Destination: Austin, Round Rock, Bryan College Station and Waco

By Adam Turner

1. Austin is the live music capital of the world, and The Continental Club is one of its top venues. Originally opened in 1957 as a private supper club, it has since become the home for bands playing roots, rockabilly, country and swing music.

2. Eat like cowboys at ¡Vamonos! in Austin’s Airport Boulevard area. Opened in an old bullfighting space, this ranch-style Tex-Mex restaurant showcases the food that Texan vaqueros and cowboys eat, including grilled meats, salsas and, of course, tequila.

3. No trip to Austin is complete without a stop at Mayfield Park and Mount Bonnell – a natural reprieve from the bustle of the city. Visitors to the site can enjoy the lush gardens and exquisite koi ponds while learning about the historical significance of the land.

4. Coming to Round Rock in November 2020, the Kalahari Resort is an African-themed resort, water park and convention center that will bring a new element of fun to Texas. The resort will feature a spa and salon, America’s largest indoor waterpark, numerous restaurants, an African-style market and more.

5. Take a stroll down Main Street to visit the many bars and restaurants that make up downtown Round Rock. The Piano Bar, Long Branch Saloon, Wine Sensation and La Esquina Cantina all have events and entertainment for visitors and locals alike.

6. Pay tribute to the 41st president at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Bryan-College Station. The museum features permanent exhibits like a restored 1944 TBM Avenger – the plane Bush flew in the Navy – alongside his personal mementos.

7. Miles of greenway trails are perfect for exploring at Lick Creek Park and Nature Center in Bryan-College Station. Whether you’re taking in the monarch butterfly garden, watching the many bird species or cycling down a trail at top speed, this natural space will leave you feeling refreshed.

8. Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco comes straight from the minds of HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines. Explore the market’s showroom to see and buy the decorative pieces from their popular show “Fixer Upper,” and afterwards, sit down on the sprawling lawn with one of their fresh baked cupcakes from the Silos Baking Co.

9. With more than 40 international awards under their belt, the folks producing Balcones Distillery in Waco have shown just how skilled they are at producing flavorful drinks. Those over the age of 19 visiting Waco can take a tour of the distillery, and visitors over 21 can sample any of their spirits.

10. Next to the Brazos River in Waco, 416-acre Cameron Park invites anyone with an adventuring spirit to explore its waterfront view, grassy plains and zig zagging trails. One of the most popular challenges in the park is climbing up the 100-step Jacob’s Ladder, which has been maintained throughout the past century thanks to several renovations.

Photo credits: captureandcompose, travel_with_me and JDRoss75/

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