Apple Capital of Texas
In 1989, Medina was declared the “Apple Capital of Texas” by the Texas Department of Agriculture because of its prolific apple orchards. It all started from small beginnings when in 1980, retired geologist Baxter Adams, Jr., with his wife Carol, experimented planting dwarf apple trees which not only proved to be an efficient use of land, but also produced the sweetest apples! By 1984, their apples were ready for sale, and the rest is Texas’ apple industry history. Following the agricultural break through, the Medina Apple Festival was celebrated annually every last Saturday of July, and in 1990, attracted 20,000 visitors and wide media coverage.
Though the festival is no longer being observed, the apple industry has definitely put Medina on the map. These days, visitors need not wait for a yearly event to enjoy the famous sweet produce of Medina which includes eleven different kinds of apples like Granny Smith, Fuji, Jonagold, pink lady and gala apples. Love Creek Orchards, the biggest producer in the region, welcome guests all year round with a host of seasonal fun activities for individuals and groups alike.
This includes picking your own fruits – apples, blackberries, peaches, figs and persimmons, as well as the Great Hill Country Pumpkin patch every Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays of October. The patch’s 10-acre site hosts fun-filled activities for energetic kids and kids at heart including hay bale maze, ride a barrel train, dress a scarecrow, petting zoo and flatbed-trailer hayride. You can also paint pumpkins, create a sand-art masterpiece, and ride a pony. Be sure not to miss The Apple Store where they sell homemade treats like apple pies and breads, apple butters, apple ice cream, cookies, jellies, cider vinegar and more!
It’s also worth visiting the quaint Vine on the Rocks winery and vineyard which specializes in growing Tempranillo, Black Spanish and Champanel. They have a comfortable wine tasting room and feature different Texas wines along with their own wine made on premises, as well as wines from other countries. They also offer finger foods and good music that make for a relaxing afternoon.
Nearby local Texas attractions include the famous Three Sisters, which are some of the best roads in the nation for riding fast motorcycle and sports cars. There’s also the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum located on 187, just four miles north of Vanderpool.
With good planning, you can make the most of your stay with fun day trips from Medina while enjoying the breath-taking views as you drive through the Texas Hill Country.