Family Road Trip to Austin

In March, we took our girls on a road trip to Austin, Texas. It's not a long drive from the DFW area, so it was the perfect get-away. Road trips in Texas are one of my favorite ways to spend a vacation. This state has so much to offer and people in Texas really are the nicest :) So we were excited to explore Austin and experience all it had to offer.

A few tips about Road Tripping in Texas. 
-Bring a selfie-stick. Yes I know not everyone loves selfie-sticks. But trust me, it's so nice to have photos with your entire family in them!  And then you don't have to worry about asking random people to take your photos all the time.
-Bring lots of bottled water. My girls were running around Austin. Literally, I don't think they walked anywhere!  Throw a few Ozarka (which happens to be bottled from Texas springs) water bottles in your backpack.
-Know before you go. Check out Pinterest for blog posts (like the one) that highlight fun things to do while you are in town. I love to read what other families enjoyed doing, because chances are, my kids will love it too.
-Pack Snacks. There is something about walking around that makes everyone hungry. Besides the Ozarka, I had packed some other authentic "Texas made" treats for our hotel room. I thought it would be fun to have a 'taste of Texas' while exploring Texas! My girls favorites were the Paqui Tortilla Chips and Cookwell's Queso con Salsa Escabeche.
-Balance Fun & Education. There is so much rich history in our state. Be sure to take in some of the historical sites too. It will make things so much easier for your kiddos when they study Texas History in school!

Texas Pallet Art- because Texas is SO awesome :) 
We split up our Austin trip into two parts. A few days in the city and then a few days at Horseshoe Bay. When we first arrived in Austin, we checked into our hotel and then headed out to grab lunch. My favorite place to eat in Austin has to be Shady Grove. (We ate there several times while we were in town!) It's nestled under big trees and has the freshest, tastiest menu.

After lunch we spent the afternoon at Zilker Park. The girls played and we went on the train ride around the park. 

After the train ride, they cooled down in the waterways just below the Barton Springs Pool. The water was pretty chilly! 

Then we headed into the city to visit the Texas State Capitol building. It was so interesting to see where our state laws are made. The building itself is simply beautiful. 

By then were exhausted and went back to the hotel to relax at the pool and then grab dinner. Our hotel was the Renaissance in the Garden District. It has a lot of fun amenities like a huge patio, restaurant, bar and gardens. 

The next day we decided to rent a kayak. We paddled out of Zilker Park onto Lady Bird Lake. You get the best view of Austin city skyline out on the water. 

Then we bought tickets to swim at Barton Spring Pool. The water was so clear, so refreshing and so cold! But it was nice and warm outside and after awhile we kind of got used to the freezing temperatures of the water :) 

For lunch, we decided to go back to Shady Grove. And of course, we all had to get t-shirts there. Maisy got the "Hamburger" shirt and Afton chose the "Keep Austin Weird" tie-dye one. After lunch, we ate a little treat from the "Hey Cupcake" food truck. We went back the hotel for a little rest and then grabbed dinner at the Pour House Pints & Pies. 

The next morning, we relaxed at the hotel and then drove out to Horseshoe Bay Resort. This Resort has it all. Great food, fun pools, extensive activities for kids and a beautiful lake with a beach. We stayed there for two days and soaked up the sun, water, and lots of unique activities-- water sports, bikes, crafts, and animal adventures. 

When it was time to head home, we were a bit sad-- Austin was SO fun. But the good news is, we can hop in the car and drive back down anytime we want! Which is the great thing about this state, it really does have it all. 

And in keeping with my "Texas has it all" themed post :) here are a few other tasty things Texas has to offer. Whether you are road-tripping with your family this summer or entertaining friends at home, be sure to try these 'From Here, For Here' food. 

Be Texas Proud my friends! 
1. Ozarka Water Delivery- delicious drinking water, from Texas
2. Paqui Tortilla Chips- better for you tortilla chips and tortillas. My girls love these!  
3. Snow's BBQ Sauce- named the best BBQ sauce by Texas Monthly Magazine. 
4. Yellowbird Habanero Sauces- Totally natural, spicy pepper condiments. Made with ♥ in Austin. 
5. The Jelly Queens Black Garlic Rosemary BBQ Sauce-gourmet jams, jellies, spices, and sauces. 
6. Taste Elevated Sweet & Spicy Mustard Seeds-use as a condiment, any place you use mustard. 
7. CookWell & Co. Queso con Salsa Esacabeche- simply the best & authentic queso you can buy.

What are you favorite place to visit in Texas? What are your favorite "Made in Texas" products? 
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