In 2016, we launched a road trip series of articles that focused on a different theme each time. From fall foliage to ghost towns to natural wonders, we’ve put together some pretty unforgettable trips. It’s never too early to start planning your 2017 family vacations, and this is the perfect list to pull from because no matter what kind of trip you’re looking for, there’s at least one that fits everyone’s fancy. Here are all 16 of our road trip articles from this past year. Enjoy!
Fall Foliage Road Trip
Some people say that Texas doesn't experience fall, but I beg to differ. Even though the temperature doesn't change much until about January, the foliage in Central, West, and East Texas signal the season change in the most beautiful way possible. From the eye-popping colors at Lost Maples in Vanderpool to the more subtle yet still breathtaking trees that create a canopy over the Medina River, this trip showcases the very best of fall in Texas. The entire drive is around 11 hours and 700 miles, so you'll definitely want to camp in a few of the parks to ensure ample time for exploring.
Abandoned Places Road Trip
Given Texas' large size, it makes sense that there are plenty of forgotten places scattered around the state. Once thriving schools and businesses that now sit empty and somber fascinate us with the possibility of what could be lurking inside. This trip takes you to the infamous Baker Hotel, the historic Fort Wolters Training Site, and several more of the creepiest abandoned places in Texas.
Natural Wonders Road Trip
Next time you have a long weekend, this is the perfect way to spend it. On this trip, you'll be awestruck by the towering Big Bend mountains, mesmerized by the peaceful rushing waters of Gorman Falls, and everything in between. Several of the stops are near each other, so you'll be able to condense the trip into a few days by spending the night in a few places - you won't break the bank either, because free or very low-cost campgrounds are available at nearly every destination.
One Tank Of Gas Road Trip
If one of your New Year's Resolutions is to save money, this is the vacation for you because it only requires one tank of gas! The average car gets about 300 miles per tank, and this trip is only 103 - so you could technically do it almost three times and still not run out of fuel.
West Texas Road Trip
West Texas has some of our state's most untouched beauty. From historic hotels to the majestic Chisos Mountains, this is the trip of a lifetime. The best part? It can be done in a weekend! No need to use those precious vacation days this time, and you'll still get to have unforgettable experiences.
Barbecue Road Trip
Exploring new places and eating are two of life's greatest joys - especially if you're from Texas. Everyone knows we do barbecue better than any other state, and this trip takes you to some of the most iconic restaurants. I hope you're ready for a full belly!
Haunted Road Trip
Texas has such a rich history, so it's to be expected that a higher level of paranormal activity takes place here. Riverside ghosts out for blood, battlegrounds from some of the most brutal skirmishes in Texas history...we have it all, and this trip lets you experience the most sinister, bump-in-the-night places in our state. Are you brave enough?
Hill Country Road Trip
This was our first road trip article ever and still remains our favorite. Nothing compares to the beauty of the Texas Hill Country. So many nature activities are condensed into a relatively small area, and this road trip takes you to some of the most enthralling of them all. The drive is only four hours, so you can hit all the stops in one day and have plenty of time take in the beautiful sights.
Haunted Cemetery Road Trip
This is another haunted road trip, but we're specifically focusing on cemeteries. Considering how notoriously haunted our state is, it's no surprise that these cemeteries have spooky legends associated with them. You won't find cemeteries more eerie and horrifying than these 9 in Texas.
Small Town Road Trip
Texas is home to a plethora of charming small towns, and 2017 is your year to hit the road and visit as many as possible. This trip takes you to 10 most quaint towns in the state with historic town squares, local restaurants, and friendly locals. The trip takes 13 hours, so you'll want to spend the night in a few places along the way - but that just gives you more time to explore and a chance to experience the delight that is a small-town hotel.
Taco Road Trip
Tacos are one of the signature foods here in Texas. There are more taco joints across the state than you could possibly try in a lifetime, and sometimes it's hard to tell apart the imposters from the authentic restaurants. Luckily, we've done our research and put together an epic taco-eating road trip to 12 of the best spots in Texas. Enjoy!
Ghost Town Road Trip
Given its vast size, it makes sense that Texas is full of forgotten towns that have long since passed their heyday. From well-known tourist attractions like Terlingua to truly abandoned towns like Barstow, this trip takes you to the most empty, eerie former communities of the Old West.
Lighthouse Road Trip
Texas has an incredibly long coastline with plenty of gorgeous lighthouses. This drive takes you to five of the most beautiful and historic lighthouses in the state. The trip takes about 11 hours, so while you could technically see them all in one day, I recommend spending the night somewhere in the middle so you can take your time reveling in the sights.
Christmas Lights Road Trip
I know we just had Christmas, but it's never too early to start making plans for next year! Our state is full of dazzling light displays, and this road trip takes you to some of the very best. From a nighttime stroll down the River Walk to driving through the most illuminated neighborhoods in the state, this is the perfect winter vacation for the whole family. The trip is a little less than 700 miles, and you'll want to spend the night in each separate city to guarantee you'll be there at night when the lights are on.
Haunted Road Trip
Instead of cemeteries or ghost towns, this road trip includes some of the most haunted attractions in Texas from hotels to opera houses. Every place has its own unique ghost story that will chill you to the bone. You might need to bring along some holy water and a bible for protection, but this trip is a can't-miss...if you dare, that is.
Christmas Towns Road Trips
This is another trip that won't be applicable until almost a year from now, but it's still worth mentioning because it's just that amazing. Many towns in our state do Christmas in the biggest way possible, and this trip takes you on an unforgettable journey of lights, festivities, and holiday magic.
So, who’s ready to hop in the car? Which one of these trips sounds the most fun to you? I hope your family’s 2017 is full of some unforgettable memories, and that this list can help with some of them.