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11 days...where should I go?

Ottawa
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11 days...where should I go?

Hey guys,

We are 6 guys visiting in November New Orleans and thinking of driving to Texas. We have 11 days. We will be landing in NO and maybe looking to book our departure flight somewhere in Texas.

I was thinking on spending 4 days in New Orleans and then on day 5, driving through Texas all the way to San Antonio (approx 8 hour drive) spending day 6-8 in SA and then drive to Austin for day 9-11 and flight out at night.

What do you guys think? Should I spend more time in one spot. Not sure about Houston...

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Frank

Houston
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1. Re: 11 days...where should I go?

Frank--

New Orleans ("NOLa") is basically a drunkfest. It's a town that people in their early 20's love, but 4 days of drunken revelry there will be plenty. They have some very good restaurants, and a lot of dives. The last time we were there (18 mos. ago), the entire French Quarter smelled like a garbage dump, and it wasn't even a holiday weekend.

Houston (the first major city west of NOLa), is much more sophisticated, with much more to do. We've got all the bars and restaurants NOLa does, but without the Bacchanalian atmosphere. When you're driving in Louisiana, be sure to obey speed limits, as Louisiana police love to ticket out-of-state drivers. Needless to say, don't drive under the influence of alcohol. In Houston, the hot areas are Washington Avenue and Lower Westheimer (100-1600 blocks), along with Upper Kirby (a little more upscale), and The Galleria area.

San Antonio is great for history, Mexican-American food, and is a very walkable city, especially around the Riverwalk. Austin is a college/party town, despite its size. It has great restaurants and bars, and a party atmosphere, especially in the 6th Street area.

I guess it really depends on what you guys are looking for as to how many days you want to spend in any given city. A word of warning about reservations in Austin--if you're planning on being there over a weekend, check to see if the University of Texas has a home football game that weekend, as hotel reservations will be hard to come by, and should be made immediately.

Ottawa
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2. Re: 11 days...where should I go?

Thanks for the information Gene, I might actually spend 3 days plus the day in fligh in in NOLa and drive to San Antonio for 4 days (including 1 day driving there 8hr) and spend another 3 days in Austin and flight out.

Day 1. NOLa (arrive late afternoon)

Day 2. NOLa

Day 3. NOLa

Day 4. NOLa

Day 5. Drive to San Antonio

Day 6. San Antonio

Day 7. San Antonio

Day 8. San Antonio

Day 9. Drive to Austin

Day 10. Austin

Day 11. Austin (leave at night)

We are in our late 20`s but not looking to get smashed and party like college kids however we are not into the museums etc...we are pretty much there to walk around and get a good feel of the southern culture and have plenty of mexican food!

Czech Republic
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for San Antonio, Lubbock, Prague
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3. Re: 11 days...where should I go?

TEXAS...BBQ, honkey tonks, all sorts of music, rodeos

you can get a great cross section of Texas amid San Antonio and Austin...edges of each city are just over an hour apart.

to me, Houston is one big mega city..yes, you have NASA, theater, shopping etc. but it is an endless array of concrete mega-lane freeways....minimum of an hour to get anywhere

when might you be visiting?.... waters sports are popular around SA and AUS in the summer..tubing for ex.

articles and events by region texashighways.com

on line tourism catalog from State of TX..PDF format traveltex.com

some things to peak your interest

Lockhart TX BBQ

http://video.klru.tv/video/1632333652/

for ex. the flavor of San Antonio

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

shy away from eating at most places on the rivewalk.... yes, Market Square is touristy but better Tex Mex

than anything on the river

out of downtown...great burgers Chris Madrid's a SA institution

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEP4MtUC0r4

sout of downtown..walking distance of river walk is

Blue Star brewery

check out their calender for music sched.

enjoy!

Edited: 21 April 2013, 20:00
Ottawa
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4. Re: 11 days...where should I go?

Thanks tejashombre,

Ill stay with San Antonio and Austin...we are visiting in November so not sure if the weather will be ok for water sports. anyhow, I'm make plenty of research for good bbq, good local beer and Mexican food.

Houston
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5. Re: 11 days...where should I go?

A great place to stop for barbeque on your trip would be in Luling, TX, at the City Market. It's just about as good as you're likely to get, and you don't really have to drive 20 miles out of the way (and back) to go to Lockhart to try those places. Luling is right on I-10. Hard to go wrong with Mexican food in San Antonio, but as tejashombre says, avoid Riverwalk for Mexican food, and stick to Market Square.

You might check the San Antonio reviews to see which are the most popular or highly-recommended restaurants. Have a safe trip and a great time, eh?

Ottawa
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6. Re: 11 days...where should I go?

thanks for the tip Gene! eh! lol

Houston
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7. Re: 11 days...where should I go?

Glad you noticed the little Canadian I speak...LOL. Seriously, make sure you check into making reservations in Austin well ahead of time if the Univ of Texas is playing a home game while you're there--otherwise, you may want to go to Austin during the week, and then to San Antonio for the weekend. (They're only a little over an hour apart by car.)

Austin, Texas
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8. Re: 11 days...where should I go?

New Orleans and all of the places mentioned in Texas are great, but you may be disappointed if you are looking for true southern culture. You'll find a little of it outside of New Orleans, along the River Road where there are many old plantation homes, but New Orleans itself has a more European feel to me and Texas is lots of things, but not especially "southern". Combining both would make for a wonderful trip though.

I disagree with Gene's asssessment of New Orleans. It's not just about drinking, though those opportunities certainly exist if you want them. My husband and I are well out of our 20s and it's one of our favorite cities. It's a lovely city to explore on foot and there are many many wonderful restaurants and places to relax and soak up the culture. The city is also full of beautiful old homes, cemeteries to explore, and interesting places to shop. My husband and I are not really "tour" people, but we loved the Save our Cemeteries tour - http://www.saveourcemeteries.org/

I also love Houston and disagree with tejashombre's assessment of it. I lived there for years and it's a very cosmopolitan city, with a sophisticated food scene, and a wonderful arts scene. It's also not very southern in any traditional sense.

I do agree that spending most of your time in and around San Antonio and Austin is a good idea. Austin can be a party city, but it's also very laid back and a good place to relax and soak up the local vibe. Good food is everywhere, and there is an especially lively food truck scene around town.

San Antonio is definitely the place for Tex-Mex food, and the culture you will experience there is much more Mexican than southern. The Mercado is a fun place to walk around, as is the previously mentioned River Walk. The old Pearl Brewery Complex is no longer a brewery, but there are some new and exciting restaurants there - http://atpearl.com/ . For good Mexican street-style food, I really like La Gloria there.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: 11 days...where should I go?

Hi Frank.

A friend and I spent 5 days in New Orleans (I emphasize this was pre-Katrina), and found plenty to do that didn't involve drinking or museums. You can spend one full day just jumping around the historic buildings (and actually not half bad wax museum taking you through the famous moments in NOLa history) in the French Quarter, and then there's tours of the Garden District, above ground cemetaries and various plantations and bayous. You could also spend a day at the zoo if that's your thing, and a ghost tour one evening is a must. Just don't wander too far off Bourbon Street too late unless you're on a tour or enter St. Louis Cemetary No 1 without a tour group, and be aware of your surroundings after dark.

I also have actually just gotten back from Texas Hill Country. I'd devote much more time to San Antonio, as I can't really see needing more than a full day in Austin if you're not into museums. Between the Riverwalk and Spanish Missions (Alamo and the four National Historic Park sites), San Antonio is one of my favorite U.S. cities of those I've been to so far. Between NOLa and San Antonio, you'll be getting two cities with very unique cultural vibes under your belt.

San Antonio, Texas
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10. Re: 11 days...where should I go?

Your plan looks good.

SA does have a lot to offer that is walkable & sites nearby.

There are lots of Tex Mex that are good in SA + lots of others as well.

When you arrive in SA Riverwalk make sure to do the river tour cruise 1st. This will give you lots of info + help you to get your bearings for the riverwalk, I would say this is a must. www.rioSanAntonio.com

If you plan to visit the Alamo www.thealamo.org which is our most famous thing in SA, I would also recommend to see the movie "Price of Freedom" @ IMAX www.imax-sa.com @ Rivercenter Mall www.shoprivercenter.com which will help you to understand the importance of it. You could visit some missions also www.nps.gov/saan

You could also go up the Tower of the Americas www.toweroftheamericas.com for a fantastic view of SA skyline.

You could take a drive in the Hill Country & visit the little quaint towns + do some wine tour. www.texaswinetrail.com + you could stop @ Enchanted Spring Ranch which is a working ranch. www.enchantedspringsranch.com

On the way to Austin you could stop @ Natural Bridge Cavern www.naturalbridgecaverns.com

Definitely go to Market Square which is just a few blocks from Riverwalk. www.marketsquaresa.com & grab some good Tex Mex @ La Margarita www.lamargarita.com or Mi Tierra www.mitierracafe.com

On the Riverwalk a good place to go is Boudro's www.boudros.com grab a bite or at least the guacamole prepared tableside with a yummy Prickly Pear Margarita so yummy !!!!

There is lots more but depending interest.

Do you plan to stay on the Riverwalk or just in the downtown area. ????? or some where else which will make a difference for things to do. ????

Here is a website for what SA has to offer. www.visitSanAntonio.com

Any other ???? just ask ?????

Edited: 24 April 2013, 08:34