Madeline Hollern of Austin Monthly Magazine joined Steph to share summer road trip hot spots from their May issue.

  • Johnson City–
    • Kick Back at Nice N Easy! Already the hippest tasting room in town, this breezy new indoor-outdoor space by natural wine phenom Adrienne Ballou debuted in early 2022. Keep it local with an order of Friendbeer by Johnson City brewing company Yokefellow or a glass of mourvedre from Ballou’s Lightsome Wines label.
    • Find respite at walden retreats! Just in time for summer, this luxury camping getaway reopens after a two-year-long renovation. Each of its climate-controlled, safari-style tents has a Casper king-size bed, textiles by artisans from around the world, cozy Luna Zorro bathrobes, and a clawfoot tub.
  • Lockhart—
    • Indulge in Some Retail Therapy! Discover treasures at Stampworthy Goods, which showcases custom-made furniture and tiles with a retro vibe. Magic Mirror features unique vintage pieces such as olive-green suede fringe chaps, while Rollfast Ranchwear sells all things cowboy, from boots to pearl-snap shirts. Adorn your home with artwork from Commerce Gallery, with paintings by Texas artists like Cruz Ortiz and Kristin Moore
  • Round Top–
    • Unwind at Hotel Lulu! As you traverse the herb garden on the way to your room at Hotel Lulu, snip a bit of fragrant basil or rosemary to take back with you. A treat for the senses, this recently debuted property includes 14 rooms in six bungalows and three private cottages with custom Italian linens, Bluetooth speakers, and fragrant Le Labo toiletries.
  • Fredericksburg
    • Sleep next to a giraffe at Longneck Manor! You wake up in a cozy suite, curl into a yawn, pull the curtain away from the window—and are greeted face-to-face by a 16-foot giraffe. At Longneck Manor’s Giraffe Suite, guests can marvel at the conservation park’s three majestic animals from their own private lodgings and even feed them carrots through an adjoining window, which opens onto a state-of-the-art barn. 
  • Bastrop
    • Get Spooked at The Gas Station! At first blush, the grounds of The Gas Station seem completely normal. But then you start to notice the little things. A green van with a flat tire. A chainsaw atop the porch bench. The restaurant’s menacing name. This space, which served as the real gas station in Tobe Hooper’s 1974 cult classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, was reimagined as a hotel in 2016. One step inside its “We Slaughter Barbecue,” and you’ll find yourself in a horror movie mecca, complete with posters, dolls, masks, and costumes from throwback slashers. The inn’s four quaint cabins each feature eerie red walls and a DVD player, where guests can watch horror movies to set the tone.

Pickup a May Issue (on stands now) or visit to check out the latest featured stories.