The Jordan’s Guide to the Texas Triangle

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Hey y’all! Texas is definitely an adventure. It is a state that has a mind of it’s own and yes everything is bigger. There are so many great cities in Texas and they are conveniently located in driving distance of one another. In fact, some of the biggest cities of Austin, Dallas, Houston, Waco, and San Antonio are all neatly configured along the Texas triangle. I explored this triangle on various road trips with some of my best friends. So join me in experiencing some of the highlights across these five cities! Plus, shoutout to some awesome photographs from Raluca Rodila Photography. 

Dallas

1. Dallas Museum of Art 

 

The Dallas Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the country. It has a vast array of ancient, modern, and impressionist art that any art lover will enjoy. My favorite pieces were the Monet’s in the impressionist wing. Also, don’t miss a chance to stop at the food trucks right across the street in Klyde Warren Park.

2. Deep Ellum 

 

Explore one of the most fun and artsy neighborhoods in Dallas. You will find street murals, book stores, art galleries, restaurants and the coolest downtown “farmers market” with vintage clothes galore.

3. Bishop Arts District 

 

While you are exploring funky and artsy neighborhoods, you have to take a stroll through the Bishop Arts District. This eclectic Dallas neighborhood boasts some great shopping, dining, wall murals, and art galleries that are free and open to the public.

4. Magnolia Sous Le Pont 

 

This will become your new favorite coffee shop. This place is dripping in class and french vibes. You will feel like you have been transported to a Parisian cafe in this beautiful spot in downtown Dallas. Bring a book, grab a latte, and spend a relaxing couple of hours unwinding in one of my favorite spots.

5. NYLO Hotel & Rooftop Bar 

 

This is the hotel I stayed at the first time I visited Dallas. It is so urban and has an amazing rooftop pool, restaurant, and bar. You do not want to miss these views and don’t worry if you’re not a hotel guest. This space is open to the public!

6. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Unfortunately, I lost my images of the Dallas Botanical Garden, but this is a must-see. There are water features, canopies of trees, and flowers galore. This place is heavenly. Just do a quick google search and you will see what I mean.

7. JOY Macarons 

 

Your taste buds will thank me for this one. They have delicious macarons in tons of different flavors. Better yet, they have giant macarons you can fill with the ice-cream of your choice. Need I say more?

Houston

  1. Houston Museum District

There are so many great museums in downtown Houston like the Houston Museum of Fine ArtsContemporary Arts Museum Houston, and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Make a fun day out of learning and taking in the beauty of art and natural science.

2. Kemah Boardwalk 

 

Spend a day in the Kemah Boardwalk discovering your inner child. This boardwalk boasts a variety of activities and carnival rides that are fun for people of all ages. However, make sure you plan for a 45 minute drive from downtown Houston. Pro tip: take some dreamy Instagram pictures at the top of the Ferris Wheel.

3. Discovery Green

 

Walk around Discovery Green park where you will find plenty of activities for the whole family. There are murals, a splash pad, and more! You can also stop and get a bite to eat at the restaurants that line the park.

 4.  Houston Zoo

I did not get to make it to the zoo, but it is supposed to be amazing! They have tons of different animal encounters and house over 6,000 animals from 900 species. If you visit, or have been before let me know how it is in the comments below.

5. Tout Suite 

 

This coffee shop and bakery was truly a sweet addition to the Houston visit. The food and ambiance was amazing. However, I do want to inform the readers that Houston is a city with quite a bit of poverty and homelessness. It is so easy to travel and take in the beauty, without acknowledging the pain of those around us. The juxtaposition of these two realities could not have been starker than in Tout Suite as you can see from the pictures above.

6. Satisfy your sweet tooth

There are so many options to get some yummy deserts in Houston. I suggest trying places like The Doughcone for ice-cream in a donut cone, Petite Sweets for assorted baked goods, or Aqua S for ice-cream on top of a cotton candy base.

7. Check out some street art

 

Houston is filled with tons of different murals throughout the city. Some of my favorites are:

  • The Abstract Happy Beach Wall by Zosen and Mina Hamada at 800 Chartres St., Houston, TX 77003 
  • The Urban camouflage wall at Reeves Antiques at 2415 Taft St, Houston, TX 77006
  • The Style Wall at Buffalo Exchange at 2901 S Shepherd Dr. Houston, TX 77098
  • The Original Sugar & Cloth Color Wall at 3302 Canal St., Houston, TX 77003
  • The Synchronicity of Color “Art Boxes”at 1500 McKinney St., Houston, TX 77010 

San Antonio

  1. The Alamo 

 

A travel guide to Texas would not be complete without mentioning the Alamo. This rich piece of history was one of my favorite parts in my favorite city in Texas (sorry to the other cities, but San Antonio was my fave). This piece of history reminded me of the courage, sacrifice, and bravery it takes to build something great. This experience can be summarized in the quote from William Barret Travis, “the enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion otherwise the garrison are to be put to the sword if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender nor retreat.”

2. The San Antonio River Walk 

 

You cannot miss taking a stroll, or ferry ride down the San Antonio River Walk. It is lined with some of the best hotels and restaurants in the city and it is only a short walk from the Alamo. You can take a break from walking and sit at the outdoor amphitheater where they filmed part of Miss Congeniality. Anyone remember which scene this was from?

3. Bubble Waffle Bar

 

Bubble Waffle Bar is an ice-cream shop that makes all of their cones out of warm waffles. You get to pick tons of flavors and toppings to make a creation of your own. I picked Oreo ice-cream with Oreos, a toasted marshmallow, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles. It ain’t gonna lick itself people!

4. NOLA Brunch & Beignets  

 

Nola takes the cake for the best restaurant on the trip. I ordered Banana’s Foster pancakes that may have changed my life (okay slight exaggeration, but barely). You guys, this is a must go to restaurant! Plus, the ambiance and vibes were so cool.

5. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

 

Don’t miss the chance to go exploring around the various Missions across San Antonio. I was filled with so much awe and reverence for the Catholic missionaries that left their homeland to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to those in the Americas. While these missionaries often get a bad rap for bringing disease to the natives and forcing conversion, I saw a different perspective on this trip. I was touched as I thought about the monks who took a vow of poverty and left the comforts of their home to serve strangers in a far off land.

6. Hotel Havana 

 

Stay and dine at the Hotel Havana, a boutique hotel on the San Antonio River Walk. You will appreciate their cuban inspired latin fashion menu. If Latin food is not your thing, (get out of Texas err…) come just for the ambiance and the bar set in a greenhouse that overlooks the River Walk.

7. El Mercado and Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia

 

Walk around the San Antonio Market Square to get a healthy dose of Mexican culture (be prepared for LOTS of other tourists). While you’re there, grab some Tex-Mex at Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia. It may not be the best Mexican food ever and it is slightly pricey, but it was worth the experience.

8. Japanese Tea Garden 

 

This stunning garden is free and open to the public (like most things in San Antonio). Did I mention this was my favorite city people? It was breathtakingly gorgeous and you can take a break from walking around to enjoy some tea and the views.

9. Natural Bridge Caverns

I never got a chance to see the Natural Bridge Caverns, but they are supposed to be a stunning ancient underground rock formation. If you have time to check this out, let me know if you like it!

Austin

  1. Gourdough’s Donuts 

I call this place donut heaven. They slather their massive donuts in toppings like cream cheese, bacon, and fresh berries. I got this miss shortcake, which is a cake donut slathered in cream cheese icing and fresh strawberries. Josh got the flying pig, which is covered in bacon and maple icing. Both were AMAZING.

2. Homeslice

 

Looking for a massive and delicious pizza? Look no further than the New York style pizzeria, Homeslice. Not that hungry? Grab a mexican coke and a slice for only $4. You really can’t beat that.

3. Veracruz 

You can’t go to Texas without getting some authentic Tex-Mex. Have some $3 tacos, chips and salsa. You won’t regret checking out this amazing food truck. Make sure you check the times in advance though, since they have odd hours on some days.

5. Chi’lantro 

It’s famous for it’s kimchi fries and for appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank. The food truck enterprise has expanded into multiple restaurants and for good reason. This Korean BBQ was original and delectable.

6. Churro Co. 

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They have a s’mores churro with chocolate sauce, graham crackers, and toasted marshmallows. Add some icecream on top to take it to the next level. Need I say more?

7. Ride bikes in Zilker Park

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Since it is sure to be nice and toasty in Austin, make sure you do this in the morning. Josh and I rented bikes from Barton Springs Bike Rentalfor $7.50 an hour. They were very helpful and they also do bike tours around the city.

8. Hope Outdoor Gallery 

 

Bring some spray paint and check out the massive graffiti park. Anybody can add to the artwork, which makes this a fun way to get out your artsy side. Not into graffiti? Come for the views. Some of the best views of the skyline can be seen from the top.

9. Blanton Museum of Art 

If you are a modern art lover, Blanton is a must. They have some classics like Warhol, along with talented and lesser known works. We wandered through the museum for hours. The face on the left is made out of black hair combs!

10. Big Top Candy Shop 

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This circus themed candy store is sure not to disappoint. They have hundreds of candies and are located on the popular South Congress Avenue not far from the famous “I love you so much” wall mural.

11. Check out some street art  

 

Austin is known for it’s vast array of wall murals. They’re the perfect photo opp, that’s sure to make your Instagram 10 times cooler. Check out the: I love you so much mural, ’til death do us part mural, and more!

12. Take a stroll down S. Congress Avenue 

 

This is one of the coolest and most eclectic neighborhoods in Austin. You will find tons of shops, galleries, murals, and yummy places to eat.

13. Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in 

End the night with a movie under the stars. You can pay by the car, or come in with general entry. You can buy s’mores and roast them while you’re watching your movie.

Waco

  1. Magnolia Market 

 

Let’s be honest, this is pretty much the only reason people come to Waco. Magnolia Market is the store and bakery that was started by Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper. If you visit you will find home decor, furniture, a bakery, a seasonally updated garden, and some of the best food trucks in the city.

2. Magnolia Table 

Continue the Magnolia experience by dining at the Magnolia Table, but be prepared for a long wait. You typically cannot get into the restaurant for less than a one hour wait time.

3. Take a stroll or hike through Cameron Park 

 

Nestled in the middle of the city, this park is a great location for walking, hiking, and biking. It has wild bamboo growing throughout and is a pretty and centrally located park along the river.

4. Enjoy some ice-cream at Heritage Creamery 

 

This delicious ice-cream parlor has seasonal Texas flavors like brown butter and Texas pecan, old-fashioned dark chocolate, and brown sugar. Plus, all of their ingredients are locally sourced with no preservatives.

5. Oh my Juice! 

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Are you in a healthy mood? Go grab a Acai bowl or a fresh salad from Oh My Juice. Wash it down with some freshly squeezed juice in a plethora of flavors.

6. Spice Village 

Looking for some Texas inspired home decor, clothing, candles, and more? Then look no further than Spice Village. This large shopping complex has antiques, new (AND super cute) clothing, and tons of fun knick knacks.

7. Wall Murals

 

Go check out some of the murals around town! The best way to find these murals is to look at the locations on the Instagram account @wallsofwaco. This mural is right behind Magnolia Market, so you can go snap some pictures as you drive by.

8. Cajun Craft 

 

All this exploring making you hungry? Go grab a bite to eat at a Cajun fusion restaurant in downtown Waco. Their fried chicken is seriously yummy!

9. Take a stroll around Baylor’s Campus and Museums 

 

I can’t mention Waco, without talking about my alma mater. Baylor has a stunning campus with multiple gardens and museums. It is worth taking a drive around if you are in town!

10. Tour the Dr. Pepper Museum 

Waco is the birthplace of that fizzy and wonderful beverage: Dr Pepper! You can go tour a museum where they teach you about the history of the drink and let you sample.

11. Watch a Movie at the Hippodrome 

This restored historical movie theatre is a must-see in Waco. You can grab some dinner, a beer, and watch one of the latest movies all in one cozy location in the heart of the city.

12. Walk around the Waco Downtown Farmer’s Market 

 

You have to be in Waco on a Saturday morning to catch this special treat, but it is well worth it. You will find lots of food, flowers, and handmade crafts.

9. Other dining suggestions

There are lots of other yummy local coffee shops, restaurants, and dessert places in Waco. Some of my favorites are:

Well, there you have it. That is the Jordan’s Guide to the Texas Triangle, with the help of a few of our best friends. Always remember, traveling does not have to break the bank. You can explore fun places that are all around you. You just have to be willing to go on an adventure.

Do you guys have any other suggestions? Comment below with anything I missed!

Victoria

2 Comments Add yours

  1. 925brands says:

    keep on sharing, smiling…

    Like

    1. Thank you so much! I think there is so much joy to be had when you are traveling.

      Like

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