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Touring Texas with the Top Down: Chila ‘Orchata’s Road Trip Travel Guide

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They say that everything’s bigger in Texas, but does that mean everything’s better? Find out for yourself by visiting some of the hottest spots in the Lone Star State this spring. Get your playlist ready, fill up your tank and head down South to explore some of the biggest cities in the nation’s second-largest state. We’ve got some tips on what to do, eat and drink at each stop along the drive.

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Stop 1: Houston

What to do: Let the fashionista within you fly free at Tootsies, a full line specialty store offering American and European designer collections, ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, jewelry and accessories. Finish out your day of retail therapy by unwinding at a show at the Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston’s premier outdoor theater for the performing arts. Free performances run March through October, and their BYOB policy allows you to enjoy a Chila cocktail in the Hillside Area!

Where to eat: Fuel up at Red Dessert Dive, a sunlight-soaked coffee shop with a killer pastry menu. Croissants, coffee and a cookie for the road will keep you energized for the rest of the day.

Mezza Grille serves “edible fine art” and has beautiful décor to match. Swing by at 4 p.m. to kick off happy hour with a Chila-infused coconut martini and nibble on Texas baked goat cheese. For dinner, Mezza’s staff recommends the mango-stuffed chicken with creamy scalloped potatoes. Our mouths are watering just thinking about it!

Where to drink: At Watson’s House of Ales, you can find dozens of beers on tap as well as a huge selection of cocktails — including a fan-favorite, the Cinnamon Toast Shot — and top-notch wine. Stop by after dinner for a nightcap or, if you’ve got a late-night craving, try ordering the fish and chips to share. “People go crazy for the fish and chips here,” says Andrew, the general manager of the pub. “We’re an English-style restaurant, so you can bet it’s authentic in terms of taste.”

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Stop 2: Austin

What to do: You can’t go to Austin without visiting the Texas State Capitol! This beautiful building and its expansive grounds offer a fun and fascinating way to learn more about the history of Texas. Free guided tours are available daily, or you can explore the grounds at your convenience. Continue your day with a true Austin outdoor adventure and head to Barton Springs Pool, one of the crown jewels of ATX. Measuring three acres in size, this manmade pool is fed from underground springs with an average temperature of 68-70 degrees, perfect for year-round swimming.

Where to eat: Poke on over to Poke-Poke for sashimi-grade fish served with fixings like soy sauce, cucumbers, pickled ginger, chili oil and avocado. Try it with rice or by itself to keep you powered up for your day. In the mood for some Southern-style grub? Try Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, a family-owned eatery that has specialized in the slow-cooked meat ‘n’ three “since before bar-b-que was cool.”

Where to drink: Stroll through Austin’s Red River District and pop in 508 Tequila Bar for a drink on the patio. We like the Tijuana Bulldog, which mixes cocoa-flavored tequila and cola with a splash of Chila. Experience the art of the cocktail at The Roosevelt Room, which boasts a huge selection of spirits as well as wines from around the world.

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Stop 3: Dallas

What to do: Finish your road trip adventure with a relaxing stop in Dallas. Find your Zen in Klyde Warren Park with guidance from the Dallas Yoga Center. After performing your sun salutations, fall off the radar and into a rejuvenating retreat at The Spa at The Joule. With European heat experiences that focus on body and beauty, there is a treatment option for every member of your crew.

Where to eat: Visit Dallas Central Market to enjoy specialty foods and fresh to-go fare. Sample a little bit of everything while you stroll, and be sure to pick up a keepsake to take home from your trip. Splurge on a final dinner at Dragonfly, a swanky New American restaurant located in the upscale Hotel ZaZa. With menu items including lamb lollipops and volcano salt fries, this modern eatery will surprise and delight with each bite.

Where to drink: At Cedar Springs Tap House you’ll find a huge selection of beer and liquor — including Chila! — as well as favorite bar foods like burgers, flatbreads and fries. Unwind on the outdoor patio, sit at the bar or relax in the lounge. “If you’re drinking Chila, I’d recommend pairing it with a slice of one of our homemade cakes,” says Alfredo, one of the Cedar Springs managers. We fully support this decision! Conclude your trip with a stop at SODA Bar, a funky industrial-style space with stunning views of the city. Voted Dallas’ best rooftop bar multiple years in a row, this cocktail spot is overseen by trained mixologists and DJs — making it the perfect place for a good drink and some fun on the dance floor.

Have you taken your own Texas road trip? Let us know other stops to include for our next drive on Facebook!