It is All About the Memories, YO!Credit: Junglecat
The best memories are often the simplest ones. Time spent throwing a Frisbee on a warm beach in summertime or fishing and barbecuing the catch on a quiet lake in the fall are sometimes the best.
Honestly? Really? You’re not kidding me?
How about jet skiing for the first time or scuba diving or surfing or skydiving? Some would say that’s where lasting memories are made. Regardless of your mind set, Texas provides the place to make the best family vacation memories to last a lifetime.
The cities and coastline of Texas offer the best of exciting outdoor activities. Whether you like the excitement of the coast or the relative calm of our lakes, Texas will accommodate every one of your needs. Here are some of the best places to find some family fun:
A True Taste of Americana by the Sea
Houston & Galveston Island
Credit: Bill JacobusThe Houston – Clear Lake – Galveston area offers some of the finest family fun in all of Texas. The city and shoreline of Galveston Island offer all the usual fantastic beach activities and host several crowd pleasing festivals including the annual Galveston Sand Castle Competition during the summer and the Dickens on the Strand Festival at Christmastime. In addition, the island is home to one of the famous Schlitterbahn Water Park Resorts and the renowned Moody Gardens tourist complex.
When a little more sophistication is needed, the nearby city of Houston is ready to serve. The fourth largest city in the United States offers the finest in dining, nightlife and cultural pursuits. From sushi to Italian as well as incomparable steak houses, it is home to numerous word class restaurants. The downtown area is also home to the Museum District with venues that specialize in everything from modern art and the Masters to the engineering wonders of oil drilling. Houston is not to be missed.
An Outdoor Lover's Paradise
Corpus Christi & Padre Island
Credit: Jef132Corpus Christi and nearby Padre Island offer more intrepid families a slightly different and more exciting atmosphere for making memories. The entire culture of this area of Texas is geared towards outdoor activities and power sports.
In Corpus Christi and nearby Padre Island, you can skydive, parasail , jet ski, surf, deep sea fish, scuba dive, white water raft, ocean kayak, rock climb, mountain bike or just plain camp… Need I go on? If the outdoor acidity exists, you can do it in the Corpus Christi area.
Not to be outdone by its neighbor to the north, Corpus Christi also sports an excellent range of high end restaurants, world class shopping establishments and a host of nighttime entertainment venues. Families are a priority in Corpus Christi and the town abounds with amusement parks, arcades and shows geared towards children.
The Joys of Fresh Water
San Antonio & the Guadalupe River Valley
As the home of the Alamo, the city of San Antonio has long been renowned as one of the birthplaces of Texas and it independent spirit. In the same spirit, the descendants of those gallant men carved out a distinct niche for themselves in ensuing years. As such, 21st century San Antonio is a magnificent hodgepodge of historic Spanish culture, rugged Texas individualism and modern Americana.
San Antonio, itself, is the second largest city in Texas and has all the attendant amenities that any family could want. In addition to one of the premier retail venues in the United States, the River Walk, the city plays host to some of the most diverse musical and artistic acts in the country. If you can’t find it in San Antonio, it can’t be found.
Aside from the urban delights in the city proper, the Guadalupe River Valley can provide any family with enough excitement to last a lifetime. There are river cruises for every skill level from a simple float down a lazy river to a Level 5 trip through the most tempestuous rapids. Kayak, canoe or raft, the Guadalupe can satisfy the adrenaline cravings of any adventuresome family.
An Elevated Look at Texas
Austin & the Texas Hill Country
Credit: DavidWhile most of Texas has, justifiably, been considered a long and flat stretch of land fading into the far off distance, there is one section of the state that rises head and shoulders above the rest, the area around, near and west of Austin known as the Texas Hill Country.
The Hill Country is famously family friendly as it encompasses dozens of New and Old World cultures. In particular, there is an amazing fusion of Spanish and German culture in the region that has seen remarkable innovations in the music and food of both cultures.
The area is notably famous for its hunting but, unless that’s a family tradition, you are better off heading towards more traditional family pursuits. The area hosts the original and incomparable Schlitterbahn Water Park where there is simply no better place get soaked on an afternoon with your family. Also nearby is the Seaworld and Six Flags Fiesta where fun can be had by anyone from six to sixty.
A Natural Wonderland
El Paso and Big Bend National Park
- The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.
Credit: LeafletWhen they sang those memorable words, they must have been thinking of the area around the Big Bend in far West Texas. The area is sublime in its other worldliness. The flora and fauna is abundant everywhere but you would swear there is not another living thing anywhere near you.
The Big Bend National Park is a place of splendid isolation. It is an idyllic paradise for the family that likes to hike, bike, raft and camp. The land is unforgiving and the Rio Grande River is forbidding but any family that undertakes to traverse this awesome landscape will take home memories that will last a lifetime. Fortunately, there are innumerable companies and guides to make your passage both exciting and safe.
On the other hand, the city of El Paso is entirely different and a decided step back in time. While it offers all the amenities of a modern American city, it still has the feel of the Old Southwest. There are modern sports venues alongside old cantinas. The city will truly transport you back in time.