The Best Getaways in Texas

The Best Getaways in Texas
Texas, the largest state south of Alaska, is sometimes called the Lone Star State. To travel from the eastern border to El Paso at the western tip is a thousand-mile drive that takes more than a day. Within this large expanse of land, the terrain varies from the humid shores of the Gulf Coast to the dry desert of the Big Bend region along the Mexican border. All across Texas you will find many getaways that will entertain and fascinate any visitor.

Big Bend Area

Along the Rio Grande in western Texas, outdoor adventurers will find a large national park, called Big Bend and a nearby state park, referred to as the Big Bend Ranch. Together they make a wonderful fall, winter or springtime retreat. (It's very hot in the summer.) You can stay at a national park campground or rent a room in Presidio. In either case you will find some great opportunities in the two parks for river rafting, hiking, bird watching or just taking a short stroll through the desert.

Big Bend National Park
1 Headquaters Drive
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834
(432) 477-2251
nps.gov/bibe/index.htm

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The highest point in Texas is more than 8,000 feet high. It is called Guadalupe Peak and it is located in Guadalupe National Park near the town of Pecos. From the summit, climbers get the opportunity to view the vast plains that lie far below the summit. Summer is on the hot side, but fall visitors will get a treat seeing the full palette of autumn colors when they hike up and into McKittrick Canyon. The park has campgrounds or you can go to nearby Fort Davis and stay at a guest ranch and include horseback riding as part of your visit.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park
400 Pine Canyon Road
Salt Flat, TX 79847
(915) 828-3251
nps.gov/gumo/

Prude Guest Ranch
P.O. Box 1431
Fort Davis, TX 79734
432-426-3202
800-458-6232
prude-ranch.com/

The Alamo

Contrary to its public image, Texas has three of the nation's major metropolitan areas. History buffs will be particularly attracted to the city of San Antonio and a place called the Alamo. Originally a mission built by Spanish priests, the Alamo became the site of a large military struggle between Mexico and the United States in 1836. Though the battle was lost, the fight for independence was successful and, in 1845, Texas became the 28th state in the Union. No visit to San Antonio is complete without a visit to the Riverwalk and a ride down the Guadalupe River in a tour boat. But if you really like the water, head to San Marcos and float down the San Marcos River in an inner tube. This activity is very refreshing on a hot summer day.

The Alamo
300 Alamo Plaza
San Antonio, TX 78205-2606‎
210-225-1391‎
thealamo.org/

Padre Island

South of Corpus Christi is a beautiful stretch of beach known as the Padre Island National Seashore. Part of the national park system, the island has several campgrounds located at the north end of the park. After a short stretch of paved road, visitors will find 50 miles of primitive beach and sand, where access is limited to four-wheel drive vehicles (with restrictions). Swimming, fishing, beach combing, bird watching and sunbathing are all popular activities throughout the park. Access to the park is from the north end only (Highway 358) and the nearest motel is 10 miles from the park. The park is open year-round.

Padre Island National Seashore
Sarita, TX 78385
361-949-8068
nps.gov/pais/index.htm

Article Written By Henri Bauholz

Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.

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