Travel Tips: Escape on a Texas road trip

Spring break is the perfect opportunity for a road trip. Whether you’re strapped for cash or possess a bulging pocketbook, there are a number of options to satisfy all budgets.

Before you go, there are a few quintessential things you need to gather; including a few of your best friends, a tank of gas and an iPod full of fun favorites.

It would also be a good idea to research state parks, campgrounds and bordering cities. Generally state parks and campgrounds ask a small fee in exchange for panoramic views, hiking trails and fireside stories.

Nearby parks and grounds include Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Blanco State Park and Longhorn Cavern State Park, all offering a wide variety of outdoor activities, wildlife and lush vegetation. Each is just outside of Austin, so drive time is minimal.

A day trip or overnight adventure are both inexpensive getaways. Galveston, a stone’s throw away, welcomes its guests with gulls flying overhead, a newly built water park and a trio of pyramids each with its own aquatic theme.

If you are bent on visiting Schlitterbahn, a water park with enormous slides and gushing wave pools, be prepared to stand in long lines that may not justify the wait. Moody Gardens, another hot spot, lures in visitors with its lush rainforest, larger-than life Imax films and aquariums filled with exotic fish and agile sea creatures.

To really unwind, opt for a room at one of the many bed-n-breakfast inns peppered about the island. A night’s stay can range anywhere from $95 to $200 depending on room size and amenities. Most of the inns offer a continental breakfast and additional discounts for mid-week reservations. Be sure to reserve a room ahead of time to ensure availability.

For those with a more forgiving budget, check out San Antonio, Austin or Dallas. Besides its well-known theme parks, San Antonio is a city with a rich culture, delicious Mexican food and a vibrant nightlife.

Austin, most known for its live music and artistic flair, lends itself to vacationing. With no shortage of festivals and live entertainment, you’re bound to find something.

Dallas, a bit farther away, blends big city living with Southern hospitality. Look for the Outdoor Sculpture Tour and the Mustangs Sculpture, both of which are free exhibits that will captivate. After a day of sightseeing. Try any one of the city’s hot spots, which include comedy clubs, lounges and nightclubs.

With a little research and ingenuity your spring break vacation can be fun and affordable.

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