Most native Texans have probably heard this before — “If you want to see bluebonnets, take a trip to Ennis, Texas.” But why Ennis?
In 1997, the Texas State Legislature designated the city as the “Official Bluebonnet City of Texas” and as the home of the “Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail,” according to Ennis’ website. Because of that, the city opens its bluebonnet trails every year from April 1-30 and shows off over 40 miles of drivable Bluebonnet Trails. The bluebonnets typically peak during the third week of April, but it varies from year to year.
Aside from the bluebonnets, what else is there that makes it worth the trip? Local Profile publishers Philip and Rebecca Silvestri made a trip to Ennis Tuesday to find out.
So, if you’re interested in taking a day trip to Ennis to check out the bluebonnets, here are some things to do while you’re there.
But before we get into the road trip guide, the Silvestris recommend downloading the free “Ennis Y’all” app before you head out. It connects Ennis’ map of the bluebonnet trails to the GPS on your phone since no one knows how to read maps these days (including me).
Stop at Buc-ees
Buc-ees — we all know and love it. And it turns out that there happens to be one in Ennis located at 1181 Creechville Road. The Buc-ees also happens to be near the city’s South Trail. So, after a long car ride there, stop at Buc-ees to get some snacks and use the giant bathrooms before going to see the bluebonnets along the South Trail.
Grab a Kolache
Who doesn’t love a good kolache? Ennis’ Kolache Depot Bakery, open from 5-12 a.m., is another great place to stop for some snacks as you make your way through the bluebonnet trails. Located at 1103 E. Ennis Ave., Kolache Depot Bakery has 22 flavors of kolaches to choose from, along with meat kolaches, pockets, rolls and other hot foods. They also have desserts for those of you with a sweet tooth, such as breads, cookies, fruits, cakes and pies.
Hit Up the Winery
The Sugar Ridge Winery is located on the North Trail at 353 Sugar Ridge Road. The winery features 15 different types of wine produced in-house. They even have winery tours and tastings, which you can find out more about by calling them at 972.666.2888. Sugar Ridge Winery is open six days a week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. except for Wednesdays. So, if you want to get your wine on, make sure you visit Ennis any day other than Wednesday.
Eat at Bubba’s BBQ
Bubba’s BBQ & Steakhouse is the place to be, according to locals. Bubba’s can be found at 210 S. Interstate Highway 45. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. And they have just about everything barbecue lovers could want — brisket, ribs, turkey and more. But even if you don’t like barbecue, they have a veggie plate, chicken tenders, steak and much, much more. Bubba’s also has a drive-thru in case you want to keep your social distance.
Take Family Photos
Enough about food and drinks — where are the best places for bluebonnet pictures? Some areas have more bluebonnets than others and are perfect for photos. For example, near the Sugar Ridge Winery on the North Trail, there is a huge field of bluebonnets that is not fenced in or on private property. The Silvestris also found good spots around the Meadow View Nature Area, which is located at 1901 Laneview Drive.
Stay Overnight at a B&B
Maybe you’ve got some PTO saved up and want to turn your Ennis trip into an overnight trip. The good news is that you absolutely can. Near the winery is the Winding Ridge Bed and Breakfast at 512 Sugar Ridge Road. Winding Ridge is a two-bedroom early 1900s replica guest house on 22 acres on land. And it has a lot of space in case you want to bring the whole family. It has a master bedroom with a king-sized bed, along with a second bedroom with a full-size bed and a twin pull-out trundle. And you get to make your breakfast in the privacy of your room with a fully stocked kitchen full of home-grown eggs, bread, waffles and more!
Have a Picnic
Maybe you aren’t interested in Ennis’ food options, or maybe you just love a good picnic. Whatever the reason, having a picnic in Ennis is another great option. The Meadow View Nature Area mentioned earlier is a great place to have a picnic, according to the Silvestris, along with Bluebonnet Park at 201 S. US-287, which has some picnic benches.
Play at the Parks
For those of you with kids out there — thankfully, there are playgrounds around Ennis for you to let your kids burn out their energy while you chill in the springtime weather. The Silvestris found parks around the West Trail, and there are also playgrounds at Bluebonnet Park mentioned above.
Check out the Bluebonnet Festival
If you happen to plan your trip for this weekend, then you’re in luck! The Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival takes place from Friday, April 16 to Sunday, April 18. The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. On Friday, the festival will feature a performance from Le Freak, a Journey tribute band Saturday and an ’80s tribute band Sunday. Aside from musical entertainment, the festival has events throughout the day, including arts and crafts, food, kids’ activities, wildflower walks and more.