A little bit city, a little bit country, this long-weekend drive combines the made-for-TV charms of Waco with the hipster cool of Austin and the pastoral beauty of Hill Country.
DAY 1: WACO & SALADO
Land early in Dallas for the nearly two-hour drive south to Waco, home to the Magnolia Journal’s Chip and Joanna Gaines. Visit their Magnolia Market for chic housewares and pick up some bacon-cheddar biscuits from the on-site bakery. Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum Complex has interactive exhibits that will entertain both tactile tots and temperamental tweens. Dig for antique treasures at Cameron Trading Co. before moving on to Salado. There, enjoy craft brews and food truck fare at Barrow Brewing Company, then turn in at the throwback Shady Villa Hotel (from $149 a night).
DAY 2: AUSTIN
It’s less than an hour to downtown Austin. Drop off your bags at the Kelly Wearstler–designed Austin Proper (from $369 a night) and walk to Veracruz All Natural, a food truck serving the best breakfast tacos in town. Snapping a pic in front of the “Greetings from Austin” mural is a tourist’s rite of passage. At Stag Provisions for Men, hipster-lite styles from Faherty and Portuguese Flannel will take a guy’s wardrobe from inept to influencer. Grab ribs at J. Leonardi’s Barbeque, then do like the YoPros (that’s “young professionals”) and barhop on Rainey Street.
DAY 3: FREDERICKSBURG
Grazing cattle and azure bluebonnet fields line the 13-mile Willow City Loop, a scenic detour on your way to Texas Wine Country. Once in Fredericksburg, check into a rustic-chic cabin at Contigo Ranch (from $178 a night) before sampling unique regional varietals, like Albariño at Southold Farm + Cellar. Those at-home HIIT workouts will prove their worth on the climb up monolithic Enchanted Rock, where panoramic views of rolling hillsides are the perfect send-off.