Having just moved to Texas, I’m just beginning to explore. I’ve been to the Fort Worth area a handful of times since my in-laws live here, but nowhere else. A couple of weeks ago Kimber and Heidi flew to Dallas and joined me on a little Dallas to Austin road trip to attend a food blog conference called BlogHer Food. And on our way, Kimber (who lived in Dallas for years), introduced us to three great places to stop on a Dallas to Austin road trip. And in my book, not just three places but three must places.
For our road trip, we left my 16-year-old car at home and were generously given a sporty Mazda 3 Grand Touring by Driveshop to drive on the trip instead. In red, of course since my son is obsessed with red. It was kind of the perfect road trip car for the three of us, but probably not for many more people than that. So stick with it for a small group, girls getaway type weekend. It’s especially great if you’re going into a city like Austin where parallel parking and being able to fit into tight parking spaces is golden.
We loaded up our small suitcases and these road trip essentials (thank goodness we didn’t have a stroller!) and got on the road right after dropping my son off at preschool. We might’ve made a quick detour on our way out for Taco Cabana breakfast tacos, but that’s a post for another day.
The Mazda drove like a dream and took to the wide open Texas highways like it was made specifically for them. It seriously felt like an extension of me as we made our way through Dallas morning traffic. And one of my favorite things was being able to control the navigation, music, and other technology just by turning two little knobs in the middle console. No need to take my eyes off the road.
Dallas to Austin Road Trip: 3 Places to Stop
Just an hour from our house, we made our first real stop at the Little Czech Bakery in West, Texas (right off 35) for kaloches. Kimber has been telling me about how amazing kaloches were for the past three months, but I thought she was exaggerating. She wasn’t. With everything from ham and cheese filled to berry topped, they were phenomenal. So good I even stopped on my way back home to take some to my family for breakfast.
Our second stop was just twenty minutes past west in Waco, Texas, most well known for being the home place of Chip and Joanna Gaines from the hit TV show Fixer Upper. We actually visited during their annual Silobration, and it was super crowded. You can read more about Silobration here, but unless you’re going specifically for Silobration, I would recommend avoiding it if you actually want to enjoy Magnolia Market and Gardens. We were run out by the crowds, but I’ll definitely be heading back to Waco on a day trip in the near future to explore without feeling overrun by other people.
Our final stop, Gourdough’s, is a bit of a cheat because it’s actually in Austin. Heidi is a HUGE donut person (I mean she made donut shoes ya’ll) and when we heard about Gourdough’s big fat donuts, we knew we had to try them. I was expecting big donuts, but I had no idea they were going to look like this. Forget donuts, these were donut sundaes. We made our own bananas foster type and ordered a Miss Shortcake and ODB from the menu and holy cow, they were enormous. Heidi and I both ate a couple of bites of each and had to toss the rest because our stomachs were already full. Next time we’re there, I’ll for sure try the banana one again, but the coconut was a little too sweet for both of us. So be warned, they’re not just donuts. They’re Big. Fat. Donuts.
So there you have it, my three favorite places to stop on a road trip from Dallas to Austin. If you want to go a little further south, there are tons of fun things to do in Galveston too!