Clever Journeys Recommendations: Lodging & Eats
Spring is just around the corner and bikers across the country are getting geared up for the “FIRST, BEST & LARGEST Motorcycle Rally and Party” in the Texas Hill Country.
Texas Hill Country Bike Week, Thunder in the Hill Country 2023 Rally is in the “Cowboy Capital of the World” of Bandera, Texas.
Promoters indicate preregistration “is through the roof, all Electric/Water RV sites SOLD OUT:
●less than 75 self contained RV spots remaining,
●all musical entertainment is booked,
●90 vendors confirmed
●the Cowboy Bull Riding Rodeo is set with some of the meanest bulls in the State of Texas.
“Our guided ride through the Three Twisted Sisters is mapped out and ready. Get preregistered now and get one of our Famous event shirts and reserve your Self Contained RV spot before it’s too late. Preregistration closes March 10th. Preregister online at bikerralliesoftexas.com.”
Clever Journeys Recommendations
Knowing the events will cause some crowdedness in Bandera, here are our favorite picks for lodging and food in nearby Medina:
River Oaks Courts
Fully renovated and restored, River Oaks Courts is a historic landmark riverfront property within 12 minutes north on Highway 16 from Mansfield Park in quaint Medina, Texas.
The property features 11 rental units for overnight accommodations, mostly native stone cottages.
The Social Club is their onsite restaurant and bar, currently open Thursday through Saturday. We usually stop in at least once a week to enjoy Chef Matt’s Southwestern Cobb salad, brisket tacos, chicken breast plate, burgers, wraps, loaded fries and more. Often we stay for the live music.
Their cafe and art gallery, Art House, offers coffee, teas, and house-made baked goods in addition to featuring beautiful artwork by notable Hill Country and Texan artists.
Right next door to Medina’s Love Creek Orchards and Apple Store, the Texas Blue Apple has recently been remodeled.
Its brilliant blue and white exterior gives it a storybook vibe the moment you approach. Behind the home, there’s a wooden deck with outdoor furniture, a great place to sip morning coffee, discuss your day, or kick back and decompress.
Kids and pets can expend their almost boundless energy in the backyard, and there’s also a charcoal grill for tasty Texas-style cookouts.
A rustic ranch theme fills the interior, with barn-style doors and beautiful hardwood flooring.
The spacious living area includes a large and comfy couch, which faces a Roku-equipped smart TV.
For connectivity, there’s WiFi service and a large table for when you need to be online. The full kitchen is equipped with modern appliances, a dining room table that seats six guests, and all the cooking and serving ware you’ll need at mealtimes.
There’s central air and heat for year-round comfort, and even a washer and dryer to help you keep up with laundry!
With a plush and comfy queen-sized bed in the bedroom, a soft sofa bed in the living area, and an additional queen-sized blow-up mattress, the Texas Blue Apple Cottage offers restful accommodations for up to six. Both the bedroom and full bath are furnished with fresh linens for your stay.
In Medina, we recommend three spots:
Look for this cafe on your left and across from the post office. Good Hill Country eats, Keese’s usually offers a delicious daily special from 11 a.m. til closing time at 2 p.m. weekdays. Some of our favorite lunches include ribeye steaks, brisket plates, chili and stew.
We are frequent breakfast diners and enjoy conversations with both local residents and motorcyclists passing through to ride the infamous Twisted Sisters.
I love Karen Keese’s special breakfast tacos while Dodie enjoys her bacon and egg sandwiches. She also serves traditional Hill Country bacon/sausage, eggs, pancakes and biscuits/gravy. The coffee is always good at breakfast.
Being in Keese’s is like being in a museum with local and old-time memorabilia decor.
Bikers are always welcome at Keese’s and by Medina area residents.
The Apple Store’s Patio Café was named one of the “Best 40 Small Town Cafes in Texas” by Texas Monthly Magazine. Their apple pie also received the vote for the “Best Apple Pie in Texas” by Texas Monthly Magazine readers as well.
Those old cottages were great, even back in their day. I suffered through bike week in Galveston in 2019 when we lived in a condo on the seawall. 500K bikers with stereo’s all playing different music, it sounded like a choir of demons, and the noise from the Harly’s was 24/7.
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