The Ultimate Travel Guide: Texas Edition

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Howdy! As you may know by now, Texas is our version of Paradice. We have lived here for almost three years and believe we have a great idea of all the things you need to see and do here. We have so much more to see, but we’d like to share with you what we recommend in each area.

We have spent the last three years exploring Dallas and we can confidently say that we have not seen everything. Not even close. We highly recommend spending a lot of time exploring Texas when you get a chance. This will be part of our 50 state series. We hope to do all the research for you, so you can thoroughly enjoy your trip


Since we chose to live in Dallas, we definitely feel there is value in sharing our experience with others. We love the fact that the city life is very laid back and welcoming. We also enjoy how friendly everyone has been, and the fact that the opportunities here are ever growing and expanding. Not only do we feel like we chose to live in “Paradice”, but we also feel that we’ve chosen the perfect place for every stage of our life. It’s overwhelming the love we’ve grown for the lone star state, and we hope you at least come to visit for a while.


Reunion Tower: There are stunning views of the are from up here. This is one tourist attraction that’s worth it. There’s also a restaurant at the top where you can grab a drink or have a full-blown meal. 4th of July in Fort Worth @ Pavillion Panther Island: Hands down the best fireworks I have ever seen. You may find that Addison Fireworks are the best rated but I disagree. This is Texas we are talking about, there are no rules.


The most unique place to grab a bit in Dallas is at Joe T Garcia’s. This is technically in Fort Worth, but it’s all part of the metroplex area. They serve tex-mex the right way. Everything is family style and cash only in a beautiful outdoor scene. I promise you’ve never seen anything like it.


Shop til you drop at any of the big malls. The Galleria is by far the most popular. Other recommended shopping centers are North Park, Stonebriar, and Willowbend. Afterward, I recommend exploring one of Dallas’ most unique neighborhoods: Deep Ellum for the more unique boutiques.


Austin is a college town known best for being weird. While visiting Austin, you’ll run into things you haven’t seen before anywhere else. If you want to travel somewhere you’ll have a story to tell upon return, then Austin is your city. There are generally two areas that make up the majority of the city. The first area is a buzzy uptown neighborhood nicknamed “The Domain”. This is a stylish square filled with unique stores and restaurants. The shopping uptown is all outdoors and the stores are all one of a kind. You won’t be disappointed when you can shop for things that are actually unique. You may also want to visit downtown Austin for a true “Honky Tonk” experience. It all depends on your taste. Originally when planning to visit Austin, we wanted to focus on the downtown area. It turns out the Domain was much livelier and unique than we ever imagined. Don’t be afraid to test the waters!


There are too many attractions to document in this article, but to highlight some of the must-see activities, we will have to summarize. There is another area called South Congress and it has a large bridge over water connecting two separate spaces of the downtown complex. Underneath the bridge live thousands of bats and you can watch them all fly out at once at a certain time of evening every day. This is certainly a sight to see and makes a unique photo to take back home. If you’re looking to find some nature on your excursion, then we recommend visiting Hamilton Pool. It’s a natural cave and waterfall, where the surrounding water is warm enough and safe enough to swim in. Along the same lines, there’s a major swimming pool in the town center called Barton Springs pool. It’s a hot commodity for gathering and getting out of the Texas heat.


Restaurant suggestions come easily when traveling anywhere in Texas, but especially to Austin. We will always recommend tacos in Texas, especially Velvet Taco, or Torchy’s Tacos. However, we also recommend going out of your comfort zone and trying something new, maybe even something weird.  In downtown Austin, it’s worth going to Easy Tiger, a German-inspired bar and pub. The genuine qualities that this pub has will make you feel like you are not even Texas. A fancier option would be to make a stop at the Midnight Rambler. This bar is a reservation only, special occasion venture. The ambiance is sneaky and secretive and aims to take you back to the 1920s. When you’ve completed your bar hopping for the night and are in search of a great brunch location the next day, please try Snooze AM. The wait is long so make sure you don’t show up too late! This was hands down the best breakfast we’ve had with or without a hangover.


There’s so much to do in Austin, as the community is always hosting events. It would be a great idea to plan ahead and visit during the biggest festival they put on which is South by Southwest.


If you’ve ever seen the show Fixer Upper and fallen in love with Chip & Joanna Gaines, then we suggest stopping in the town where they make all the magic happen. For those of you that don’t know, there is a couple from small little Waco, TX that has built a business fixing up homes around the area and stamping their personal touch on them. It’s been a hit on HGTV and has captured the hearts of people nationwide. If you’re into design and appreciate a genuine, family-friendly experience, then Waco is the town for you. The couple has truly created a place that’s attracting visitors for an entire weekend.


The properties mentioned above are on tour for viewing. You can stop by their restaurant, Magnolia Table, and sign yourself up for either a short or an extended tour.


The best breakfast joint to go to is Magnolia Table. This restaurant was built and designed by the Fixer Upper couple and it’s an absolute hit. They change the menu seasonally and everything is always reasonably priced. Try a juice flight, it’s worth it. Make sure that you save some room for their bakery at the Silos. They’ve turned an old abandoned Silo location into a sweet shop with style like none other. Try the lemon lavender doughnuts if available.


In addition to the properties and the restaurants, they have also created a sort of town square of the heart of Waco called Magnolia at the Silos. They have a large home store surround by a green space, a garden area, and many local food trucks. There is often live music on the green space underneath the Silos. Up and down the blocks there are also other shopping options such as antique and clothing stores. It’s really a fun experience all around!

Brownsville /South Padre

You may have associated this Spring Break destination as a one-stop shop for partying on the Gulf. You may be right. However, if you go during the end of Summer, you may find a peaceful island vacation waiting for you.


There are some unique island activities to participate in. You can get crazy and rent some jet skis or wave runners for the afternoon. You can also take a boat out and do some dolphin watching. Taking part in sand castle lessons is also a great way to spend the afternoon.


Please eat all the seafood! The Gulf shrimp are amazing. Feel free to leave the burgers and pizza for another time. It may feel strange to be on an island in Texas, but take full advantage of the fresh catches.


Beach Party! This spring break destination is filled with nonstop parties during their regular spring season. If you happen to visit during the offseason, make sure you spend a lot of quiet time on the beach. Each side of the island has lots of shops to occupy your time. It’s best to plan on spending a lot of time in and around the water.


Visiting Houston for the first time was a whirlwind. At first, we thought it was a complete replica of Dallas, but we knew we were immediately wrong when we traveled to Galveston the outskirts.


One of the biggest attractions in Houston is the NASA space station. The chance to visit is something you shouldn’t miss out on. Afterward, it would in your best interest to take a tour of the Saint Arnold Brewing Company. You do not want to miss out on their beer!


There are an endless amount of restaurants to choose from, but we will always reminisce on our choice to have a steak at Pappas Brothers. It was hands down the best meal we’ve had here. Between the ribeye and the Napa Valley wine, we were in heaven.


If you drive to the outskirts of Houston, towards the Gulf of Mexico, you will come across Kemah Boardwalk. It’s a beautiful location that is a mix of an amusement park and restaurants, with a very Paradice vibe to it. There are also options to take boat tours out on the Gulf which looks like a ton of fun! This is a great escape if you’re looking to get out of the city for a few hours.


We are so excited to share our special find with you and we hope you take them into consideration and plan to tour the best of Texas. Due to the massive size of the state, we know that there’s a lot more exploring to do, but feel that we have made our mark here. We’d love to hear about your experiences here or what you’ve done that we haven’t mentioned.

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