My friends looked surprised when I told them that my next holiday destination will be Texas. They were probably thinking: “why on earth would anyone want to go to Texas?”
For me the answer was simple: I didn’t know much about Texas but I’ve seen a few movies and TV programs and I was intrigued. Having collected quite a few British Airways Avios points, I decided Texas would be the best place to spend them. I love driving and I enjoy going to vast open spaces and I couldn’t have picked a better destination than Texas!
Apparently, BA agreed:
I booked my journey around the end of February when the weather was pretty miserable in the UK. I just couldn’t wait to get on the plane the following month. It was pretty much a decision of the moment and I’ve had absolutely no regrets ever since.
My Ultimate Texas Road Trip Itinerary
During my road trip I visited the following places:
Galveston in the south of Houston
Goliad, a small town between Galveston and San Antonio
Del Rio, a border town along Highway 90
Sanderson, where I ate a really good burger
Marathon where I turned left into Big Bend National Park
Walked along the Marufo Vega Trail
Slept in an RV in Presidio
Walked around Frederickburgs, capital of the Texas Hill Country
Marriott on Kathy Highway in Houston
I landed in Houston and the first thing I did was have breakfast at the local Waffle House. After breakfast I drove out to Galveston, a beachside town about an hour away from Houston. During the summer most people from Houston come down here for the weekend, enjoying the country music and the beaches.
The beach here is sandy and the water gets nice and warm during the summer months. The drive after Galveston takes you along the seaside to Freeport, a massive petrochemical facility. If you are into industrial sights, this is definitely a must! It is the largest industrial sight in the entire planet – they like everything super sized in Texas!
I spent the night near Freeport and in the morning I drove towards Goliad, a very important place in the history of Texas. It was here that Texas declared its independence from Mexico and became a state of its own. Unfortunately, the uprising was crushed by the Mexicans and 300 people were massacred at Goliad.
The Site of The Goliad Massacre
This event has become known in Texas as the Goliad Massacre. The building itself is called the Goliad Presidio and not far from here is the La Bahia Presidio, another historic site. I carried on driving towards Big Bend National Park on Texas Highway 90 along the Mexican border.
Big Bend National Park is one of the largest, yet least visited National Parks in the US. In fact, it is larger than the state of Rhode Island itself! I had a tent with me and decided to get a back country pass to discover the Marufo Vega Trail. The trail is very difficult and it took me two days to do it – and I nearly died of dehydration as I did not take enough water with me!
From here I made my way up north towards Marfa where I saw this beautiful landscape with the horses and rolling hills, reminding me of Scotland. After Marfa I entered hill country, famous for its wine, tree orchards and flowers.
My next stop on the road trip was Austin where the South by Southwest music festival took place during my visit. It is one of the largest music events in the world with hundreds of bands showing off their talents. From here I made my way back to Houston to catch my flight back home.
Luckily I had enough points with Marriott to stay nearly a week for free, depending on the hotel. And my Avios points were enough for a convertible Mustang for the entire trip – with leftover to fly to Budapest!
Interesting: Scenic Drive Along TX Highway 170
I arrived in Houston in the afternoon and hopped into the car straight away to drive into town. BA has regular daily flights from London to Houston, leaving the UK in the morning and arriving in Texas in the afternoon – super convenient and helps getting over the jet lag.
I had no maps or GPS at this point, so I had to rely on my memory. Fortunately, Houston is a simple grid pattern and my hotel was on the I-10 which was easy to find. Watch the video below to see where I have been to.