I set out in this article to tell you about the ten best vacation spots in Texas, but quickly found out it is not quite so easy as it sounds. So much depends on what a person wants to do on their vacation.
Do you want to go fishing? There are lots of good fishing spots. Would you rather see historical sights, or visit swanky hotels and enjoy exciting night life, you'll find many of these places as well. Maybe you want to see beautiful flower gardens and lovely scenery or even rugged mountains and deserts. You can find all of these and more. If you have children you will probably want to go to one or the theme parks of which there are many.
I discovered I am not qualified to tell you what are the ten best places to go on vacation in Texas. In the first place I haven't been to all of them and besides, my tastes may be quite different from yours. So I tapped in to an article on the internet called, "Top ten places to visit in Texas."
The first place on their list as the place to visit was the Alamo. This is as it should be. As a kid running around the playground at the elementary school in Scottsdale, Arizona you often heard the shout, "Remember the Alamo!" We may not have fully known the meaning of what we were saying, but we had seen the movie about it, and made us proud to relate to it. This was in Arizona, not Texas. We wanted to remember the Alamo.
I don't know if a visit to the Alamo would constitute whole vacation, but I'm sure there is plenty of things to see and do in San Antonio to be a good place to vacation.
One of those places would be the Riverwalk, (Paseo Del Rio) listed as the second of the top 10 places to see. It is really unique being set in the middle of a busy city, it is a calming and interesting place to go. It made me want to go fishing when I was there, but I guess they don't allow fishing on the Riverwalk.
It also made me wish I had more money when I saw all those shops and fancy eating places. It is sort-of embarrassing to go into a fancy restaurant and ask if they serve grilled cheese sandwiches. There is also the Arneson River Theater which is an open-air venue. I haven't been there but it sounds interesting.
The third on the list was the State Capital in Austin. I've never been there, either, but from what I have heard and read, it is one of the places I would love to see. From pictures I've seen of the capitol building and grounds it must be something special with the red granite exterior and Italian Renaissance Revival architectural design and its park like grounds with portraits, paintings and sculptures and monuments, it would be worth the trip to see while vacationing there..
I had not even heard of the Dallas World Aquarium. It sounds like a lot of fun and educational. You will get to see many endangered animals, birds and aquatic life. It is an aquarium, a zoo, and an aviary all tied into one. It also sounds expensive as a for-profit exhibit.
Now, Padre Island seems like more up my alley. They've got camping, fishing and hunting there. Seventy miles of coastline, dunes, prairies and wind tidal flats just teeming with life. There is the nesting ground for Kemp's ridly sea turtles, (one of the most endangered species of sea turtles), and a haven for 380 bird species. Also the location of a 1554 Spanish ship wreck.
I would love to visit Houston's Space Center if it weren't for having to go to Houston. The last time I went through Houston I was driving my motor home and the traffic was terrible. We ran into some road construction and had to detour. I followed the detour signs carefully and went around about a six block area of downtown Houston. When we got back to the interstate we were right back where we started and the sign said turn to the right, so we did. This led us on the same circle as before with the same results. The sign said turn right and the traffic was so thick I couldn't change lanes. I searched and searched for a way to get out of this mess, but, not wanting to break the law I followed the signs again and made the circle a third time. At long last I spotted a police officer and told him my problem. "How can I get out of this detour and back on the highway?" I asked. He wasn't very polite but he directed me to ignore the sign and go around it, and we finally made it back on the highway and after about an hour, eventually we got out of town. I made a mental note not to go back to Houston if I could help it.
I have never been to Schlitterbahm Water Park in New Braunfelsbut some of my kids and grandkids have and they report it is loads of fun. A good way to beat the heat on a summer day by playing in the water, but I wonder about some of the high water slides. I'm not a coward but my sense of self preservation kicks in when I get too high off the solid ground.
I understand there are vacation homes and cabins to rent nearby which would make it an excellent vacation spot.
The beautiful Comal River flows through New Braunfels and is an interesting place to play in the water. It is said to be the shortest navigable river in the United States. It flows from the Comal Springs to its convergence with the Guadalupe River, a distance of about 3 miles.
It provides tubing and scuba diving. The temperature of the water is about 72 degrees Fahrenheit summer and winter.
We wouldn't want to overlook Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington as an enjoyable place to go. It is a record setting theme park. Records include: The tallest roller coaster ride in Texas, (245 ft.). Fastest roller coaster ride in Texas, (85 MPH). Tallest freefall combo tower in the world, Superman Tower of Power, (325 ft.). Largest land based oil derrick, (300 ft.). Tallest swing ride in the world - the Texas sky Screamer, (400 ft.). So, if you wish to scare yourself to death this is the place to go for a relaxing vacation.
The flags of Six Flags Over Texas have to do with the six nations which held sway over Texas at one time in history. They are; Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America and the Confederate States of America.
There is a place in Galveston called Moody Gardens. It is defined as an educational tourist destination, with a golf course and hotel in Galveston. This non-profit destination uses nature to educate and excite visitors about conservation and wildlife.
Moody Gardens features three main pyramid attractions. The Aquarium Pyramid, which is one of the largest in the region (about 12 stories high) and holds approximately 10,000 marine animals such as fish, sharks, seals and penguins. Each representing different regions of the sea: North Pacific, South Pacific, South Atlantic and Caribbean.
The Rainforest Pyramid, which contains tropical plants, animals, birds, butterflies, reptiles, and a variety of other rainforest animals including free roaming monkeys and two-toed sloths. The "Multilevel Rainforests of the World" project focuses on education, conservation and possible future breeding with new rare and endangered animals. Giant Amazon river otters, saki monkeys, ocelots, and a wide range of other animals.
The Discovery Pyramid, which focuses on science-oriented exhibits and activities.
Another major attraction is Palm Beach, featuring an artificial white sand beach and a full use water park. Moody gardens also has a RideFilm Theater with motion-based pod seating, the MG 3D Theater featuring the largest screen in the state of Texas, 4-D Special FX Theater, paddlewheel cruise boat, a hotel, golf course and convention center.
The last placed mentioned on my search is Galveston Island, a barrier island on the Texas Gulf Coast. It is 50 miles southeast of Houston. The island is 27 miles long and no more than three miles wide, and the entire island, with the exception of Jamaica Beach, is within the city limits of Galveston.
The appeal of Galveston Island is largely historical. Prior to the time of the Europeans coming, Akokisa and Karankawa Indians lived and camped on what is now known as Galveston Island. Some of these people were known to be very tall, with the men being between six feet and seven feet tall. They were also reported to have been cannibals.
The island was also a haunt of some pirates such as Jean Lafitte who for years claimed the island as base for piracy and smuggling in slaves. After attacking an American ship, Lafitte was forced to leave by the US Navy in 1821.
After studying all of these places called the Top Ten places to visit in Texas, I noted they had left Seminole and Gaines County off their list. I conclude the people influencing those making the list probably never camped out here on the lone prairie, or they were trying to steer people away from our beautiful plains.