There is nothing I love more than a road trip! Recently I got to realize a childhood dream and go with my mom, Syd, and the boys to The Snake Farm (don’t mention this to my husband…he’s still a little sad he didn’t make the trip).
As a child, we would often take trips from Austin to San Antonio to visit my grandparents. Looking out the window along a less populated part of I35 near New Braunfels, TX I would always look for it, the Snake Farm. I would beg my parents to take me there and they would always tell me someday. Well, someday was 40 years later, but it was well worth the wait!
Guys, this place is so cool…it has a song! Ray Wylie Hubbard immortalized The Snake Farm with his song of the same name. He sings about his girl, Ramona, who works at the best place in the world!
“Snake farm, it just sounds nasty
Snake farm, it pretty much is
Snake farm, it’s a reptile house
Snake farm, ugh”
I’m always a little nervous when we go somewhere that I dream about going. You know the place…the one with all of the amazing stories and songs and then reality just doesn’t quite deliver. Sometimes they just don’t live up to the hype.
I am happy to report that was not the case with The Snake Farm! First thing to know is The Snake Farm is a zoo…and a pretty cool one at that! They have Lions and Tigers and Porcupines, oh my!
There are monkeys and alligators and of course SNAKES! Also, I might note that it is NOT nasty as the song says. In reality, I would recommend this road trip to anyone.
Admission is anywhere from $10-$12 and under two is free. Always check Groupon for buy one get one free options. Parking is free. I would plan on two hours to walk through everything, and bonus, they have free ranging chickens throughout the zoo. It was fun to watch them interacting with the other animals at the zoo (not the cats :)).
Now, we all know that no road trip is complete without amazing food. Or is that just my family? Anyways, this road trip did not disappoint! If you stay any length of time in Texas you will eventually find yourself on the other side of a bowl of Chili. It’s the official state dish of Texas.
The Phoenix Saloon and Chili
Like many trips, the food starts with Syd doing a little research. He found that one of the first makers of Chili Powder, William Gebhardt opened The Phoenix Saloon and Chili Parlor back in 1871 in New Braunfels. Lucky for us they are still serving up bowls today! The Saloon has quite a rich history including being the first saloon to serve women!
It was the perfect end to a perfect day! We made a buffet of chili, chili fries, burgers and brews! *Local tip* When you go in to the Saloon…you place your order at the bar and then find a table. I didn’t want you to sit around too long waiting for someone to take your order!
I always love road trip tips from locals. What are your favorite road trips where you live? Who knows? I may find myself in your neighborhood soon!