For your next vacation, why not delve into the vastness, diversity and hospitality of the Lone Star State? Here are a few of my favorite Texas vacation spots.
Did you know Texas has over 600 miles of coastline? For you beach bums out there, here are a few of my favorites:
With 32 miles of shoreline, Galveston is not only a place to catch a fun cruise ship, it’s also a place with some fun beaches, including: East Beach, one of the biggest beaches in Texas, which offers chairs and umbrellas for rent, as well as outdoor concerts and other special events and festivals; and Stewart Beach, one of Galveston’s best family beach parks, where you’ll find family- oriented events, such as sandcastle competitions and volleyball tournaments during the summer season. Chairs and umbrellas are available for rent, as well as a community room which is available to rent for family reunions, weddings, etc.
Corpus Christi boasts over 130 miles of beautiful beaches. Top beaches here include: North Beach, also known as Corpus Christi Beach, where you’ll find the USS Lexington Museum and Texas State Aquarium.Corpus Christi Beach has the distinction of having been named in the past by “Dr. Beach” Stephen Leatherman’s “One of the Five top Urban Beaches;” and Magee Beach, which is perfect for families due to its calm waters.
South Padre Island
South Padre Island is a popular Texas vacation spot, located on the tip of Texas, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and the Laguna Madre Bay. It’s known for its warm Gulf waters and beautiful beaches, and has been hailed as having the finest beaches in Texas. In fact, TravelChannel.com calls it “one of America’s best beaches for family beach travel,” and Good Morning America has named it “one of the nation’s Top 10 destinations for water sport activities.” On South Padre Island you can do it all: Surf, swim, fish, watch dolphins, go sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving and wind surfing. Just FYI, Isla Blanca Park on the south end of South Padre Island is considered to have the best surf in the Gulf of Mexico, perfect for those learning to surf.
San Antonio is located in Texas Hill Country, and includes two attractions Texas is known for: The Alamo and San Antonio River Walk.
More than 2.5 million people a year visit the 4.2 acre complex known simply as “The Alamo,” where, for 13 days in 1836, William Travis, Jim Bowie, Davy Crocket and 150 other men would die defending freedom against General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Today the Alamo offers exhibits on the Texas Revolution and history in three buildings – the Shrine, Long Barrack Museum and Gift Museum. Visitors are also allowed to explore the beautiful Alamo Gardens. It’s just a short distance from the River Walk, and it’s free!
San Antonio River Walk
River Walk is a public park that winds along the San Antonio River in Central San Antonio, offering over 2 miles of walkways and passing by many outdoor restaurants and shops. Fun to walk, but while you’re there, you might consider taking a dinner cruise down the San Antonio River.
East Texas (or, Piney Woods Region) is located in, you guessed it, the eastern part of Texas, along the Louisiana border to the east and Oklahoma border to the north. But, East Texas just isn’t about being located in east Texas, it’s totally different than visiting the rest of Texas, both in terms of climate, which is a humid, subtropical climate, and culturally, which is more like the lower southern states, as East Texas is the western-most part of the south. Two of the oldest towns in Texas are located in East Texas: Nacogdoches and San Augustine.
When visiting East Texas, be sure to visit Caddo Lake and Caddo Lake State Park. Caddo Lake is comprised of 26,810 acres of cypress swamp, with 42 miles of boat roads mapped to help boaters from becoming lost. Caddo Lake also boasts some of the best fishing in all of Texas, with 71 species of fish! If you just want to enjoy the lake while letting someone else do the boating, check into the 1880’s steamboat, The Graceful Ghost, which offers tours of Caddo Lake. Caddo Lake State Park, located near Karnack, offers camping and cabins, along with swimming, boating and fishing.
Other attractions in East Texas include Tyler, Texas, the rose capital of the world, the Cherokee Trace Drive Thru Safari Park, zip lines in New York and Canton, Texas, and the Piney Woods Wine Trail. That’s right, there are wineries in East Texas; quite a number of them, actually. So, if you’re into wine tasting, go to pineywoodswinetrail.com, download a wine trail map, and spend a couple days tasting wine through East Texas.
Haunted Tours(not just for Halloween)
Most states have their haunted tours, and Texas is no exception. A few standout haunted tours include:
- San Antonio: Tour through graveyards, a Spanish palace, battlefields, and old hotels. Contact email@example.com
- Galveston – The Original Strand Ghost Tour by Dash Beardsley, which has been voted #1 Ghost Tour by visitors of hauntedamericatours.com. Go to ghosttoursofgalvestonisland.com for more info.
- Jefferson – The Grove, a historic property in Jefferson, Texas, is said to be one of the most haunted locations in Texas. For tour information, go to thegrove-jefferson.com.
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