Travel

Weekend in Waco & Austin

My mom and I ended up taking a last minute trip since we both had off from work for the holidays and we decided to visit Austin!  Courtney had been with her family a little over a year ago and loved it! Check out her guide here! Keep on reading for our most recent guide!

Day 1

My mom and I are HGTV junkies, especially when it comes to Fixer Upper and all things Joanna Gaines so it was a no-brainer that we had to visit Waco, too!  We rented a car for the day and made the hour and a half drive straight from the airport to Waco. The weather was cold and rainy, which wasn’t ideal for us, however it warded off any crowds we thought we were going to encounter.  Our first stop was brunch at Magnolia Table, Joanna & Chip’s restaurant. We were able to sit immediately which was amazing since we heard people could wait around 2 hours to eat! There is an estimated wait list on the restaurant’s website in case it’s busy.  The place was so cute and the food was amazing! We started with Jo’s famous biscuits & strawberry butter then had Kind Breakfast & Breakfast Tacos. The dishes were massive but that didn’t stop us from having a couple coffees & juices as well as taking an order of the Lemon Lavender Donut Holes to go.

After filling up on a delicious meal, we drove a little less than 10 minutes to the Silos where the rest of Joanna & Chip’s places were.  We saw the Silos, visited the Bakery (but were still too full to try anything but heard the cupcakes are to die for), grabbed some ornaments at Magnolia Market, walked around Magnolia Feed & Seed and grabbed some much needed coffee at Magnolia Press.  Before heading back to Austin, we stopped at the original Magnolia which is now a discounted store – try to go there first before heading to Magnolia Market since some of the stuff is the same but cheaper! We also stopped at Harp Design Co, which is run by Clint Harp who made all of the beautiful wood tables on Fixer Upper.  

After all the driving in the awful weather, we decided to just check into our hotel, The Fairmont Austin, and just relax for the rest of the night.  The hotel was beautifully decorated for the holidays and it was right in the heart of downtown – perfect for our trip!

Day 2

We spent the next day wandering around downtown.  We started with lattes from Houndstooth Coffee and walked around The Capital, which is even bigger than the US Capital.  Austin has so many murals around the city so we made a point to see as many as possible, including Don’t Mess with Austin (mural #1) & the Blue Tile (mural #2).  BBQ is a must when visiting Austin which is why we grabbed lunch @ Cooper’s. The mac & cheese was my fav!  Since it was a beautiful day, we did as much walking as possible.  We headed across the bridge down South Congress Ave which is loaded with shops & restaurants. Our first stop across the bridge was the Yeti Flagship store since we’re big Yeti fans.  We grabbed a few last minute Christmas gifts and stopped at their own bar before continuing down Congress Ave. It was coffee time so we made a necessary stop at Jo’s Coffee (mural #3).  Their signature Iced Turbo is what dreams are made of! Before going into our first shop, we snapped a photo with the Smile mural (#4) and made our way into the Kendra Scott Flagship store (mural #5).  Not only is it filled with all the jewelry you could think of but it also has its own bakery & bar. We had a mini photo shoot with Kendra Scott’s own yellow Santa before stopping at the last two murals of the day, Love from Austin (#6) & Greetings from Austin (#7).

We had some time to kill before dinner so we grabbed some chips & salsa and a rooftop drink at Geraldine’s @ Hotel Van Zandt, which was perfect since it had a fireplace.  After changing for the night, we had dinner at Il Brutto where we shared the Margherita pizza & the Cacio e Pepe for dinner and ended the meal with the Gelati 3 Gusti Tasting & Limincello.  If you get the gelato, you must try the pecorino, which is not the usual option but it was one of our favorites! We ended up going back to the rooftop at Hotel Van Zandt since they were having a Holiday Pop Up which included holiday drinks in fun mugs, complimentary smores’ bar, a photo booth and giant heated snow globes that you could reserve.

Day 3

If we can fit a winery into a trip, we don’t even think twice.  To our surprise, there are several wineries less than an hour from Austin so when we figured out we had extra time during our trip, we spent the beautiful day with some vino.  There are a couple winery bus tours you could do but we figured we could plan on our own since it was just the two of us. Each winery had a $15 tasting fee for 6 wines. Before we filled up on wine, we started the day with brunch at the beautiful Eberly.  The menu had so many delicious options so we shared the Pastry Basket, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes (a must try!), Fresh Seasonal Fruit, Farm Egg & Tavern Fries. We might have overloaded on the drinks but we had no regrets. The fresh juices (yum!), mimosas and coffees were a perfect balance.

We took an uber from Eberly to Duchman Family Winery, which was beautiful.  They have a restaurant attached to the winery if you need some food or you can just go to the tasting room and relax at the picnic tables outside where they have some games.  Our next stop was Driftwood Estate Winery where we met the sweetest woman who helped us with our wine tasting. We took a glass outside to enjoy the view before heading to Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, courtesy of our friend at Driftwood.  We enjoyed a little cheese tasting (our fav) before deciding on a few cheeses to buy. We couldn’t have cheese without some bread so we ran into Texas French Bread right before they were closing and grabbed one of their last delicious loaves.  Our little snack was scarfed down immediately – one of the best decisions we made all day!

Every year, Austin has a Trail of Lights and since we heard such great things, we bought tickets online and gave it a go. We realized very quickly that this was mostly for children so we probably wouldn’t go back unless we had a couple kiddies with us.  Our hotel had a few spots for dinner so we grabbed something quick there and then went to Midnight Cowboy, a cool speakeasy where a reservation is necessary. After figuring out what door and buzzer the speakeasy is located at, a man opens the door, asks for your name, closes the door and after a minute or so, opens the door back up and tells you what booth you have reserved.  They change the menus every so often and when we went, they had options of evil and good cocktails. It was such a cool experience and we would definitely go back!

Day 4

Our last day in Austin was of course the warmest so we spent the day outside as much as we could before heading to the airport.  Our original plan was to go to Tiny Boxwoods, a super cute breakfast/lunch spot that looks like it is out of an HGTV ad.  We clearly should have researched prior since we found out that they were closed on Mondays, of course the day we were going!  So instead we grabbed breakfast outside at June’s All Day (very recommended) and then walked from shop to shop down Congress Ave. There were so many cute shops that we didn’t catch the first day, including Allens Boots, Big Top Candy Shop, Monkey See, Monkey Do, Tom’s, Madewell and so many more.

This is already the second time both Courtney and I have been to Austin & we can already tell we’ll be back.  Hopefully, it’ll be in the Spring/Summer when Austin really shines!

xo A

Break Down (in no particular order):

-We didn’t get to go to a lot of these places however they were highly recommended and are on the list for next time!

Breakfast/Brunch:

  1. Eberly
  2. Jane’s All Day
  3. Better Half Coffee & Cocktails
  4. Spread & Co
  5. Cafe No Se
  6. Tiny Boxwoods
  7. Josephine House
  8. La Politique’s Patisserie

Lunch:

  1. Veracruz All Natural
  2. Magnolia South Cafe
  3. Pinthouse Pizza
  4. Easy Tiger
  5. Spread & Co
  6. Cooper’s
  7. Tiny Boxwood

Dinner:

  1. Il Brutto
  2. L’Oca D’Oro
  3. Jeffrey’s
  4. Bufalina
  5. Provision
  6. Cafe Josie

Coffee:

  1. Cuvee Coffee
  2. Machine Head Coffee
  3. Caffe Medici
  4. Better Half Coffee & Cocktails
  5. Merit Coffee
  6. Hot L Coffee
  7. Fitch Coffee
  8. Jo’s Coffee

Drinks:

  1. Whisler
  2. Apis
  3. The Austin Winery
  4. Midnight Cowboy
  5. Geraldine’s @ Hotel Van Zandt
  6. Any bar on 6th Street

Desserts:

  1. The Yard Milkshake Bar
  2. Gourgough Doughnuts

Things to do:

  1. Texas State Captiol
  2. Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail
  3. LBJ Presidential Library
  4. Bullock Texas State HIstory Museum
  5. South Congress Ave (Yeti Flagship & Kendra Scott Flagship)
  6. Enjoy a sunset on top of Mount Bonnell
  7. Frost Bank Tower
  8. Murals

Wineries:

  1. Duchman Family Winery
  2. Driftwood Estate Winery
  3. Fall Creek Vineyard
  4. Wimberly Valley Winery

Waco:

  1. Silos Baking Co
  2. Magnolia Market
  3. Magnolia Table
  4. Magnolia Press Coffee Co
  5. 5. Little Shop on Bosque
  6. Harp Design Co

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