Our friends from other parts of the country (poor things) tell us about going away for the weekend to a nearby state. Well, except for a little bit of Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico, the only place within three or four hours of Houston is still Texas. Here are our favorite weekend getaways. We took travel time, attractions and food into account as we made our choices. See if your favorite made our list.
10. Dallas (4 hours) We start with Dallas. If it isn't football season, we don't usually have much to say about Dallas. It's too much like Houston (big city, no real tourist zone, lots of traffic) to warrant frequent trips, but we do make it up there once in a while. The big attractions for us are the museums (excellent) and steak houses (even more excellent). See, just like Houston.
9. College Station (1.5 hours) Come bluebonnet time, College Station is one of our favorites. Aggies love "going home" to the motherland and plenty of people make the trek for football games and other school related events. That's not the attraction for us. We like the small town atmosphere and all that open land. Not too much to do, unless you count the George Bush Library and Museum, which is worth a visit (you can get Barbara Bush to "write" you a letter at one of the kiosk there).
8. Palacios (1 hour) The self-named Shrimp Capital of Texas, Palacios doesn't have much more than a sliver of a beach, but the fishing is great and you can find excellent shrimp served up morning, noon and night at the local restaurants. We like sitting on the patio of Outriggers, watching the shrimp boats come in at sunset, knowing the shrimp on our plate comes from the waters right outside the restaurant.
7. Beaumont (1.5 hours) Beaumont's a prime spot for history and art buffs. The Texas oil boom started there, which made for a lot of overnight millionaires. They built themselves fancy houses, many of which are open for tours, and they left all their money to their kids. That second and third generation of oil millionaires found out that giving money to museums was a great tax deduction. Those deep pockets have been filling Beaumont museums for generations now. Like the rest of the Gulf Coast, Beaumont got flattened by Hurricane Ike, but it's recovered nicely. And the city is close enough to Louisiana to guarantee great zydeco music and excellent Cajun food.