What to do in southern Texas for a week

Dec 22nd, 2008, 01:18 AM
  #1  
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What to do in southern Texas for a week

The week would start after New Years eve. Some shopping of course. I'm entirely unprepared, some interesting sights maybe? Good beaches? Thanks!
logos999 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 07:29 AM
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Hi logos -- what part of southern Texas will you be visiting?
jayne1973 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 08:05 AM
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Hi jayne anywhere south of Houston, down the coast or westbound. Entirely unprepared.
logos999 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 09:31 AM
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logos - Padre Island has nice beaches but could be too cool to swim in Jan (hard to tell - we're had some really large temperature flucuations so far this winter). Still nice to walk, explore etc.

Excursions into Mexico can be fun, just have to be a little careful.

Also, the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and Matagorda State Park are winter grounds for lots of wildlife, especially birds.

Probably too far, but lots of people really like Big Bend during the winter.

There's always San Antonio, but don't know if that's what you mean by "westbound".
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Dec 22nd, 2008, 09:49 AM
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"South" Texas can be a large area. Here in the Rio Grande Valley we consider anything more than 40 or 50 miles north of us to be Central Texas. But in this area, as dfr said, South Padre Island may have water too cool to swim in, but the beach area is really nice during the winter. Check out the sea turtles there and just walk along the beach. Temperature can be cold like it is today (in the low 50's), but also very likely to be in the 80's, as is forecast for Christmas day. In McAllen there is Quinta Matzalan, an old historic house with large grounds that has been turned into a birding center. Other wildlife sites with tours in the McAllen area are in Weslaco and Bentsen State Park. Also for shopping, La Plaza Mall in McAllen and a nearby outlet mall are among the busiest and most successful in the country. Shopping in Mexico is probably more conveniently done in Progresso, Mexico (as opposed to Reynosa) Progresso is across from Weslaco and easy to go back and forth into and is safe. Be sure to bring your passport. If you're driving south from Houston, stop off in Corpus for a day or at least a few hours. It is very attractive along Shoreline Drive. Stately old homes line the ocean.

Have a good trip.
LarryRGV is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 09:53 AM
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Greetings from Corpus Christi where while it's miserable (for here) today with a wicked wind, in a couple days it will be near 80 again! So it's a great place to be in early January, weather wise (usually). Walk on the beach, visit the aquarium and USS Lexington, the Art Museum is terrific. Shopping is better in San Antonio but there are plenty of places to spend some money! I love Rockport, too, which is about 45 minutes from here--funky artsy, beachy town with good galleries and restaurants. The National Seashore is quiet and remote.

So put Corpus on your agenda!
texasbookworm is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 10:47 AM
  #7  
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Thanks everyone!

I'll make sure, I stay a day or two in Corpus Christi. Sounds like fun!
>Weslaco and Bentsen State Park
I'll check out those two.
>Progresso
I musn't cross the border in my rental car, is possible to just walk or use public transport?
logos999 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 11:11 AM
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If you are in the Houston area, try Galveston island. Kemah boardwalk may also be something to do. Although I am not sure how the weather will be this time of year
hpeabody is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2008, 11:34 AM
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Yes, very easy to park on this side of the bridge and just walk across to Progresso. Not more than a 5 minute walk to get to the shopping/bar/dining area right over the bridge. Just remember your passport. There will probably be hundreds of Winter Texans (who spend the winter down here) walking across at about the same time.

You might look at some recent discussions on the "Casual dining in Weslaco" thread.
LarryRGV is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2008, 07:25 AM
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South Padre Island (SPI) is about a two-hour drive from Corpus Christi.

From SPI, you cross the border at Brownsville to Matamoros, Mexico. You can park your car on the U.S. side and it's an easy walk across the bridge, where you'll see a huge store/restaurant called Garcia's. This is great if you aren't comfortable venturing further into town to shop. But if you are, you can find more "market" atmosphere and better haggling on prices.

The staff at the SPI tourist information building can give you lots of good information about crossing into Mexico. Go during the day and don't get drunk!



jayne1973 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2008, 07:36 AM
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Also, South Padre is by far the best beach in Texas. You should be able to find some great deals on lodging during that time, too. Here's a link to the visitors and convention bureau. http://www.sopadre.com/
jayne1973 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2008, 08:06 AM
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I highly recommend the Corpus Christi area as well. My daughter and husband live there and we rented a condo on North Padre Island one January. The beach was beautiful and almost deserted. You can drive your car right on the beach. We used to take our little dog every day for runs along the sand. And the shopping in Corpus Christi - we got bargains galore!!!! I love it there.
traveller69 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2008, 08:41 AM
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Personally, I'd head westbound and visit Austin, San Antonio. I'm not a big fan of South Texas, but many are.
Austin is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2008, 09:47 AM
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If you make it to Galveston, definitely check out Moody Gardens - it's a neat spot with a nice rain forest pyramid, aquarium, and a man made white sand beach - probably too cool in January to go in the water. My husband and I like to take kites down to the beach along the Sea Wall.
volcanogirl is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2008, 02:00 PM
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The main attraction in South Texas is the beach, and we've definitely not had beach weather.

Because of this, I'd second the opinion to head out to San Antonio and Austin. The Riverwalk is all decked out in holiday splendor, and Austin is always fun to visit.

bkluvsNola is offline  
Dec 24th, 2008, 03:50 PM
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bookmarking

Merry Christmas!
siena1 is offline  
Dec 25th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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Another vote for Moody Gardens if you go to Galveston.

moldyhotelsaregross is offline  
Dec 25th, 2008, 07:22 PM
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Are you going there on purpose or is this some sort of punishment?
;-)
jumbonav is offline  
Dec 25th, 2008, 08:05 PM
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jumbo, those are fighting words - don't mess with Texas - lol!
volcanogirl is offline  
Dec 26th, 2008, 06:05 AM
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sorry, just like to stir things up a bit. I was in Houston this fall and had a good time...
jumbonav is offline  
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