Every place that we visit is special and unique. And, as we wind down the year and get ready to focus on a new one, we return with another installment of "K.Co's Favorite Finds," highlighting some of the top local finds that we have encountered in 2021!
If something mentioned on this list seems like it could be your favorite new favorite find too, we encourage you to support it from wherever you are! Follow them on social media, Share their info with others, and place online or mail orders when you can.
All are independently owned, local spots that we experienced in-person in 2021.
Amazing Muffolettas and desserts housed in a warm, convivial restaurant and Italian grocery.
Anthony's Italian Deli, Baton Rouge, LA.
The best chicken sandwich we have ever had. (And we have had a lot of chicken sandwiches.)
Stanley's Famous Pit BBQ, Tyler, TX.
Delicious kolaches and other baked goods served in a space that looks like your favorite grandparent's parlor.
Gerik's Ole Czech Bakery, West, TX.
A collard green melt that will blow your socks off.
Turkey and the Wolf, New Orleans, LA.
The best Cajun food ever, at a roadside market in rural Acadiana. Get a side of Crawfish Etouffee, even if you've ordered too much of other stuff and don't think you need it. You do need it, and it'll still be good two days later when you've transported it over state lines and into your home.
Poche's Restaurant & Market, Breaux Bridge, LA.
Puffy tacos at the end of a drive through a vibrant neighborhood filled with beautiful, colorful murals and mosaics, including the World's Largest Virgin Mary mosaic.
Ray's Drive Inn - Home of the Original Puffy Taco, San Antonio, TX
When it's as hot as Hades and you've been on the road for a long, long time, a cute little ice cream and soda shop might be a mirage. Unless you're in downtown Lampasas, in which case it is blessedly real, thank goodness. It's also a DIY art studio, if you have a little more time to spend.
The Cherry on Top, Lampasas, TX
A well-curated, French-influenced selection of books, and a coffee bar in the back serving New Orleans' French Truck coffee.
Beausoleil Books, Lafayette, LA.
Curated with the best gift items, jewelry and home decor in a wide range of prices, this fun shop definitely inspires a "one for you, one for me" holiday shopping mindset. Grab a basket, you'll fill it up quickly.
Plenty Mercantile, Oklahoma City, OK.
This feminine, friendly boutique is located in quirky downtown Gainesville, and offers women's clothing, design books, decorative art prints and more.
Bungalow 123, Gainesville, TX.
Unique yet classic clothing for men and women, along with hats, scarves, self care items and candles in a warm, modern shopping environment.
Genterie Supply Co., Lafayette, LA.
Everything in Good Goods is unique, hand selected and supportive of independent artists and artisans. I especially loved its selection of jewelry and decorative ephemera.
Good Goods, San Antonio, TX
Wall-to-wall superheros: Literally! This museum is a wonderland of nostalgia and collectibles encompassing Marvel, Star Wars, the Simpsons and other entertainment and toy memorabilia, both popular and obscure.
Toy and Action Figure Museum, Paul's Valley, OK
Fossils, dinosaurs and paleontology focusing on artifacts found in Texas.
Texas Through Time Fossil Museum, Hillsboro, TX
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and Medicine Park, near Lawton, Oklahoma was probably my very favorite find of the year. Indescribably beautiful, just a few hours from Dallas, free to experience and truly unique, this beautiful area is one that I am confident to recommend to almost anyone.
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Lawton, OK
100 W Corsicana has run a world-class international art and writing residency for a few years now, and it recently expanded its mission, added historic sites and other locations to its campus and added a well-curated storefront featuring art, books and gifts by visiting creatives. It also hosts events and regular studio tours to connect, learn and see works in progress.
100 W Corsicana, Corsicana, TX
It was hard to narrow down this list, which is good because it means we experienced a lot of amazing things! Can't wait to see what awaits us to share in our local, small town and off-the-path travels in 2022.