate the launch of room bookings, guests who book between now and March 31, 2023, for stays from May 2-December 31, 2023, can enjoy up to a $200 resort credit through the Endless Experiences package.

To book and learn more about the new Omni PGA Frisco Resort, visit OmniPGAFriscoResort.com or connect on Facebook and Instagram.

Omni PGA Frisco Resort

Rendering courtesy of Omni

The resort has two 18-hole championship golf courses.

Photo by Lauren Monitz

Roll into Beaumont, the Cajun Capital of Texas, for murals, Mardi Gras, and more

Hit the Road

Turns out, you don't have to go all the way to the Big Easy to satisfy your Cajun cravings.

On the border of Louisiana, just 90 minutes from Houston and right around four hours from San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas-Fort Worth, Beaumont boasts a unique Cajun-meets-Lone Star State attitude all year round — not just during Mardi Gras, which of course it does up big.

Outside of confetti and King Cake, there are many more ways that Beaumont keeps the good times keep rolling.

As one of America's original boomtowns, the place is teaming with history. You can strike it rich at Spindletop, a recreated boomtown with a gusher reenactment and an outdoor museum that’s dedicated to the discovery of oil.

The town’s flourishing mural and art scene kicks into high gear on March 2-5 with the annual Mural Festival, featuring artists from across the United States and around the world painting the town red — and every other color imaginable — during live-painting events and more.

Another Instagrammable moment to capture while you’re there is the world's largest working fire hydrant, donated by Disney, at The Fire Museum of Texas, where you’ll also find antique engines, uniforms, and firefighting equipment.

Beaumont is also a nature-lover’s dream, with bayous, birding, and the Big Thicket, America’s first national preserve with nine unique ecosystems and more than 100,000 acres to hike, bike, and paddle.

Cattail Marsh is another way to get outdoorsy, with 900 acres of scenic wetlands and a long boardwalk where you can spot more than 280 species of birds during peak migration.

Disc golf and the botanical gardens are right in the vicinity too, or enjoy Saturday morning yoga with a view at one of the classes offered there. Namaste.

To learn more about all that Beaumont has to offer, head over to visitbeaumonttexas.com.

McFaddin-Ward House postcard in Beaumont

Photo by Lauren Monitz

Soak up the Big Easy vibes in the Cajun Capital of Texas.

Photo courtesy of Texas Original

How to get a medical cannabis prescription from anywhere in Texas

Easy as 1, 2, 3

Medical cannabis is legal in Texas, offering a natural solution for alleviating symptoms of over 150 conditions approved under the Texas Compassionate Use Program.

Texas Original, the state’s leading medical cannabis provider, offers 11 medical cannabis pickup locations and statewide delivery so patients can access the medicine no matter where they live in Texas.

Texans who are interested in receiving a medical cannabis prescription can complete the process in a few simple steps.

Step 1: Schedule an appointment
The first step to obtaining a prescription is to schedule an appointment with a doctor registered to prescribe medical cannabis. Several clinics offer virtual appointments, so you can meet with a doctor from anywhere in Texas.

Veterans, first responders, teachers, and medical professionals are eligible for a free first appointment for a six-month prescription and discounts on follow-up appointments. If you belong to one of these eligible groups, check the box on the form.

Step 2: Talk to a doctor
During your appointment, the doctor will review your medical records and confirm if you are eligible for medical cannabis, then discuss your treatment plan

Once approved, your doctor will add your prescription to the online medical cannabis registry, where licensed dispensaries can access it.

Step 3: Receive your medicine
After your appointment, call 512-614-0343 to place your first order.A Texas Original representative will help you select your products and schedule you for a pickup or delivery.

Patients can pick up their medicine in the following cities:

  • Austin
  • San Antonio
  • Houston
  • Dallas
  • Fort Worth
  • Frisco
  • Addison
  • Waco
  • Lubbock
  • Nacogdoches

If you can’t pick up your medicine, Texas Original offers statewide delivery for patients.

The Compassionate Use Program has opened new doors for patients and doctors to work together to effectively alleviate symptoms of qualifying conditions.

If you’re ready to start your journey with medical cannabis, reach out to Texas Original to get started. Plus, enjoy a 20 percent discount on your first order at Texas Original.

Cannabis plant

Photo courtesy of Texas Original

Medical cannabis can alleviate symptoms for more than 150 conditions.

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A Night in Old San Antonio returns to enchant locals this April, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. A Night in Old San Antonio returns to enchant locals with new food and fun this April. This beloved celebration of Alamo City’s rich cultural heritage will be held April 25- 28, offering revelers food, live music, and Fiesta souvenirs.

2. Splash, spin, and swing into San Antonio's best spring activities for the whole family. Sure, Spring Break is coming to an end, but several of our spring activity picks can keep the family entertained throughout the year.

3. Southern Living names Texas Hill Country hot spot a top Southern small town. The magazine dubbed Fredericksburg the No. 4 best Southern small town, but of course, it will always be No. 1 in our hearts.

4. Riverdance stomps into San Antonio for limited summer run. The spectacular touring production is heading to the Majestic Theatre for its 25th-anniversary tour.

5. Cirque du Soleil swings back to San Antonio for first big top show. Cirque du Soleil's BAZZAR is making its Southwest debut in San Antonio this year.

San Antonio rent prices increased 7 percent from 2022, report finds


Apartment rent keeps going up in Texas, and in San Antonio the increase is seven percent more than last year, making it more difficult to afford living in the city. That’s according to a new national rent report from online rental marketplace Zumper.

Despite rent increases showing small improvements month-over-month, overall prices are still on the high side from the previous year. For example, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in San Antonio is $1,430 now, in March of 2023, which is a 1.4 percent decrease from the previous month, but a 4.4 percent increase from 2022. The average rent for a one-bedroom is $1,160, which is a mere .90 percent increase month-over-month, but a whopping 7.4 percent increase from last year.

The report looked at rental data from more than one million active listings in the top 100 cities in the United States to determine the rankings. Zumper ranked San Antonio the No. 66 most expensive rental market across the nation in February of 2023, up three places from the last report.

The report attributes these recent rental increase trends to the nation's rising inflation rate and unpredictable economy. Though unemployment is low (less than 3.4 percent), potential homebuyers are being sidelined with increasing interest rates. This is causing more competition among renters all over the country.

“Many markets continue to either normalize or correct following the steep increases in rent seen in 2021 [and 2022] in the zero interest rate [and] QE environment we went through,” said Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades in the report. “With interest rates expected to rise further in 2023, we anticipate continued deceleration in rent rises as new household formation freezes or is at least postponed.”

Much higher up the list from San Antonio is its Central Texas neighbor Austin, coming in as the No. 25 most expensive rental market, which is a two-place increase from a previous report. Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment stayed relatively flat over the last month, at $1,670, yet is still 7.7 percent higher than it was last year. Two-bedroom apartments saw a higher year-over-year increase at 8.4 percent, with the average rent price at $2,070.

Several cities in the DFW metro area also made the list, as well as Houston (No. 51) and El Paso (No. 95). Most notably, Irving (No. 34) is experiencing a nearly 15 percent year-over-year rent increase for both one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The nine total Texas cities that made the list include:

  • No. 25 – Austin
  • No. 34 – Irving
  • No. 36 – Dallas
  • No. 40 – Plano
  • No. 51 – Houston
  • No. 55 – Fort Worth
  • No. 66 – San Antonio
  • No. 67 – Arlington
  • No. 95 – El Paso

The full data from Zumper’s National Rent Report can be found at zumper.com.

San Antonio's historic Pearl celebrates Women's History Month with unveiling of a new mural


One of San Antonio’s most historic landmark communities is paying homage to its prominent women all of March in celebration of Women’s History Month, with an additional unveiling of a new mural by a local female artist.

Women comprise half of Pearl’s leadership team, and a majority of women in the company are in management positions. A majority of the establishments at Pearl are also led, owned, or founded by women.

“This month, we are taking a moment to reflect on and recognize the leaders, artists, business owners and chefs who are actively making an impact not only at Pearl but across the city of San Antonio through their skills, crafts and future forward visions,” Pearl CEO Mesha Millsap shared in a press release.

Local artist Martha Martinez-Flores’ artwork will be featured at Pearl all month. Her latest piece is a three-dimensional “Strong Mujer” mural created in collaboration with students in the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) National Art Honor Society. The mural highlights the power of all women in the local community.

“This year’s mural celebrates the strength and bravery of women at the heart of our San Antonio community, who make us who we are: grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, colleagues, teachers, doctors, caregivers and more,” shared Martinez-Flores. “Collaborating with younger generations of students at YWLA and sharing their artistic voice only makes this message more powerful.”

A list of the prominent women leaders at Pearl's many restaurants and businesses include:

  • Adelante – Marla Ross, owner (since September 2010)
  • Bakery Lorraine – Anne Ng, James Beard Award Semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker, executive pastry chef and owner (since October 2014)
  • Best Quality Daughter – Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin, James Beard Award Semifinalist for Emerging Chef, chef and owner (since November 2020)
  • Chilaquil – Susana Aguirre, co-owner with husband Orlando Aguirre (since September 2021)
  • Dos Carolinas – Caroline Matthews, owner (since September 2012)
  • Feliz Modern – Ginger Diaz, co-owner with husband Mario Diaz (since November 2019)
  • Hiatus Spa – Sheila Garrison, managing partner and co-founder (since May 2017)
  • LeeLee – Leigh Landreth, owner and tastemaker (since September 2012)
  • Mi Roti – James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef, Texas, and owner Nicola Blaque (since March 2020)
  • Niche – Ayse Derman, owner and creative director (since April 2014)
  • Rancho Diaz – Ginger Diaz, co-owner with husband Mario Diaz (since August 2021)
  • The Tiny Finch – Karen Lee Zachry, new owner (since February 2023)
  • The Twig Book Shop – Frances Douglas, owner (since May 2013)

Pearl’s long history of women leadership goes back to the early 1900’s when Emma Koehler, the namesake of the Hotel Emma, decided to take over her husband’s brewery after his death in 1914. Koehler was an innovative, powerful woman who kept the business running during Prohibition by resourcefully shifting gears into dry cleaning and auto repair, while also making “near beer,” fountain drinks, and ice cream.

Millsap admires Koehler’s incredible show of strength during “a time that could have destroyed the business.”

“Over 100 years later, we are still in awe of her and honor her memory by continuing her legacy of resilience and innovation,” she added.

More information about Pearl can be found at atpearl.com.