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Itinerary for road tour from Houston

South Shields...
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Itinerary for road tour from Houston

Hi all first time post in the Texas forum,

I'm thinking of exploring Texas for around 2weeks for our summer holiday (vacation) probably flying into Houston hiring a car and hitting the road.

TBH the USA was not our first choice of destination so this is a kind of last minute rash decision based on flight prices at the moment. I've been to the USA a few times before visiting various places but I've never been to Texas. I'm looking to visit around the middle of June I know it'll be stinking hot but these are the only dates I'm free from work so are pretty much set in stone.

I like outdoor type activities hiking, walking, cycling, sailing kayaking swimming and the countryside natural beauty as opposed to museums and tacky tourist areas shopping malls etc, however i do like the beach and sunshine and a beer or ten. I’d like to see the real Texas, cowboys bbq food rodeo might be cool maybe even horse-riding for the day I'm looking to stay overnight at least two nights in each place we visit and don't want to be driving all day (8hrs.) to get to a destination.

Any ideas to route, attractions and mileage great appreciated.

Thank you Trevor (UK)

PS is it safe or even possible to visit Mexico for a day? would we require visas etc

San Antonio, TX
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1. Re: Itinerary for road tour from Houston

We've discussed many of your questions in recent posts - checking them will give you more ideas.

The consensus on Mexico (border towns) is that it is not worth the risk. The border towns really don't offer anything that you can't get in the states in a very safer environment.

Houston to San antonio 3 hours

San Antonio to Corpus Christi 3 hours on to South Padre Island (best beach) another 3 hours.

San Antonio to Austin 1 and 1/2 hours

San Antonio to the Hill Country Area about an hour and a half, also.

You, can easily spend two weeks in these areas.

Big Bend are is great, but requires a lot of driving. Dallas / Fort Worth is about 5 or 6 hours from Houston or San Antonio. You could include 3 or 4 days out of your two weeks, but that would (obviously) cut back on some of your time for the other.

Another thought - New Orleans is about 4 hours from Houston. Lafayette area is also great and on the way to NOLA

Houston, TX
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2. Re: Itinerary for road tour from Houston

You can combine a stay in San Antonio with a stay at a dude ranch nearby. This would give you a glimpse of the Mexican influence/culture that contributes/contributed to Texas in the past as well as present day. Go to www.duderanches.com and click on the Texas link and lots of choices will pop up. Many ranches near Bandera and other places in the Hill Country. Many have day programs, but some require a stay. This would give you your cowboy atmosphere as well as your riding experience.

Austin is the state capitol and also has the University of Texas at Austin, one of the state's flagship universities. Great food and bar and live music scene there, as well as some great BBQ at Franklin's, among other places. (Lots of BBQ in the Hill Country as well.) Growing contingent of food truck places; really interesting vibe. You can also kayak on Lady Bird Lake right in town and see the bats fly out from under the Congress Street bridge at dusk (thousands of them).

Not too many rodeos during the summer months here due to the heat, but someone may know of something in June and post.

Wouldn't really recommend Houston unless you are interested in visiting Space Center Houston (NASA) or will be in Galveston and want to have a look.

As said above, Mexico not recommended now due to violence related to the drug cartels. You can get a feel for things south of the border in San Antonio, as I mentioned above.

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3. Re: Itinerary for road tour from Houston

If you're already driving towards Austin, check out Lockhart for BBQ. There are three well known BBQ restaurants there: Kreuz's, Black's and Chisholm Trail. Also on the way to Austin are the cities of New Braunfels and Greune. You can float down either the Comal (my favorite because it stays cool in Summer) or Guadelupe Rivers. There's also rafting and kayacking on the Guadelupe. Greune is a cute little town. Fredericksburg is also a cute little town near Austin.

There are places for cycling, hiking, rock climbing and sailing around Austin.

Houston is more of a museum kind of city. It's going to be hot in June so not much will be going on outside. About 1.5 hrs North is a church camp that has horses for riding. I recommend Camp Allen because they have forest and you can ride in the shade. Again, June is hot and you won't want to be in the sun. Neither will the horse. Call or email to make arrangements in advance. Camp Allen is near Washington On The Brazos, a historic site important to Texas history. Yes, it's a museum but it's a really pretty place.

San Antonio has lots of historic sites. The Alamo and missions are worth visiting if that's your interest. Lots of great Mexican food in San Antonio (and Austin).

June is hot. The big rodeos aren't then. But there are smaller ones and festivals. www.trulytexan.com/shop/custom.aspx?recid=6 I'm not sure where these towns are,except that Kerrville, where the music festival is, is north of Austin.

As others have said, it's not advised to visit Mexico at the border. Too much violence at the border and not much to see. If you want to see a pretty part of Mexico take a flight to Cancun and get a tour in Quintana Roo. Do not drive there. If you go they'll issue a tourist visa when you enter the country.

South Shields...
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4. Re: Itinerary for road tour from Houston

Thank's for all the kind replies so far some interesting sights to google..........are the dude ranches aimed mainly at children it appears that way on most of the web sites?.....might look at heading east maybe as far as FL and looping back a different route .....lots of choices so little time......I'll heed your wisdom and give Mexico a miss, I had heard its a very violent place but was hoping it was restricted to other areas like Juraez.

big thank you so far keep em coming

Aubrey, Texas
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5. Re: Itinerary for road tour from Houston

Welcome to the forum.

In two weeks you can see a lot of the state. If you are willing to stay one night here and there you can see more. Here's a link to a triangle route which includes Texas' major cities. Even if you don't follow it, you can get an idea of distance and things to do. Use google maps to plot your routes and get a reasonable estimate of drive times. tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i21630-Texas_Tr…

The pretty Hill Country should be on the itinerary. It is generally located north of San Antonio and west of Austin so it fits in well with a visit to one or both of those cities. Fredericksburg is the medium-size town with a good choice of lodging and restaurants. Dude ranches are plentiful around Bandera which is west of SA. You could ride horses and shoot skeet before hitting a swimming pool.

You could fit Far West Texas into the schedule, however I think you would have to make at least one long day's drive to do it. Big Bend National Park is about 7.5 hours from San Antonio. You could break the trip with a night in Del Rio or at a place on Lake Amistad nearby. Conceivably you could make a visit to Ciudad Acuna across from Del Rio, but I wouldn'tmdo it without first checking first with the Del Rio police.

To make it worth the drive, I would spend three nights in West Texas. Then bite the bullet and make a long drive back, though Fredericksburg is about an hour shorter drive. Here's a link to some highlights of Far West Texas. tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i18352-Far_West…

Rodeos are held each weekend in Ft. Worth's Stockyards historic district. The Stockyards are interesting and fun. Billy Bob's Texas is a hoot.

Edited: 09 April 2012, 22:18
Houston, Texas
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6. Re: Itinerary for road tour from Houston

There are a number of dude ranches in the Hill Country and they aren't particularly geared toward children. Most places are aimed at giving you a sense of everyday life on a working ranch. As stated, many offer day rates but most want you to stay with them.

I think Houston is a great jumping off point; especially considering it normally has good airfares. We have some of the best museums in the country but that may not be your cup of tea.

From Houston the drive to San Antonio is easy and there are small towns to stop in on the way. I would highly recommend a couple of days in San Antonio visiting all the unique and beautiful places there. (And the great food!)

From San Antonio I would head into the Hill Country to experience the many beautiful parks and scenic drives. There are a number of rivers that are nice for canoing or rafting and there are a number of art colony type communities that you might enjoy. Wimberley is a particularly nice place to stay as is Boerne or New Braunfels. Cabin rentals are the way to go in this area. There are many wineries and other interesting outdoor diversions in this area.

From there I would head into Austin to experience some excellent dining, nightlife and art exhibits. As mentioned earlier, Austin has a lot to offer and it is considered the music capital of Texas.

After Austin I would recommend heading to East Texas where you will find quaint B&Bs, the Texas State Railroad and numerous lakes for outdoor activiites. I am particularly fond of Jefferson, Texas, known as the Most Haunted Town in Texas. They have many superior B&Bs, great restaurants, historical sites and ghost tours. Jefferson is also a great place to stay while visiting Caddo Lake which is a lovely natural lake with moss covered trees and abundant animal life.

Texas has enough to keep you busy for a long time and the terrain, weather and culture varies widely across the state. That said, New Orleans IS a fantastic place to visit and it's six hours from Houston when the traffic cooperates.

I hope you get to visit our great state and I hope you truly enjoy your stay!

South Shields...
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7. Re: Itinerary for road tour from Houston

Thank you all for your input but i must apologise, we will not be holidaying in the USA this year (we are off to Vietnam), however i do hope to visit Texas another time maybe next year, you've wetted my appetite now and do hope i get the chance to explore and enjoy your wonderful state.

Thank's again T

8. Re: Itinerary for road tour from Houston

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