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Help me plan a Texas Trip, please!!

Wellington, New...
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Help me plan a Texas Trip, please!!

Greetings.

We are a couple - flying in to LA on the 1st of June 2014.

Fly back in to LA on the 12th of June 2014.

We have two shows booked - The Bellamy Brothers June 6, 7:30pm at The Dosey Doe Big Barn, Woodlands - Houston & Don Williams in Amarillo June 11th 08:30pm.

I initially thought of driving from LA but that is now out of the question - I would much rather spend that valuable time driving in Texas.

Would appreciate any help, as I have never been there before, but being country inclined, would love to drive through country hills, cowboy style saloons, watch a couple of rodeos, would love to see old fabled towns/cities famous in Country & Western music El Paso, Abilene, San Antonio, Amarillo ( of course ) and any other recommendations.

Any ideas on where to fly in - then pick up the car and go crazy driving, watching rodeos, eating some great tex-mex food and last stop being Amarillo. Would love to hear some routes that I must take, rodeos I must watch, other sights/shows I should see and good run of the mill house/home cooked style Tex-Mex food and Texas Chilli/steaks places to visit.

I know I am asking a lot - any help would most certainly be appreciated.

Regards

Allen

San Antonio, TX
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1. Re: Help me plan a Texas Trip, please!!

First of all Houston - Amarillo is 600 miles 9 hours with DFW about in the middle. It might make sense to fly into DFW and plan a round trip driving. Rental car would be cheaper without one way fees.

I personally would not bother with Amarillo. I would concentrate on Austin, the Hill Country, San Antonio, and Houston.

2. Re: Help me plan a Texas Trip, please!!

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Houston, TX
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3. Re: Help me plan a Texas Trip, please!!

Sorry about that--started to post, somehow hit enter and then ran out of edit time.

When do you actually arrive in Texas? I know you said LA on June 1--then into Texas on the second?

Amarillo seems set in stone for you based on your booking and the "of course" in your post. That really is going to mean a lot of crazy driving. You might want to rethink that unless it's a bucket list kind of thing or you want to take an internal flight (check the Southwest Airlines website for fares and times).

Here are a few other ideas. Have a look at The Stockyards National Historic District in Fort Worth. A small longhorn cattle drive a couple of times a day. Billy Bob's Honky Tonk. There is a professional rodeo at the Cowtown Coliseum most Friday and Sat. nights. Check out the Kowbell Rodeo for bull riding. Check out the Cowtown Coliseum for the Pawnee Bill Wild West Show. Saloons like the White Elephant and the Stockyards Hotel where the bar stools are topped by saddles and Bonnie and Clyde once stayed.

San Antonio hasThe Alamo, The Riverwalk, seeing the other Spanish Missions, the King William District. Good Tex-Mex food. In the Texas Hill Country you will find lovely small towns like Fredericksburg and the opportunity for a dude ranch stay. Also towns like Gruene (pronounced Green) which has the Gruene Hall, the oldest county and western dance hall in Texas.

I'd give Abilene and El Paso a miss.

Houston
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4. Re: Help me plan a Texas Trip, please!!

Allen--

Don Williams is one of my favorites, so if you've got the chance to see him, I'd say it's worth the trip to Amarillo. Besides, there's the Big Texan Steakhouse (http://bigtexan.com/) for a meal, the famous (or infamous) Cadillac Ranch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_Ranch), and Palo Duro Canyon State Park for some sightseeing (http://palodurocanyon.com/).

El Paso is, however, a long way away from everything else--it's approximately 745 miles (1,200 km) from Houston. I'd personally skip that city. Rodeo season per se is over, but Fort Worth has weekend mini-rodeos (check that city's site) every weekend, and people seem to enjoy them. Fort Worth is only 30 miles from Dallas, with DFW airport roughly halfway between.

I agree with Octoboy that the area I'd concentrate on would be in and around Austin, San Antonio and the Hill Country, as there are a lot of small towns with lots of music venues, great Tex-Mex food, and that other Texas specialty, BBQ, especially in and around Lockhart & Luling. To me, the best steak in San Antonio is at Bohanan's (http://www.bohanans.com/)--pricey and somewhat dressy, but excellent. I'd check with a native, however, as there may be better ones by now.

Houston isn't really a "cowboy" town--it's a cosmopolitan city. We do have some C&W music venues, but they're not as popular as they were 20-30 years ago. The two best steak places in town are arguably Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (our favorite) and Pappas' Steakhouse. (We don't eat there any longer because they really don't honor reservations.) Both are very high-end and fairly dressy (no jeans or shorts). For a decent less expensive steak, we like Longhorn Steakhouses (multiple locations) longhornsteakhouse.com/locations/default.aspx

For internal flights, you might consider flying from LA to Texas via Southwest Airlines http://www.southwest.com/ Bags fly free, and while there are no reserved seats, they are pretty efficient, with multiple flights daily between certain locations. (You cannot book using kayak, priceline, etc., but must use their website.)

Welcome to Texas!

Austin, Texas
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5. Re: Help me plan a Texas Trip, please!!

I agree with Gene that flying from LAX to Dallas (Dallas-Love) on Southwest will probably be your best bet. There are many many flights per day, so you will have lots of options. The amount of time you have to cover such enormous distances isn't much, especially considering you have already booked shows that are opposite ends of the state, but you can make it work if you are prepared to do a lot of driving. If you fly into Dallas on the 1st or 2nd, you could spend a few days exploring Dallas and Ft. Worth, and then drive to Houston for the concert on the 6th. The concert is in the Woodlands, so north of Houston proper, but there are a number of hotels in that area.

On the 7th, drive to San Antonio, and spend the next few days exploring the city and the surrounding Hill Country. On the 11th you can make the very long drive to Amarillo for the show there.

It's not clear if your flight home leaves on the 12th, or if you just plan to fly back to LAX on the 12th. If it's the flight home, you will need to leave Amarillo very early to make sure you can get a flight from Dallas to LAX that arrives early enough to check in for your international flight. This could be a very very long travel day, with considerable room for missed connections if you don't properly plan. Hopefully, your flight home leaves on the 13th, so you can have a lesiurely drive back to Dallas.

Grapevine, Texas
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6. Re: Help me plan a Texas Trip, please!!

All of the above, except rather than driving the very long distance to/from Amarillo, check Southwest Airlines to see if their fares are affordable. An hour's flight as opposed to a day's drive might be worth the expense.

Houston
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7. Re: Help me plan a Texas Trip, please!!

Allen--As far as your route goes, if you fly into Houston IAH, you could spend a couple of nights in the Houston area, then head over to Austin/San Antonio/Hill Country, spend some time there, and then head west out of Austin toward Luckenbach, TX (pretty small town, but famous in song by Waylon Jennings)--about 1 hr 20 minutes; then head north through Brady on into Abilene, a jog west to Sweetwater, then north through Lubbock and on to Amarillo. (Google maps shows the total driving time from Austin to Amarillo as 8.25 hours, FWIW.)

The quickest way back to Houston would be southeast on Hwy 287 through Fort Worth, connecting to I-45 headed south toward Houston. From Amarillo to Houston following this route, driving time is about 8.25 hrs. (If you wanted to take a little detour, you might want to head through Weatherford, TX en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weatherford,_Texas just to see a living "country town" in Texas. It's not too far out of the way. You'd be a little early for the peach festival, unfortunately.

If you fly Southwest, my best recollection is that they don't have round-trip requirements; in other word, you could fly into IAH, and out of Amarillo (although you'd have to pay a drop fee for the car). If they've changed their policy, I'd fly into/out of Dallas Love Field (LUV), so you could make the loop beginning/ending there.

I hope this is helpful.

Aubrey, Texas
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8. Re: Help me plan a Texas Trip, please!!

Welcome to the forum. You're coming to the right place for country music. First of all, you could book a ticket directly to Texas. Qantas flies to DFW from Sydney so a one-stop flight is possible from Wellington. However, you might want to fly to San Antonio to begin your stay which would require at least two stops.

With your Friday night date in The Woodlands, that leaves Saturday as the only night to catch a rodeo. Go to the one held at the Stockyards Coliseum in Ft. Worth. There's another rodeo in a suburb of Dallas but this is the place to go. It isn't a mini rodeo. The events are the same (bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, etc.) but the indoor arena is smaller. That's good since there isn't a bad seat in the house. It actually has a big advantage over rodeos held in full size arenas because it's in the Stockyards which is a fun place. Go to Billy Bobs Texas after the rodeo for country music and dancing. Check the schedule for who will be playing when you're there. www.fortworthstockyards.org/attractions.aspx

One way to organize the trip would be to start in San Antonio. The downtown area is compact and walkable with the River Walk and the Alamo to see. It would be a good place to spend a first day getting over jet lag. Notable music venues near SA are Gruene Hall and John T Floore's Country Store. You'll need a car to visit them.

Also near SA is Luckenbach made famous by Waylon Jennings' song. It's in the Hill Country which is very pretty and has good wineries to visit. Fredericksburg, the main town, has some good shops. Austin would be worth a night if you can fit it in so you could go to the Broken Spoke.

Then on to The Woodlands and then Ft. Worth. Amarillo is about a six hour drive from FW. Almost all the way is through farm and ranch land. I recommend you drive as you'll need a car in Amarillo anyway. Palo Duro Canyon is beautiful: also well worth a visit is the excellent Panhandle-Plains Museum in Canyon.

Wellington, New...
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9. Re: Help me plan a Texas Trip, please!!

Thanks for that - I hadn't thought of that. I didn't realize that they would have one way fee rentals for the same state. Also I have to be in Amarillo as the show is in Amarillo.

Wellington, New...
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10. Re: Help me plan a Texas Trip, please!!

@TxOffWeGo - thank you for the reply. We arrive in to TX on the 2nd of June. Amarillo is set in stone unfortunately as I have already purchased the show tickets for Amarillo/Woodlands. The two shows are my bucket list - the driving flying in between isn't - just like driving but would much rather drive around areas that are beautiful and worth driving in rather than the long distances ( and one way fees if any!! ). I think Southwest do fly out of amarillo as well to LA.

Looks Like I will be giving El Paso and Abilene a miss but would like to see Luckenback since Waylon is also my fav CW singer.