It's no secret, Thomas and I love road tripping. We really love road tripping, and it's quite easy in a state as large as Texas. Our favorite road trip when staying in the state is heading to Austin. From Dallas, Austin is roughly 3-4 hours if there's no traffic. Although, we enjoy the drive, it's all the stops along the way that make the drive so exciting.
First stop when heading south from Dallas? CZECH STOP! In the small town of West, Texas, where the Czech heritage runs deeps, is the Czech Stop. Delicious Kolaches are their specialty but they are also home to different kinds of breads, sausages, deli items and any other gas station necessities one may need.
Their deliciousness is hand packed into a a box just for you. Some of our personal favorite flavors are Strawberry with cream cheese, Pumpkin with cream cheese (when available), Pineapple with cream cheese, and the breakfast sausage with cheese. The Czech stop is open 24/7, so you can stop in anytime of day and grab a few of their delicious treats!
Right next to The Czech Stop is Bush's Chicken, which serves delicious fried chicken, and it ROCKS! This little gem is no where to be found in Dallas, which, I'm sure, is the main reason we enjoy it so much.
Both The Czech Stop and Bush's Chicken are in the town of West, which was greatly effected by the extremely large fertilizer plant explosion in 2013, just days after the Boston Bombing. With the help of the incredibly generous donations these two restaurants received due to foot traffic, the town was able to rebuild and repair the damage.
Oh George's... For years, I mean years, I drove right through Waco, passed the big green sign and didn't think twice. Boy was I missing out! Thomas introduced me to George's in Waco, Texas.
It only takes two seconds inside George's to realize just how awesome this little spot really is. The walls are adorned with plaques and awards showing off all of their specialties and "Best Ofs!" After one bite, we knew just why they had been awarded so many "best of" awards, it was DELICIOUS! They are known for their chicken fried steak, which was exactly what both Thomas and I went for... Did I mention this is only a HALF order of their chicken fried steak? Needless to say, it would take a hungry person to finish a full one!
Waco is home to another Texas gem... Collin Street Bakery. Known for their fruit cakes, Collin Street has locations all over South Texas that serve items such as cookies, cakes, pastries and coffee! If you have never had their Oatmeal/Golden raisin or their Lemon Icebox cookies, you are missing out!
Now, if you are even the slightest HGTV addict, much like myself, you know Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper call Waco home. They also have this adorable little shop in the heart of Waco! This is a must stop for any home decor lover!
Thomas was LOVING the metal letters in the backyard. We were bummed we couldn't find the letters we wanted, but we will certainly be back to find more!
If you following along with Magnolia Market, you know they have a sign out front that says "We Traveled ___ #MilesToMagnolia" You but I wrote my 121 miles in and snapped a few shots! I can't wait until they open their new location at The Silos in a few weeks!
Did I mention Thomas refused to leave without this gorgeous galvanized clock? From the minute we walked in, he was sure it was going home with us. True to his nature, he bought it! It almost didn't make it in to my little car because of its gargantuan size, but we were able to make it work. It's currently over our massive TV, but I am not sure if that is where it will stay... You'll have to come back for my fall decor round up in a few weeks and see where it ends up!
Waco definitely has a ton to do on a drive south!
New to the drive south (before you hit Austin) is a Buc-ee's in Temple, Texas. I've talked about these immaculate rest stops before, but I genuinely think most people have no idea how great it really is unless they have ventured inside one... I know I sure didn't! Pop in for some gas at one of the 100's of gas pumps, grab some of their hand packed candy, fudge or pastries while sipping one of their delicious fountain drinks... Did I mention they have the cleanest bathrooms this side of Canada? It's an awesome place, and you can really get lost inside!
Roughly an hour outside of Austin is Robertson's Hams ( other locations all over Texas and Oklahoma). This little shop is much more than a deli. Along with delicious ham and world renowned beef jerky, the cute little store hosts tons of unique gifts and interesting finds. Anytime we see the big red signs we know we must stop!
The State Capital is a must for anyone who has never been! Although both Thomas and I have been separately, we had never been together. We had a little extra time Saturday morning, so we headed down to the heart of the state and walked around.
Checking out the capital is a totally different experience when you're older. I remember being so bored and jut wanting to leave when I was younger. Now, I thought it was so interesting, and loved being surrounded by all of the history. Maybe it's because I'm a total history nerd like that, but I really enjoyed the time we spent at the capital.
Now, for my newest, favorite things to do in ATX... Austin Panic Room!
Austin Panic Room was started just over a year ago by a group of students from The University of Texas. Each "room" has a different theme with various clues you have to piece together in order to "escape!" You have 60 minutes to escape, but with no written clues, tons of locks to be undone and a group of strangers, you quickly learn the importance of teamwork. Thomas and I decided on "The Bomb Room" weeks before we headed down to Austin, we booked online and were set. We had a few minutes to chat with our group mates before taking on the room, and we were pumped to be paired up with such awesome strangers. I use the terms strangers loosely because by the end of this hour they felt a little more like my BFFs... After all, they did help us defuse a bomb and escape the room! The success rate escaping in "The Bomb Room" was just under 30% when we entered the room, and by the time we escaped that number had risen because we were triumphant! I was amazed at how well we all worked together and even more amazed at the amount of crazy clues we put together to navigate our way to the "bomb."
Our sign is a little hard to read, but it said "Happy Birthday Dillon!" The 5 peeps in front and the lovely lady to my left were all celebrating their son/brother/grandsons birthday! Through the crazy stresses and intense thinking required throughout this challenge we all bonded together and knocked it out of the park. Hopefully we can all team up again on our next trip to the Austin Panic Room!
Another awesome stop in Austin is definitely El Chile... Yum! Their "Tuna" margarita is a twist on the classic marg with a bit of Prickly Pear swirl... It was delicious. From their thick and cheesy queso to their savory enchiladas, this awesome little spot in East awesome is not to be looked over.
Do you love road tripping as much as I do? What are some of your favorite things to do or see on a road trip?