Vacation season is coming up and when you’re on the road, every so often you need to gas up, rest up and eat up. Here’s a list of the best stops you need to make while you’re on your way out of town (maybe to one of the weekend getaways featured in our May issue.) In no particular order, except for the order in which they occurred to me.
Pink Pistol, Lindale
Lindale doesn’t have much, but it does have Miranda Lambert. Country music’s most “twangry” star, Miranda grew up in Texas and her family runs The Pink Pistol, a clothing store “For the Wild at Heart.” You’ll find wine such as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, casual clothing, wine glasses–even things for your pet, since Miranda is a huge dog lover. You may even run into Miranda herself. No promises. But hey, if you ever wanted a shirt that reads “Feed me tacos and tell me I’m pretty,” or “Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come,” The Pink Pistol has your back.
The Pink Pistol, 114 E North St, Lindale
Magnolia Market, Waco
There’s a little something for everyone at Magnolia Market at the Silos, and not just beautiful Instagram opportunities. It’s really known for shopping for some of the most excellent home goods around, but there’s also food and games too. It’s like your own episode of Fixer Upper and life in Waco doesn’t get better than that.
Magnolia Ave, Waco | magnolia.com/silos
Czech Stop, West
This is the most obvious pitstop in Texas. Literally everyone knows about it. Open 24/7–including holidays–Czech Stop. You can get gas at the Shell there but really, everyone stops for kolaches and klobasneke. You can pick your poison: Maple Twists, Raspberry Cream Cheese rolls, Hot Chubbies w/ Cheese, Jalapeno poppers and more.
(But if you really want to dig into the klobasneke Camelot that is West, Texas, check out what D Magazine has to say about Czech Stop and its competitors.)
104 S George Kacir Dr, West | czechstop.net
Kelly Family Farms burger stand, Parker
This one is so close to town, it’s hardly even a pitstop. But it’s hard to beat a grass-fed burger from a food truck, eaten at a picnic table. These are simple one, two, three or four-patty burgers with your choice of fixin’s and a small menu of add-ons that cost just a bit extra. As burgers go, these are a giant step up from usual roadside fare, and super fast and easy. You can also pick up other frozen cuts of grass-fed beef to take home for dinner.
989 W. Lucas Rd., Lucas | kellyfamilyfarms.com
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Wood and Time Smokehouse, Lavon
This is worth the drive to Lavon but you can also just go to the Dallas Farmer’s Market for this. Wood and Time Smokehouse which operates out of a Lavon gas station, specializes in Texas-style barbecue, family style. It’s a small family operation that pays great attention to the minutia of the pit and make their own sauce. Mostly though, nothing will fortify you on your way into East Texas better than Brisket Frito Pie.
Wood and Time Smokehouse, 400 TX-78, Lavon | woodandtime.com
Buc-ee’s No-36, Terrell
This isn’t the only Buc-ee’s around, but this one is on the way to Canton, one of our getaways, so this is the one we picked. No one just casually “likes” Buc-ee’s. If you like Buc-ee’s, then you love Buc-ee’s. If that’s the case than this baseball-cap-wearing-beaver is a familiar sight. Buc-ee’s is the ultimate, most quintessential pitstop in the area. They have the cleanest bathrooms found on the road, for instance, great options for food and drink, shopping for Buc-ee’s memorabilia, car washes, gas–everything you need, under one log cabin roof.
506 West IH-20, Terrell | buc-ees.com
Bonus: Roadside Attractions
Here are a couple of stops that you might want to make. These are just part of what makes the Texas countryside great. Or weird. You pick.
Glenn Goode’s Big People
Again, I can’t tell if this is weird or cool. As far as roadside attractions go though, these are big.
These fiberglass beings loom over the Gainesville skyline like guardians. The creator, North Texan Glenn Goode passed away in 2015 and it’s said that his will requests they remain there for five years before being sold. So you’d better see them before 2020.
1719 FM371, Gainesville
Futuro House, Royse City
Scattered around the world, there are many kooky UFO-shaped prefabs from the late ’60s. They’re called Futuro Houses. Most aren’t actually functioning or in excellent condition and Royse City’s is no exception. It’s not as orange as it used to be and it’s probably not all that stable inside. But though it’s covered in graffiti and definitely needs to be fixed up, people still stop by to take pictures with the built-in seating, oval windows, and a spaceship-like hatch door.
9573 TX-276, Royse City
Stonehenge II, Ingram
A replica of the original Stonehenge monument, except this was is in the Texas Hill Country. And it isn’t hundreds of years old and of mysterious origins. It was conceived and built by two dudes, Al Shepperd and Doug Hill.
120 Point Theatre Rd. S, Ingram