by Silvia L., Co-Founder of Tripdreaming
Texas is much more fun than most people expect when moving here. It has great cities with delicious food scenes and lots of attractions for every taste, but you can also find small, charming towns, like hidden gems on less traveled roads, totally worth visiting.
Here are my recommendations for the five best road trips that you can take from Fort Hood:
The treasures of Highway 290
There is a stretch on Highway 290 that offers several interesting attractions as well as pretty towns that you can visit in just one day or, even better, enjoy during a whole weekend:
Fredericksburg: A small town that was founded in 1846 by Baron Otfried Hans von Meusebach, who was looking for land and resources for German immigrants. In all those years, the town was able to preserve its German heritage. Its beautiful Main St. is full of boutiques, restaurants, beer gardens and even a scrumptious German bakery.
Luckenbach: If you really want to live an authentic Texas experience, you have to visit this tiny ghost town, which is still home to a ballroom, a small bar, and an outdoor area to enjoy a picnic with live country music, all only open on weekends.
Texas White House and the LBJ Ranch National Historical Park: Here you can tour the residence of President Lyndon B. Johnson in Stonewall, where he spent several months of his presidency.
Texas Hill Country Vineyards: Since you’re already in the land of wine in the Pedernales River Valley, a visit to one of the many wineries in the Texas Hill Country is a must. There are beautiful wineries, like Texas Hills Vineyard, where you can taste wines for just a few bucks.
Austin is one of the most beautiful cities in Texas, an ideal place for outdoor activities like kayaking on Lady Bird Lake, walking through Zilker Park, or taking a dip in the refreshing waters of Barton Springs Pool. At dusk, if you go to South Congress Bridge, you can witness hundreds of bats flying around the lake, because Austin has the world's largest urban bat colony.
If you are a culture buff, you have places like the Capitol, an icon of the city, which offers free tours. To learn about the history of the state, you should pay a visit to the Texas Bullock Museum or the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas for some great contemporary art.
Nightlife is always fun in the "Live Music Capital of the World!" One of the most famous streets, especially for college students, is 6th Street, but there are plenty of other options in its surrounding areas for all ages and tastes. For example the emerging East Side, hip Rainey Street, iconic South Congress Ave., or South Lamar Blvd are all great spots for a night out.
Sorry Kansas, but the most delicious BBQ is definitely in Austin. Among the favorites are the legendary Franklin Barbecue (although you have to be willing to wait several hours in line); La Barbecue, a food truck with expertly smoked meat; and Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood for a more relaxed atmosphere in the midst of nature.
The historic city of San Antonio is a must-visit. The main attractions are the San Antonio Missions, which have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The most famous one is certainly The Alamo.
After learning some history, walk along the beautiful River Walk and take a boat ride to get a full explanation of the historical buildings of the city. After the ride, have dinner at one of the many restaurants along the river.
San Antonio is an ideal destination to go with children because it has a variety of theme parks like SeaWorld, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, and Splashtown.
When you think of Dallas, one of the first things that comes to mind is the famous Reunion Tower, where you can enjoy breathtaking city views from its GeO-Deck for a truly fascinating experience!
Another interesting attraction is The Sixth Floor Museum, which transports you back to the 60s and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Also worth visiting, especially if traveling with kids, is the interactive Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Besides all the fun inside, the building itself is awesome!
You have probably read in many publications that Houston is becoming a fashionable foodie destination. But the truth is that Houston goes beyond restaurants, as it has lots of fun attractions for the whole family.
Some of the most popular places for children are the Downtown Aquarium, where you can feed stingrays, ride a small train, or dine in front of a huge fish tank with 150,000 gallons of water, and The Children's Museum of Houston, one of the most prominent in the country.
Last, but not least, is the Space Center, an awesome place for children dreaming of becoming astronauts one day.
The advantage of traveling to Houston is that you have Galveston Beach within just an hour by car. It isn’t comparable to Miami Beach, but it is a great option to spend a fun day at the sea.
In such a large state, with so many great surprises, it’s up to you to be curious, go exploring, and discover new places where you can have unforgettable experiences.
Tripdreaming is a boutique travel company based in Austin, Texas, that designs customized itineraries to offer each traveler a unique experience. All of our trips are fully personalized based on the interests, passions, needs and budget of every traveler. We believe that travel is all about living experiences to create long lasting memories.