There is no place like Texas Hill Country in the spring, when Texas bluebonnets and range-red Indian paintbrush wildflowers set the hillsides ablaze with color. Fredericksburg is the heart of the region, offering old-fashioned German charm, wineries, a butterfly ranch, and the Nimitz Museum (great for WWII buffs, unexpectedly interesting to those who are not).
Lake Corpus Christi/Mathis
This is best of all worlds, you might say. There’s a good-size lake right here, and the Gulf of Mexico is a hop and a skip away. Nearby Port Aransas and Rockport are delightful, low-key fishing villages and a mecca for birders along the Texas birding trail. Boat tours take enthusiasts to look for the endangered whooping crane. The big little city of Corpus Christi offers the Texas State Aquarium and great seaside dining, serving as a gateway to Padre Island National Seashore.
As family-friendly cities go, this one’s tough to beat. Seems there’s always a street fair going on. San Antonio’s famed River Walk is especially enticing after dark, via water taxi, when thousands of twinkling lights add a festive air. By day, visit the Alamo, the Mexican marketplace, and Six Flags Fiesta Texas, a rollicking amusement park.
Houston / Lake Livingston
Framed by pine-oak woodlands, Lake Livingston is a 93,000-acre “Water Wonderland” with some of the best fishing in the state of Texas. In addition to outstanding water recreation possibilities, it is bird watcher’s paradise. Horseback or mountain bike along well-marked area trails. Hike through Big Thicket National Preserve. Add to the list, cowboy stories and living history at George Ranch Historical Park, terrific shows and thrilling roller coasters at Astro World and cuddly koalas at the Houston Zoo. It’s all in one fabulous location – Houston.