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Help with planning an April trip to Texas.

Rochester, New York
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Help with planning an April trip to Texas.

We are in the early stages of planning our Texas trip, which will start in Dallas. A couple days there with family, and then we will head to San Antonio. Those are the two cities that we had originally planned to see. Now, after reading up on Texas, I have considered stopping in Fredericksburg for a couple of nights on our way to San Antonio. Then I thought, perhaps, Austin for a night or two on our way back to Dallas. Now, I see the Corpus Christi area, and wonder if I should add a couple more days to our trip. If I could get some advice, I'd really appreciate it. We will be 4 middle-aged adults, and we have about 8 days. (flexible) What should we really see and what can we skip?

San Antonio, TX
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1. Re: Help with planning an April trip to Texas.

You can easily spend weeks visiting Texas. What type of things are you interested in? Texas/Country/Americana music? Natural sites like rivers, caves, hiking? Shopping - unique, art, antiques? Food - Barbecue, Tex-Mex, upscale, food trucks? Do you like night life? Beer, Wine, Fancy Cocktails? Like History?

Give us some more clues and we can give you more specific recommendations.

Aubrey, Texas
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2. Re: Help with planning an April trip to Texas.

For an eight day trip you've got it right with a couple of days each in Dallas, Fredericksburg, SA and Austin. April is a good time to come. Wildflowers be blooming in the Hill Country and the weather is usually pleasant where you will be with the usual caution about unpredictability.

Take US281S from the intersection with I20 (west of Ft. Worth) to drive down to Fredericksburg. It's one of Texas' prettiest highways going through rolling ranch land and nice small towns. Then take US290W at Johnson City to Fredericksburg. That takes you by the LBJ Ranch which is open to drive around.

To add Corpus to your route you'll definitely need to add more days. It's a much different part of the state and very interesting. Be sure to get to Rockport if you go.

Pearland, Texas
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3. Re: Help with planning an April trip to Texas.

The month of April is during the wildflower season. As the month progresses the peaks slowly move north. Depending on what part of the month you visit and the particular rain and temperatures for next spring, Fredericksburg might be in the peak season, or you might have to go north a bit to Llano. Bluebonnet peak is usually early in the season in March.

Rochester, New York
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4. Re: Help with planning an April trip to Texas.

Octoboy, We do enjoy natural sites, such as rivers, and caves, however nothing too demanding. State parks and such, we would enjoy. We would also want to visit historical places, like the Alamo. Any suggestions in Austin? We love live music, including country, and we enjoy night life, pubs and such. We are open to going to wineries, breweries, etc. Shopping, not so much, although I see that there is a Cabela's in the area. We enjoy good food, and it doesn't have to be upscale. We would enjoy going to local favorites.

Thank you texhills and Wallywilson, I believe we will be going in early April, so I hope to see the wildflowers.

Houston
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5. Re: Help with planning an April trip to Texas.

You've gotten some great advice so far as to sightseeing. Let me throw in some advice as to food, in case you're interested. Dallas is a large metropolitan area, and has some good restaurants, but I'm not as familiar with those as Houston's restaurants. Since you're already booked into Dallas, no real need to see Houston, although the two cities are quite different in personality.

Austin has some of the best mobile food trucks you'll find anywhere--great cheap eats of every variety. It also offers very good down-home Tex-Mex food, although San Antonio offers IMHO the best Tex-Mex food you'll find in the entire state. Fredericksburg has decent German food, and some of the smaller towns have Czech food. Not too far from Austin is a town called Lockhart, the self-proclaimed "BBQ capitol of the world", and there are three places worth trying: Smitty's, Kreutz's Market, and Black's BBQ (don't expect pulled pork here, though--this is brisket, ribs and sausage country!)

Someone more familiar with Fort Worth than I should fill you in on that city, as I hear great things about what a fun city it is, with a genuine cowboy attitude, even today, and it's only roughly 30 miles from Dallas.

Have a great trip!

San Antonio, TX
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6. Re: Help with planning an April trip to Texas.

So Natural Sites - There are three caves in the area - Just north of SA on I-35 you'll find Natural Bridge Caverns http://www.naturalbridgecaverns.com/ In addition to being one of the biggest caves in Texas, this is a great family sport with well developed trails and lots of activities including a more physical tour that includes repelling. There's panning for gem stones and a drive-through wildlife park.

In Boerne you'll find The Cave Without a Name. This is a more remote and less touristy alternative. The guides are very knowledgeable and obviously passionate about educating folks. You're apt to get a more personal tour here, on many occasions we've been the only folks on the tour.

Just South of Boerne is Cascade Caverns http://www.cascadecaverns.com/ with an underground waterfall. The facilities here are a little worn

State Parks - Guadalupe State Park is a fun spot with river access. You can picnic and just stick your feet in the river or actually get completely wet. tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/guadalupe-river

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is very unique with a huge granite dome to hike on. It is not super strenuous and the views are great. It's also near Fredericksburg. tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/enchanted-rock

Music - Austin is huge for this and San Antonio gets some great acts on the less popular nights. For Austin, get a copy of the Austin Chronicle to get all of the music info. www.austinchronicle.com/ Some great venues are - Broken Spoke, Continental, Cactus Cafe, Saxon Pub.

Gruene Hall (Between Austin and SA, right next to New Braunfels) is a great old Texas Dance Hall with fantastic music. http://www.gruenehall.com/ There's also a little shopping and it sits on the Guadalupe River.

SA has Sam's Burger joint for music http://samsburgerjoint.com/. Barriba is a little touristy but does book local acts http://www.barribacantina.com/. The Cove also has good local acts and has been featured on Tripple D http://thecove.us/ Back near Fredericksburg there's Luckenbach http://www.luckenbachtexas.com/

Texas has just changed it's crazy laws about breweries (for the better) and there's a huge resurgence in micro breweries. I like BeerAdvocate for information. Here's the link to Austin's scene http://beeradvocate.com/beerfly/city/30. Wine is centered around Fredericksburg - Check out http://www.texaswinetrail.com/

I'm into handcrafted cocktails and enjoy several bars here in SA - http://thebrooklynitesa.com/ http://www.esquiretavern-sa.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/1919SA…

Cabella's is right on I-35 south of Austin. Well worth a stop. There's also a Bass-Pro on I-10 just north of SA.

I recommend http://www.thestoryoftexas.com/ in Austin and the http://www.texancultures.com/ here in SA

Local SA food spots in no particular order (some are close to Downtown some not) - Teka Molino, Mi Tierra's, Guajillo's, Taco Haven, The Cove, Mr. Tims. Schilos, Guenther House, Magnolia Pancake Haus, Josephine Street Cafe, Beto's, Dough Pizzeria, Bracken Store Cafe, Zinc, Tip Top Cafe

Hope this doesn't add too much! :)

Spring, Texas
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7. Re: Help with planning an April trip to Texas.

If you stay in Fredericksburg, check out a Bed and Breakfast as a unique alternative. Lots of great choices. Also consider Meyer Bed and Breakfast in Comfort, TX only 30 or so minutes away. This is my all time favorite place to enjoy good food for breakfast and beautiful TX countryside.

Rochester, New York
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8. Re: Help with planning an April trip to Texas.

Octoboy - FANTASTIC info. Thanks so much, extremely helpful.

9. Re: Help with planning an April trip to Texas.

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