Three Easy Trips Only a Hop, Skip and Jump Away from Plano
August is here, but there’s still time for a temporary escape from the daily grind before summer’s officially over. A perennial favorite of savvy travelers is to explore cities close to home and happily, North Texas offers all manner of interesting and unique day trip experiences. We’ve got three weekend getaways for the foodie, the romantic and the family that are an easy drive from Plano yet can feel like a world away.
For the Foodie | Denton
What to do: If it’s a Saturday, reserve a spot on the tour of Audacity Brew House’s in-house beer-making operation. Otherwise, immerse yourself in the local history with a stroll around the famed Downtown Square, which features quirky boutiques as well as dining options galore.
Where to eat/drink: Hypnotic Donuts for an astounding array of decadent pastries and biscuits (anything featuring bacon is a winner); Austin St. Truck Stop for a collection of the city’s best food trucks, ranging from Korean to Tex-Mex; LSA Burger for a crazy variety of over-the-top sandwiches, in digs inspired by Texas musicians; Queenie’s for an upscale Southern-cuisine experience from celebrity chef Tim Love, and Barley & Board for locally sourced, chef-crafted tavern fare.
Where to stay: Continue your eating and drinking at Old Irish Bed & Breakfast, which houses a pub, beer garden…and an onsite alpaca ranch.
For the Romantic | Granbury
What to do: No visit to Granbury is complete without a jaunt through the historic downtown square, anchored, as so many charming Texas towns are, by the wonderfully restored county courthouse; the surrounding boutiques beckon visitors to stop for a spell. Make plans to catch a show at the overhauled Granbury Opera House, after getting a peek into the past at the Yeats-Duke 1858 Museum and the Granbury Doll House Museum.
Where to eat/drink: The chef-owned Bake Shop Café for sweets and savory fare in an intimate space; downtown’s Eighteen Ninety Grille and Lounge for a fine dinner of chops and seafood with Texas flair (keep an eye out for special wine-pairing dinners); and Farina’s Winery & Café, serving up Italian-inspired eats in a restored building.
Where to stay: A number of historic dwellings converted to B&Bs make for adorable spots for a couples getaway, including the Granbury Gardens Bed and Breakfast Inn (a 1911 Craftsman-style home) and the 1890s-built Manor of Time. The Inn on Lake Granbury offers prime waterfront views and immersive luxury.
For the Family | Fort Worth
What to do: Visit Burger’s Lake, a 30-acre park with beach areas for swimming, shade trees for picnicking and even water slides; ride along the Trinity with Fort Worth Stockyards Stables and Horseback Riding; get hands-on learning at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, which features kid-friendly permanent exhibits.
Where to eat/drink: Woodshed Smokehouse, for barbecue on a large, dog-friendly patio overlooking the Trinity; Joe T. Garcia’s for classic Tex-Mex in a sprawling, fountain-centered hacienda with lots to explore.
Where to stay: The DFW Marriott Hotel and Golf Club at Champions Circle overlooks a gorgeous 18-hole golf course and also features a huge pool the whole family can enjoy. The Residence Inn – Cultural District is the only hotel in the city’s arts hub, and rooms feature full kitchens. Kids will find a stay at the Old West-style Stockyards Hotel to be a historic hoot.