For that impossible-to-please person, go beyond “gift list” and think “bucket list” with an experience that celebrates the best of Texas. We’re talking campfire cooking with a famous Texas chef or a guided hunt on the legendary King Ranch. If you need to give something that needs to be wrapped, consider a book of rare photographs covering the state’s rich political history.
Our Made in Texas Gift Guide appeared in the December 2017 issue of Texas Monthly.
Camp Cooking with Lou Lambert
El Cosmico • $450 per person (accommodations not included)
Beloved Texas chef Lou Lambert (Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue in Austin and Dutch’s Hamburgers in Fort Worth) hosts a camp cooking weekend each fall at El Cosmico, the Marfa communal camping concept owned by his sister and Bunkhouse Group founder, Liz Lambert. Spend Saturday workshopping the best recipes for fireside cooking and enjoy the fruits of your labor over a cookout dinner at the Lambert family ranch, followed by a camp breakfast on Sunday. Buy Now.
Picturing Texas Politics
University of Texas Press • $45
This coffee table book is full of rare, historic photos of iconic Texas politicians, from Sam Houston to Ann Richards and Rick Perry. Chuck Bailey dove deep into archives, museums, libraries, and private collections to source these photographs, many of which have not been published before. Buy Now.
David Courtney and Jack Unruh • $24.95
Must I really dance with the one that brung me? Can a person have too many Texas-themed tattoos? May I pick the bluebonnets? Whether you come for the good guidance of the acclaimed national advice columnist of Texas Monthly or the whimsical Jack Unruh illustrations that accompanied the popular column for its first nine years, The Texanist: Fine Advice on Living in Texas, a hand-picked collection of the best of the long-running back-page feature, is guaranteed to educate and entertain. Buy Now.
Star Party and a Stay at the Indian Lodge
McDonald Obervatory | Indian Lodge • Rooms start at $95
On most Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights, the McDonald Observatory hosts Star Parties ($8 for children and $12 for adults), where you can take a constellation tour and admire celestial views from telescopes—just be sure to book in advance. After its renovation is complete in June 2018, stay 20 miles away in the 39-room, adobe-style Indian Lodge, complete with a full-service bar and restaurant, in the Davis Mountains State Park.
NLand Surf Park • From $85
For the first time, you can catch a major wave…in Austin. Founder of the NLand Surf Park, Doug Coors (of the beer family) brought his dream of engineering a wave technology that could create barreling waves for everyone from the novice to the professional with the help of Spanish engineering firm Wavegarden. Buy Now.