Texas December 09, 2016
10 Unforgettable Trips In Texas To Add To Your 2017 Bucket List
It’s the end of the year, also known as the time when we reflect on all the missed opportunities to travel and make memories, vowing to make things different next time around. These promises are usually empty as we find ourselves too busy to ever sit down and plan a vacation.
Why not make 2017 THE year that you finally step outside of your comfort zone and get away from it all for a while? If searching for the perfect destination is too time-consuming or overwhelming, you’re in luck. We’ve come up with a list of several unique spots to travel to next year, from mountain cabins to a mineral water bath house and everything in between. So take a chance, get out of your vacation rut, and add one (or more) of these places to your 2017 bucket list.
1. Crazy Bath House (Mineral Wells)
Although the infamously haunted Baker Hotel is now closed to the public, you can still swim in the the mineral water that became the town's namesake. The Crazy Bathhouse, operated by the makers of Crazy Water, will leave you feeling cleansed and rejuvenated like many famous people did in the 1900s. The bath house doubles as a hotel, and the antiquated furnishings will make you think you're back in the heyday of the former health resort town.
2. Fossil Discovery Exhibit (Big Bend)
Next month, Big Bend is unveiling a new Fossil Discovery Exhibit on a previous excavation site. You'll see life-sized fossil replicas of various animals that existed in the area from when it was an ocean to the mountainous desert it is now. There are even hands-on exhibits for the kids to enjoy! It'll be a whole new way to appreciate the history of one of our state's most breathtaking natural wonders.
3. Hotel Fredonia (Nacogdoches)
The famous Hotel Fredonia in Texas' oldest town is reopening in the Spring - and it'll be better than ever.
4. Cattail Marsh (Beaumont)
My hometown might not have too terribly much to offer, but there are a few little gems and Cattail Marsh is definitely one of them. A 520-foot long boardwalk and viewing platform was recently added, so now you can get even closer to the alligators and over 250 species of bird that hang out in the park's 900 acres.
5. Cadillac Ranch (Amarillo)
Cadillac Ranch is one of the most iconic roadside oddities in the state. It's along the famous Route 66, so making it a road trip will afford you the opportunity of seeing retro gas stations, quirky motels, and tons of other old-fashioned sights. Alternatively, you could make a trip out of visiting various bizarre roadside attractions across Texas (there are plenty.)
6. Northeast Texas Trails (East Texas)
If you like small towns, this trail is the trip of a lifetime for you. It's 130 miles long and passes through 19 of our tiniest, quaintest towns. There are multiple entrance points all throughout East Texas, so you can start and end wherever you'd like. No matter what, you'll be awestruck by the beautiful landscapes along the untouched country roads.
7. Gorman Falls (Colorado Bend State Park)
This stunning, 60+ foot tall waterfall is one of Texas' most amazing hidden gems. It isn't even difficult to access - all it takes is a short, ~1.5 mile hike before this Tarzan-esque scene unfolds before your eyes. I'm not sure why it isn't very widely known, but it definitely deserves a spot on your 2017 vacation bucket list.
8. Fortress Cabin (Palo Duro Canyon)
If you want to experience what being on top of the world feels like, this is the trip for you. The Fortress cabin by Dove's Rest Cabins is situated on one of the Palo Duro Canyon's highest points, looking out over the rifts and valleys of the breathtaking red rocks. It's rustic yet luxurious, providing all the amenities you could possibly need while still creating a homey environment. It really is hard to believe this place is in Texas - and it could be yours for a few nights.
9. Ant Street Inn (Brenham)
Bed and breakfasts are easily one of the most romantic places to vacation, and Texas is full of them. Ant Street Inn will take you back in time with its antiquated yet elegant furniture. It's located in the heart of downtown Brenham, just minutes away from the Blue Bell factory and a plethora of wineries. If you need a quick weekend getaway that's sure to leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle anything that comes your way, I'd definitely consider Ant Street Inn.
10. Garner State Park (Concan)
I feel like Garner State Park gets overshadowed by places like Big Bend and Palo Duro Canyon quite a bit. Just because there are no towering mountains doesn't mean it isn't a breathtaking sight. The crystal-clear Frio River winds through these lush trees (whose leaves are gorgeous in the fall) and serves as an oasis in the scorching Texas summer heat. Every night, there's a huge jukebox dance party underneath the park's pavilion - if that isn't reason enough to go, I don't know what is. Concan itself offers plenty of other activities if you get bored of the river, but let's be honest ...that isn't going to happen.
Did any of these trip ideas catch your eye? Have you been to any of them already?
If this article put you in vacation mode already, check out these
12 Awesome Road Trips In Texas That Are An Absolute Must-Take.