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Gulf Coast or West Texas in three/four days

London, United...
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Gulf Coast or West Texas in three/four days

A friend and I are traveling to Austin in late April via Houston.

We arrive in Houston on a Monday afternoon but don't need to be in Austin until Thursday afternoon.

We have hired a SUV and was thinking of either exploring the Gulf coast or maybe being a bit more adventurous and going over to Marfa and exploring West Texas instead. We're fully aware that Marfa is not for everyone, but we like that kind of stuff, and the scenery looks amazing

I'm aware that three days is a ridiculously short period of time to do this, but just wondered what some of you guys thought, if it was achievable and worth it, or is there somewhere I've not considered yet?

Any advice would be welcome.

Houston, Texas
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1. Re: Gulf Coast or West Texas in three/four days

At the end of the day it depends on what your interests are. Few things to point out. Whne you arrive to Houston it will be about 10:00p UK time. So if you were to head West the best you can do is San Antonio. Then you have another 7 to 8 hour drive Big Bend / Alpine / Marfa. You have Wed to do whatever and Thur get up in the morning and 7 to 8 hour drive back to Austin. Scenery is good but after awhile it can get boring.

New Orleans is a 5 hour drive from Houston but you will have to add about 2 1/2 to get back to Austin. If you are up to it NO will have a lot more activity (again depends on what you are looking for).

Or you can keep it simple and stay in the Houston / Galveston area. Late April water should be warm enough to swim in the gulf. Plenty of stuff to keep you guys occupied for three days (rather than just driving).

London, United...
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2. Re: Gulf Coast or West Texas in three/four days

Thanks Kingwood, some very good advice there.

I'd love to go to New Orleans, but we would probably end up partying for a couple of days if we did. We'll be doing that in Austin on a big scale, so would prefer to have a few days chilling before hitting Austin to be honest.

I'd originally planned on driving to Galveston from Houston and then taking it from there, maybe visiting Port Aransas, Corpus Christi and maybe San Antonio on the way to Austin.

However, West Texas looks an amazing place to chill out, I'm just not sure it'll be that relaxing as the drive is so long, and I'm the only one driving also.

Houston, TX
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3. Re: Gulf Coast or West Texas in three/four days

Kingwood is spot on about the driving times from San Antonio and Austin to West Texas. Since you are the only driver, you will be exhausted and really won't enjoy much of your time.

With your limited time, I would suggest San Antonio and the Hill Country. You can easily spend one or two days in SA; if you like there are some dude ranches nearby for a day or an overnight stay.

Houston, TX
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4. Re: Gulf Coast or West Texas in three/four days

Just checked--Houston to Port Aransas is about 200 miles or 4 hours. PA to San Antonio is 200 miles, 3 hours (due to interstate travel). It takes about an hour or so from SA to Austin. So it really depends on how much driving you want to do.

Aubrey, Texas
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5. Re: Gulf Coast or West Texas in three/four days

With only three days I suggest you fly to Midland, pick up a car there and drive 3.5 hours to Marfa. From there it is another 2.5 hours to Big Bend National Park. Thursday drive 7 hours to Austin via Fredericksburg and the pretty hill country. I agree with you about the scenery in far West Texas. It is pretty amazing. Here's a link with info on the area. tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i18352-Far_West…

Edited: 05 February 2012, 02:32
London, United...
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6. Re: Gulf Coast or West Texas in three/four days

Thanks very much TxOffWeGo and Texhills for the additional advice.

Houston, Texas
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7. Re: Gulf Coast or West Texas in three/four days

If you were not planning on San Antonio you should. Maybe Galveston, then San Antonio and on the way to Austin stop at New Braunsfels - do the caves if you are into it. Or you can skip Galveston and go to Port A and then to San Antonio and to Austin. The beach in Port A is much better than Galveston.

London, United...
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8. Re: Gulf Coast or West Texas in three/four days

Having taken in all the advice and traveling considerations I quite fancy a night in Galveston after my long flight from London. Drive down the coast to Port Aransas next day and then onto San Antonio for the third day. That shouldn't be too taxing driving wise, and really looking forward to seeing the ocean, some nice beaches and a bit of San Antonio too before hitting Austin.

Houston, TX
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9. Re: Gulf Coast or West Texas in three/four days

Your new travel plan sounds good. I hope you and your friend enjoy the trip.

Houston, Texas
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10. Re: Gulf Coast or West Texas in three/four days

That sounds great - but here is another option (sorry!)

If you want to spend more time at Port A, you can always skip Galveston and stay the first night in say Sugarland. That will be about 1 hour from the aiport and on the way to Port A (on 59). Then leave next morning you can be at Port A for lunch. The beach in Port A is so much better than Galveston.