Author Topic: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?  (Read 7045 times)

spartana

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Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« on: December 09, 2015, 04:17:00 PM »
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« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 10:52:02 AM by spartana »

kamille

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 04:25:07 PM »
Hope you have fun! I would recommend checking out Galveston. I've been there a couple times (in summer) and it's a nice place to walk around!

CheapskateWife

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2015, 11:36:23 AM »
Port Aransas has an annual beach pass for $12 which allows one to park/camp on the beach for as many as 3 days in a row.  We enjoyed the touristy aspects of that town, as we parasailed and took the pirate cruise. 

Also, there is a very yummy local pizza place that is crap to sit and dine but lovely for takeout.  Port A Pizzaria was its name.   Pizza and a bonfire on the beach are kind of hard to beat.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 12:00:39 PM »
The area is very flat. If "mountain biking" requires elevation changes, that isn't going to happen.

The National Park Service operates the Padre Island National Seashore. All beaches in Texas are public, but the NPS owns the entire width of the barrier island within the National Seashore. There isn't a road through this, but you can access it at Corpus Christi. At both Corpus Christi and Brownsville you can get as much touristy beach stuff as you want.

The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge has some cool birds.

I have heard good things about kayaking in Matagorda Bay (if you are skilled) and camping on the barrier islands shielding it.

If you are a big nerd like me, you'll enjoy being in the easternmost county with more square miles than people - Kenedy County between Brownsville and Corpus Christi. That gives you an idea how barren that stretch is.

You'll be going pretty close to Houston, and if the weather's good I hear kayaking down Buffalo Bayou through the city is pretty fun. Somebody did die doing this during a rainstorm recently, but he probably should have seen that coming. If you're in Houston, reserve the free boat tour of the Houston Ship Channel. The industrial and shipping facilities are really impressive.

Texas is not Florida and winter can happen there even pretty far south. Last time I was in Corpus Christi it was February and it drizzled in the 50s the entire time. Brownsville is a lot further south, though, so you're likely to be better off doing your warm beach stuff there.

wenchsenior

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 12:14:04 PM »
The area is very flat. If "mountain biking" requires elevation changes, that isn't going to happen.

The National Park Service operates the Padre Island National Seashore. All beaches in Texas are public, but the NPS owns the entire width of the barrier island within the National Seashore. There isn't a road through this, but you can access it at Corpus Christi. At both Corpus Christi and Brownsville you can get as much touristy beach stuff as you want.

The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge has some cool birds.

I have heard good things about kayaking in Matagorda Bay (if you are skilled) and camping on the barrier islands shielding it.

If you are a big nerd like me, you'll enjoy being in the easternmost county with more square miles than people - Kenedy County between Brownsville and Corpus Christi. That gives you an idea how barren that stretch is.

You'll be going pretty close to Houston, and if the weather's good I hear kayaking down Buffalo Bayou through the city is pretty fun. Somebody did die doing this during a rainstorm recently, but he probably should have seen that coming. If you're in Houston, reserve the free boat tour of the Houston Ship Channel. The industrial and shipping facilities are really impressive.

Texas is not Florida and winter can happen there even pretty far south. Last time I was in Corpus Christi it was February and it drizzled in the 50s the entire time. Brownsville is a lot further south, though, so you're likely to be better off doing your warm beach stuff there.

The Corpus Christi waterfront is fun to walk around. Mustang Island is easily accessible from CC if you want handy/more highly trafficed beach stuff. Galveston downtown is interesting...lots of damage STILL from the historic hurricane that destroyed the downtown. South Padre is really great...depending on where you are it is pretty empty (north) to highly developed and touristy (south).

I'm all about the birds, and the southern tip of the state, both coast and inland as you follow the Rio Grande, has world class bird watching, which is mainly what we do.

Pack for variable weather...sometimes it is in the 70-80s, but I've been there in late Feb and had highs in the low 40s.

MandalayVA

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2015, 12:15:38 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion. I've heard it was a nice place but have never been there - well...never been anywhere on the Texas coast south of Port Arthur. Wondering if anyone knows about South Padre Island? Seem to have a northern part and a southern part and is one better than the other? Sister will fly out to meet me in that area after New Years (I'm driving out) and she wants to vacation for a week or 2 somewhere on a nice warm beach.

South Padre Island is a NOTORIOUS spring break destination.  If you don't want to spend your time among sunburnt drunken college students go to the northern part of the island.

wenchsenior

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2015, 12:18:32 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion. I've heard it was a nice place but have never been there - well...never been anywhere on the Texas coast south of Port Arthur. Wondering if anyone knows about South Padre Island? Seem to have a northern part and a southern part and is one better than the other? Sister will fly out to meet me in that area after New Years (I'm driving out) and she wants to vacation for a week or 2 somewhere on a nice warm beach.

South Padre Island is a NOTORIOUS spring break destination.  If you don't want to spend your time among sunburnt drunken college students go to the northern part of the island.

Yes, this is true, but you should be ok if you go in Jan/Feb. No spring break yet. Later in the year though, YIKES.

StetsTerhune

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2015, 12:24:23 PM »
South Padre Island is a NOTORIOUS spring break destination.  If you don't want to spend your time among sunburnt drunken college students go to the northern part of the island.

Yes, this is true, but you should be ok if you go in Jan/Feb. No spring break yet. Later in the year though, YIKES.
[/quote]

Yeah, but those are often the best spots. Places with ridiculous high seasons, not in high season.

Speaking of which, I'm sure you've thought of this, but hopefully your timing doesn't have you in NOLA for Mardi Gras (unless you're going specifically for Mardi Gras). I don't know anything about TX coast, but I've spent a month in NOLA this year, feel free to PM me if you're looking for suggestions there.

Spork

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2015, 12:47:12 PM »
I pictured Astro from the Jetsons.   "Rest Rexas Roast Rowns."

I'm biased.  But I'd avoid Padre Island.  It does nothing for me.  Some of the other more historical towns can be fun. Galveston is the only one I've been to down there.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2015, 01:24:55 PM »
South Padre Island is enormous. It is the world's largest barrier island. There's built up highrises in the city of South Padre Island and then there's miles and miles and miles of deserted nothingness. Galveston is pretty built up itself, but you can take the pretty-cool ferry across to the Bolivar Peninsula for a less developed experience. And again, the Matagorda Bay area is pretty rural.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 01:27:49 PM by ShoulderThingThatGoesUp »

CheapskateWife

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2015, 03:47:23 PM »
Hey Spartana, as you are travelling north from San Antonio to Austin, Fort Hood has a fantastic campsite both close to the highway if you are passing thru, and out by the lake if you are staying for a spell.  PM me if you need some details. 

Noodle

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2015, 03:59:34 PM »
I had family do that trip a couple of years ago at that same time of year and they really enjoyed themselves. The National Seashore and Galveston (also fun to look at the historic buildings; a surprising number survived the hurricane) are two of the highlights and I remember they liked Corpus Christi. The Texas Hill Country near Austin is a favorite of many people for outdoorsy activities; just keep in mind that the area was hard-hit during the Memorial Day floods so some parks etc. were damaged. The Painted Churches in that area are a destination that many people find interesting. Also the opportunity to eat your own weight in kolaches :). Texas has a pretty extensive state park system and many of the parks are very nice. In the Houston area, I hear of many people visiting Brazos Bend and Washington on the Brazos in particular (mind the alligators). And yes, it can be beautiful that time of year, but that means sunny with temps in the 60s and 70s; just as likely to be cold and wet and in the 50s.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2015, 04:19:46 PM »
Enchanted Rock is a fun hike near Fredericksburg, pretty close to Austin.

use2betrix

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2015, 06:02:19 AM »
I've spent several years in Corpus and another year within an hour of Galveston, with many trips down to south padre. Compared to Florida or California, the sand is gross and the water is often brown. May not be the popular opinion in this thread but I personally wouldn't waste the time driving to south padre or the corpus area. South Padre beaches are nicer but the area is very run down. Unless you just have tons of time to kill and are really looking for something to do, I probably wouldn't hit those up.

Since you're coming from the west, I would suggest going to Austin, then San Antonio, then over to Galveston if you wanted to see the Texas beaches. You could even do Austin, down to San Antonio, then down to corpus, then over to Galveston.

I would just very highly suggest visiting Austin and San Antonio over some of the other places if you're going to head this way. The River Walk in San Antonio is cool, and Austin in general is awesome. There's Lake Travis, 6th street, and a lot of hill country with cool hiking trails.

Psychstache

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2015, 06:45:15 AM »
I've spent several years in Corpus and another year within an hour of Galveston, with many trips down to south padre. Compared to Florida or California, the sand is gross and the water is often brown. May not be the popular opinion in this thread but I personally wouldn't waste the time driving to south padre or the corpus area. South Padre beaches are nicer but the area is very run down. Unless you just have tons of time to kill and are really looking for something to do, I probably wouldn't hit those up.

Since you're coming from the west, I would suggest going to Austin, then San Antonio, then over to Galveston if you wanted to see the Texas beaches. You could even do Austin, down to San Antonio, then down to corpus, then over to Galveston.

I would just very highly suggest visiting Austin and San Antonio over some of the other places if you're going to head this way. The River Walk in San Antonio is cool, and Austin in general is awesome. There's Lake Travis, 6th street, and a lot of hill country with cool hiking trails.

As a native and life long resident of Texas, I second this.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2015, 07:27:45 AM »
I've spent several years in Corpus and another year within an hour of Galveston, with many trips down to south padre. Compared to Florida or California, the sand is gross and the water is often brown. May not be the popular opinion in this thread but I personally wouldn't waste the time driving to south padre or the corpus area. South Padre beaches are nicer but the area is very run down. Unless you just have tons of time to kill and are really looking for something to do, I probably wouldn't hit those up.

Since you're coming from the west, I would suggest going to Austin, then San Antonio, then over to Galveston if you wanted to see the Texas beaches. You could even do Austin, down to San Antonio, then down to corpus, then over to Galveston.

I would just very highly suggest visiting Austin and San Antonio over some of the other places if you're going to head this way. The River Walk in San Antonio is cool, and Austin in general is awesome. There's Lake Travis, 6th street, and a lot of hill country with cool hiking trails.

As a native and life long resident of Texas, I second this.

Me too (I'm from Texas), I was just figuring she was going to be there anyways. If you're coming in to the state on I-10 you maybe want to see Big Bend but then going to San Antonio, Austin, and Houston and then on to New Orleans is probably the most interesting way to get across the state. I'm from Dallas but I'm not sure why somebody would make a detour to go there. Perfectly fine place to live, I'm just not aware of anything particularly special about it.

ooeei

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2015, 11:29:18 AM »
I've spent several years in Corpus and another year within an hour of Galveston, with many trips down to south padre. Compared to Florida or California, the sand is gross and the water is often brown. May not be the popular opinion in this thread but I personally wouldn't waste the time driving to south padre or the corpus area. South Padre beaches are nicer but the area is very run down. Unless you just have tons of time to kill and are really looking for something to do, I probably wouldn't hit those up.

Since you're coming from the west, I would suggest going to Austin, then San Antonio, then over to Galveston if you wanted to see the Texas beaches. You could even do Austin, down to San Antonio, then down to corpus, then over to Galveston.

That being said, if you're into fishing you can strap on some waders and go out for some Redfish.  Delicious.

I would just very highly suggest visiting Austin and San Antonio over some of the other places if you're going to head this way. The River Walk in San Antonio is cool, and Austin in general is awesome. There's Lake Travis, 6th street, and a lot of hill country with cool hiking trails.

Agree completely.  If you've never been to a beach before, Galveston is great.  If you've ever been to any other beach, it's a bummer.  Austin is great and is generally very dog friendly.

TomTX

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2015, 01:42:56 PM »
I've spent several years in Corpus and another year within an hour of Galveston, with many trips down to south padre. Compared to Florida or California, the sand is gross and the water is often brown. May not be the popular opinion in this thread but I personally wouldn't waste the time driving to south padre or the corpus area. South Padre beaches are nicer but the area is very run down. Unless you just have tons of time to kill and are really looking for something to do, I probably wouldn't hit those up.

Since you're coming from the west, I would suggest going to Austin, then San Antonio, then over to Galveston if you wanted to see the Texas beaches. You could even do Austin, down to San Antonio, then down to corpus, then over to Galveston.

I would just very highly suggest visiting Austin and San Antonio over some of the other places if you're going to head this way. The River Walk in San Antonio is cool, and Austin in general is awesome. There's Lake Travis, 6th street, and a lot of hill country with cool hiking trails.

As a native and life long resident of Texas, I second this.

If you're driving, might take a side trip to Langtry and see Judge Roy Bean's saloon - the State owns it now. Bring food, there is nothing else in town. Closest place with anything is Del Rio.

http://texaspecostrail.com/plan-your-adventure/historic-sites-and-cities/sites/judge-roy-bean-visitor-center

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2015, 01:18:53 PM »
San Antonio Missions is a great park if you're interested in historical stuff.

I did think of a reason to go to Dallas - the Sixth Floor Museum (where JFK was shot) is really excellent.

DollarBill

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2015, 01:24:28 PM »
Do you know what days you will be in Texas? I'll probably be in Austin around the 25 Jan- 5 Feb (Not set in stone). A couple of those days I was going to take my Mom to Galveston, Freeport and Corpus Christi to tour around. Heck you could probably crash at my Sisters in Dripping Springs. Close to some good trails and dogs are welcome but would need to run it by her.

use2betrix

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2015, 06:02:03 PM »
I've spent several years in Corpus and another year within an hour of Galveston, with many trips down to south padre. Compared to Florida or California, the sand is gross and the water is often brown. May not be the popular opinion in this thread but I personally wouldn't waste the time driving to south padre or the corpus area. South Padre beaches are nicer but the area is very run down. Unless you just have tons of time to kill and are really looking for something to do, I probably wouldn't hit those up.

Since you're coming from the west, I would suggest going to Austin, then San Antonio, then over to Galveston if you wanted to see the Texas beaches. You could even do Austin, down to San Antonio, then down to corpus, then over to Galveston.

That being said, if you're into fishing you can strap on some waders and go out for some Redfish.  Delicious.

I would just very highly suggest visiting Austin and San Antonio over some of the other places if you're going to head this way. The River Walk in San Antonio is cool, and Austin in general is awesome. There's Lake Travis, 6th street, and a lot of hill country with cool hiking trails.

Agree completely.  If you've never been to a beach before, Galveston is great.  If you've ever been to any other beach, it's a bummer.  Austin is great and is generally very dog friendly.
Ha Ha - My sister and I both live a couple of miles from some of the best beaches in Calif (me in Huntington Beach and her in Manhattan Beach) so Texas beaches might be a let down but other areas near by, like Austin and some of the historic towns, look interesting.

I lived in Florida before Texas. My Texas friends were telling me before I moved here, "oh wait til you see the beaches here, they're great!"

When I got to Corpus after being used to Florida beaches, you should have seen my disappointment lol.

All beaches can be fun for sure, just don't expect the Florida/California sand, water, and beauty :)

NinetyFour

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2015, 01:03:51 PM »
Hey Spartana--

This (attached) might be useful to you for when you reach AZ.

My departure from SW CO has been delayed because of many many inches of snow.  The road conditions to the west and south are terrible.  I hope to leave here on Monday, and this might be my destination.  I am hoping to score free camping near there and to do some hiking.

Happy Christmas and have a great trip!

94

Oops--instead of attaching a PDF--here is the link.  Click on Dispersed Camping Location Map.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 01:07:20 PM by NinetyFour »

Daisy

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2015, 01:45:24 PM »
Spartana is coming to Florida? How far south will you go? I'd love to meet up.

Btw,  did your dog take over your computer and type Rexas...sounds like the way a dog would pronounce Texas.

Daisy

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2015, 08:05:24 PM »
Great! Let me know your plans when you have a better idea on your time frame.  I look forward to your 2016 visit.

esq

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Re: Best Rexas Coast towns to visit in winter?
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2015, 07:47:05 AM »
Whenever you do get to Texas, if you do Galveston, I recommend going to the Beach Pocket Parks - $8/day and there are bathrooms and showers, unlike the beaches on the seawall.

Also, Rockport, about an hour from Corpus Christi, has nice beaches and a cute little town for shopping/antiquing.  Lots of vacation rentals there, too.

If you want historic - visit Goliad.  Originally a Spanish Mission - the Goliad Massacre happened there in the early 1800's, back in the days when we didn't get along very well with Mexico.  My husband's great great great grandfather served as the interpreter between Generals Santa Ana and Sam Houston a few years later.

Abundant opportunities in Ristoric Rexas!