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Where to start?

Liverpool, United...
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Where to start?

Hi I am planning on flying to Texas for a holiday I will be a single traveller and just wondered where the best place to fly into would be? I am just wanting to view some sites and have some fun. I love country music, eating and drinking. I will be hiring a car but where would you recommend to start and places to go? I like the idea of one horse towns and I love big cities so any help would be most grateful. Also a good time of year if you don't mind.

Thank you for any help you can provide

Austin, Texas
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1. Re: Where to start?

For how many days/weeks will you be visiting? You can spend weeks in Texas and not see everything, but we help narrow your options a bit if we know how much time you have to work with.

From the UK, you will probably fly into either Dallas/Ft. Worth or Houston. British Airways starts non-stop service to Austin from Heathrow in March, but that may not be convenient for you coming from Liverpool. Any of those places would be a good place to start a driving tour of Texas.

Plan to do a triangle of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, and spend a few days exploring the area west of San Antonio and Austin, which is called the Texas Hill Country and where you will find more in the way of "one horse towns". There is lots of information about all of these places on the forums, and I know we have even discussed this triangle tour several times.

Time of year? April, May, October and November tend to be the best months in terms of weather. Avoid the summer months - June, July, and August - because it will be way too hot to enjoy doing anything outside.

Houston
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2. Re: Where to start?

Glen--

MrTed has given you a great starting bit of advice. To expand a bit, Dallas and Ft. Worth are roughly 30 miles apart, but have totally different cultures, Dallas being more cultural and Ft. Worth maintaining much of its old western roots.

Austin and San Antonio are separated by roughly a 1.5 hour's drive (or less), and also have different personalities. Austin is the outgrowth of a college town, and still maintains much of the college spirit and interests throughout the city--lots of music venues, cheap (and very good) eats, lots of oddball things to do. San Antonio is the tourism capitol of our state, and is home to much Mexican-American history and tradition. The Hill Country is filled with small towns, many of which were settled by German and Czech immigrants and still maintain their native roots--lots of things to do there.

Houston is a diverse, cosmopolitan city (largest in the state) with something for everyone. Only 50 miles away is Galveston, a charming seaside city on the Gulf of Mexico, if you decide you want to soak in some sun.

These three areas could easily occupy 10-14 days. If you're going to be here longer, you might consider a trip to the Big Bend National Park for some natural beauty, but it would involve quite a bit of driving (roughly six hours west of San Antonio).

Let us know more about how much time you'll have here, what your interests are, etc., and we can offer more recommendations.

Liverpool, United...
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3. Re: Where to start?

Ok to start with thank you for your advice so far. I plan to come for 10 days maybe 2 weeks. My interests are American history, sports, and music. I realise Texas is slightly larger than the uk!!!! So I really appreciate any routes and tips you can provide also any areas you think I should keep away from (learned that the hard way in Chicago).

Thank you again for your help and time, I have already noted your advice.

Also getting to Texas is not an issue takes me 2 hours to get to London so if you can maybe give me the best airport to start my journey from. Thanks

Edited: 02 January 2014, 20:44
San Antonio, TX
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4. Re: Where to start?

Your age will also factor into your choices - Austin has a lot for the mid-20 year olds; San Antonio is a little more relaxed. If I were you I would pick out the things that most interest you and see where they fall.

Czech Republic
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for San Antonio, Lubbock, Prague
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5. Re: Where to start?

when do you plan to visit? August can be brutal heat/humidity

spring for Texas wildflowers can be amazing,

www.texashighways.com -events/articles by region

on line PDF catalog Texas tourism www.traveltex.com

some videos to peek your interest

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqwafQYOwrY start at 1:20/Gruene TX

Lockhart BBQ

http://thedaytripper.com/daytrip/lockhart-tx/

San Antonio Flavor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKUxOD0tJic

San Antonio has the most physical history..Alamo, the Missions

you can go to Youtube and search for Man vs Food Texas/SA/Austin etc. and you get the idea.

also on Youtube there are interesting stories from 'Texas Country Reporter' for ex

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oo75DalsVOw

something kitchy to look out for Buc-ees

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSdkEDU_TGI

enjoy. Happy planning.

Houston
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6. Re: Where to start?

Glen--

Your trip basically will be forming a triangle, so any of the three airports would be fine to land in, although we've read of some rather disturbing waits at the DFW airport clearing customs, FWIW. Frankly, I'd search to see which city offers the best round-trip fares, and fly into/out of that city, as "drop charges" for hiring an auto in one city and leaving it in another can be quite expensive, depending on the rental company.

April/May will bring major league baseball to Houston and to Dallas, and high-level college baseball to Houston and Austin (possibly Ft. Worth, as well). Most other major sports are on hiatus, although it's fairly easy to get onto some municipal golf courses if you're a golfer. I'm not sure whether soccer (or, as you call it, "football") will have started up yet or not.

The San Antonio area definitely will have more older history than any other city in Texas, although Dallas has much commemorating the Kennedy assassination.

There are areas within each major city that should be avoided, just as in any major city, but I'd just check the local forums before you travel, asking which areas you should avoid.

Welcome to Texas!

Aubrey, Texas
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7. Re: Where to start?

The longer the better. What period of American history interests you? There's the 6th Floor Museum in Dallas which I recommend, but the most interesting time in Texas imho was the 19th century. The Anglo invasion, the revolt against Mexico and the conquest of the Comanches made it a very harrowing and interesting time. A swath of Texas from west of DFW down to west of Austin is full of US Army forts from the period and nice small towns. If that interests you, I'll be pleased to elaborate. San Antonio deserves at least a couple of nights. You could fly into DFW and depart from Austin or vice versa.

Liverpool, United...
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8. Re: Where to start?

This all sounds amazing thank you all for your help. Thinking I might need 3 weeks now. I love all American history, from the Wild West up to JFK. It has to be the best country in the world that's why I always come back. It's looking like Austin or San Antonio the airport I will be flying into. I hope to get to see as much as possible but would also like to visit places not all the tourists go, where real Texas is, home cooked amazing food and main streets etc.

I hate to be a pain but can anyone recommend places to stay in and out of the main towns and cities? I am happy to stay in big hotel chains, bed and breakfasts and anything in between

I have spoke to a couple of friends who have been to Texas and they say the best things are the people and the food. Well I have not even arrived and I already like the people. Thanks again

Corpus Christi...
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9. Re: Where to start?

My 2 pence on accommodations:

Austin: Austin Motel - quirky, unique; San Jose quaint both located in SoCo;

Hyatt - love its location on the water

San Antonio: Omni La Mansion old Spanish charm; Embassy Suites Riverwalk great beds and free amenities; Menger Hotel next to Alamo and filled with history; Drury Inn and Suites Riverwalk - great location and lots of free amenities.

Gruene: Gruene Mansion Inn

Fredericksburg: Fredericksburg Inn and Suites love the location on the edge of town able to walk everywhere

Don't miss the incredible WWII museum here. F'burg is the birthplace of Admiral Chester Nimitz and the Museum of the War of the Pacific is considered one of the best WWII museums in the world!

F'burg is also home to an unbelievable number of B&B's...just note, prices are high and this town lives off tourism, think Stratford on Avon. Worth visiting for the museum, also great German culture...think bier!

I'm in Corpus Christi which would be an easy drive from San Antonio for a beach fix. Just over 2 hours on the motorway. If that interests you look into Port Aransas, a small town on Mustang Island with plenty of accommodations and lots of great mom and pop eateries. Think condos here. Corpus Christi also has a WWII aircraft carrier in our bay that is now a museum. USS Lexington...Think HMS Belfast in London.

This list is by no means all inclusive and not budget minded although definitely not 5 star either. Just some of our favorites. I'm sure you will get many more suggestions.

Edited: 03 January 2014, 16:38
Czech Republic
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for San Antonio, Lubbock, Prague
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10. Re: Where to start?

Historic Fort Sam Houston..not sure what the provisions are nowadays for visitors. The Quadrangle I believe is still open to the public.

tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qbf43

info on the missions in SA

http://www.nps.gov/saan/index.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-uMF5CsA3I

active church/Mariachi mass at San Jose...a favorite

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5ScbPuawpQ

Edited: 03 January 2014, 21:31