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The Et Cetera

The Et Cetera

High 5: Day Trip Destinations


Everything is bigger in Texas, including the drives. On days where we’re bouncing between errands, it feels like the trip is longer than the trip itself. It’s worth reflecting on how we could’ve used that time for something else. 

Fortunately, there are some distant landmarks worth the journey. Buckle your seatbelts, Texas – I’m showing you five places worth a day trip.

Czech Stop

If you’re ever on I-35, you’re obligated to eat away your time at this little Czech bakery. You’ll come to love the origin point of our state’s sweet tooth for kolaches.

Get lost in the diverse selection of Eastern European pastries. On top of your standard sausage kolaches, Czech Stop features traditional kolaches, which are doughy puffs with a fruit jam filling – options include strawberry, peach, apricot and grape. Some pastries are topped with cream cheese or spices. 

Alongside that, the bakery serves Czech snack foods and desserts. Choosing what to eat will take some time, but it pales in comparison to how long you’ll spend savoring the pastries.

Don’t limit yourself to the display case. The bakery sells containers of frozen kolaches and pies you can bake at home. Check out the locally sourced sausages while you’re at it.

They’ll also happily offer a box for extra goods you can save for later – such as unwinding after the long drive back to Dallas County. 

The drive back home might prove exhausting for some, but checking out the bakery and its town’s Czech heritage makes the trek so much more worthwhile.

Antique Mall of Mansfield

There’s a sense of wonder and mystique when digging through the contents of an old attic – now imagine that 50 times over. Walk through history in one of the largest antique emporiums in Tarrant County. 

As the name implies, the store is a mini-mall of trinkets, clothes, tools and furnishings upwards of 70 years old. There are some piles of goodies that have more years than objects. With enough patience, you might find something you’ll display in your room.

You can get excited over goods you wouldn’t take home too. Part of the thrill is finding novelty in the objects left to time. There’s fun in dust too – getting tangled in cobwebs is part of the experience!

Do be warned: keep a mental map of the antique store’s layout. The various booths will keep you going in circles. Anything that isn’t nailed down can be yours to keep.

Everything there once had a story, even if the previous owners had little to do with it. As some would say, one man’s trash is another one’s treasure.

Fort Worth Stockyards 

The countryside shows off its style in Fort Worth’s historical district. Built out of brick and mortar, the Fort Worth Stockyards is a walkable sector with several shops, restaurants and landmarks.

It’s a shopping district that takes you to the past. There’s more value in the vintage sights to behold rather than the farming tools and foods you can find here.

The crowds might prove too much when driving, but once you settle into a parking space, you’ll thank the designers for making the area so walkable.

If you come in at the right time, behold the city’s twice-daily cattle drive. The streets clear so ranchers can shepherd their cows through the city.

Places like these remind me that just an hourlong drive can lead to somewhere unique. Our state can change so much across county borders.

Mitsuwa Marketplace

Plano is a commercial hub full of attractions, but tucked away towards the north is Mitsuwa Marketplace, a little Asia bordering Highway 75. Explore a shopping center with Japanese and Korean signature.

Its name comes from its most prominent attraction: a Japanese marketplace with a plethora of Asian health food and snacks. If you’re ever in the mood to make something new for dinner, look no further than this exotic supermarket. You’ll be captivated by the appetites from abroad.

If you’re not there to eat, walk around and check out the stores. One popular store is Kinokuniya, a sprawling manga store with all kinds of reads – including imports!

I’m sure those familiar with the marketplace are itching for me to recommend Kura Revolving Sushi, a revolving sushi bar in the area. Suffice to say, I do. There’s so much Mitsuwa Marketplace has to offer. 

Sometimes it’s not about the fact that we get to experience the other side of the globe, but rather appreciate how different worlds come together.

Joe Pool Lake

You don’t have to plan a trip to Gavelston months in advance when Texas features plenty of great lakes. In this case, Joe Pool Lake in South Dallas County serves as a quaint beach spot.

Not quite the ocean, but the waters are fine and stay warm year-round. There are also plenty of fishing spots in case you’re in the mood for a cookout – otherwise, bring some burgers!

Although other folks will have the same idea as you, there are plenty of spots to go and swim in. A parking space shouldn’t limit you, after all.

This swimming hole even delivers in the winter – it has for me. As long as the sun’s out, swim on over.

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CARMEN GUZMAN, Editor in Chief
MATTHEAU FAUGHT, Presentation Editor

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