Things to Do in East Texas

Things to Do in East Texas
East Texas offers adventurers several different ecosystems to explore with its pine mountains, lakes, rivers, caves and bathwater temperatures of the Gulf of Mexico. In East Texas, visitors can choose their own adventure from a huge variety of outdoor activities.

Kayak the Gulf of Mexico

Texas is a kayaker's paradise, with several rivers and streams ranging from the rough-and-tumble whitewater rapids of the Colorado River, to lazy, spring-fed rivers like the San Marcos. In East Texas, though, Galveston Island is just offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and sea kayaking in the warm water, along subtropical inlets, is an unforgettable experience. The Caribbean Breeze Boat Rental company rents single and double kayaks. Life jackets and paddles are provided, but you're welcome to bring your own. It also rents fishing gear, pontoon boats, wave runners and fishing boats. Most of the rentals have separate hourly and daily rates, for your convenience.

Caribbean Breeze Boat Rental
1723 61st St.
Galveston, TX 77551-1014
(409) 539-0576 or (409) 740-0400

Bicycling on Matagorda Island

Matagorda Island has a rich history. The first Caucasian inhabitants settled the island in the mid- 1800s and was rebuilt after hurricanes destroyed their homes in 1869, 1875 and 1886. Generations of families lived and raised cattle on the island until 1940 when the U.S. government seized the land to build a temporary WWII training facility. Now, the land serves as a wildlife refuge. Interpretive signage, scheduled nature walks and archeological tours help visitors learn more about the area. Its historic cemetery and restored lighthouse reveal some of the island's history. Lighthouse displays trace the island's history for more than 5000 years.

Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area
1700 7th St.
Bay City, TX 77414
(979) 244-7697

There's no motorized traffic on the 38-mile long island, so all visitors must explore on foot or via bicycle. The ferry to Matagorda Island departs from Port O'Connor. Some Port O'Connor, Port Lavaca and Rockport vacation rentals come with the use of bicycles. If you're traveling from afar, check bicycle rental facilities along the way. The nearest bike rental facility is Bill's Bikes in Victoria, two hours west of Port O'Connor.

Bill's Bikes
505 E. North St.
Victoria, TX 77901-6643
(361) 575-6036

Rock Climbing and Rappelling

The Mineral Wells area first became popular as a spa destination as the mineral water was believed to be a cure-all for just about every ailment. Steep rock faces were carved for a railway that has long-since left the area, leaving behind a 20-mile trail suitable for horseback riding and mountain biking. Along the trail, the rock walls, Robber's Cave and the famous Penitentiary Hollow are a local rock climber's delight.

Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway
100 Park Road 71
Mineral Wells TX 76067
(940) 328-1171

Rock climbing, rappelling lessons and guided group trips at Mineral Wells are offered by Frisco Wilderness Adventures.

Frisco Wilderness Adventures & Outfitters
5729 Lebanon Road Suite 144-273
Frisco, TX 75034
(972) 999-6530

Article Written By Lisa Russell

Lisa Russell has been a freelance writer since 1998. She's been published in "Rethinking Everything Magazine," "Playdate" and "Home Educator's Family Times." She has a professional background in education, cosmetology and the restaurant industry. Russell studied early childhood education at Antelope Valley College, and is pursuing a degree in law.

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