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Put the Highland Lakes under your Christmas tree

The Christmas tree in the Longhorn Cavern State Park store is decked with gift ideas. Discover more below. Staff photo by Suzanne Freeman

Wrap up a piece of the Highland Lakes for a truly special holiday gift or stocking stuffer. Editors at 101HighlandLakes.com searched for gifts that capture the culture and character of Highland Lakes communities. Send us your ideas, too!

STATE PARK SOUVENIRS

Check out the gift shops at area Texas state parks for some truly unique items to fit under the tree.

LONGHORN CAVERN STATE PARK

6211 Park Road 4 South in Burnet

Find an array of natural gift ideas for all ages in the Longhorn Cavern State Park store. Staff photo by Suzanne Freeman


At the "National Cave of Texas," as fans like to call Longhorn Cavern, a shop next to the ticket counter offers a variety of great gifts. For the kids, you’ll find an array of fun toys that teach, many for under $10. Break open your own geode, put together a mixed bag of gemstones or magnets, outfit the young ones with lighted caving helmets, or stuff stockings with weird candy, including bat guano sour candy and cave glow worms.

You’ll also find T-shirts, caps, water bottles, coffee mugs, and more with the Longhorn Cavern logo. (Our favorite was “Come and Cave It.”)

A window lined with sparkling gemstone wind chimes, the sun shining through the colorful, thin slices of rock, transports your mind instantly to a comfortable chair under a shade tree in the Texas Hill Country. Everyone on your list should have one.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS PHOTOS

A family photo at one of the many Highland Lakes Christmas lights displays is an inexpensive and memorable present. Photo by Ronnie Madrid


Give your present the personal touch without spending too much money. Take a family photo in front of one of the many lights displays in the area, print it, frame it, and wrap it. You still have time, and we have just the places to go for photos in our Highland Lakes Christmas Lights Guide. We also have some tips for taking the perfect picture.

TEXAS HILL COUNTRY SPECIALITIES

WHITTINGTON’S JERKY & GENERAL STORE

U.S. 281 South in Johnson City

Can you just smell the smoky goodness at Whittington's Jerky & General Store? Staff photo


Bottling the smells in this store would make a wonderful present, but since that’s impossible, load up on the goods. Whittington's has been making and selling top quality jerky for more than 50 years. Buy it by the bag, the pound, or in gift baskets. The store also carries Texas gourmet foods and more.

NUMINOUS COFFEE ROASTERS

715 RR 1431 East in Marble Falls

Pick up a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans, a handmade mug, and a good book at Numinous Coffee Roasters in Marble Falls. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell


Numinous sells its delicious coffee in bean form, too. Coffee beans are roasted inside the shop — part of the ambience of this locally owned business. A bag of freshly roasted organic coffee makes a great present for the java lovers in your family. Have a cup and a freshly prepared, made-from-scratch sweet treat or lunch while you’re there picking up your bags of beans.

You also might want to check out the handmade ceramic mugs carefully crafted by Suzanne Hager or a book by local author Julien Jamar as additional gifts — or even something for yourself for when the Christmas rush has settled down. Curl up with a steaming cup of coffee in a beautiful mug and a good book to read.

SAVE THE WORLD BREWING COMPANY

1510 Resource Parkway in Marble Falls

Save the World Brewing Company beers bring 'cheers' to the holiday season. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell


A growler of craft beer from Save the World could be the perfect gift for the beer lovers in your family. The shop also carries signs, hats, and T-shirts. Practice some beer yoga while you’re there or gift beer yoga sessions to a friend.

BLUE BONNET CAFE

211 U.S. 281 in Marble Falls

Grab a mug and a T-shirt from the iconic Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell


Pie Happy Hour (2-4 p.m. daily) is the perfect time to shop for Blue Bonnet Cafe merchandise. The mugs are old-fashioned thick, ceramic diner cups. Blue Bonnet T-shirts come in all sizes. Make your gift tags extra special by picking up a few bluebonnet postcards to attach to your gifts. Let 'em know you got it from Marble Falls, y'all.

POTTERY RANCH

6000 U.S. 281 in Marble Falls

A Pottery Ranch pot will brighten Christmas spirits. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell


Pottery Ranch calls itself “the purveyors of all things Texas,” and it takes only one trip to its massive showroom to see the claim is true. Besides its hundreds and hundreds of pots, you’ll find unique gift items such as leather furniture, wallets, and accessories; home decor; mosaic crosses; cowhide rugs, placemats, runners, and coasters; brightly colored ceramic peppers; and more, all with a touch of Texas and the Highland Lakes.

JOHN ARTHUR MARTINEZ CD

Let Highland Lakes singer-songwriter John Arthur Martinez be the soundtrack to your holidays. Image from johnarthurmartinez.net


Gift the sounds of Highland Lakes-based singer-songwriter John Arthur Martinez, who tours the world taking the Texas Hill Country with him. He’s played the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and has released 14 albums of original music. In 2020, he will be touring Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, and Spain. He plays local venues often, and you can find out when at 101HighlandLakes.com/EVENTS.

suzanne@thepicayune.com

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