...And we would all go down together,
Galveston is a beautiful city situated on an island on the upper coast of Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. With its warm waters and long stretches of soft sand, it's one of the state’s most popular destinations. But the fun, beachy vacation atmosphere of the city masks a dark history and chilling reputation as one of the most haunted cities in the U.S.
Galveston's past holds some incredible stories, with death, destruction and horror all part of the landscape. Tales of pirates, Captains of industry (Galveston’s location and climate attracted many of the formidable "old money" families of the Northeast) and Civil War soldiers haunting the area abound. The greatest legend revolves around one of the worst natural disasters ever to strike the United States: the Hurricane of 1900. Most of the city was completely destroyed, with a death toll between 6,000 and 12,000 individuals. With so many dead, it was impossible to bury them all. Legend has it that many of the drowned victims still restlessly wander the streets, especially in the area known as The Strand where many of the buildings are original to the city and date back to the late 1800s. This historical district of downtown Galveston is known for its architecture, museums, shops, art galleries, restaurants and…its disembodied spirits! Visitors to the area report images of ghostly children playing in the local shops, a frantic nun slamming doors up and down the hall of the Galvez Hotel searching for a lost child, wandering soldiers, pirates. Others don't see haunted visions but describe feelings of heaviness in the air, a blanket of sadness that overcomes you.
While many visitors to Galveston Island come for the sun and sand, many others come in search of spirits. That’s where the "Ghostman of Galveston" comes in! Dash "Ghostman" Beardsley, a paranormal investigator, runs a company called Ghost Tours of Galveston. Always interested in the mysterious, Dash investigated Galveston’s rich history and discovered many fascinating facts from his research and interviews with local residents. His "Original Ghost Tour on the Strand" is the most popular of the tours, although there are other excursions including a Restless Spirits Tour, and a Cemetery tour. Each one provides the chance to visit many fascinating locations in The Strand, while hearing haunting stories from the past and learning about the historical events that have shaped this interesting city.
Even if the only ghosts you see are trick-or-treaters, a visit to Galveston is never disappointing. Besides the lovely town, you'll be surrounded by beaches and marshes, a wide variety of birds (the Island is one of the country's largest bird migratory flyways) and a part of Texas you definitely won’t want to miss!
There's never a shortage of fun things to do in Texas during October. Kids are pumpkin picking, carving jack-o'lanterns and making those all-important decisions about what costume to wear. It's a fun time, if not a bit predictable.
Want to break the mold, even just a little bit? Consider trying one or more of these activities to put a little spin on the season this year.
1. Get to Know the REAL Dracula
(Houston) In case a museum dedicated to death and funerals isn't already macabre enough, the National Museum of Funeral History amps up the creep factor with a few special events in October - November. The Dracula Cemetery Exhibit details the life and death of the real Count Dracula, infamous for his insatiable cruelty and blood-drinking. Visitors can put on a cape and fangs and have their photo taken in a coffin. Other events include a Haunted House, Halloween Car Show and Day of the Dead Celebration.
National Museum of Funeral History website
2. Stumble and Groan and Search for Brains
(San Antonio) What's trending in the world of horror these days? Zombies! The walking undead are all around us in movies, TV shows and....in San Antonio during the city's annual Zombie Walk. On October 27, the city will be host to hundreds of shuffling zombie-wannabes, in tattered, bloodied clothing, in search of brains and other good eats. Why is this fun? It just is! Think of a flash mob, but with a lot less rehearsal. How can you get in on it? Just show up in your finest zombie attire at Hemisfair Tower in downtown San Antonio between 5 - 6 pm, after which, the evil hordes will be unleashed and make their way towards the Alamo. Other than the cost of a ripped old t-shirt, the event is free.
More info on the Zombie Walk
Similar events in Wichita Falls, Spring and Paris.
(Dallas and Ft. Worth) I suppose it all depends upon what kind of magic you need. Choose from the "One Night Stand Potion", "Break-Up Potion", "Dr. Strangelove Potion" or "Plum Sexy Potion". Conjured up by Dude, Sweet Chocolate, these potions are made with chocolate, liquors like tequila or bourbon and other delicious ingredients that are sure to cast a spell. Bewitch the object of your desire with a Dr. Strangelove Martini. Slip some Plum Sexy potion over ice cream. They are to die for!
Did I leave any off the list? What non-typical things do you like to do for Halloween?
Please let me know by leaving a comment
Texas is home to many different types of cities – from large, bustling metropolitan areas to small western towns that many people associate with this great state. One of the most unique cities that I have had the pleasure of visiting recently is Lake Jackson. Situated in Brazoria County, the town was built where the old Lake Jackson Plantation house once stood, and was created by Alden Dow (son of Herbert Henry Dow, the founder of the Dow Chemical Company) as a planned community to meet the needs of the incoming employees of the Dow Chemical Company, which came to the area in 1940.
You can learn all about the history of this area by visiting the Lake Jackson Historical Museum. The exhibits and interactive displays are quite extensive and they don’t only cover the planning and building of the community; the displays go back as far as the prehistoric era and cover the opulent plantation era as well. From August 10 through September 22, the museum is presenting a special exhibit which explores how the ideals and philosophies of Alden Dow guided him in his establishment of this fascinating community.
Another nice trip to take while in the area is a visit to the Jackson Plantation Site. A Texas Landmark, the Jackson Plantation was a prosperous sugar plantation on the banks of Lake Jackson. It was destroyed by a hurricane in 1900, and today you can see just how destructive that hurricane was. You’ll learn how sugar was processed in the 1840’s, how slave labor gave way to convict labor, and much more. This year, their Plantation Day Celebration will be on September 7. There’ll be reenactments, craft displays, activities, games, refreshments…something for kids of all ages! You can find more information on all of these locations at the website.
Sea Center Texas is also nearby and worth a visit. Here you’ll find an aquarium, fish hatchery and education center. On most days, tours are available which include going behind the scenes to see the hatchery were the fingerling redfish are spawned and raised until old enough to be released into the nearby bay waters. The admission price is free.
Lake Jackson's location along the central flyway used by migratory birds, and its pivotal location on the Gulf of Mexico makes it a perfect place for the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory. This 34-acre sanctuary is dedicated to protecting birds and their habitats along the Gulf of Mexico. Offering education and community outreach, kids can participate in their Birding Day Camp, bird identification and photography. Special events are offered throughout the year. Coming this month, September 14 and 21, is the XHX Event: Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza, featuring hummingbird banding, Adopt-A-Hummer, nature trails and more.
Lake Jackson's natural beauty, quirky personality, and unique vision have earned it the nickname: “the City of Enchantment”, a well-deserved title.
Texas brings you the best of Broadway, featuring many favorites in theaters across the state. Let’s take a tour of the great state of Texas and find out what’s on stage this summer and fall!
First stop – San Antonio, Texas, a place where modern attractions are combined with celebrated monuments of Texas history. Here you will enjoy the grandeur of the ornate Majestic Theatre, one of the few remaining vintage vaudeville movie palaces. It’s been said that the twinkling lights and moving clouds adorning the ceiling are alone worth the price of the ticket. If you are a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants traveler, head to San Antonio this week (June 18-23) and catch a showing of "Flashdance" or if you need a little more notice, plan your trip for the fall and enjoy "The Book of Mormon", September 17-29.
Next we head to Houston, Texas, where you will experience a rich cultural fusion of world-class arts and award-winning cuisine. Located in the heart of downtown Houston, The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts is the premiere entertainment complex in the Houston District. This first-class setting features distinguished theaters, an impressive grand lobby, a contemporary American cuisine restaurant and convenient parking for their acclaimed theatrical performances and special events. Watch the untold story of the witches of Oz unfold in the musical “Wicked”, on stage July 10-August 11 at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
In Dallas, you will experience the largest contiguous urban arts district in the nation as well as top museums, performance halls and award-winning architectural designs, arts and culture. Nestled among this architecture is The Music Hall at Fair Park, a nationally recognized venue for Broadway musical touring companies, grand opera, ballet and other dance productions, concerts, national pageants and a myriad of other large and small-scale public and private functions. You won’t want to miss the upcoming performances of "The Lion King", a phenomenal musical taking the stage October 2-20 at The Music Hall at Fair Park.
Finally, we arrive in Austin, Texas, the music capital of the world and one of the most unique places you will ever experience. The city is also home to the Texas Performing Arts Center at The University of Texas at Austin, one of the most important contributors of cultural life in Central Texas. Make plans to visit Austin this fall and catch "The Book of Mormon", showing October 1-13 in The Texas Performing Arts Center at The University of Texas at Austin.
Majestic Theatre: sanantonio.broadway.com
Hobby Center: bcm.edu
Music Hall at Fair Park: liveatthemusichall.com
Bass Concert Hall Austin: texasperformingarts.org
Most everyone has childhood memories of building sandcastles either at the beach or in a sandbox. But for the team members of the American Institute of Architects Sandcastle Competition, those childhood playtimes were primordial preparation for the big league.
For over two decades teams of architects, designers, and engineers have “suited up” in Galveston with shovels and sculpting tools in hand to construct some of the world’s most elaborate sandcastles. The competition really heats up as teams compete for the prestige of taking home the coveted 1st place Golden Bucket Award. Second and third place winners receive Silver and Bronze Shovel Awards, respectively. Numerous other honorable mentions are named, including Most Complex, Most Hilarious, Most Realistic, Best Architecture, and Best Traditional. Recognition is also given for teams with the best t-shirt designs, costumes, and best signage, allowing numerous avenues for teams to exhibit their creativity.
The creative sandcrafting you see is no impromptu affair, as most teams spend months preparing ideas, collecting tools, and assigning tasks for the day of the competition. Aside from awards and a day of creative fun in the sun, the sandcastle competition is also a fundraising event for AIA Houston and ArCH Foundations, with proceeds going to support various public education programs sponsored by the Houston chapters. The event is also one of the top five revenue-generating events for the City of Galveston.
If this sandtastic competition is one you haven’t experienced yet, it’s time you pack up your beach gear and head down to Galveston beach Saturday, June 1, for a first class seat at this one-of-a-kind event, notably listed in Patricia Shultz’ book “1000 Things You Should See Before You Die”. The assembling begins at 9 a.m. and continues for five hours, with awards presented late afternoon.
For more information or to get involved in the sandy competition, visit the AIA website here.
After 40 consecutive years of successful festivals, including a 2012 turnout of 50,000 attendees, you know the creators of the Pasadena Strawberry Festival are doing something right! But really, where else can you find some of country music’s biggest stars, an epic mud volleyball tournament, an authentic Texan BBQ cook off, and the world’s largest strawberry shortcake all in one place? Only in Pasadena, Texas!
It all began 40 years ago when Pasadena earned itself the proud title of “Strawberry Capitol of the South”. To celebrate San Jacinto Day – the 1836 battle against Mexico which secured Texas’ independence – the city of Pasadena decided to host its first annual Pasadena Strawberry Festival. Today, the festival has grown to fill the 106-acre Pasadena Convention Center and fairgrounds, with over 500 volunteers and 50,000 attendees!
If you haven’t attended before, this year’s 40th annual celebration is the year to join in the fun! The excitement kicks off on Friday, May 11th at 10 a.m. with the Pasadena Strawberry Festival Parade, and fun for the whole family. The following weekend brings in the country music, featuring performances by Brian Evans, Casey Donahew Band, Keith McCoy, Pat Green Band, and numerous others. For those of you with little ones, the Buzzberry Kids Adventure Zone provides endless entertainment with arts and crafts, a strawberry-eating contest, pony rides, a petting zoo, inflatable games, a live puppet show, and much more! For those of a competitive nature who don’t mind getting down-and-dirty, the annual mud volleyball tournament is a competition of seriously messy proportions. After you’ve exhausted your energy diving into the mud, dive into world-record holding deliciousness with a plate of Pasadena’s Strawberry Shortcake –the 2005 Guinness book of World-Record largest cake at 1905 square feet!
The best part of the Pasadena Strawberry Festival is the cause behind it all: proceeds from the Pasadena Strawberry Festival benefit The San Jacinto Day Foundation. This foundation funds various projects including scholarships for area high school and college students, books for college libraries, preservation and promotion of Texas History, and fundraising efforts for local civic, youth and non-profit groups.
Bring out the family and join in the Texas-sized fun that keeps on giving at this year’s 40th annual Pasadena Strawberry Festival!
Because Texas was once a part of Mexico, many traditions and festivities of Mexican heritage are very much alive in Texas, the most well-known of which is the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. “Cinco de Mayo,” as you may know, is Spanish for “the fifth of May,” and commemorates the anniversary of the 1862 battle between Mexico and France in the Mexican state of Puebla. While the largest celebration occurs in Puebla each year, Cinco de Mayo is richly celebrated throughout Mexico as well as many cities in the U.S., especially cities throughout Texas. Here is a list of some of the primary hot-spots for Cinco de Mayo festivities throughout Texas:
1. San Antonio is the largest Texas city closest to Mexico, and therefore maintains the strongest ties to Mexican heritage. Thus, San Antonio annually hosts quite a celebration for Cinco de Mayo at its historic Market Square. Festivities include Mariachis, Tejano and Conjunto music groups, Folklorico dancers, arts and crafts, concerts, and of course a cornucopia of authentic Mexican food. The Cinco de Mayo events at Market Square usually draw between 30,000 and 50,000 visitors annually.
2.In North Texas, Denton’s Cinco de Mayo celebration is “centered on the spirit of celebration and friendship” and showcases a parade, rich cultural traditions, songs, dances, art exhibits, and Mexican food, as well as a 5k run for all ages. What started several years ago as a very small celebration has grown to include two entertainment stages and use of the whole Quakertown Park and Civic Center. The celebration in Denton draws over 6,000 visitors annually.
3. Austin’s celebrations give an extra incentive to attend: proceeds are donated to the Fiestas Patrias of Austin scholarship fund, as well as various community programs. At Fiestas Patrias 8th annual two-day Cinco de Mayo celebration, Mexican traditions fill the air with a variety of Tejeno and conjunto bands that bring the heart and soul of Mexico to life. Highlighting the event this year will be performances by: Gary Hobbs, Baraja de Oro, Joel Guzman y Sara Fox, Los Fantasmas del Valle, Yayo Castillo y grupo Rumores, and many more. Chuy’s will also be celebrating their 30th annual Hot to Trot 5k and Kids 5k on May 5, with proceeds benefitting the Special Olympics.
4. San Marcos joins in the fun with a three-day event featuring their "Viva"! Cinco de Mayo parade which takes place at 10 a.m. on May 5 in downtown San Marcos. The festivities also include: a state-wide cook-off, a Miss and Little Miss Cinco de Mayo pageant, Folkloric dancers, and live music all at the Hays County Civic Center.
Wherever you’re from and whatever your background, take time to join in the celebrations and excitement of Cinco de Mayo has to offer, bringing Mexico’s history and traditions to life. Arriba!
It’s that time again where we offer you the chance to win your free tickets to great Texas adventures! Right now we are offering 9 pairs of tickets to the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum in San Antonio, TX!
Conveniently located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, just two blocks from The Alamo and a block from the Riverwalk, a visit to Buckhorn Saloon and Museum provides you with the perfect starting point for a day of exploration of the city.
The museum’s lure is in part due to its intriguing origins. In 1881, Seventeen-year-old Albert Friedrich, a bartender and bellhop at the Southern Hotel on Main Plaza in downtown San Antonio decided to roll up his entrepreneurial sleeves and start a saloon across the street.
After learning that many patrons passing through couldn’t afford to purchase a drink by conventional means at The Buckhorn Saloon, Albert decided to start trading horns and antlers in exchange for his beverages. His collection grew to become one of the world’s largest and most unique collections of horns and antlers.
Today the museum – one of the oldest in the state – features wildlife from all across the globe, including fish from the seven seas and animals from every continent. The halls of the museum comprise over 520 species of wildlife – many of which are record holders, including a 1,056 pound black marlin and a 10,000 year old pre-historic Irish elk. Visitors of all ages continue to visit year after year and marvel at one of the most elaborate collection of animals in the world!
Enter now to experience The Buckhorn Saloon and Museum – for free!
Here’s how to enter:
1. Leave a comment here on the blog and answer this question: What is your favorite thing to do in the summer in Texas?
2. Send an e-mail to tickets@TourTexas.com with your name and mailing address. We will need this to mail your tickets to you if you win.
The first 9 people to complete both steps will receive two free tickets to Buckhorn Saloon and Museum!
Don’t forget to complete both steps! Good luck!!
In light of San Jacinto Day rapidly approaching (April 21), I set out to investigate the origins of Texans’ pride. When it comes to state pride, there’s really no questioning that Texans are unparalleled in their love for their state. I feel as though I’ve seen it all – from oversized Texas tattoos to a full set of longhorns on the front of a truck driving down the interstate. When they say “everything’s bigger in Texas,” Texas pride is included.
Where does this pride come from? I did a little digging, and here are my top five reasons that justify Texas pride:
1. History. This has to encompass the most substantial aspect of Texans’ pride. Though most are familiar with the phrase “remember the Alamo,” many are unaware of what the battle fought there really consisted of. Though it ended in a defeat for the Texans, the mere fact that the Texans persisted and that the battle raged on for nearly two weeks without surrender, fighting with only 100 troops combating Mexico’s 1,500 is a feat worthy of recognition. Colonel William Barret Travis’ words amidst the battle illustrate the men’s courage: “To the People of Texas and all Americans in the world,” “I shall never surrender or retreat,” and “Victory or Death.”
If there is one thing that could ignite a surge of bravery to suit-up for battle throughout the rest of Texas, it was seeing the unwavering valiance of the men who fought at the Alamo. Thus, The Battle of San Jacinto took place less than a month after The Battle of The Alamo in what is now the bay area of Houston, with much different results. In a battle lasting only 18 minutes, hundreds of Mexican soldiers were killed, injured, or captured, compared to a mere 35 Texans. General Santa Anna was captured, and negotiations were made for Texas to become independent from Mexico. What other state can boast of such gallant history?
2. All the landscapes you need in one place. When it comes to diversity of land, Texas seems to be a country unto itself yet again. This is in part due to the fact that, quite frankly, Texas is huge. Okay, our disjointed neighbors of the north (Alaska) may be the one state that has bragging rights on size bigger than Texas, but how often do you hear of people flocking to the tundra? Not when they find out that Texas has it all – from deserts and plains, farmlands and forests, to the rich urban culture of city life, there’s not much you can want landscape-wise that you can’t find in Texas... unless, of course, it’s tundra.
3. Southern hospitality and chivalry. There’s just something about the “yes sirs” and “yes ma’ams” down here that I just can’t get enough of. I’ve visited a great number of states, but few can hold a torch to Texas when it comes to the sweetness of the south. It’s no wonder that Frisco, TX made Forbes’ list of America’s Friendliest Towns, or that San Antonio was listed as #1 on NBC Today’s list of Friendliest Cities in America. It’s more than just a happenstance disposition; it’s a way of life that has been engrained in Texans for years. And with universities like Texas A&M bringing up men of honor in the corps, it’s not hard to see why southern gentlemen are still alive and well in Texas.
4. Texas continues to produce greatness. Starting from the top, three out of the last nine U.S. Presidents have been from Texas. Texas can also boast of having its very own cuisine: Tex-Mex, a sensation your tastebuds can never seem to get enough of. Speaking of tastebuds, Blue Bell ice cream, boasting with dozens of mouthwatering flavors, also originated in Texas. Texas has also produced a number of the world’s top musical talent including Willie Nelson, Beyonce Knowles, George Strait, Buddy Holly, Jessica Simpson, Miranda Lambert, Pat Green, and numerous others. But are any of these really as substantial as being able to boast of Chuck Norris, Texas Ranger? From the political scene to the music scene and more, Texas has been generating impressive talent since its inception.
5. The economy. In terms of gross domestic product, if Texas were its own country, it would rank 14th in the world – just below Australia and above Mexico, with a total GDP of $1.3 trillion (according to 2011 stats). I’d say that’s something to boast about. Along with that, Texas has maintained a significantly lower unemployment rate than the national average, escaped the foreclosure bust that crippled other states, and tapped into even greater oil money than before through a process called “fracking”. If ever there came a day when Texans felt the need to secede, combine the state’s self-sufficient economy with their love for guns and all I can say is, “don’t mess with Texas.”
Along with the promise of spring just around the corner, March brings with it another “green” celebration filled with merriment and tomfoolery, shamrocks and pots of gold. That’s right, St. Patrick ’s Day is nearly here, and we’ve got plenty of ways you can celebrate down here in Texas. Whether you’ve got the luck of the Irish flowing through your veins or not, it’s time you throw on your green getup, grab a pint of ale, and celebrate like you do.
1. St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Shamrock, TX. Clearly Texas has it all: what Valentine, TX is to Valentine’s Day, you can be assured Shamrock is held to the same expectations when March rolls around. Luckily, the town does not disappoint. Located just an hour east of Amarillo, The Shamrock celebration kicks off with a carnival and Irish banquet on Friday, March 15th. The carnival runs throughout the weekend, but it is joined by arts and crafts, a parade on Saturday, and plenty of Irish jigs! But the most unique aspect of Shamrock’s St. Patrick’s Day tradition is the annual “Donegal contest,” where men of all ages compete starting in January to grow the most Irish-looking facial hair that would make any leprechaun proud. If you have an opportunity to make it out to Shamrock, TX, we guarantee you the excitement will not disappoint.
2. St. Patrick’s Day festival in Austin, TX. Who doesn’t love an excuse to head to Texas’ most eccentric city for a weekend of fun? At the St. Patrick’s Day festival held at the Shoal Creek Event Center, your craving for Irish entertainment will be filled to the brim with river dancing, children’s story telling in Irish, and a full supply of Irish beers on tap from Guinness to Smithwick’s. But what would Austin be without a solid dose of live music? The Celtic Cultural Center of Texas has organized for an authentic Irish performance by Goitse, an extremely talented band of five from Limerick, Ireland.
3. St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dallas, TX. What better place for a parade on St. Patrick’s Day than down Greenville, Ave.? Since its humble community beginnings in 1979 with a few cars and a few cold ones, this Dallas celebration has grown to see nearly 100,000 spectators annually. With over 100 floats to see, this parade is among the top green parades to be seen, giving other top metropolitan cities a serious run for their pot o’ gold.
4. St. Patrick’s Day festival in Dublin, TX. Okay, so just when we thought Shamrock, TX had to be the quintessential location for all-things-Irish in Texas, we discovered Dublin. With a parade, gun show, carnival, stew cook-off, and “shake-your-shamrock” dance, Dublin offers an array of festivities sure to satisfy your St. Paddy’s Day cravings. And, if your green leprechaun getup is fitting just a little tighter than you’d like this year, Dublin has a great alternative to the Irish pubs: the Shamrock Shuffle 5k, held March 16 in downtown Dublin.
5. Houston St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. For those Houstonians out there, fear not, the luck of the Irish is still alive and thriving in the heart of Houston. Not only does Houston provide a shamrockin’ good time at their 1960 St. Patrick’s Day parade, the proceeds of the parade go to benefit EMS Education scholarship programs. Your fun goes to support to a good cause! Now that’s something the Irish would be proud of. For the adults out there looking to celebrate, Lucky’s Pub will be hosting their fifth annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration including live music, leprechauns, bag pipers, and plenty of green beer to go around.
Have you ever wanted to explore a new city but didn’t know where to start? Well (aside from visiting Tourtexas.com to obtain all the best travel suggestions) if you are visiting Houston, they have a new and innovative way of exploring all the sites and history of downtown without taking a step! How is this possible, you ask? One word: Segways!
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: Aren’t Segways for mall cops? Oh contraire, my friend! These two-wheeled, self-balancing phenomena are now available to you as well at Segway Tours of Houston, and are a segue to a really cool experience.
The tour we went on was called the “Buffalo Bayou Tour,” and started in downtown Houston at the Wortham Center. Tip #1: Be sure you know where your tour starts! When I looked up the address for the tours, I followed the address given for where the Segways are housed, not where our tour would start. It took a few minutes to reroute to the actual launch location.
Tip #2: Trust your Segway, and your tourguide. I know it sounds simple, but despite my warnings about the initial “Segway shake” if I didn’t trust the Segway to balance upon stepping on, I soon became “that girl” with the shaking Segway. But “come on!” I say, all logic, reason, and schooling tells me that two-wheeled objects should not be able to stand up on their own! This is what makes Segways one of the most interesting developments of the 21st century. Built with sophisticated tilt sensors, the Segway works similarly to the way your inner ear does in regards to balance. When you start leaning forward too far and could potentially lose control, the Segway pushes back to slow you down. It is modern technology at its finest.
The Buffalo Bayou Tour was a perfect taste of all that downtown Houston has to offer. With the tour guide’s knowledge and leading, you will uncover historical sites, landmarks, statues, trails, popular venues, and a rich amount of history about the city. Tip #3: Ask questions. Your tour guide holds a wealth of knowledge right at your fingertips, if you’ll only ask. If you are curious about one of the landmarks or statues, ask more about it! If you want to know the best Italian restaurants in town, inquire! The best way to tailor the tour to you is to engage with your tour guide.
While Segways can be a little intimidating at first, the only real danger occurs when your history nostalgia blinds you from seeing that the Segway in front of you has come to a halt. Oh yeah, that happened to me a few times, too. Tip #4: Avoid Segway collisions as well as pedestrians. As rich and awesome as the history tour is, it’s important (just as in driving) to pay attention.
With these tips in mind, and a love for undertaking new adventures, you will be set for the best possible Segway tour experience. Whether you are new to the city or have lived in Houston for years, the Segway Tours of Houston have something for everyone.
I just love spending time in Houston, a great city with its own vibrant energy. There are a ton of things to do and see here and it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our largest city. But, if ya'll are like me, sometimes you just need a break from the urban pace for a while. Well, if you’re in Houston you’re in luck, because there's a restful respite a quick hour's drive west of the city at Texas Ranch Life.
This is where you’ll find the peaceful, quiet setting of Lonesome Pine Ranch, a working ranch that is home to quarter horses, bison, Texas Longhorns, and all sorts of wildlife.You can come up just for the day and do some riding yourself, or you can just chill out, have a beer and watch the resident cowboys do all the work!
If you need a little more time to recharge your batteries, you can do what I did and spend a couple of days here. The Ranch has 8 homes dating back to the 1850’s that you can stay in, all fully restored with modern amenities. I stayed at The Creekside House, and it was great. I especially loved hanging out on the porch in the mornings, drinking my coffee and basking in the beautiful scenery. One morning I had the privilege of seeing a herd of buffalo across the road. Ah yes…now this is Texas!
While you can come to Lonesome Pine just to relax, this cowboy-wannabe wanted to get out and experience some ranch living. With 1800 acres of open-range riding through miles of rolling hills and incredible vistas it was just too amazing an experience to pass up, so Tommy, my beautiful (and patient!) mount and I spent many hours exploring. But as my sore legs and butt will testify, you can easily overdo it when the experience is as spectacular as it is here! And if you do, there are plenty of other things to keep you occupied. There are wonderful hiking trails, fishing, skeet shooting, you can try your hand at tossing a tomahawk (a lot harder than it looks in the movies!), watch the resident cowboys roping, working cattle, cutting and team penning. Or, you can do nothing at all.
So, the next time you’re in Houston and you need a break from it all, remember the Lonesome Pine Ranch. It may only be a short drive from the big city, but you’ll feel like you're worlds away!
For more information, visit the Texas Ranch Life website.
My wife was born in the heartlands, but she has always had such a strong connection to the ocean that people just assume that she grew up on the coast. For me, that affinity is horses. I don’t know why... I have a friend who says it's because I must have been a cowboy in a past life. If that's so, I definitely didn't bring any of my cowboy skills with me into this life! Yes, I can ride, but I'm definitely not a "cowboy" rider, if you will. No problem, because here in Texas, there are plenty of opportunities for me to do the next best thing: watch people who are!
Enter to win a weekend stay for two at La Posada Hotel & Suites in Laredo, Texas.
Deep in the heart of South Texas, Laredo is as close as you can get to Mexico without leaving the country. It's no surprise then, that this city is known for its South of the Border atmosphere.
Though Laredo is steeped in fascinating history (it was once its own country!), it is probably best-known for the legendary shopping along San Bernardo Avenue, a 40-block shopper’s paradise featuring the finest in Mexican imports such as clay chimineas, talavera pottery, jewelry, religious artwork, hand-made furniture and wrought iron creations, at prices you just don't find anywhere else in the U.S.
When you need a break from shopping, relax on a trolley tour around Laredo's historic downtown, take in regional contemporary art at the Laredo Center for the Arts or explore the area's diverse wildlife at the Lamar-Bruni Vergara Science Center. Then, enjoy a meal at one of Laredo's many fantastic - and, of course, authentic -Tex-Mex dining options.
Hurry! Contest ends on July 31st. Enter now!
As the 16th largest city in the United States and part of the No. 1 tourist destination in Texas, Fort Worth has come out from under the shadow of its "big sister" city, Dallas. Fort Worth is an eclectic blend of cowboy-meets-culture: whether you prefer to spend your time in a museum or watching the world's only twice-daily cattle drive, this city offers plenty of things to do. And, if you need to give your wallet a little rest, here are 10 fantastic things to do in this city, completely free:
Oh, and one more thing in Fort Worth that's free:
"Molly the Trolley" is a vintage-style vehicle that offers a quick and convenient way to travel throughout the downtown area for free, from the Fort Worth Convention Center to Sundance Square. Molly stops near every downtown hotel property, landmark, dining, shopping and entertainment venue. Be sure to hop aboard for a free ride while exploring Fort Worth's free treasures. >> more info
I've got nothing against a good art museum or a sobering historical exhibit. In fact, I think a great museum is one of the high points of a trip to a new place. But, as Americans, I think most of us also love to explore the weird, the silly, the strange and the morbid. With that in mind, I present to you ten of Texas' weirdest, coolest and most unique museums.
Here comes another great giveaway for 6 lucky winners:
I have 6 pairs of tickets to give away:
Drawing for the tickets will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19th at 12 noon.
* If you win, you will be notified by email on Sunday, Feb. 19th, with a request to provide your mailing address so we can send you the tickets. YOU MUST PROVIDE A MAILING ADDRESS by Monday, Feb. 20 or you will forfeit your tickets and a replacement winner will be drawn. Please check your email to see if you have won.
* Your comment MUST include your preferred city.
* One entry per person. Additional entries will be deleted.