Take Off Through Texas Hill Country in an RV

An RV trip through the rugged landscapes of the Texas Hill Country will put a refreshing twist on your vacation.  This is not just the colorful hills of the Lone Star State but an enchanting land of palm trees, cowboys, and German culture to explore.  Texas Hill Country isn’t just a vacation; it is an experience!

Natural Bridge in Texas Hill Country

Natural Bridge in Texas Hill Country

Starting out in Austin is the best plan, and there are many sights to see in that city, too.  But you will want to move on as there is a lot to see on this Hill Country tour.  Stop at Johnson City, Texas with its fascinating history and attractions for young and old.  The grownups might enjoy a guided hunt.  The whole family will love the Exotic Resort Zoo.  There are more than 500 types of animals to see here, many endangered.

Next stop can be beautiful Fredericksburg with its historical heritage, lovely galleries and delicious German food.  Drink up the great beer and then arrange a tour of the Admiral Nimitz Museum and the National Museum of the Pacific War.  The kids and adults will find the Japanese midget submarine an awesome exhibit indeed.

Then move on to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, the ideal place to have a picnic and hike to the top of a pink mountain.  The granite is pink, and yes, you’ll need your camera gear so you can take a photo.  You might catch a shot of some of the wildlife that make this area their home.

Visit the town of Kerrville for an introduction to some wonderful home cooking and plenty of live music.  Continue on and loop around to Bandera, Texas.  This is another spot where you can find great country home cooking and a lot of country music to boot.  Relax and enjoy the ambience of the Texas Hill Country.  You’ll want to visit the Frontier Times Museum for another view of the history of this region.  You may be surprised to also see a shrunken head.  Wait a minute!  How did that get here?

At the Hamilton Pool Preserve you can go hiking and study nature, then drive to the Guadalupe River State Park to paddle on the river.  The next stop on your trip is New Braunfels, a German community that welcomes visitors and shows everyone a wonderful time.  This town was founded by a German prince and the town has followed German culture throughout the years.  Ride a miniature train, take a paddle boat on the river, and shop for creative gifts to take back home.  The Hill Country RV Resort is a great place to stay.

Grounds at the Alamo in Texas

Grounds at the Alamo in Texas

Final stop on this RV trip in Texas Hill Country is San Antonio.  Naturally, you’ll want to experience the River Walk and take in the beauty of the Alamo, but you will also love visiting the San Antonio Zoo.  There are always things happening in San Antonio.  Plan ahead by checking online for dates of fun-filled events going on during your RV trip in town so you won’t miss a thing.  This would be the proper ending to a well-planned, well-executed RV Texas Hill Country trip!

For information on renting an RV in Texas, CLICK HERE or to rent a motor home outside of the state of Texas,  CLICK HERE.

Picture credits:  Top photo of the natural bridge by Nick Cobb and the bottom photo of the grounds at the Alamo by C. Thomas Caldwell are licensed under the Explore/Creative Attribution Commons license on Flickr.
Posted in Texas RV Vacation | Leave a comment

Vacation this Winter in Galveston, Texas

An RV vacation to Galveston, Texas, can be the ideal winter getaway for the whole family.  Start the New Year out right with an adventure on the Gulf Coast.  Southern Texas has it all!

Galveston Island, Texas

Galveston Island, Texas

Instead of shoveling snow, you can sit on a beach and enjoy the gorgeous sunsets.  Instead of slipping and sliding around on frozen streets, you can travel the highways in style in an RV motorhome.  You have a wide choice of places to stay in Galveston.  The Jamaica Beach RV Park is one of the top choices for RV camping enthusiasts.  You will be near the beach, and have easy access to all sorts of fun activities, including watching dolphins play, taking a boat tour, and much more.

One of the most exciting things about Galveston is that you can enjoy playing in a water park, even in winter!  The Schlitterbahn Water Park is the only indoor waterpark in the state where you can have swimming fun like you wouldn’t believe.  You won’t freeze – the waters are heated!

History plays a large part in your Galveston experience.  You must take in some sights which give you the opportunity to tune-in to some of the Texan past.  Bishop’s Palace is one place to visit, an ornate mansion on the National Register of Historic Places.  The very first brick home in the state was Ashton Villa, built in 1859.  Stop by here to see the museum housed within.

And speaking of museums, there are others around Galveston that you shouldn’t miss.  One is the Railroad Museum with its fascinating railcars, artifacts, and even a ride on the Harborside Express.  The model trains thrill “kids” of all ages.  Another museum which is a must-see is the Texas Seaport Museum.  You will enjoy a self-guided tour of the numerous exhibits found there.

All aviation enthusiasts who enjoy viewing aircraft of early days will love the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame.  Some of the best displays in the nation are available here.   Some are permanent and some are rotating, but whichever it is, you should not pass up this chance to see aviation at its finest.

Kids and adults alike love heading over to Moody Gardens where you’ll see the animals and birds that thrive in a tropical rainforest.  Visit with “happy feet” in the Aquarium Pyramid – yes, penguins!  Also see some happy seals as well.  Fit in a science lesson or two at the Discovery Museum.

Before you pack up and head home, you will want to take the family to Galveston Island State Park.  You can enjoy the mild climate as you go hiking on trails, fish the waters, or watch the numerous species of birds.  This is a wonderful way to top off your RV vacation activities.  The weather should always cooperate with your time in Galveston, Texas.  And if it doesn’t, you will have a nice, warm motor home to retire to.

This winter head for southern Texas and all the sights and sounds of the Gulf to make your vacation the best it can be.

Galveston, Texas

Galveston, Texas

For information on renting an RV  near Galveston, Texas – CLICK HERE or if you need to rent a motor home outside of the state of Texas, – CLICK HERE.

Picture credits: The photo of Galveston, Texas, (top) was taken by Todd Carr and the photo (right) by Drew Mark on Flickr Commons. It is licensed under the Explore/Creative Commons Attribution license.
Posted in RV Vacation Ideas, Texas RV Vacation | Leave a comment

A Corpus Christi Winter RV Vacation

Southern Texas offers a wonderful escape from the harshness of winter up north. Driving an RV to Corpus Christi is the best place in Texas to head to experience some of the mildest weather.  Besides beachcombing, you can visit some of the amazing collections within Corpus Christi museums and discover historic sights that intrigue and enlighten.

Corpus Christi - Bird's Eye View

Corpus Christi – Bird’s Eye View

Birders love Corpus Christi!  Making your way over to the Padre Island National Seashore means there are miles and miles of coastline where you can study the varied species of birds. The Port Aransas Birding Center is an island sanctuary where you can wander along the boardwalks and view Bitterns, Least Grebes or the unusual Black-bellied Whistling Ducks.  To get more viewing in, you can take off on a hike along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Truly, Corpus Christi is known for its fabulous birding opportunities.

On the western shore of Oso Bay, visit Hans A. Suter Wildlife Area. You will find birds as well as wildlife around this tidal pool area. Want to see some marine life while you are here?  The Texas State Aquarium is the place for you!  You get a glimpse of sea life of the Gulf as well as the beautiful Caribbean and more birds, sea turtles, and sting rays.

History of the region is fascinating and you can start out by seeing the aircraft carrier by the name of USS Lexington, a ship that was highly decorated during World War II.  Explore and try the new flight simulator so you can pretend you are a jet fighter pilot.  More history awaits you at the Christopher Columbus ships:  replicas built of these famous sea-going vessels.  Britton-Evans Centennial House and Heritage Park should also be added to your itinerary for more historical sites.

For those of any age who want a nice break from an active vacation, the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is a great spot to relax and calm the mind.  See native flora and fauna; take a self-guided tour of all 180 acres.  Breathe in those exotic fragrances.  The Bird and Butterfly Trail is something you absolutely can’t miss at these gardens.

A few more choices in arts, sciences and history!  Be sure to stop by the South Texas Institute for the Arts for a view of gorgeous artwork and the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History for exhibits of archeology, science and natural history.  If you are a surfer at heart, you’ll love the Texas Surf Museum with an array of surfing memorabilia.

Get back to the water now and drive the Beach Loop.  Stop along the way to do some beachcombing and fit in some more bird watching at Indian Point Pier and Bob Hall Pier.  This is one winter RV vacation that will go down in your book as one of the best!

For information on booking an RV Trip in or near Corpus Christi, TX – Click Here or if you need to rent a motor home outside of the state of Texas, CLICK HERE.

Picture credits: The picture of the Bird’s Eye View of Corpus Christi is from the Boston Public Library on Flickr Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

 

Posted in Texas RV Vacation | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, texas, Texas RV Camping, Texas RV Vacation | Tagged | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, texas, Texas RV Camping, Texas RV Vacation | Tagged | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, texas, Texas RV Camping, Texas RV Vacation | Tagged | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, texas, Texas RV Camping, Texas RV Vacation | Tagged | 1 Comment

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.

Posted in RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, texas, Texas RV Camping, Texas RV Vacation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, texas, Texas RV Camping, Texas RV Vacation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, texas, Texas RV Camping, Texas RV Vacation | Tagged | Leave a comment