If you are looking for a vacation full of southern charm, look no further than the state of Texas. Located in the central-south of the USA, Texas is the second-biggest state in terms of size so there is plenty of open road and activities to fill your time. It is a state perfectly set up for road trips, with roads that are easy to navigate and plenty of parking spaces even in the city centres.
Our guide will help you to plan your vacation, so you have the ultimate Texas road trip.
When to go
It is generally agreed that spring is the best time to make a trip to Texas. The days are mild, and the sun is still shining, however, you do not get the sweltering heat of summer. You also do not get the tornadoes that hit the state each year between April and August, or the hurricanes that come from June to November.
To be on the safe side, aim for a Texas road trip in late March or early April. Otherwise, your road trip may very well be affected by a significant weather phenomenon and nobody wants to be rearranging plans at the last minute!
How to get there
A big USA road trip is great if you have the luxury of time, however, most people are likely to be fitting their Texas road trip into a specific block of time. Depending on where you are coming from, you may choose to drive across the border or fly into one of the numerous airports.
International guests will obviously be coming from overseas and therefore need to enter the USA to get to Texas. Whether you choose to fly directly into one of Texas’ international airports or make your way there from another of USA’s major cities, the entry requirements will be the same. It is critical that each international travel investigates the specific entry requirements that apply to them to ensure there are no issues at the border.
For residents of countries that are a part of the Visa Waiver Program, you are in luck. You do not need to obtain a visa to enter the USA. You do, however, need to obtain an ESTA. An ESTA can be obtained online and is essentially a questionnaire that will help customs officers to process your entry when you arrive at the US border. It will require you to fill out personal details and answer some questions in preparation for your trip.
Once you have submitted your usa travel esta application online, you will need to wait for approval. Your esta status can be checked via the online portal, although you will be updated once it has been processed. To make sure nothing affects your travel dates, it is best to apply for your ESTA at least two weeks before your trip. That way, if there are any issues you will have time to address these before you leave. It is super important that you have a valid ESTA before you leave as you may be prohibited from entering the country otherwise. In fact, it could even mean that you are not allowed to board your plane – a nightmare we all want to avoid!
It is worth noting that just because you have an approved ESTA does not mean you will automatically be allowed into the United States. You will need to pass through customs upon arrival like everyone else, however, the ESTA will help to speed up this process. Make sure you have your passport, ESTA and any other relevant paperwork handy when you go through customs so you can get through as quickly as possible.
If you belong to a country that does not belong to the Visa Waiver Program, different entry requirements will belong to you. Make sure to do your research so that you can adhere to whatever guidelines you need to.
What to do
Texas has so many fantastic destinations and attractions that it is difficult to narrow everything down to one list. We highly recommend doing the ‘Texas Triangle’, especially if you lack time as it is an easy way to cram the best of the state into a short trip. The ‘Texas Triangle refers to Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, as they form a triangle on the map, but also sneaks in Austin which doesn’t quite fit the shape but is well worth a visit.
We have put together a few key destinations that you will not want to miss on your Texas road trip, however, it is worth mentioning that there is plenty more to see and do. Do not be afraid to pull over if you see something of interest – the freedom of a car is one of the best things about going on a road trip!
- Visit the Riverwalk
The Riverwalk is an iconic part of San Antonio. Head here for a peaceful walk or stop for a drink or meal at one of the many bars and restaurants.
- Learn about Texan history at the Alamo
The Alamo is the site of the Battle of Alamo which played a huge role in the Texas Revolution.9
- Join the locals at a Longhorn’s football game
Texan’s are crazy about their footy and there is no better way to get in on the action than attending a local Longhorn’s game.
- Check out the State Capitol
The State Capitol is an impressive building and the surrounding gardens are worth a visit.
- Be amazed at the Space Centre
If you have always been amazed by space, this one is for you. Head to the Space Centre to learn more about Nasa and its various operations.
- Admire the animals at the zoo
Houston Zoo is a large facility that will impress the young and young at heart.
- Take in the view from Reunion Tower’s observation deck
One of the best ways to enjoy a city is from above and the Reunion Tower is the spot to do it.
- Head back in time at Fortworth Stockyards
Fortworth is an old Western town just out of Dallas. They even do cattle run straight through the centre of town!
As you can see, there is so much to do in Texas. From modern cities like Austin to Wild West adventures in Fortworth, there really is something for everyone.