As USA states go, Texas is huge and in fact larger than a host of European countries put together. As vacations go, you couldn’t find a place that offers such a vast and diverse package. So, when you are looking at holiday ideas for Texas there are a lot of options. From city highlife to rural ranches, beautiful golden sand beaches to horse trekking, there are some amazing holidays on offer in this ‘big country’.
Are you a city lover? Well, you won’t get more ‘city’ than the fun, vibrant Dallas and Galveston. There’s an abundance of arts and culture plus an array of bustling nightlife. There’s also the State capital, Austin, with its trendy hipsters, laid-back bar scene and world-class food and drink – we particularly recommend the breakfast tacos.
If the outdoors is more your thing, Texas is famous for being cowboy country. Life in the countryside is beautifully slow; it really has its own unique pace. Here you can meander down the dusty rural roads, put your boots and jeans on for some line dancing, or experience on-ranch roping and riding. There are some 261,000 square miles to explore, including wild forests, mountain ranges and Big Bend National Park for some white-water rafting, hiking and kayaking.
For those who love the beach, then Texas has miles of coastline, all dotted with quaint American towns, wrapped in nostalgia and offering diners, and wooden houses on stilts. There’s sea, sun and star filled nights aplenty and you may want to consider camping or hiring an RV to explore the fishing, swimming, bird-watching and kite surfing.
Wine tasting holiday in Texas
The broad range of holiday ideas Texas has to offer is incredible. One such idea is a wine tasting vacation. Many people who visit Texas are unaware that the State has over 350 wineries and is known as one of the top 10 best wine travel destinations in the world. Complete novices and wine connoisseurs alike will love this holiday.
Sip back and relax! Think shady patios; extensive vine covered fields and beautiful wines. Try staying in Fredericksburg. This is a wonderfully historic town and a great hub for visiting several typically Texan wineries.
We suggest you take the ‘wine road 290’. This is the US Highway 290 which takes you from Fredericksburg to Johnson City, which along the way has the largest concentration of wineries in the State. For around thirty dollars you can hire a driver all day to take you down the road to visit many of the Texas Hill Country wineries as you can. Of course, then you don’t have to worry about driving and can enjoy as many of the wines as you wish. Just some of the destinations on the route include Becker Vineyards, Pedernales Cellars, Inwood Estates, Messina Hof and Six Shooter Cellars.
A large glass of Malbec with a picnic lunch is a great holiday idea for Texas. If you take a group tour, you’ll be sure of a great time. Most organised tours, to which many are on offer, will include four or five wineries, a meal and wine tasting for around $160 per person. If you are making your own way around, try out one of the available Apps for wine tasting in the region. The TX Wine Passport can locate your nearest winery; and the Texas Hill Country App provides a handy guide for local hotels, restaurants and events.
Dude Ranches in Texas
If you fancy experiencing the cowboy lifestyle, then a dude ranch offers a holiday on a working ranch. Bandera is unofficially the country and western capital of Texas and hosts many dude ranches where you can don your Stetson. The most authentic Texas dude ranches truly put ranching first, and these are therefore the best places to learn and embrace western cowboy culture.
You’ll get to live in the beautiful countryside, learn to ride, explore the hundreds of acres of the ranch, and many even have their own fully stocked lakes for fishing. If hunting takes your fancy, there’s quail, racoon and coyote living on these vistas.
You could spend years experiencing various holiday ideas in Texas and still not come close to exhausting its many treasures. However, a Dude Ranch does offer a comprehensive range of activities whereby you can feel like a true Texan – even if it is just for a day or so.
Dixie Dude Ranch is one such destination and is a working ranch with horses, cattle, pigs and goats living on 725 acres. Professional cowboys, who reside here and know all about the rodeo, can certainly teach you a rope trick or two. The popular Mayan Dude Ranch in Hill Country is renowned to provide the complete ‘rootin’ tootin’ Cowboy’ experience and has trained seven world champion rodeo cowboys.
If you would prefer something a little less ‘cowboy’ and a little bit more in terms of ‘relaxation’, then a guest ranch typically provides more luxurious facilities. The Wildcatter Ranch offers just that. You get to stay in lovely cabins, enjoy included meals, book some horseback riding, and also swim in the onsite pool. Other guest ranches offer an array of other activities including hayrides and campfires, and some even have 18-hole golf courses.
Houston and NASA Space Station
For family-friendly holiday ideas, Texas is home to America’s fourth-largest city, Houston, which is a great destination for adults and children of all ages. It is packed with world-class restaurants, fabulous hotels and great shopping. If you really want to experience the city, we suggest you hire a bike as there is a lot to explore.
Close to the City is the NASA Johnson Space Center is home to a vast collection of spacecraft, an exhibition of moon rocks and interactive displays. There is also a replica of the shuttle carrier which visitors can climb into.
We also recommend the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, which preserves the honour and tracks the history of the African-American soldier.