My mom is very special to me. She’s 83 years young and has much life left in her. She will not go anywhere by herself, so I take her on trips with me. When I plan a mother-daughter trip, I usually choose small Texas towns with a town square, historic buildings, beautiful gardens, and boutique shopping. We both agree that we like to road trip when the weather is nice — not too hot, not too cold.
My mom and I like many of the same thing, including antiquing, historical sites, finding old treasures, and ice cream. Now and then, I get her out of her comfort zone and head to the hiking trails. But she and I are the happiest staying at a bed and breakfast that serves nice breakfasts, and at night watching her favorite show — Wheel Of Fortune. Below are some of our favorite mother-daughter trips we’ve taken in Texas.
1. Palestine Dogwood Blooms
Palestine is a charming town in East Texas that we’ve not been to together, and it was our latest trip. We were excited to experience the East Texas culture and see the beautiful dogwood trees and attractions we had never had the chance to see. I found an adorable rustic cabin in the woods to stay in, and they served us breakfast each morning. If you’re ever out that way, look up The Ranch At Walston Springs. You’ll be dazzled by the landscape, the beautiful garden, and the walks down by the river.
One of the best times to visit is during the Dogwood Blooms Trail Celebration, which runs from the middle of March to the first of April. It’s when the dogwood blooms outshine the town.
Pro Tip: The Texas State Railroad is a wonderful excursion to take. It offers several tours throughout the year.
2. Magnolia Market, Waco
To take a trip to a town that offers shopping by one of your favorite home DIY couples on TV is a trip to take multiple times — and we have. The Magnolia Market changes its decor quite often, and there seems to be more added to the market every time we go. My mom and I have been here at least three times — twice on a getaway and once returning from San Antonio.
From the first to the lastest mother-daughter road trip to Waco, we’ve seen the Magnolia Market grow into a one-stop-shop market with row after row of shops. Plus, all the food trucks are lined up in a curve. Weekends can get busy waiting in lines just to get into the stores. The Magnolia Table Restaurant is no different. Plan to wait in line there too.
Pro Tip: If you have time to spare, take a trip to downtown Waco. The shops and boutiques are plentiful there too.
3. East Texas Arboretum And Botanical Society
Athens is a lovely small town in East Texas where the air is nice and the trees are beautiful. We have taken many day trips here, and on our last visit, we took an afternoon stroll through the gardens at East Texas Arboretum & Botanical Society. We’ve visited many times in the spring, but I hear it’s just gorgeous in fall. It’s quite pleasant to walk around the arboretum to see all the beauty and try to name all the flowers and trees. If time allows, you may want to visit the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center — a popular place for families to go.
Pro Tip: One of our favorite places to eat in Athens is The Cherry Laurel. Whether we go for a treat or lunch, it never disappoints.
4. New Braunfels
I love to visit this part of Texas for local events and to get a glimpse of the Guadalupe River. My mom and I have been here twice. The last time was recently, when we were invited to a special event. Any reason to go to New Braunfels is good enough for us, especially if there’s time to visit the small charming town of Gruene and have lunch at the Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar overlooking the river.
Pro Tip: If you like to dine with scenic views, whether in New Braunfels or Gruene, it’s best to make reservations as those seats are the first taken.
5. San Antonio
I think most travelers go to San Antonio to stroll around the riverwalk. We were no different. It’s a must whenever we’re in town. I wanted to do something special for my mom, so I booked us a riverwalk boat ride. It was a little chilly that day, so we bundled up together while listening to the taxi driver tell the story of San Antonio. Afterward, we made our way to one of the many restaurants on the riverwalk.
Pro Tip: The best time to visit the riverwalk is during the week.
6. Berry Pickin’ In East Texas
We took a day trip out to Edom — another small East Texas town — to pick blueberries. It was one hot day in July and our first time visiting a pick-your-own blueberry farm. We picked enough blueberries for a thousand blueberry cobblers — not really — but it seemed we picked way too many. Afterward, we each bought blueberry ice cream. I felt we deserved it. I couldn’t help but buy a bottle of syrup, jam, and jelly — all blueberry. Next time, I will find us a cozy bed and breakfast to stay overnight. If you ever drive through or visit Edom, stop at Blueberry Hill Farms. Be sure to check the dates and times they are open.
Pro Tip: If you plan to pick blueberries and visit the small town shops, go on any day of the week except Sunday and Monday when all the shops are closed.
7. Charming Jefferson
Jefferson, Texas, is known for its quaint historic bed and breakfast inns and charming downtown. It’s considered one of the best weekend getaways for couples and families. It also has many outdoor adventures to seek. Speaking of the outdoors, if you’re into hiking, boating, horse riding, etc., here is everything you need to know about outdoor activities in and near Jefferson.
8. Downtown Grapevine
Another great town to visit is Grapevine, Texas, any time of the year. Grapevine is a short driving distance from Dallas and Fort Worth. There is always something happening on Main Street. Grapevine is one of my favorite places to visit for shopping and wineries. But, mom and I chose Christmas time to visit together. This is when all the shops get out their fancy holiday decorations, and the town lights up with special events and all the outdoor holiday-themed characters. It’s when the town comes alive with holiday music, fake snow (hey, it’s Texas), and extra attractions all throughout town.
Pro Tip: You’re lucky if you’re going for the wine, as there are at least 10 wineries right on Main Street.
9. Fort Worth
Head to the Fort Worth Stockyards if you’re looking for a place to go in Fort Worth with everything from great restaurants, shopping of all kinds, wine, beer, cowboys, bull riding, and plenty of live entertainment. The daily longhorn cattle drive happens twice a day at 11:30 am and 4:00 pm. Find a spot on the sidewalk to see real cowboys ride Texas longhorns. It’s well worth seeing, especially if you’ve never seen longhorns… or cowboys! Hotel Drover, Autograph Collection is within walking distance of the Stockyards and is the perfect place to stay.
Pro Tip: There is a new reason to visit the Fort Worth Stockyards, well, if you love the famous John Wayne, aka The Duke. A John Wayne Museum has joined in all the fun and is located on East Exchange Avenue and Rodeo Drive.
Even though McKinney, Texas, is not a small town (population in the hundred thousands), it sure feels like it, especially downtown. My mom and I got invited on a downtown McKinney food walking tour, and I wanted to make it special, so I booked a room on
11. A Trip To The Texas Hill Country
I haven’t taken my mom to the Hill Country yet, but I’ve been several times. Any town you choose in the Texas Hill Country will be fantastic. Depending on what you want to do is where you’ll end up. For instance, if you want to visit the wineries, you may want to stay close to Highway 290. There’s a slew of them on this highway from Johnson City to Fredericksburg. Dripping Springs has the Hamilton Preserves and Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center, if you and your mom like the outdoor life. If you like to shop, opt to stay in Boerne. Its Main Street has boutique after boutique and lots in between.