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Road Trip - Texas

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London, United...
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Road Trip - Texas

We are 4 lads in early-mid 30's planning a road trip which at the moment looks like option A.

The points of debate.

Is it better to go Thur & Fri in San Antonio, Sat & Sun in Auston and Mon in Forth worth

or

thurs fort worth, fri and sat in austin and sunday and monday in San Antonio.

Following on from that, the next debate is

Do we head down to Galveston on the coast in texas for the night (heard mixed things) before heading over to natchez the following day

or

Do we head north from Fort worth up to arkansas to hot springs or little rock to stay and then down to natchez the following day.

or

does anyone recommend something else?

Option A

Fly into Houston Weds

Fort Worth Thursday

Austin Friday

Austin Saturday

San An Sunday

San An Monday

Galveston Tuesday

Natchez - missisipi - Wednesday

NO Thursday

NO Fri

Option C

Houston weds

San Antonio Thursday

San Antonio Friday

Austin Saturday

Austin Sunday

Fort Worth Monday

Galveston Tuesday

Natchez Wednesday

NO Thursday

NO Friday

Option B

Houston weds

San Antonio Thursday

San Antonio Friday

Austin Saturday

Austin Sunday

Fort Worth Monday

Hot Springs Arkansas area Tuesday

Natchez Wednesday

NO Thursday

NO Friday

Austin, Texas
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1. Re: Road Trip - Texas

A couple of questions:

1. When are you planning to make this trip?

2. Why Natchez? Unless there is some big reason to go (you're American Civil War history buffs?), I would skip it and spend an extra day in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Grapevine, Texas
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2. Re: Road Trip - Texas

If Galveston is included in your travel, you really need to plan it in the same time frame as Houston - it doesn't make sense to arrive in Houston, drive 4 hours north to Dallas, only to turn around and drive back 5 hours (via Austin/SA) to Galveston, then back north-east 7 hours to Natchez.

Option B is more geographically logical, with Galveston added between Houston and SA.

Houston, TX
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3. Re: Road Trip - Texas

I agree--why Natchez? Is it for the casinos? Not the nicest around. If it's Civil War History you are after, Vicksburg and the Military Park is a much better choice. All you will find in Natchez is a very small downtown area with limited hotel and restaurant choices and a few antebellum homes to tour.

Also--is the reason for the trip to Hot Springs the park? Not really much there either. You could go through Little Rock and stop at the Clinton Presidential Library, but unless you have compelling reasons for Natchez and/or Hot Springs, they take you way out of your way.

Austin is great on the weekends for the live music. However, since you don't say when you are coming, check the schedule for The University of Texas Longhorns football games. Saturdays when they are at home are a bit crazy in Austin--you may like that :-) and hotels can be harder and more expensive to find. If your trip is in October, check the Texas Parents website as well. They usually have one weekend that month for Family Weekend, and same thing applies.

How about this. Your plan A, through Tuesday. Then on to NO. Then one night in Biloxi, Mississippi if it's casinos you are after. If not, add an extra night for the Dallas Fort Worth area or Houston.

Where are you headed after NO? Do be aware that if you pick up a rental car in one city and drop it off in another you will probably pay a drop off fee. Make sure you check on how much that will be.

Austin, TX
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4. Re: Road Trip - Texas

Option A -- Houston to Ft Worth to Austin -- doesn't make sense because of the amount of driving.

Option C -- Galveston isn't that great and Arkansas is pretty. Texas beaches can't compare to places like Florida, but the nicest beach is South Padre (too far away). Galveston has some nice old homes and interesting history to learn about, but it isn't as scenic as Arkansas.

So I would go with option B.

However, hitting Ft Worth on a Monday would be a problem if you like museums, as they are generally closed. The Stockyards will be dead (entertainment wise) but you could see the daily Longhorn cattle drive. Other than great museums and the Stockyards, there isn't much to do in Ft Worth. (I grew up there and left as soon as I could, so I'm a little biased.) The zoo is great, but since you're a bunch of 30-year-old guys, I'm thinking that might not interest you.

If you like music, any day of the week is good for Austin. More choices on Friday and Saturday, of course, but there will still be worthwhile shows on Sunday. Maybe a gospel brunch or chicken (poop) bingo at Ginny's Little Longhorn.

San Antonio has some interesting stuff to see but not a ton, IMO. The Alamo and the River Walk, of course, but I also like biking the trail between the missions https://sanantonio.bcycle.com/default.aspx.

I would maybe spend one night in SA (gives you two full days of sightseeing if you leave Houston relatively early), one night in Gruene/New Braunfels (or just sleep in SA again and drive back) and two nights in Austin. (But if you stay in Gruene you don't have to worry about drinking and driving.) Gruene has an old-fashioned dance hall that is a blast. http://gruenehall.com/ If you come in the summer, you can also tube the river (although check the forums for advice on which river to choose based on how much rowdiness you want).

I haven't been to Hot Springs for quite awhile, but I really enjoyed hiking when I was there. It's very pretty.

I'm thinking you want to see the plantations in Natchez?

NO is an absolute blast and has such an interesting history and culture.

You might consider biting the bullet and having one full day of driving from Austin to Memphis, then skipping Natchez and going straight to NO. I'm a huge fan of Memphis.

This will be a nice little road trip. Have fun!

London, United...
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5. Re: Road Trip - Texas

Sorry my initial email was a little confusing. We are going on the 10th September to the 20th September. No major interest in Casinos, we just fancied seeing a bit of Missisippi and Natchez sounded ok. Obviously we are driving over from Texas to NO so needed an extra night somewhere. Open to ideas though.

At present our itinery dismisses Dallas, and Houston we will literally only have the night we arrive before setting off. We live in London, so are used to big cities.

The grey areas we have are how long to spend in Austin, San Antonio and Fort Worth, and what there would be for 4 single 33 year olds in the different places. The other grey area is if we bother staying the night in Galveston, or going north after Fort Worth to Arkansas and down to NO that way.

Sounds like we should ditch Natchez from the itinery!

Any more ideas v much appreciated!

Grapevine, Texas
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6. Re: Road Trip - Texas

With respect to streamlining drive time - would it be possible to fly into DFW, stay a night or two in FW, then drive south to Austin, SA and Galveston before heading east toward NO on I-10. (Be sure to post in the Louisiana forum requesting information on Lafayette and The Atchafalaya Basin region. It's the heart of "Cajun Country" where you definitely want to make a short stop for some good cajun and/or creole cooking and enjoy the very unique Zydeco music of the area)

In Fort Worth, you'd definitely want to spend a few hours in the historic Stockyards. While it's a bit touristy today, much of the history remains. In the evening, enjoy "boot-scootin' " at Billy Bob's Texas - huge honky-tonk - or the smaller White Elephant Saloon. A burger at the Love Shack wouldn't hurt either. http://www.fortworthstockyards.org/

FW's Sundance Square and Plaza in downtown is a few miles south - many dining options, entertainment and lodging (if you don't opt for a hotel in the Stockyards). http://www.sundancesquare.com

During the day, Sep. would be an excellent time for a Segway tour of either downtown or Trinity Trails/W. 7th

Arlington, 15 minutes east of FW (non-rush hour on I-20), is home to the Dallas Cowboys football and Texas Rangers baseball. Football is generally played on Sun, so you'd miss out on that as an option, but you may be able to catch a baseball game if the Rangers are in town. Either way, both venues offer tours if that's of interest to you.

And if you just wanted to peek at Dallas, it's only another 15 minutes east on I-20. ;)

Edited: 12:37 pm, March 05, 2014
Houston, TX
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7. Re: Road Trip - Texas

OK then--that helps. Karin has given you a good plan if an arrival into DFW works for you. If you don't fancy time in Fort Worth or Dallas, have a look at the Texas Hill Country sort of between Austin and San Antonio. Some nice small towns (Fredericksburg) and a few wineries. There are several dude ranches around that area if you want to look into an overnight stay (some also do day activities).

if you still want to see places other than Texas and NO, I'd go with your plan B--makes more sense geographically.

Austin, TX
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8. Re: Road Trip - Texas

KarinLB makes an excellent suggestion about going to Cajun country. I would recommend adding that and skipping Ft Worth, especially if you'll be in Ft Worth on a Monday.

On Mondays, Billy Bob's will just have recorded music and won't be very crowded or have bull riding. However, White Elephant should have a band, and it can be a lot of fun. (If you do end up on Ft Worth on a day other than Monday, you might check out Scat Jazz Lounge in Sundance Square. http://scatjazzlounge.com/about/)

In terms of what there is for you to do in those cities, you'd be better off browsing those city forums. But you should be more specific about what you like to do and what kind of music you like, especially for Austin.

Aubrey, Texas
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9. Re: Road Trip - Texas

You might like to spend the weekend after your arrival in Ft. Worth. The University of Texas plays the University of California at Los Angeles in football Sat 9/13 in Arlington between Ft. Worth and Dallas. The game will be in the ATT Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys professional team plays. It's a big game in a great venue. Fri-Sat nights in Ft. Worth's Stock Yards there's a rodeo, Billy Bob's Texas for music and dancing, western wear shops, good restaurants for steaks, barbeque, etc.

If that's of interest,maybe spend Thursday seeing Galveston, NASA, Kemah boardwalk then drive to FW Friday a.m. Then Austin, San Antonio, New Orleans. Austin has a live music scene on 6th Street. SA has music venues as well. Post on the local forums for advice on things to do that you're interested in.

Is it possible to arrive in DFW airport as Karin asked and return from New Orleans or Houston? Would save a few hours driving.

Dallas, Texas
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10. Re: Road Trip - Texas

I would ditch Natchez and Galveston. In fact, skip the entire Texas coast. Texas beaches aren't all that great.

How to split your time between Austin, Ft. Worth, and San Antonio kind of depends on your interests and what you want to do. That being said, I would recommend to most people to spend the most time in Austin. Not your "typical" city. Great music scene, good food, fun atmosphere! San Antonio is worth a stop, and Ft. Worth has a fun Western flair (you could go to the Stock Yards, then head over to Billy Bob's, a Honky Tonk bar/restaurant).

Arkansas doesn't really have much of a "social scene." Mostly nature-oriented activities there.

If you're looking for a place between Arkansas and New Orleans, Layafette and Baton Rouge would be much better than Natchez. Much better. Though they are both quite a bit closer to NO than Arkansas. Unless you really like "The South" and/or Civil War history, there really isn't much of a reason to go to Mississippi.

Also, that is a lot of driving! Be sure you're doing places in order, so you don't have to back-track between stops -- you could lose a lot of time doing that!