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Travel Advice - Wandering about Texas

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  • Travel Advice - Wandering about Texas

    My love and I decided spontaneously to fly into San Antonio on the 28th. We will then have until Wednesday afternoon to explore as far north as Dallas and as far south as the coast.

    Anyone here got suggestions for places to stay, things to see and hole in the wall authentic food?

    Gracias.
    "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
    ~~Groucho Marx
    I have the hots for Khaleesi...

  • #2
    Don't mess with Texas.

    Comment


    • #3
      Assuming you'll be driving and wandering, you have a zillion choices. But it's really going to be difficult to pin down a place when we don't know exactly where you'll be. But I'll see if I can help.

      Mexican food, particularly hole in the wall types is going to be hit or miss. I don't mind Taco Bell food, but I prefer the more authenic type, which may or may not be all that authenic in reality. Mexico is a big country with lots of different ways of cooking. I like to hit the little taquerias or taco stands. Usually little travel trailer semi permanently placed or even food wagons. Some are also located in supermarkets that cater to Mexican Americans. The tacos are sort of cheap fajitas, in that they have more of a shredded meat instead of ground beef or ground something. Also you can get pork and chicken as well as tongue and fish. Tongue is a little like a spicy liver. If you hate liver like I do, you'll notice that some, but the spicyness is enough for me to tolerate it. I usually get beef or pork. I love hot and I always get the salsa verde (green sauce) but it brings tears to my eyes, so go easy at first.
      A good way to tell if you are looking at a good place is see if there are a good % of hispanic people going in. Long lines is another good indicator and usually worth the wait.

      That long in Texas should include BarBQ too. That's not something done out in the backyard grill, although we do that too. Smoked, similar to Memphis style and KC style. I'd like to say ours is better than theirs, but personally I think it's a 3 way tie. They are slightly different from each other, but I think they are all good. As in the Mexican places, stay away from the obvious chains. They cost more and are rarely as good as the hole in the wall and neighborhood places.

      You can get a good chicken fried steak in Texas which is similar to a tenderloin, but beef instead of pork. 90% of the places serving them are so so at best and some are just awful. Ask locally where the best ones are.
      The best ones used to be at truck stops but usually truck stop food is average at best and sometimes terrible, especially on chicken fried steaks.

      The best Mexican food I ever had was in El Paso at a Fina Truck stop twenty five years ago. It's probably not even there now and I couldn't tell you how to get there except it's on I10 and it's a pretty long drive from anywhere including San Antonio.
      Last edited by Lucky161; 03-05-2008, 02:59 PM.
      Some people will do nearly anything in order to be able to not do anything.

      Comment


      • #4
        In San Antonio you can see the Alamo and the San Antonio Missions National Park. The missions were built in the late 17th and early 18th century.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Ant...istorical_Park

        The Riverwalk runs through downtown, with shops and restaurants along its length. You can ride a water taxi tour from one end to the other with intermediate stops.

        North of San Antonio there are several old German towns, most notably New Braunfels. These areas were settled by German immigrants in the early 1800's. You can also visit Fredericksberg, birthplace of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and home to the Museum of the South Pacific. It has a good collection of WWII items and is very interesting. There are lots of nice B&Bs in the area.

        I'll let someone else expound on other areas.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Lucky161
          The best Mexican food I ever had was in El Paso at a Fina Truck stop twenty five years ago. It's probably not even there now and I couldn't tell you how to get there except it's on I10 and it's a pretty long drive from anywhere including San Antonio.
          That's funny, because the best Mexican food I ever had was also in El Paso, but at the Holiday Inn back in 1980...

          If by chance you're heading from San Antonio out towards El Paso, I'd recommend stopping at Fort Davis...it is (was?) out in the middle of no-where and really cool...nice scenery along the way, too...
          Chicago Blackhawks done didn't do it again!

          Comment


          • #6
            Going to Galveston? Try the Lone Star Flight Museum: http://www.lsfm.org

            Going to Houston? JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, dude! Their Saturn V is under cover now. http://jsc.nasa.gov

            Also in the Houston area is the sole surviving Dreadnought-era battlewagon, U.S.S. Texas (BB-35) at San Jacinto State Historic Site near Houston. http://www.usstexasbb35.com/introduction.htm

            Gonna be anywhere near Midland? The CAF (now known as the Commemorative Air Force) American Airpower Heritage Museum at the airport: http://www.airpowermuseum.org/index.php

            And while in Midland, Jim Hall's mighty Chaparrals are on display at the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum there. I think Hall's Rattlesnake Raceway test track is still there, too. http://www.petroleummuseum.org

            Going to Austin? Check out the statue of the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan at Lady Bird Lake.
            "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

            "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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            • #7
              If you're gonna do Texas, ya gotta do some barbecue. Just up the road from San Antonio is the Texas hill country and they have some great "Q"
              Hill Country Barbecue Trail
              For some reason these guys skipped Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor, but it's great also.

              Comment


              • #8
                Lots of pretty places and good food between San Antonio, Fredericksburg, San Marcos and Austin. I recommend that you spend some time on tripadvisor.com reading the Texas forums. You'll get some good ideas there.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think Howard lives near San Antonio. You could probably crash at his place.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Does he have a safer barrier?
                    "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
                    ~~Groucho Marx
                    I have the hots for Khaleesi...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      In Dallas - the best BBQ I had on my visits there was Pappa's. It's a restaurant outfit that has Mexican, Italian, and BBQ. Tried them all, loved the Q. Get the sausage.

                      If the wife likes to shop, she'll like the Galleria.

                      And, of course, visit speedwaysonline.com to find a race track.
                      "It was actually fun, because you're back fully driving again in these trucks. Ninety percent of the tracks we go to in the IRL, you're flat-out. I was having to lift off the corners some here." - Buddy Rice

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                      • #12
                        When you visit the Alamo look for Pee Wee Herman's bike in the basement.
                        I wish I knew - Dennis "Cutty" Wise

                        When its game time, it's pain time! - Terrible Terry Tate

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sea Fury
                          Going to Galveston? Try the Lone Star Flight Museum: http://www.lsfm.org

                          Going to Houston? JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, dude! Their Saturn V is under cover now. http://jsc.nasa.gov

                          Also in the Houston area is the sole surviving Dreadnought-era battlewagon, U.S.S. Texas (BB-35) at San Jacinto State Historic Site near Houston. http://www.usstexasbb35.com/introduction.htm

                          Gonna be anywhere near Midland? The CAF (now known as the Commemorative Air Force) American Airpower Heritage Museum at the airport: http://www.airpowermuseum.org/index.php

                          And while in Midland, Jim Hall's mighty Chaparrals are on display at the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum there. I think Hall's Rattlesnake Raceway test track is still there, too. http://www.petroleummuseum.org

                          Going to Austin? Check out the statue of the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan at Lady Bird Lake.

                          The Petroleum Museum in Midland is pretty cool. Not all that big, but interesting. Also most of the museums are air conditioned and you'll want that when here in the summer.
                          Some people will do nearly anything in order to be able to not do anything.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rrrr
                            In San Antonio you can see the Alamo and the San Antonio Missions National Park. The missions were built in the late 17th and early 18th century.

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Ant...istorical_Park

                            The Riverwalk runs through downtown, with shops and restaurants along its length. You can ride a water taxi tour from one end to the other with intermediate stops.

                            North of San Antonio there are several old German towns, most notably New Braunfels. These areas were settled by German immigrants in the early 1800's. You can also visit Fredericksberg, birthplace of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and home to the Museum of the South Pacific. It has a good collection of WWII items and is very interesting. There are lots of nice B&Bs in the area.

                            I'll let someone else expound on other areas.
                            Note that about halfway between Johnson City and Fredericksberg is Stonewall...the home of LBJ and the location of the ranch...interesting that between Stonewall and Fredericksberg there is more livestock than humans...yet, two of the most powerful men in history were born there...Johnson and Nimitz..you could do worse than allowing most of your time to be in the Hill Country...

                            There is a large 'tourist' Mexican place in New Braunfels called Mamasita's...good joint...Austin is Sacremento East and pricy...north of Waco about 25 miles is the birthplace of Willie Nelson, Abbott...

                            A possible bonus...that late in march you should begin to see wildflowers...particularly between SA and Austin...finally, no trip to SA and the Hill Country is complete w/o a visit to Luckenbach...and take a side trip to Gruene as you pass through New Braufels and visit Gruen Hall...a landmark Texas dancehall ...it's pronounced Green...

                            A last note...when you approach Dallas/Ft Worth I35 splits...35East to Dallas and 35West to Fort Worth...if you go east salute Cedar Hill...I played on the first Jr High football team they ever had...a while back I might add...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by hdolan
                              A last note...when you approach Dallas/Ft Worth I35 splits...35East to Dallas and 35West to Fort Worth
                              If you keep going north, 35 E & W join back up and you'll eventually get to my house. But, then you'd be in Oklahoma and you've gone too far.

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