This is one of my favorite road trips, because both cities have so much to do and there is lots to see along the way. Although this drive is only about 3.5 hours (depending on the unpredictability of movement along IH 35), it can easily be turned into a weekend endeavor of enjoyable moments. At the very least read on to discover some great stops along the way.
Hillsboro has changed over the years, especially as the area has grown around it. Luckily, some things haven’t changed. Hillsboro is still home to cute shops and Texas-based museums. Including the Roadside America Museum- fans of classic cars will appreciate this stop and all the photo opportunities. Hillsboro also has a Braums which still serves some of the best road trip ice cream and is an easy enough on/off stop along the feeder.
Roadside America Museum- 212 East Elm Street
Braums - 219 I-35 Hwy Northwest
Do you like kolaches? How about Czech food? West is a small town off IH 35 about 18 miles from Waco. The Czech Stop has been welcoming visitors for years and it is the perfect place to stop for a delicious snack (even if the lines do get pretty long).
The Czech Stop – Exit 353
Waco has become famous for being the hub to the Magnolia Empire (founded by local residents, Chip and Joanna Gaines). It is also home to Baylor University and a variety of shops, eateries and historical attractions that could entertain you for days. However, traffic does tend to get a little thick on IH 35 and some folks prefer to keep it moving. If you do want a quick-ish stop or place to eat, I recommend Twisted Root Burger Company right along the feeder road of IH 35. Their menu is delicious and their vibe is funky.
Twisted Root Burger Co. - 801 South 2nd Street
What would a Texas road trip be without a Buc-ees's stop? Lucky for you, Temple has one of the larger Buc-ees in the area and it is the perfect fuel and restroom stop when you’re traveling between Dallas and Austin.
Buc-ees in Temple: 4155 North General Bruce Drive
Home to the beautiful campus of Southwestern University, this town is just 30 miles from Austin. Take a quick detour and head to the historic Georgetown courthouse square which has been dubbed “most beautiful town square in Texas.” You’re likely to agree with this title and appreciate the array of shops and dining.
This suburb of Austin has become its own destination. In addition to Round Rock’s Premium Shopping Outlets (which are highly reviewed), there is also an IKEA, Bass Pro Shop, and of course, Round Rock Donuts. Round Rock’s latest addition is Kalahari Resort, one of the largest indoor water and theme parks for families in Texas. Complete with its own shopping and restaurant selections, you may want to consider staying here during your next Austin trip.