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Roadtrip in Texas

Helsinki, Finland
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Roadtrip in Texas

Hello!

We are a family of four from Europe (daughters 7 and 12) on a road trip in the US in June /July this year. I would love to get some help to plan how to best get from Lubbock to Corpus Christi and what to visit and where to stay overnight.

This is what my planning looks like at this moment:

Leave Lubbock early on a Sunday morning and drive to Abilene for lunch (a 4-hour drive according to Via Michelin, but mapquests says it's less? If it's 4 hours, where would be a good place to stop?) Visit Abilene (what are the must-do's in an afternoon?) and then drive on and stay for the night somewhere between Abilene and Austin (but where?!). The next day drive to Austin, visit for a few hours (I'm sure there are things to see for days, but what would be the most important?), then continue to San Antonio (1h30? Visit the River Walk?) and on to Corpus Christi (2h30?) for the night.

How does this sound to you? What would you suggest to us? I really appreciate any help you can give us, this is for us a trip of a lifetime and we'd like to plan it well. Thank you!

Houston
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1. Re: Roadtrip in Texas

First, welcome to Texas. The trip from Lubbock to Abilene should only be about 2.5 hours, not 4 (you should head southeast on US 84 until you intersect with I-20, then head east into Abilene. I'm not aware of any real tourist attractions in the Abilene area, so you might want to consider driving to Fredericksburg, a quaint little town you might enjoy, (approximately another 3 hours' drive) or all the way to Austin that day to spend the night.

Austin, considering that you have two young daughters with you, may be better off being skipped, as its activities are more suited for college-aged students on up, especially if it's just for a day trip. I'd probably just head from Fredericksburg to San Antonio, (1.5 hours' drive+) where you and your daughters will find lots of activities you'll enjoy--The Riverwalk, Market Square, visiting the missions, and much more.

As you say, San Antonio to Corpus Christi is roughy a 2.5+ hour drive. It's a nice beach town, and you'll have a good time there, but be careful of the sun--we're much closer to the equator than you are in Finland, and it's quite easy to get a sunburn, especially with breezes from the Gulf making it feel cooler than it really is.

Edited: 1:55 pm, April 28, 2013
Corpus Christi...
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2. Re: Roadtrip in Texas

What exactly are you looking to see and do. If the primary objective is to get to Corpus Christi with one overnight along the way I would drive all the way to San Antonio and stay there. It is about 6 hours from Lubbock and there are numerous places you could stop for lunch along the way. San Antonio has much to see and do and would only be 2.5 hours from Corpus Christi. You could spend the bulk of the day enjoying San Antonio and the Riverwalk and then make your way to Corpus Christi in the afternoon or early evening. Or stay 2 nights and take a day trip to the Hill Country/Fredericksburg/New Braunfels.

New Braunfels has one of the world's best water parks the girls might love, Schlitterbahn, and if we get some rain you might go tubing or rafting on the rivers.

Fredericksburg has great shopping and a fabulous WWII museum, one of the best in the country, if that might interest you. Also lots of wineries in this part of Texas.

If you want to stop along the way and get a brief glimpse of places like Abilene and Austin then your route is fine. Can't help with Abilene but Austin is great for eclectic dining and live music.

It might help also if you give a bit of your interests. Is it history, art, music, food, outdoor activities, local culture, etc.

Let me know if I can help with Corpus Christi.

Helsinki, Finland
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3. Re: Roadtrip in Texas

Hi and thank you both for these wonderful suggestions! I really appreciate it! I think the primary objective is indeed to travel to Corpus Christi, but we would like to visit interesting places on the way. We are tourists with children so I think our main interests are child-friendly outdoor activities and sight-seeing.

I think the idea to go directly to San Antonio could be a good option for us indeed and would save us some time, too! I just noticed that there is something called river tubing there - could this be suitable for children 7 and 12?

You're so right about the sun, we will have to be vigilant - thank you for the reminder!

Gehrig - I would love to get some help with Corpus Christi. We love water and would like to spend a relaxing 4 days seeing beautiful nature and doing a lot of water activities after a few weeks of road-tripping. We were supposed to go camping with friends, but they've got other plans so I'm looking for a hotel. The Staybridge Suites seem to have a lot of positive reviews, I realize we will need to drive to the beach, but it's in our prize-range and we could do some cooking, too. What do you think?

Thank you again, both!

Czech Republic
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4. Re: Roadtrip in Texas

not much to do/look at in Abilene

to get you to SA or Austin sooner I'd skip Abilene all together...look at a map-turn off at the previous town of Sweetwater ((done this route for 20+ years to both AUS and SA)

Highway 84 from Lubbock to I-20 then turn off at Sweewater Hwy 153 to Winters..

at Winters-for San Antonio go to Ballinger Hwy 83 until you hit I-10 and procede east on I-10 to SA

at Winters-for Austin go to Ballinger Hwy 83 then take Hwy 183 towards Brownwood then to Lampassas etc. (also depends if you are visting north Austin/Round Rock or farther south)

If you need tidbits for things to do in Lubbock, let me know.

Enjoy your visit.

Edited: 4:19 pm, April 28, 2013
Czech Republic
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5. Re: Roadtrip in Texas

www.texashighways.com

articles and events by region

on line PDF catalog...State of Texas tourisim dept.

www.traveltex.com

Edited: 4:20 pm, April 28, 2013
Corpus Christi...
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6. Re: Roadtrip in Texas

Staybridge Suites are well reviewed but in a very ordinary location of town, definitely have to drive to see and do anything.

Just off South Padre Island Drive you are a good 20 minutes from the beach and another 15 minutes from the downtown attractions.

Hilton Garden Inn is a bit better location but may not have the amenities you are looking for.

Please take a look at Port Aransas and Rockport as beach destinations that might better fit your desire for water sports and beach activities. Port A is located on Mustang Island and Rockport just across the way. I would suggest the Holiday Inn Express in Port A or the Hampton Inn and Suites in Rockport.

You could also look into North Padre Island, there is a Comfort Suites there that is OK and a Holiday Inn Sunspree that is a bit dated but I would say OK at best.

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g56476-Port_Aransas_T…

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g56565-d603684-…

North Padre would get you near the entrance to Padre Island National Seashore and Port Aransas offers all kinds of water sports and beach activities. Surfing, deep sea fishing, kayaking, dolphin excursions, as well as golf.

Corpus Christi has the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington Museum as well as sailing and wind-surfing.

You could do a nature tour of the historic King Ranch in Kingsville or take a boat tour of the Aransas Wildlife refuge, home of the endangered Whooping Cranes, they will be gone if you visit in the summer.

Texas
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7. Re: Roadtrip in Texas

As usual, Gehrig has given great advice, including to take a look at Port Aransas and Rockport as beach destinations that might better fit your desire for water sports and beach activities. You can still drive into Corpus Christi to visit the aquarium and the USS Lexington. The kids might also enjoy the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History.

I also agree that you should drive from Lubbock to San Antonio, possibly stopping in Fredericksburg along the way. In fact, I think you should consider staying in San Antonio an additional night, and make your stay in Port Aransas just 3 nights. I'm not sure what your itinerary is prior to Lubbock, but it seems like you're rushing through a large state just to get to the Gulf of Mexico.

Aubrey, Texas
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8. Re: Roadtrip in Texas

I highly recommend Frontier Texas in Abilene. It's an entertaining, balanced and informative look at life in the 19th century when Texas was being settled by Anglos amidst the wars with the Indian tribes. It is suitable for all age groups.

A few miles south of Abilene is Buffalo Gap, so named because at one time large bison herds migrated through the gap in the small mountains there. There is a small historic area. Perini Ranch, one of the best steakhouses in Texas, is worth a visit for its very good food in a ranch house atmosphere. People drive hundreds of miles to dine there. There are no motels in Buffalo Gap as it is too small, however there are good B&Bs. We stayed in Elm Creek B&B and liked it.

A bit out of the way from Abilene to Austin, but worth it if you are interested in history, is Fort Concho in San Angelo. It is a well preserved and restored frontier fort of the US Army. Established in the 1870s to protect settlers, it was decommissioned after the defeat of the tribes. Now it is a National Historic Landmark.

You'll find a pretty winery, Fall Creek, at Tow on Lake Buchanan not far off your route on the way to Austin.

It would be a mistake to skip Austin entirely. It is a pretty city, imo the prettiest in the state. You could drive around and have a look. Perhaps stop and have a walk along Lady Bird Lake. The Bullock Museum is excellent for a brief look at the history of the state.

Edited: 8:12 pm, April 28, 2013
Texas
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9. Re: Roadtrip in Texas

While I agree it's a shame to miss Austin, in their particular set of circumstances it seems necessary. The drive from Lubbock to Austin is about six and a half hours, without stopping for lunch or doing any sightseeing. It just seems to be pushing it too hard to stop in Austin, and then still drive to San Antonio that night. If they shaved a night off of Corpus Christi (or Port Aransas), then maybe so. Although it would still seem rushed to me.

Aubrey, Texas
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10. Re: Roadtrip in Texas

It isn't "necessary" at all, j'smom. Annika originally requested advice about Abilene and a stay overnight on the way to San Antonio. That is what I was addressing. That would allow time to explore Austin some. Well meaning folks who don't know better suggest there is nothing to see in West Texas so just get on along to San Antonio. Nothing could be further from the truth.