A lot of people ask me why I planned a 2 week road trip around Texas. Well, every year, I make a list of wedding venues I want to photograph all around the world… It just so happened that a large majority of those happen to be in Texas! Go figure! I got to shoot at 3 stunning venues that I’ve been dreaming about forever and eat all the Tex-Mex I could stomach. Below is my Texas road trip itinerary for inquiring minds!
The first day I arrived in Dallas, I met up with my college friend Rose and she showed me around! We went to Vidorra Mexican in Deep Ellum for drinks. I loved the atmosphere and apparently the rooftop is lovely but it was rainy so we ended up hitting the Alamo Draft House for a movie! They serve you dinner and cocktails during the flick! The next morning, my gal Rose and I went for a 5 mile jog around the city. We ran by where JFK was shot, the Crescent Hotel (which may as well be Paris) and down by the Katy Trail. We worked up an appetite for Mudhen before exploring the farmers market. We stopped in to Charming at the Market to hear all about their creative workshops. I then spent the afternoon shooting at The White Sparrow which was a DREAM. I also wanted to shoot at Castle at Rock Wall but scheduling didn’t seem to work. We then explored Greenville and walked into the bars of HG Sply Co which has a lovely rooftop, Feed Company and Truck Yards which has a cool outdoor patio. We also got to drive up and down Swiss Ave to see all the incredible homes and Christmas decor.
The things I was suggested but didn’t fit in were: Press Cafe, Houndstooth Coffee, Oddfellows, Pie Tap, Salsa Limon, and the Bishop Arts District.
I pretty much only stopped in Waco to see the Chip and Joanna Gaines madness. It’s crazy how these two inspired a whole town. Fixer Upper really made this little sleepy town a tourist destination in Texas. It was an easy 1.5 hour drive from Dallas and another 1.5 until Austin. I arrived at Magnolia Market at 9AM right when it opened and it was packed! There’s a bakery attached the the property and the whole store was decked out for Christmas. I had breakfast tacos on the lawn and snapped the surrounding nooks! Loved it. Worth the stop.
I met up with my gal pal Brett in Austin. Our first stop was Hillside Farmacy. It was an adorable French Bistro that we loved. We then explored the little Rosewood area (which has an awesome food truck yard) and then drove to Sixth Street. Although it’s pretty cool during the day, 6th comes alive at night. It’s very similar to NOLA’s Bourbon Street on a smaller scale. We ended the day at Laguna Gloria which is a stunning sculpture museum which makes an incredible wedding venue.
The next day, we shot at Sekrit Theater before breakfast at Juan in a Million, a spicy Mexican staple. We then traveled to the Art of Ice Cream museum which seems oddly similar to the FOMO factory downtown. After our Instagram afternoon, we walked up and down South Congress to shop, grab some Jo’s by the ‘I Love You So Much’ wall. We ended our night with Stubbs BBQ for an early night before shooting a wedding at Star Hill Ranch.
We ate at Magnolia Cafe before hitting the road to San Antonio. The things I was recommended but didn’t fit in were: Moonshine, Easy Tiger, Drink Well, The Oasis, Contigo and the Peached Tortilla. I also still would like to visit Campy Lucy, Barr Mansion, Greenhouse at Driftwood and Villa del Lago as far as wedding venues go! I also know in summer that Hamilton Pool would be amazing to visit among others.
I also was lucky enough to stay in Austin a SECOND weekend for a bachelorette. The best things I could suggest here are the Austin Eats food tour. We stopped at Salt & Thyme, Thaifoon, Whistlers, Suerte, Ah Sing Den (my personal favorite) and ended at Baton Creole. We went to White Horse to see the two-step before we explored bars on Rainey Street which seems to be a more hip 6th street. My favorite bar we stopped at was Un-Bar-lievable which was a circus themed hang out complete with a slide and awesome mint mules. The second day we stooped by Gordough’s Donuts and wandered around Barton Springs for the afternoon. We ended the night with games and Courson’s BBQ on Uber Eats. I don’t think there is a soul on earth who has eaten at every Austin food truck.
Our first day in San Antonio was met with a challenge. I have always wanted to shoot at The Mission San Jose but, because of the government shutdown, it seemed to be closed. That wasn’t going to stop us! I convinced Brett to hop the wall and explore the outside of this amazing church. Later that evening, since it was New Years, we considered buying tickets to a hotel party but found that the town closes their main plaza and has live music, food trucks, games, DJs and rides all for free in celebration! After wandering around The Mayor Maury Maverick plaza, we hopped into Guadalajara Grill for some cocktails and quick eats before jumping in a cab to Pat O’Briens. It may seem like an Irish bar is a weird choice for San Antonio but it was incredibly fun with live music and appropriate decor.
The next day, we wandered the 3 boroughs of San Antonio: Pearl, The Riverwalk and Market Square. In Pearl, we hopped into Hotel Emma which has incredibly vibe-y decor. We also enjoyed a quick bite at Larder before grabbing coffee at Lorraine. The Pearl area has adorable little shops and an outdoor area great for picnics. We then hopped downtown to the Riverwalk. We saw the historic Alamo and wandered the bending river before dipping into The Menger Hotel. When exploring this area, you can also go to La Villita for shops and local flavor.
We ended our day in Market Square for some live music and art. You can dip into La Margarita which was also featured on the Bachelorette. To end the night, you can see San Fernando Cathedral which is lit up with art projections on certain days according to the Main Plaza website!