18. Dine Outside At The Grist Mill And See A Show At Gruene Hall 

click to enlarge Talk about a country music institution that you just cannot miss. - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Talk about a country music institution that you just cannot miss.

Get things rolling in the prototypically Texan town of Gruene at the Grist Mill (1287 Gruene), the sprawling eatery perched high above the Guadalupe River. Just about every table features a killer view of the tubers drifting by below, and the phonebook-sized menu (with a beer list to boot) should keep just about everyone in the party pleased. Then it's off to Gruene Hall (1281 Gruene), a honky-tonk institution that ranks alongside Luckenbach and Willie Nelson's braid in the upper echelon of Texas music landmarks. The 150-year-old venue has played host to the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Robert Earl Keen and Lucinda Williams over the years, and you'll still have no trouble catching the best up-and-coming acts in Americana.

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