Weekend getaway: waltz across Texas

Weekend getaway: waltz across Texas

Andy and I love to travel all over the world, but sometimes you just gotta dance with the one that brung ya, and Texas is our one.

April is the perfect time to waltz across Texas for a weekend getaway.  The weather is fairly gentle and the wildflowers are absolutely spectacular.

 Bluebonnets, Fort Worth Botanical Gardens

Bluebonnets, Fort Worth Botanical Gardens

One of our favorite drives is the scenic route into the Hill Country from Dallas.

We drive south on Highway 67 to Glen Rose. We like to stop at Dinosaur Valley State Park, where there are dinosaur tracks in the river bottom, a nice walk along the bluff overlooking the river, and lots of wildflowers along the road.

Just after Glen Rose, we cut across Texas 220-S to the adorable town of Hico. Stop to take photos of the old-West-style storefronts, and have a piece of pie at the Koffee Kup. Right next door to the Koffee Kup is Wiseman House Chocolates. Resist if you feel you must.

From Hico, meander on down State Highway 16 to Fredericksburg, full of fun shops and eateries.

On your way to Fredericksburg, you'll pass through Texas wine country, if you want to stop in for a tasting tour. There's also that wide spot/photo-op in the road, Luckenbach, Texas, made famous by Waylon and Willie and The Boys.

We love to visit Enchanted Rock State Park and climb up to what amounts to decent elevation for Texas.

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From here, drive south to my favorite Texas city: San Antonio. Have a margarita and the brisket tacos at Chaco's, a hole-in-the-wall explosion of deliciousness. It ain't fancy, but you'll never forget that brisket.

Stroll along the River Walk at night, or take one of the tour boat rides.

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The next day, explore Mission Trail: Mission Concepcion, Mission San José, Mission San Juan Capistrano, and Mission Espada. It's about 2.5 miles between each mission, with parking easily available at each stop.

 Mission San Juan

Mission San Juan

The Alamo, right in downtown, is rebuilt on the site of the original mission. I prefer to visit the other missions, but The Alamo is sort of required viewing in San Antonio, so at least stop by for a photo in front of the iconic facade.  

Tacqueria Datapoint (multiple locations) is a popular local street-taco spot, if you're feeling hungry.

Make time for the McNay Museum, an ecletic art collection housed in a wonderful Spanish Revival mansion with modern additions. And of course, don't miss the colorful chaos of Market Square (El Mercado) for Mexican pottery, textiles, glassware, and more.

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Heading north again, you'll soon find yourself in Austin's wonderful weirdness. 

Find a food truck park for a funky Austin dinner experience, and then around dusk, take your blanket to the grassy area near the South Congress Bridge to watch the bats fly.  It's such a big deal that the bats have their own web page: South Congress Bridge Bats.  You can also rent a kayak or take a riverboat cruise for bat-watching purposes.

If you like the nightlife, baby, Austin's legendary music scene along Sixth Street is your place to be for the evening.

The next morning, have brunch at the Magnolia Cafe, and wander into funky vintage shops

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Visit the newest architectural addition to the city, at the Blanton Museum on the University of Texas campus: Austin, by Ellsworth Kelly. From the Blanton Museum, it's just a straight walk up the street to the Texas State Capitol, which is always worth a visit.

 Austin, Ellsworth Kelly

Austin, Ellsworth Kelly

Austin is the home of Adriene Mishler, of YouTube's Yoga With Adriene. Check her schedule to see if you're lucky enough to find her offering a class at Fair Market while you're in town! I haven't taken a class with her in Austin, but I did take a class when her tour came through Dallas, and she was just as lovely in person as she is online. 

 Me and Adriene, Dallas, Oct 2017

Me and Adriene, Dallas, Oct 2017

If you can't take a class with Adriene, console yourself at Juiceland before trekking back up I-35 to Dallas.

While I-35 is not the scenic route, it does offer mad-awesome kolaches in West, at The Czech Stop, the final reward on our weekend waltz across Texas.

Weekend getaway: Lake Michigan Circle Drive

Weekend getaway: Lake Michigan Circle Drive

10-piece wardrobe for 10 days in Europe

10-piece wardrobe for 10 days in Europe