12 Last Minute Get Away ideas in Texas
Try one of these Texas destinations for last a minute get away before school starts
by Liz Mangelsdorf
Summer is entering the homestretch; but there is still time for a quick, last minute get away close to home. Here are 12 location ideas that are within easy driving distance of just about anywhere in Texas. Make some memories with your family and enjoy these last days out of summer.
Popular Texas water park Schlitterbahn has three Texas locations; South Padre Island, New Braunfels and Galveston Island, and their newest park in Kansas City, Kansas. Schlitterbahn parks features plenty of unique and innovative rides. http://schlitterbahn.com/
SeaWorld San Antonio
SeaWorld has long been known as a leader in marine exhibits and water park entertainment. SeaWorld San Antonio lives up to its billing, featuring marine life shows and displays, adventure camps, thrilling rides, a water park and more.
Johnson Space Center – Houston
After playing an important role in the Space Race of the 1960s, Space Center Houston has become a popular tourist attraction. Space Center Houston is known as an entertaining and educational attraction that draws thousands of visitors annually.
Big Thicket National Preserve
Covering nearly 100,000 acres, Big Thicket National Preserve was the first such preserve in the United States. The Big Thicket NP is home to a diverse group of plants and animals and plays host to thousands of nature enthusiasts annually. While camping is allowed, there are no prepared campsites in the Big Thicket, so be prepared to make your own. http://www.bigthicketdirectory.com/ located near Beaumont, in Kountze, TX
South Padre Island
The most pristine beach in Texas is also the most difficult to get to. Located scant miles above the Mexican border, the South Padre surf is often a Caribbean-like clear/green as it laps against the grainy white sand. Across the Brazos Santiago Pass is isolated Boca Chica Beach. During your off-beach hours, try SPI’s sizzling nightlife, excellent restaurants and variety of curio shops.
Galveston offers many beach-going options. Inside the city of Galveston, the seawall and adjacent sand strip is popular among visitors, as are Stewart Beach and East Beach. Further down the island, Galveston State Park and West Beach are favorite sandy hangouts. After a day of surf, sand and sun, head to the Strand to shop or visit one of Galveston’s many excellent eateries.
Mustang Island/Port Aransas
This quaint, central coast beach is located at the northern-most end of Padre Island. The ferry ride across to Port Aransas is a great way to leave the “real world” behind and begin your vacation. Things only get better as you visit Port A’s many shops and restaurants or stake out a secluded stretch of sand on Mustang Island.
Sea Rim State Park
A mix of marsh and beach, Sea Rim is not a typical beach destination. However, this state park, which is located just south of Beaumont/Port Arthur, is a nature-lover’s delight. Bird-watchers and beach-goers often co-exist on this stretch of sand, which is the northern-most beach in Texas.
Enchanted Rock Natural Area
Located just north of Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country, Enchanted Rock is one of the largest natural rock formations in the United States, with a dome that rises 425 feet above the ground (1825 feet above sea level). Designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1970, Enchanted Rock is also part of the Texas State Parks System and attracts thousands of visitors annually.
Located just outside San Antonio, Cascade Caverns offer visitors a look beneath the surface of the Texas Hill Country. The cavern stays 68 degrees year around – making it a perfect place to beat the summer heat – plus it features a 100 foot underground waterfall!
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Located in Glen Rose, the park features models of a 70-foot Apatosaurus and a 45-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex, as well as the Paluxy River, preserved dinosaur tracks and more.
Natural Bridge Caverns
An underground wonder, Natural Bridge Caverns shows the family a side of the world they probably haven’t seen. In addition to a variety of subterranean tours, Natural Bridge Caverns offers a host of above-ground educational activities for kids of all ages.