No matter what direction you’re going in Texas, you’re sure to run into some exciting stops. You can spend months traveling the Lone Star State and never run out of new sights to see, places to eat, or events to attend. Here are a few good places along the road (between the big cities) that you may want to momentarily hang your hat on your next trip.
Big Bend (NPS Photo/Reine Wonite)
Big Bend is a hiking destination for many Texans. Nestled along the Rio Grande River, the national park has a variety of landscapes, from desert, to mountains, to river. The park also features several communities for park visitors to stay and plenty of activities for exploring the great outdoors.
Black’s BBQ, Lockhart
About a half hour outside Austin, Lockhart is a major BBQ destination. The town is known for its famous Black’s BBQ, but is also home to Kreuz Market and Smitty’s Market, also serving up mouthwatering Texas BBQ.
This convenience store is more than just an ordinary gas station. It’s a legendary snack destination. Czech Stop is often considered the best kolaches in Texas and come in a variety of satisfying flavors.
Hill Country (wine country), Fredricksburg
If you didn’t already know, the Texas Hill Country is the second biggest American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the US and fifth in US wine production. Its go-to wine destination is Fredricksburg. With over 40 wineries to choose from, you’re sure to find a relaxing cup of wine with an amazing view. While you’re wearing off that wine buzz, you can go hike at Enchanted Rock or walk around Fredricksburg’s famous downtown shops.
Silos Baking Co., Waco
If you love Fixer Upper, you’ll want to visit Joanna and Chip Gaines’ Magnolia district. The shop is filled with HGTV style and the outside square offers plenty of food trucks and space for the kids to stretch their legs. This is a great place to accommodate a variety of tastes, and maybe snag a delicious cupcake to go.
Gristmill River Restaurant, New Braunfels
The Gristmill is a historic building overlooking the Guadalupe River. The Gristmill is located beneath the Gruene (pronounce “green”) water tower, so it’s pretty hard to miss. Check out this historic mill while enjoying classic Texas favorites with a stunning river view.
This performance is a truly unique experience. The show happens during the summer in a completely outdoors auditorium, featuring over 60 musicians, singers and dancers. Celebrating Texas history, this show is for the whole family and includes a firework show.
Padre Island National Seashore
If you’ll be anywhere near Corpus Christi, you might want to take a detour to this popular park. This is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. Aside from beautiful scenery, this island also offers a multitude of family activities, including watching sea turtles hatch, camping, kayaking and even wind surfing.
If you live in Texas, you’ve probably come across a Buc-ee’s at some point. There are over 30 locations in Central and East Texas, all conveniently located on major travel thoroughfares. Stop in for some fresh tacos, an endless variety of beef jerky, or a Texas souvenir for your out-of-town family.
Colin Street Bakery, Corsicana
Colin Street Bakery is known around the world for its fruitcake and Texas pecan pies. The shop has been open since 1896 and has been featured on big media outlets like Food Network and USA Today. The original is on I-45 in Corsicana, but also has locations in Waco, Lindale, and Greenville.
It’s the season for family and friends to come together and enjoy time spent with one another. This can mean taking a road trip, along with many others who will head out on the highways and roads. But with more travelers comes a greater chance of accidents.
It helps to leave early for your destination so you don’t feel rushed. Plan ahead to avoid making hasty driving decision. The more time you give yourself, the more likely you’ll be a patient and careful driver.
Get a good night’s rest
Never take a road trip while drowsy. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 72,000 accidents nationwide are caused by drowsy drivers. Go to bed in time to get a full night’s sleep the night before a trip.
If you travel overnight, consider traveling a short distance and then stopping for a rest break. If you are having difficulty focusing on the road, pull over and take a 20-minute rest. A well-lit grocery or hospital parking lot is ideal at night because of the amount of people around.
Monitor the roads and weather
Prior to leaving for your road trip, look at the road and weather conditions. If you think you may run into bad weather, pay attention to travel warnings. If conditions are extreme, wait until the weather improves to take off. It’s better to arrive a day or two later than to not arrive at all.
If you do not feel comfortable driving in the weather occurring on your route, you might also look for alternative routes that may allow you to avoid it.
Watch your surroundings
Accidents can happen on residential roads, rural roads, and major freeways. No matter the time of day, pay attention to your surroundings while driving. Stay away from erratic drivers, pay attention to exits and entrances to the freeway, and always use your lights and turn signals so others can be aware of where you’re going.
At Fogle Collision Centers, a Houston body shop, we want everyone to be safe when traveling for the holidays. If you are in a collision, give us a call for a free estimate and we’ll exceed your expectations for efficient auto body repair.