Ready and Rarin’ to Go: A Texas Girls Trip Chronicle
Question: When is a girls trip a good idea?
Answer: ALL THE TIME.
This October, Katie, Janie, Sal, and Kate had a B-L-A-S-T in Texas! … Like we almost didn’t come back. We experienced so many new things on the trip, but we also did something out of the ordinary before we even left … we barely made plans for our daily activities! (*gasp!*) Needless to say, we learned A TON! So much of it was great to see spontaneously, but we realized we could have made it even better with just a liiiiiitle more information, so we are here to share all of our newfound knowledge with you today!
Let’s level set. Here were our main objectives for the trip:
Be cost-effective and make the most of our time and money
Have low-key activities mixed with some fun and nightlife
If that sounds like the kind of trip you’re looking for, here is what we recommend:
Where to Fly
Fly into the Dallas-Fort Worth airport or Austin airport, depending on your budget and schedule. It is about 1.5 hours to Waco from either airport.
Also! Check prices of rental cars for both airports for the best deals. We HIGHLY recommend having your own vehicle, which is reiterated in many of our points below!
Where to Stay
We stayed in Waco, which was nice, but we realized that we actually would have preferred to stay in one of the larger (somewhat) nearby cities. Here’s why:
In larger cities, we’d have a wider selection for places to stay
Much of what we wanted to see in Waco were things that we could tackle in about a day, and we felt like we could have spent MUCH more bopping around in larger cities
Regardless of where you decide to stay, we say get rental house for the space and convenience
Where to Fly + Where to Stay If We Did It All Over Again:
We think our best recommendation would be:
Fly into Dallas and land early in the day to see the city first thing. While we didn’t have the time to give Dallas a fair shake, we LOVED our time in Austin.
Drive to and stay in Austin (about 3 hours from Dallas).
However, it is worth noting that Austin is kind of a unicorn. There is a real website called keepaustinweird.com, and it is fitting to the whole vibe of the city. Also, see this and this to get an idea of what you’re in for.
If you do decide to stay in Austin, you would be:
About 1.5 hours from Waco
About 1.5 hours from San Antonio
About 2.5 hours from Houston (we didn’t get a chance to do this, but would love to go back and do so!)
About 3 hours to Corpus Christi and the ocean (also something we didn’t get a chance to do!)
About 3 hours from Dallas
We could also then round out the trip by ending up back in Dallas to spend our last night there and see the city for a bit longer!
What to See in Waco
Get up early on a full day during your trip and head to Waco! *If you want to see the adorable Waco Farmers Market, do this on a Saturday.
Magnolia - Duh!
*The weekend that we traveled was the Silobration event at the Silos … So! Some of the increased traffic and long lines we saw are not as intense all the time, but Magnolia employees said that it is busy year-round!
*Chat with ANY of the Magnolia employees - they are all genuinely kind, helpful, and happy to be working for a great company!
Magnolia Table - Hours are 6:00 am - 3:00 pm Monday through Saturday. Get there early and put your name on the list. When we went at 11:00 am, the wait was 2.5 hours!
They can take your phone number to text you if the wait is long, and you can leave to do other things in the meantime!
You can always do take-out (or Take Away, as the Texans say). At the side entrance, which has grab-and-go food, beverages, and Magnolia merchandise.
*This is NOT on the grounds near the Silos. It is about a six minute drive between the two.
Magnolia Warehouse Shop - Hours are 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Thursday through Saturday.
The Silos and Magnolia Market - Hours are 9:00 am - 6:00 pm Monday through Saturday.
THE MOTHERLAND! It. Is. Unreal.
Okay, the grounds are GORGEOUS! And the whole site is ripe with opportunity for photos in *so many* adorable places!
This is the original shop on Bosque Boulevard! Guys, it is much smaller than we anticipated, and we (happily) waited outside to get in. The awesome employee who was managing the line outside said that there is always a line out the door on weekends!
There were some great clearance products and merch when we were there, so it is worth checking out!
*This is also NOT on the grounds near the Silos. It is about a ten minute drive between the two.
Magnolia Market is huge and full of well merchandised, beautiful products! For us, during the Silobration, the lines were too long to justify buying anything at the market.
Food trucks are on site, although the vendors and their menus change often. Magnolia Table also had a food truck on the grounds during the Silobration! It is unclear, however, if it is a mainstay year-round.
Other Waco Stuff during the Day!
Waco Farmers Market - Hours are 9:00 am - 1:00 pm on Saturdays
Do yourself a favor and go get some Lua Brazil gluten-free cheese bread! The pizza flavor was our favorite!
Swing by Dichotomy for a cup of coffee or “the best salted caramel latte of my life” - Janie Scheffer.
The Baylor campus is gorgeous, and something you can drive through to get a taste.
If you need more coffee, stop by Common Grounds on 8th Street but be sure to park in the back! Because 1. They seem really serious about towing people in other nearby lots, and 2. They have an awesome gathering space with a stage out back!
Their neighbor is Heritage Creamery, so stop in for some ice cream :)
There is a HUGE Waco mural on Franklin Ave and 5th Street! Even if people are parked in the lot next to it, you can still get some great touristy shots there :)
Swing by Dichotomy again at night and enjoy a cocktail … or more coffee! They had great live music and a chill atmosphere. It was perfect for us to sit and chat while listening to a touring artist named Mark Gibson.
Crickets was hopping < pun intended. And it was huge! We played some pool, some skee ball, crammed into an (overpriced!) photo booth, and also got to hang out on their small patio area upstairs!
Overall, Waco was seriously so great! Our take is that you can pick and choose the things you like and make a day out of it, and then head to another city to see more of the great state!
Other Texas Cities You Can Hang Your Hat On
Oh my word, we are so glad we took a day trip to other cities! Here’s what we got a chance to do, and here’s what we recommend:
San Antonio - For us, from Waco, it was a 3 hour drive. From Austin, it would be 1.5 Hours.
We LOVED the Riverboat tour, which lasts about 40 minutes and is $12 per person. Well worth it!
The Riverwalk! All of it! It is a gorgeous, well-kept walk with hospitality and gorgeousness oozing out of every nook and cranny. You could easily spend all day walking up and down it.
We stopped for lunch at Casa Rio, which is the oldest restaurant on the Riverwalk and offers some great authentic Mexican food!
Austin - We found the weirdness charming, and we hope you do, too!
Hope Outdoor Art Gallery - This is a GEM.
Essentially, a condominium development project was abandoned, and the structural concrete walls have turned into a community art project under The HOPE non-profit organization. Learn more about the organization and their great work here and read more about the story of the project’s beginnings here!
DO: bring your tennies/hiking boots to get to the top tier and see the most fantastic view of the city! It was muddy and slippery for us on the way up and the way down!
DON’T: bring your spray paint can. Turns out, It is considered trespassing if you paint on the wall without approval. If you want to participate in the project as an artist, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Magnolia Cafe - a staple 24-hour diner that is ironically not at all related to the Magnolia Market! With a quirky vibe and delicious food, Magnolia Cafe is well worth it!
Rainey Street for Nightlife - this is DEFINITELY somewhere we want to go back. The street is lined with old bungalow homes that have been converted into bars with amazing live music and over-the-top, off-the-wall themes. Seriously so cool!
Tips from Locals in Austin:
We heard this twice within 30 minutes: “Everyone will tell you to go out on 6th Street. Don’t. Go to Rainey Street.” We concur!
Use Ride Austin instead of Uber or Lyft. It is a ride-sharing platform whose proceeds are donated back to charities, AND you can choose to round up your total to provide additional donations!
Day Trip/Driving Tips
Frontage roads - If you know you need to stop at a gas station (or Starbucks!) soon, have a passenger track down the next convenient stop. Seems like overkill, but those Texas frontage roads are deceiving and can make you backtrack quite a way to get where you need to go!
Buccee’s - You will see many of these along your drive in Texas. GO INSIDE ONE. We had no better example of “everything is bigger in Texas” than being inside this … Gas station? Grocery store? Converted warehouse? You could literally host a wedding reception inside the *bathroom* of this place. That is both a comment on the size and cleanliness of this thing.
We also had great service in Texas for our gluten-free travelers, Katie and Kate. The restaurants we ate at that were accommodating and helpful with our gluten-free requests were: Poppa Rolla’s, Ninfa’s, and Magnolia Table in Waco, Casa Rio in San Antonio, Magnolia Cafe in Austin. And they were all yummy!
Just writing this, we are itching to go back. And it hasn’t even been a month! We seriously loved our time in Texas, and we love being able to share our best recommendations with you.
Aaaaand because we’re so serious about getting back there … Tell us! Have you ever been to Texas?! What do you recommend that we see, do, and eat (because we sure did a ton of that)?! Send us an e-mail or DM - we’d love to hear it!
Till next time, ya’ll!
The Uncommon Team