Last December I drove through Texas in order to visit the three Presidential libraries. During my three day trip, I made a few other stops along the way.
Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas
The Sixth Street museum and Dealey Plaza in Dallas, where President John Kennedy was assassinated are well-preserved monuments today in November 1963. Little has changed in The Plaza since ’63 and the old Texas School Book Depository building, now the Dallas County Administration building, houses the Sixth Street museum. There you can purchase an audio tour of the museum which includes a walk through the sixties and exhibits that walk you through the events of that November day. You can view the corner window where Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy and Governor John Connelly. It is thought-provoking. I received a photo tip from a local resident, there is a pedestrian bridge that overlooks the Plaza and is a good location for photos of the plaza. Be sure to buy your ticket online before your visit as the tour fills up quickly. There are numerous parking lots in the area and parking can be a bit pricey.
Magnolia Market at the Silos
HGTV personalities, Chip and Joanna Gaines, have reclaimed two old grain silos near downtown Waco that stand watch over the area. Magnolia Market is the large shop for their lines of home goods which I found a tad on the expensive side. There is a large area of picnic tables and a green space for kids to play. Surrounding the green space are various local food trucks which sell all types of foods from barbeque to ice cream.
The Silo Baking Company, usually with a line out the door, is a small building that turns at dozens of tasty treats daily. Yes, it is worth the wait. It is a hot spot in town and usually crowded. The Gaines’ have obviously hit the nail on the head for the visiting public.
Official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame
I passed the sign for the Official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame in Waco, so I went to investigate. The Hall of Fame looks at the role of the Texas Rangers throughout the history of Texas. There are numerous displays, consisting of guns, rifles and other law enforcement items that provide visitors with an overview of the role of the Rangers in law enforcement. A forty-five-minute film provides a look into just what Rangers accomplish on a daily basis. A wall of photographs honors each Ranger that has died while in performance of his duty. Excellent historical references and oral histories are provided that put you in the moment of an arrest. The statuary alone is worth a stop to see.
Trattoria Lisina and Mandola Winery
Even after a long drive from State College to San Antonio, I wanted to visit Trattoria Lisina and Mandola Winery in Driftwood, Texas again. While it is a bit off the beaten path, it is worth every minute spent getting there. The surrounding vineyard reminds you of Italy and the food puts you in the midst of the Italian countryside. The wine tasting room was buzzing when I arrived a little early for my reservation. I opted to wait for a glass of wine with dinner. Dinner was a scrumptious seafood risotto with plenty of parmesan. Service was top notch. If you’re close by, go and have a meal. It’s worth it.
State Capitol of Texas
Everything is bigger in Texas and it is true of the State Capitol which is a bit taller than the US Capitol. It is an impressive sight to behold and even more impressive on the interior. Guided and self-guided tours are available daily. The nearby Visitors Center also maintains a wealth of information about the capitol and grounds. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy learning more about Texas.