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We’ve all been — you wake up early and head to work, sit in traffic on the 610 for two hours either way — so we know that Houston can be a very stressful place. Here are some quick weekend getaways that are close to Houston and perfectly relaxing.
Laissez les bons temps rouler! In New Orleans the good times are always going, whether you stop on Bourbon Street and enjoy the traditional eats in the French Quarter or discover the city’s beauty and royalty during their annual Mardi Gras celebration. Once you see all of the scenery in the elegant Garden District, experience the city’s supernatural side at the Voodoo Museum or by taking a guided ghost or vampire tour through taverns, alleyways, and cemeteries.
Galveston is a sentimental favorite for weekend getaways for Houstonians. There is always plenty of beach for everyone, and Moody Gardens is open year round, with its award winning and excellent BBQ and seafood restaurants. The Pleasure Pier has plenty of attractions to keep even the most hyper kids busy all day long.
College Station is one of our favorites. Most people make the trek to College Station, land of the Aggies, for football games and other related events, but that’s not the attraction for us — instead, we like the small town atmosphere and all of the open land.
Beaumont is a prime spot for history and art buffs. The Texas oil boom started here, meaning wealth flourished to accompany in the building of fancy houses and worthy museums. Like the rest of the Gulf Coast, Beaumont got flattened by Hurricane Ike, but has since recovered nicely, and the city is close enough to Louisiana to guarantee great zydeco music and excellent Cajun food.
The city of San Antonio makes this list for two reasons: the river walk and the food. The river walk is great for strolling or even canoodling with your significant other under the romantic lights and dining on traditional Tex-Mex food. There’s also a little building called the Alamo that folks say is always worthy of a visit.
Austin is well known as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ and is home to festivals like South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits. Austin has plenty of nightlife as well, and the natural beauty of the outdoors will make you want to stay forever. Don’t be surprised if you end up having coffee next to your favorite musician or politician.
The deep blue water and long, and open beaches of Corpus Christi are as beautiful as waterfronts get in Texas. Sports enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Corpus Christi, from fishing to hang gliding and birdwatching to hiking. Take your pick and your sunscreen.
The performing arts are well, thriving and alive in Lake Charles, Louisiana, with famous groups like the Lake Charles Symphony based here. There are five diverse and distinctive museums, one of which houses the largest display of Mardi Gras costumes in the world. When you need a break from all that culture, there are plenty of places to choose from to try world-famous Cajun and Creole cuisine.
Even though this is another big city like Houston, make sure to make some time to visit Dallas once in a while. The big attractions for us are the museums and delicious steak houses (Texans enjoy a slab of meat or two from time to time, of course).
If you need a trip without the commitment of a long drive, visit Sugar Land, which is just outside of Houston. Sugar Land is one of the fastest-growing cities in Texas, with dynamic shopping and more. Featuring exquisite shopping and dining destinations, world-class hotels and conference centers, luxury condos, and exciting community events, this spot is the premier backdrop for vibrant living, playing, discovering, exploring, relaxation, and enjoyment.
By Errin Maye
Errin Maye, a 20-something Alabama native living in Houston, Texas, is earning her Masters of Science in publishing at the University of Houston – Victoria. You can find her proudly representing her University of Alabama alma mater during football season, reading and catching up with the latest fashion magazines, watching movies, exploring the city, and spending time with her family.