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Getting to Jefferson?

Canberra, Australia
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25 posts
20 reviews
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Getting to Jefferson?

An Australian friend will be in Texas over the 4th of July holiday in 2012 and wonders where he can have a real American experience. As I've only ever been to Austin (great if you know people there) and Dallas (for the State Fair), I did an internet search and came up with Jefferson as a possible place. However...is it possible to get there from Dallas without a car? Actually, is it possible to get anywhere in Texas without a car?? Any other suggestions for an Australian arriving in Dallas on July 2 to have a great 4th of July experience?

8 replies to this topic
5-R
Temple, TX
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32 posts
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1. Re: Getting to Jefferson?

It is difficult to get any where in Texas without a vehicle. Depending on what type of experience your friend is looking for, I would suggest taking in a Texas Rangers baseball game... providing that they are at home on July 4th. After all, baseball is the "Great American Past Time" You would be able to get to the ballpark without having to rent a vehicle. Another tradition is the 4th of July Parade. Many small towns in Texas have those. Belton, TX, 145 miles south of Dallas, has a great parade along with a rodeo. Hope your friend enjoys his/her Texas trip.

Georgetown, Texas
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2. Re: Getting to Jefferson?

First question that comes to mind is where is your friend actually staying when he/she gets to Texas? The "no car" scenario is workable in a larger city but Texas has very little inter-city mass transit.

Canberra, Australia
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3. Re: Getting to Jefferson?

He's flying into Dallas on July 2 and doesn't have to be anywhere else until the 7th. Would be ideal if there were something like a 4-5 day tour that included some great natural scenery, classic towns, etc.... but I am getting the impression that perhaps Texas hasn't really developed the tourism experience for foreigners?

Austin, Texas
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4. Re: Getting to Jefferson?

It's a matter of supply and demand. Most people that fly into a major city rent a car and are free stop and go whenever and wherever they like. Families don't want to take a 4-5-6 day tour on a bus. I am a senior citizen and go on tour busses alot and they are very strict. They pick were we take a break, where we eat and where we sleep at night. All we do is pay our money and ride. We have no say. Most tourist would never dream of taking such a trip. The only sightseeing is done in the destination city such as Branson. The driver cannot stop along the route and let you check out an famous antique shop, western store, BBQ place etc.

Therefore, there is no demand for busses to organize trips for tourist flying into the U.S. At least, not in Texas. Sorry. I know it would be wonderful in your case, but they just can't fill up those 54 passenger busses.

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Branson
Branson
Missouri
Canberra, Australia
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5. Re: Getting to Jefferson?

I am astounded at what you say! My parents (former Georgetown TX residents) have gone on organised tours all over the world, including such disparate places as Alaska, China, New Zealand, Russia and Scotland. In fact, I think that's the only way they'd do it. They have met a lot of great people and enjoyed having other people with whom to share their experiences. Seems to suit couples and solo travellers, but some people take their young adult children with them. In fact, organised coach tours are very common in just about every country except, it seems, the USA. Lack of flexibility, yes -- but also no hassles when it comes to figuring out the what, where, when, or how of the trip. There's nothing worse than driving around in a totally unfamiliar country, especially where the distances are great (and measured in miles rather than kilometres) and the driving is on the other side of the road. I know that there are organised tours of the USA (large-group and small-group), but they don't seem to be common in Texas. So the question remails: what does a solo Australian traveller do for 5 days in Texas over the 4th of July? He's bought the 'Lonely Planet Guide' to Texas, so I hope that might help.

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Alaska
Alaska
United States
New Zealand
New Zealand
South Pacific
Austin, Texas
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4,473 posts
205 reviews
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6. Re: Getting to Jefferson?

The car is king in Texas. Everyone drives everywhere. While organized tours are common in most of the rest of the world, and even in some parts of the U.S. (Alaska, as you noted, and on the East Coast), they are not common in Texas. For the most part, as Georgetowngal noted, people arrive, rent a car, and drive themselves around. This is how you see the "real" Texas, in my opinion.

Despite the wrong side of the road and distance in miles issues, it is very easy to drive in Texas, as you probably know since your parents lived in Georgetown. The roads are generally well maintained, safe, and will take you anywhere. If your friend is capable of driving, I think we would all recommend that he do so. With 5 days, he could easily see Dallas and then venture down to the Austin/San Antonio/Hill Country area. Jefferson is nice, but in my opinion, the small towns in the Hill Country are much more interesting.

If he is not capable of driving, there is inexpensive bus service between major cities (and train, but it's not very efficient) and while in the city, he could see what Gray Line tours offers in the way of day trips - http://www.grayline.com/

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Alaska
Alaska
United States
Georgetown, Texas
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6,067 posts
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7. Re: Getting to Jefferson?

First, I suggest you repost on the Texas forum- I think you will get a wider range of suggestions. And, as Mr Ted says, outside of metropolitan areas, bus tours are fairly uncommon except for organized groups such as seniors.

That said, I think your friend would do well to stay in Fort Worth. There will be lots of activities around town including the Stockyards. He can take the train (TRE) over to Dallas to explore or the train up to Grapevine. Here are a couple of links to get you started.

http://www.fortworth.com/

http://www.fortworthstockyards.org/

http://www.sundancesquare.com/

http://www.trinityrailwayexpress.org/

https:/…Default.aspx

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Canberra, Australia
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25 posts
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8. Re: Getting to Jefferson?

Thanks, everyone, for those comments & suggestions, which are much appreciated and which I will forward to my travelling friend.

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