"I Do" as the Locals DoWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of QAC Tourism/Jay Fleming
A major piece of advice we give destination wedding couples is to make the most of resources and experts who are local to the destination you have chosen. After all, they’re living in that special place, why wouldn’t you want their expertise?
We don’t feature a destination or property in Destination I Do that someone from our team hasn’t visited firsthand. So, we decided to take it one step further and have some of our team share their local insight on how to “‘I Do’ as the Locals Do” in Austin and Annapolis. For the full feature on these destinations, be sure to pick-up the Fall/Winter 2019 issue of Destination I Do!
Words & Recommendations by Samantha Ross
If you find yourself in this magical melting pot, here’s what you should go to see, eat and do!
Float the Guadalupe River
Take a little trip south of Austin to New Braunfels, about an hour drive, and rent a tube to float the Comal or Guadalupe rivers. This is how Austinites spend their weekends – floating the lazy rivers with a cooler of beverages and rubbing toes with other city folk looking to relax.
Terry Black’s Barbecue
Clearly, Austin is the place for exceptional barbecue and a very popular joint can be found on the south side of the river: Terry Black’s Barbecue. Prepare to wait in line if you come during popular meal times, but don’t worry, the line goes right past the bar window where you can purchase a drink to enjoy while you wait.
Austinites are obsessed with tacos. Everyone has their favorite, but most popular is Torchy‘s Tacos, which has several locations. Even President Obama stopped his motorcade for some of Torchy’s Tacos. What tacos did he order? The Republican (jalapeno sausage), The Democrat (barbacoa) and The Independent (mushroom), of course!
Rumored to be the very place Willie Nelson began his music career, the Broken Spoke is legendary in Austin. A music venue (graced by almost all country music stars worth their boots) and a dancehall, this place is where Texans go to dance real Texas Two Step. The Broken Spoke offers free lessons before they open the dancefloor and there are plenty of tried-and-true dancers ready to teach you everything they know.
The White Horse
Everyone is welcome on the dancefloor at The White Horse. Take a look around and you’ll find first-timers, college students, professionals and regulars all taking their turn on the floor. Some of the best live honky tonk is played from their tiny corner stage. This venue also offers free dance lessons and is open “every damn day.”
Words & Recommendations by Susan Moynihan
Maryland’s Eastern Shore is one of the country’s best kept secrets – here’s what to see, eat and do!
Cross the Bay Bridge and spend some time in Annapolis. This charming port town has roots that pre-date the Revolutionary War, with brick-paved streets and Georgian mansions to prove it. Watermark offers great walking tours that take you through four centuries of history in two hours, leaving you plenty of time to stroll the shops on Main Street and Maryland Avenue, and watch the pleasure boats at play on Spa Creek.
Blue Crabs & Oysters
The Chesapeake Bay is famous for blue crabs and oysters, and you’ll find them in every style possible across the region. I’m from Maryland, so I don’t eat crab cakes outside the state – they never measure up. Taste the region’s best at Annapolis’ Boatyard Bar & Grill – all meat, minimal filler and broiled to perfection – and you’ll be able to relate. For crab houses, I love the Fisherman's Crab Deck on Kent Island, as much for the crabs – served on the open-air deck – as for the marina setting by the always-active Kent Narrows Channel. For oysters, hit the raw bar at McGarvey's Saloon & Oyster Bar, a town staple in on City Dock in downtown Annapolis.
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels is a treasure trove of all things Bay, with a working shipyard in its gorgeous waterfront campus. After you wander the museum, head out on the river on their 1920’s oyster buyboat. In Annapolis, Schooner Woodwind offers day and sunset sails on a multi-sailed clipper ship that lets you feel the power of the bay. Also, you can go classic on the Harbor Queen, a riverboat based at City Dock.
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