Along the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail by RV

RV travelers who enjoy good wines simply must make the trip to Texas Hill Country. That’s where you’ll discover more than two dozen wineries that call this scenic region home. You’ll also find warm Texas hospitality waiting at RV resorts and campgrounds near towns like Fredericksburg, Kerrville and Boerne.

Grab your corkscrew and travel along as we journey the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail by RV.

Where to Find Texas Hill Country Wineries

Picture a circle that begins west of Temple, TX at San Saba and then swings south and east to encompass Austin and New Braunfels, west to pick up Kerrville and Fredericksburg and then back north to its starting point. That’s a rough approximation of the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail.

It leads to vineyards and tasting rooms in the towns we just mentioned, plus those in Hill Country burgs like Stonewall, Tow and Dripping Springs. The vineyards stretch out for miles, offering spectacular views that invite Texas RV travelers to stop and drink in the beauty unfolding through their windshields.

The vineyards that dot the countryside offer award-winning vintages for visitors to sample in their tasting rooms. Surrounded by historic buildings, state-of-the-art winemaking technology and beautifully groomed grounds, Hill Country wineries invite you to stay and sip awhile before choosing which wines to take home with you.Temecula Wine Vineyards

Here’s a small sampling of the amazing establishments RV travelers to Texas will enjoy while visiting Hill Country. Be sure to use the link above to learn more about what’s waiting for you there.

  • Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, a small boutique winemaker near New Braunfels, pioneered the ‘Black Spanish’ wine explosion in Texas. Beautiful grounds and one heck of a survival story make them a favorite with Wine Country visitors.
  • Chisholm Trail Winery just west of Fredericksburg is famous for its free-roaming livestock as well as its wide selection of award-winning wines.
  • Perissos Vineyard & Winery near Burnet, TX is not only scenic, it’s a friendly, family-run place that’s been built on a tradition of excellence.
  • Fredericksburg Wine Road 290 is a collection of fifteen wineries along US Hwy 290 east of Fredericksburg. If you’re limited on time and would like to visit as many Hill Country wineries as possible on your RV camping trip, this is the place to be. From Grape Creek Vineyards to Lost Draw Cellars, the tasting rooms along US Hwy 290 are sure to offer a new favorite. 

Where to Camp in Texas Wine Country

Once you’ve settled on the wineries you’d like to tour, it’s time to book the campsites that suit your style and budget. Texas Hill Country campgrounds run the gamut from a small but scenic golf and RV resort on the Llano River to an urban RV campground just south of Austin. You’ll also find numerous Corps of Engineers campgrounds at area lakes and an impressive number of affordable, well-maintained campgrounds in towns like Kerrville, Bandera and Spicewood.

Whether you’re planning to meander your way through Hill Country, visiting one winery at a time, or to book a chauffeured Wine Country tour, complete with guide, your RV trip to visit Texas Hill Country vineyards will be remarkable. Be sure to check the websites of the ones you’d like to visit, as many of them host special events that will add even more enjoyment to your trip. And don’t forget, El Monte RV Rentals in Dallas is just three hours north of Hill Country wineries and always happy to help with your travel needs.

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Paddling and RV Camping Expedition to Bastrop, Texas

Bring your kayaks and canoes to Bastrop, Texas, RV travelers, for some stellar paddling action on the Colorado River. This beautiful waterway provides year-round recreation in the Austin area, whether you like to fly fish, paddle, hike a trail or simply set up camp nearby and watch the sun rise over the river.

If you’ve never traveled to this stretch of Texas, your best route from the north is I-35 from Dallas to Austin, then thirty miles southeast to Bastrop via TX-71. Once in Bastrop, you’ll find the perfect launch spot for the six-mile El Camino Real Paddling Trail at the city’s Fisherman’s Park.

Take a few minutes before you launch to enjoy Bastrop’s Riverwalk that links this park to Ferry Park just down the river. When you’re done admiring the view, head back to the boat launch and paddle downstream toward Lost Pines Recreational Trails. The Colorado makes a big loop around the city of Bastrop, but you won’t know you’re close to town once you get out on the water.

The unspoiled, backwoods beauty of this paddling trail makes it popular for kayakers, fly fishermen and the well-run paddling tours led by local outfitters. If you don’t have your own watercraft, be sure to book a tour as you plan your RV camping trip to Bastrop. For paddlers who want to drop a line while on the water for Guadalupe bass, smallmouth bass or channel cats, the El Camino Paddling Trail offers excellent prospects.

Entrance to Bastrop State Park

When you decide to take a break from the water, head over to Bastrop State Park  to enjoy the beauty of the ‘Lost Pines’, a remnant of loblolly pines found only in this section of Central Texas. You’ll also find RV campsites there, so if you like the idea of camping in a deep, green forest, by all means set up camp there for the night.

Another popular way to get out on the Colorado River while camping near Bastrop, Texas involves a visit to the Colorado River Refuge. Accessible right in town in the Tahitian Village Subdivision, the Refuge offers not only hiking trails and nature talks led by local volunteers, but also a launch point to yet another scenic stretch of the Colorado.

If you’d like to paddle a little longer on the Colorado near Bastrop, why not take the Wilbarger Paddling Trail? Put in at the bridge north of Bastrop on Farm-to-Market Road 969 and float fourteen miles past sandstone cliffs, hardwood forests and plenty of birds and wildlife, all the way down to Fisherman’s Park.

Bonus Bastrop Travel Tip: Don’t leave this Texas small-town gem without experiencing the charm of Bastrop’s Main Street. Maxine’s on Main is known throughout Texas for rib-sticking eats and the homes and shops around town represent with flair one of the Lone Star State’s earliest settlements.

With several campgrounds located along the river in the Bastrop area, including the Colorado River KOA, there’s no obstacle to an extended RV camping and paddling expedition to Central Texas. Get in touch with us for a Texas RV rental and plan to spend time on the Colorado River soon.

Image attribution: Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Tee Off with Texas RV Camping & Golf

Deep in the heart of Texas there are hundreds of public golf courses just waiting to rev up your RV camping vacation. With more than seven hundred courses to choose from, you could golf and camp full-time, or simply set up an impressive golfing itinerary for a shorter vacation. Here are top picks for Texas public golf courses situated near excellent RV camping.

Texas Star Golf Course – Euless

Located on the north side of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Euless, Texas is home to top-ranked Texas Star Golf Course. RV travelers who love to play golf will enjoy the woodsy feel of this par 71 course featuring several natural rises in elevation, creek-side play and expansive greens. The DFW area offers dozens of RV camping choices, from high-end RV resorts to cozy campgrounds on the banks of one of the area’s many lakes.

The Golf Club at Fossil Creek – Fort Worth

Another highly-rated golf course in the DFW area is Fossil Creek, designed by Arnold Palmer. Park your RV at a Fort Worth campground and then come play 18 holes on this par 72 course. It’s blessed with enough challenge to keep every golfer in your foursome paying attention. Rolling hills, a scenic creek and lush, Texas-sized trees make playing a round on Fossil Creek a memorable experience.

Tribute Golf Club – The Colony

The Colony, on the shores of Lake Lewisville north of Dallas, is home to two outstanding courses. Book a site at your favorite DFW RV resort and then book a tee time at Tribute Golf Club, named #1 by Golf Digest for three years in a row. Golfers who enjoy Scottish style golf will be thrilled to discover the rugged, picturesque beauty of one of the best courses this side of Scotland.

Old American Golf Club – The Colony

Adjacent to The Tribute on the shores of Lake Lewisville, the Old American Golf Club was designed to offer a classic American golf experience. Windswept greens and natural bunkers are just two of the ways the course designers worked to create golf as it was played in the early 1900s. Old American is a semi-private course, so check the website for dress code and tee time opportunities.

Brackenridge Park – San Antonio

Not only will RV campers in San Antonio love the wide range of campgrounds available, they’ll also love the golfing experience at Brackenridge Park. Part of the Alamo City Golf Trail, this historic course gives golfers the feel of a city park combined with the thrill of championship golf.

Quarry Golf Club – San Antonio

With the back nine set in a one-hundred-year-old rock quarry, this San Antonio course offers Texas campers a unique golfing experience. Plan to play at least one round on the Quarry when you’re camping in San Antonio—it’s known among top golfers as one of the most memorable courses in Texas. Use this guide to book your San Antonio area campsite now.

Starting to get the picture that RV camping in Texas can include great golfing adventures? These are just six of the courses that top golfers have named best in the state. Book your Texas RV rental soon, pack your favorite clubs and get ready to play at the best courses the Lone Star State has to offer.

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Tour Some Texas State Parks for a Unique RV Vacation

Picture of the Paluxy River in Dinosaur Valley State Park

The Paluxy River in Dinosaur Valley State Park

Just south of the Dallas / Fort Worth area, you can enjoy a short tour of some Texas State Parks for an interesting and unique RV vacation. Outdoor recreation in abundance, plenty of wildlife and lots of sights you will see no place else – this is what this tour is going to offer you. There are numerous RV parks in the area.

If traveling south from Fort Worth, your first stop can be in Acton, Texas at the smallest state park in Texas, the Acton State Historic Site. This is the grave site of Davy Crockett’s second wife and two of her children. Then head south to Dinosaur Valley State Park. You may want to begin by making a home base at Tres Rios RV Park in Glen Rose. Here you will be close to these first few Texas destinations and have three lovely Texas rivers converging at the southern point of the RV park, providing fishing, boating, rafting and swimming.

At Dinosaur Valley State Park you can see dinosaur tracks, models of the huge monsters that ranged our planet millions of years ago and you can find some outdoor fun here too. Swim or fish in the river, picnic or go horseback riding. Additionally, you can download a smartphone app for the park and the Glen Rose area for free. This is how to get a real-time tour and learn of all the points of interest in the area.

Next stop will be the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, further south on your tour route. Stop at the admissions center, get some feed and start your journey into the wildlife arena. You will drive on a 9.5-mile scenic drive to experience the wildlife up close and personal. Watch the zebra, deer and antelope wandering their pastures and forests. Enjoy your own personal safari. Exotic and endangered species are in abundance.

Next head northeast to visit Cleburne State Park. If you brought your mountain bike, you will find more than five miles of trails that offer amazing scenery. The trails can be challenging, so beware! Cedar Lake is the perfect place to fish or boat. Ranger programs are available as well, where you will learn a lot about this region. Another favorite pastime here is birding. There is a long list of birds to view and identify.

Now south again to Lake Whitney State Park! Water sports here attract people from all over. Activities include boating, fishing, scuba diving and water skiing. Of course, the area also boasts hiking, picnicking, and lots of fascinating nature study opportunities. If you are here on the first Saturday in June, you can witness (or your kids can take part in) the annual youth fishing tournament. Wildlife you may see: foxes, deer, bobcats and coyotes.

The last stop will be to the west at Meridian State Park with more boating and swimming. Hike around Lake Meridian and see fossils in the rock outcroppings. Once done here, you may want to head home, but you should be sure not to miss the famous Six Flags over Texas, right up there between Fort Worth and Dallas in Arlington. All the rides, entertainment and events will be the perfect ending to a perfect RV vacation.

Picture credits: The picture of the Paluxy River in Dinosaur Valley State Park is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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An RV Trip into the Wilderness at Davy Crockett National Forest

Picture of the Davy Crocket National Forest Ranger StationExperience some of the beauty of the southwest in Texas by driving an RV to Davy Crockett National Forest. The legendary pioneer would be proud to have this forest district named after him. There are lovely streams, dense woodlands and lots of wildlife around every thicket. The trip to this national forest holds many adventures and it is the perfect time of year to take advantage of the great Texas weather.

The popular Ratcliff Lake Campground offers RV camping in wooded sites, with any size RV accommodated. A few sites have full hookups but more have electrical and water only, which should do you fine. Since the campground is open all year, you can head that way right now with confidence you’ll have a great place to stay. The lake is close by for water fun and there are some tame hiking trails nearby as well.

Wildlife within the forest is abundant. You’ll love the wild turkeys poking around, and the quail are always fun to watch, especially this time of year with the tiny babies following their parents through the tall grass. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker lives within these woods and you may get a glimpse of one.

The Neches River borders the national forest on the northeast. This is the perfect way to enjoy the wilderness, by paddling along the 9.2-mile paddling trail. East Texas has never looked better. This is the ideal way for you to feel like an adventurer and pioneer. Just remember your coonskin cap!

The center focus of Davy Crockett National Forest is the beautiful Ratcliff Lake. It is 45 acres of sparkling loveliness. A recreation area has been built up around the lake, with picnicking areas, a swimming area and fishing piers. If you have kids with you, they will love to use the playground. The Tall Pines Trail can be accessed from the picnic area. Fishing is great on the lake. You’ll catch catfish, bream and largemouth bass.

While at the lake, you will discover the Four C National Recreation Trail which takes you into the pine forest. You can hike 20 miles or just a little part of this trail. There is nothing like getting out into nature to beat off the big city blues. At the north end of the trail you’ll come to Neches Bluff Overlook. Get a sweeping view of the forests and breathe in that fresh air.

The Big Slough Wilderness Area is up near the northeastern tip of the forest, with a little over 3,000 acres of pine, oak and hickory trees. Fish Big Slough for catfish, watch for those clever little beavers and even perhaps spot an alligator. It is invigorating to be outdoors and get away from the hustle and bustle for a while.

Hiking, fishing, scenic driving, overlooks, boating – this is all part of your fascinating RV trip, viewing different habitats and enjoying the solitude of forest lands and grass lands. There is no doubt you will return once again to partake in all Davy Crockett National Forest has to offer.

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Discover a New World on an RV Trip to Big Thicket National Preserve

Picture of a a freshwater swamp forest in the Big Thicket National Preserve

A freshwater swamp forest in the Big Thicket National Preserve.

The Lone Star State offers so many wonderful vacation destinations that it is hard to pick one. The opportunities for outdoor recreation, visiting historical sites or enjoying nightlife in any of the big Texas cities are abundant. However, if you love paddling, hiking and birding, one of the best places to go is Big Thicket National Preserve in east Texas.

This is an important stop if you love birding. The preserve exists on two bird migratory flyways. You will discover all sorts of incredible bird hot spots in the Big Thicket area. Watch for brown-leaded nuthatches, Bachman’s sparrows and songbirds and waterfowl. This list is long. You may see some herons at Collin’s Pond or some raptors at Cook’s Lake. Definitely check out Kirby Nature Trail where the variety of birds is amazing. Catch sight of vireos, woodpeckers and warblers. Just below the Steinhagen Reservoir at McQueen’s Landing you will likely see a bald eagle (or more than one) during the winter months.

Another favorite activity in Big Thicket National Preserve is to paddle on the Neches River. Those who love to get out on the water in a canoe or kayak love this lovely river. Another place where you can boat or fish is on Village Creek. This is a designated paddling trail. You can fish on any of the lakes or bayous along the river as long as you have a valid fishing license.

There are no developed campgrounds within Big Thicket but you will find plenty of RV camping in nearby communities. In Silsbee, you’ll find Red Cloud RV Park where you will find extra special amenities to make your visit incredible. After you are settled in, plan on getting in some hiking. There are eight trails which range from easy to more challenging hikes. Turkey Creek Trail is fifteen miles along Turkey Creek through pine uplands and forests. Pitcher Plant Trail is a short one over a convenient boardwalk. Take a look at the numerous pitcher plants growing here and the other flora.

View a wide range of habitats when you take the Woodlands Trail, in the northern Big Sandy Creek Unit of the preserve. There are three loops all of different distances. Choose the one that fits your style for the day. For a nice walk along a 1.5-mile loop, take the Beaver Slide Trail. You will see some small ponds that were formed by beavers building their dams.

You can move around the region a bit to visit other great Texas parks such as Village Creek State Park where you can picnic, hike or study nature. Make your way over to Martin Dies Jr. State Park to find great paddling trails to explore the backwaters. Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary is a paradise of nature with numerous species of plants and animals.

Before leaving for home, drop south to visit Beaumont, Texas. You are so close and you wouldn’t want to miss the fine Texas Cajun cooking you can find here. There are museums, shops and friendly folk. Texas has never been better!

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A Winter RV Vacation to Houston Texas

Picture of Houston City Hall

Houston City Hall

Travel to the Gulf of Mexico and Houston, Texas for a lot of winter fun and some pleasantly warm weather. This is one destination that offers just about everything you could dream of when you wish to head out of that stormy winter wind and blowing snow. RV campgrounds are abundant and you have a wide choice of where to make your home base. As an idea, Advanced RV Resort is a great place to stay. It’s close to everything, including having a nearby public golf course and nature trails.

Likely the first thing you’ll want to do is head for the coastal shore. Galveston Island State Park makes the ideal spot to enjoy Gulf beaches. Get in some beach combing and definitely do some bird watching. The park is on a barrier island and attracts many fascinating bird species. Get out there and hike or bike the many trails. If you have your boat along, you can launch it near the park and try your hand at fishing.

Only twenty miles from downtown Houston, Kemah Boardwalk offers a wide array of features overlooking lovely Galveston Bay. Be sure to stop here before heading back to the city. Dine at one of the delicious eateries, play on the rides and walk among the friendly faces. Then head for the place where you can soak up some history – the Battleship Texas. This World War I and II fighting vessel is now anchored on beautiful Buffalo Bayou where you can explore its fascinating history firsthand. See how the early sailors lived. San Jacinto Monument is close by, the tallest war memorial in the world. Enjoy the museum located at the base of the monument. This is a site folks of all ages will love.

Of course, no RV trip to Houston would be complete without stopping at the Space Center Houston. The tram tour is highly recommended, where you go behind the scenes to get the real flavor of NASA. The interactive activities appeal to both adults and children. Perhaps it is time to get outdoors again and limber up those stiff limbs. Check out the number of activities available at the Armand Bayou Nature Center. Visit the huge numbers of reptiles, mammals, birds and amphibians living at this preserve.

Another place you won’t want to miss is the Houston Zoo. With 6,000 animals living here, it is doubtful you will see every one, but you can try! Get a map so you can find your way around and see as much as possible in the time you have allotted. Whether children are with you or not, you won’t want to miss seeing the Houston Zoo’s Wildlife Carousel. Really a unique work of art, hand-carved animals represent ones actually found in the zoo.

In north Houston you’ll discover Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. This is a great place to go not just because it is free to visit, but also because this 250-acre park has maintained hiking trails that give you the opportunity to breathe that fresh air and get some exercise. Going to the Downtown Aquarium is an absolute must, too! There are games, rides and exhibits that will keep you immersed for hours. After you see the many types of marine life, you can see the Aquarium Adventure Exhibits, like the “Louisiana Swamp” or “Shipwreck.”

If museums are your true love, stop at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and see a planetarium show or experience the aurora in all its breathtaking beauty! The Museum of Fine Arts is another must-see while in Houston. The favorite destination for many is the beautiful Cullen Sculpture Garden.

Up for some more hiking and outdoor fun? Get over to Brazos Bend State Park, the ideal place for those who love wildlife and birds or just nature in general. The trails are wonderful as they take you through the park and to lovely views of marshes, streams and lakes. You can even get a view of outer space at the George Observatory. Star gazing has never been better.

Before you pack up and drive your RV towards home, don’t forget that Houston is so close to the Gulf, you may want to take this opportunity to try some deep sea fishing. Charter a boat and go for it! Gosh, there are so many things to do in and around Houston that you may just have to extend your stay.

Picture credits: The picture of Houston City Hall is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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An RV Vacation to the Lone Star State and Dallas/Fort Worth Adventures

Dallas and Fort Worth are within 30 miles of one another, but seem like one huge metropolitan area. Despite their proximity, the two cities are different, with varied attractions and ambiance. It is a great winter destination in an RV, with mild weather and lots to do. RV camping in the Dallas and Fort Worth area couldn’t be better. Perhaps you would like the Texan RV Ranch, only 20 minutes from a wide array of attractions.

Picture of the Red Maple Rill at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Red Maple Rill at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Starting your explorations in Dallas, you will want to perhaps begin at the Dallas World Aquarium. This is a real nature experience, with an outdoor South Africa exhibit, a rainforest and much more. Reptiles, exotic birds and marine life galore! Afterwards, head over to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens and wander through more than sixty acres of incredible gardens. You may even discover a popular outdoor festival or concert being held while you are in town. You won’t want to miss that!

Now for some indoor attractions. At the Sixth Floor Museum you will see an exhibit honoring President Kennedy, with photos, films and artifacts. Free audio guides enliven your visit. Then you can check out the Dallas Museum of Art with its collections of ancient African art and artworks from Asia and the Mediterranean.

When you finish touring the Dallas Museum of Art, realize you are in the Dallas Arts District and there is more to see and do. You could spend hours looking around or having a fine meal. Don’t miss the Nasher Sculpture Center either, or catch a musical evening at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Remember, the best way to get around town in Dallas is taking the McKinney Avenue Trolley, which is free and goes to all the most popular tourist spots.

Dallas Zoo also awaits you! You don’t want to miss this! There is even a children’s zoo if the kids are with you. Even the adults enjoy the children’s zoo. Another place that folks visit when they have the opportunity is the Cowboys Stadium. There are arts, entertainment and events all year. It is to be noted that in March the Great Big Texas Home Show will be held, where you can see all the newest and most innovative home decor concepts, along with remodeling and gardening ideas. You can take all this newly gained knowledge home with you!

As you drive to Fort Worth, be ready to experience more art and history. A small museum that packs a powerful punch is the Kimbell Art Museum on Camp Bowie Blvd. Here you can not only enjoy the building’s wonderful architecture, but see works from some of the greatest artists – Monet, Picasso and Rembrandt. The lovely cultural district of Fort Worth also holds the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. This museum honors the women of the Wild West. Highlights are the displays of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Georgia O’Keeffe.

You will also love the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. This special museum will fascinate everyone in the family, with some incredible holiday season lights and decorations that will be up and shining all through January. The Caterpillar Light Walk is by far the most popular attraction during the holiday season. At the end of the day, you will find abundant nightlife in Sundance Square in Fort Worth. For a terrific night out, you won’t ever forget the lively entertainment and wonderful dining.

Picture of the Entrance to the Fort Worth Stock Yards

Entrance to the Fort Worth Stock Yards

Another day and more to do! It seems the activities and fun never ends. Of course, you can’t miss the Fort Worth Zoo, where you can see the zoo’s baby rhino and new baby giraffe. If you’d like, you can even feed the baby giraffe, which is a real thrill for the little ones. The children also love the Tasmanian Tower, a 25-foot climbing wall. The Texas Wild! Petting Corral has a huge assortment of animals, including goats, chickens, an armadillo and a Texas longhorn calf.

Other attractions in Fort Worth include the Fort Worth Botanic Garden with 23 specialty gardens, the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District with its Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Stockyards Museum and the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge. This latter is a wilderness of wetlands, forests and prairies with more than twenty miles of hiking trails.

Visiting these wonderful cities on an RV vacation is something that will create memories that will last a lifetime. The Wild West has never been better or more exciting and you will be so glad you came!

Picture credits: The picture of the Red Maple Rill at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. The picture of the entrance to the Fort Worth Stockyards is by Mark Fisher and is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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An RV Trip around Austin and New Braunfels is Perfect for a Winter Holiday

Picture of the Austin Skyline Across Lady Bird Lake

Austin Skyline Across Lady Bird Lake

An RV trip to the Lone Star State is marvelous for a winter getaway. Texas has a lot to offer, particularly around Austin. Spend a majority of time around Austin then head south to New Braunfels for some amazing cultural experiences.

One of the top tourist attractions in Austin is the famous SoCo District. You will find free drinks and a lot of special deals on the first Thursday of each month. Of course, any time is great for some shopping and browsing. And if you like to get a flavor of the historical past, you can stop by the O. Henry Home & Museum, the Texas State Cemetery and Texas State Capitol Building.

Include other activities on your Austin itinerary, such as climbing to the top of the University of Texas Tower for incredible views and enjoying the marine life shows at SeaWorld Adventure Park. Attend a live performance with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. If you have kids with you, you want to go ride the rides and have an afternoon filled with fun at Kemah Boardwalk.

McKinney Falls State Park offers a wide range of outdoor activities for your Austin holiday. Perhaps you brought mountain bikes with you, and if so, you will find trails to ride where you can observe the wildlife wandering about. Take a picnic lunch and soak up a little sun. You will even have the opportunity to see “Old Baldy,” a 103-foot cypress that is thought to be more than 500 years old.

At Mount Bonnell you will find a long set of stairs that take you to a lovely viewing platform where you will see sweeping vistas. And you won’t want to forget your camera! Pedernales Falls State Park allows you to explore the beautiful Pedernales Falls, which cascades over layered limestone and creates a postcard-like view.

Before you head south on Interstate 35, try some backpacking at Bastrop State Park and then take the scenic drive to Buescher State Park. This is a wonderful place to study nature, hike or fish the lake that is stocked regularly. If you love fishing, you can also head to Lake Austin. This beautiful lake is on the Colorado River and will provide the relaxation and solitude you’ve been dreaming of.

As you move south finally, you will come to New Braunfels. Stop at the Visitor Center and map out your visit. You will feel like you have arrived in Old Germany. Take your dinner at the bier gartens, and be sure to have some of that fantastic German beer. Make your way over to the Gruene Hall to dance at the oldest dance hall in the state. Some famous folks made their start right here playing to fun-loving audiences.

You don’t have to end your trip at this point, but can head south to San Antonio to see the Alamo, or head east to Houston for more sights and attractions that only Texas can offer. Whatever you decide, you will know that you have had a wonderful time and will want to return soon.

Picture credits: The picture of the Austin Skyline is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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A Galveston Texas RV Adventure

Picture of the Galveston Texas SkylineTake an excursion in an RV motorhome to Galveston, Texas for a winter’s getaway. Yes, that’s right, get away from that blustery blowing wind and snow and to the Gulf Coast for some relaxation and fun. No time like the present to have a romantic or family vacation to southern Texas! The tranquility and inspiration of beautiful sunsets and soft sunny days are enough to bring you back again and again.

Of course, Galveston has plenty of RV camping with marvelous sites where you can relax between adventures. The Jamaica Beach RV Park is right across the street from the beach and offers wonderful views. Once you settle in, you can get an overview of the city and harbor by taking a boat tour and doing some dolphin watching.

Galveston is indeed a historic town, and there are many sights to see that will give you the real flavor of the Texas past. For instance, Ashton Villa was built in 1859 and houses a marvelous museum. It was the very first brick house in all of Texas. Bishop’s Palace (also called Gresham’s Castle) was built over a period of five years with completion in 1892. On the National Register of Historic Places, this ornate Victorian-style building is one of the most significant mansions in the country.

Be sure to visit the Moody Mansion to get an idea of how a powerful and elite family lived in the early 20th Century. Construction of this home was finished in 1895. The Moody family continued to live here until 1986, with personal effects and furnishings remaining so you can experience the ambience and flavor of southern Texas living in these historic times. Then head over to the Grand 1894 Opera House to see one of the finest in U.S. historical theaters.

The Texas Seaport Museum tells many stories, and the whole family will learn about the many immigrants who made their way through Galveston as they came to the United States. Special exhibits really bring this time period to life. Take a self-guided tour and enjoy! And don’t neglect to see the Tall Ship Elissa and walk her decks. This iron-hulled sailing ship was built in 1877, sailed with nineteen sails unfurled against the violent winds of the Atlantic. She survived all the storms and is on display here in all her original glory.

In the Union Depot, the Railroad Museum is a favorite of tourists coming to Galveston. The railcars are from eras past. It is quite fascinating to see how travelers rode the rails in the past. Look at all the amazing artifacts in the museum, including a huge collection of dining ware used on the train. The kids will love the model train theatres and everyone of any age will enjoy a real railroad ride on the Harborside Express.

If you are fascinated by restored aircraft and aviation exhibits, you will want to stop by the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. The many displays, either rotating or permanent, highlight one of the best collections in the nation. Another wonderful opportunity you have while in town – visiting the Strand Historic District. Just head downtown to walk these historic streets and get in some shopping.

Now for a true adventure! At Moody Gardens you can see many tropical wonders, such as monkeys, macaws and even a tropical rainforest. In the Aquarium Pyramid, you will visit with happy penguins and seals, as well as some serious sharks. Come and investigate the thrill of science at the Discovery Museum. There is a whole list of things to do at Moody Gardens!

You may not think that you could enjoy a water park in the middle of winter, but surprise! At Schlitterbahn Water Park you will find that the warm heated waters in the only heated indoor waterpark in Texas are ideal for swimming fun. In winter there are more than a dozen different heated attractions.

Before you even think about leaving Galveston and heading home, get yourself over to Galveston Island State Park where you can experience the mild climate of winter by hiking or mountain biking. You can even throw in a line for some great fishing. If you enjoy bird watching, here is the place to do it. What a perfect way to end an exciting Galveston RV vacation! Make plans to return in the summer as well, as it is just as much fun.

Picture credits: The picture of the Galveston skyline is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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