Driving from California to Galveston, Texas. Any must see sights along the way?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Peachyness, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Jul 8, 2015

    Hi guys! So, my hubby and I are driving from California (central coast) to Galveston, Texas next month to go on a cruise for our 10th wedding anniversary and for my birthday. He will not fly- that is out. I tortured him last year when I made him go to Europe. He will not get back on for a looooong time.

    I came up with a VERY rough itinerary that is not set in stone. The furthest east we have driven has been to the Grand Canyon. Plan so far:
    Day 1: Central coast to Tucson (~10 hours).
    Day 2: Explore Tucson.
    Day 3: Tucson to San Antonio, Texas (~12 hours).
    Day 4: Explore San Antonio
    Day 5: San Antonio to Galveston to catch the cruise ship (~4 hour drive).

    Hubby wants to check out awesome malls and I want to check out national parks. Any suggestions/tips/etc is always welcomed. Also, does this driving plan seem sane? :dizzy:

    Thanks!! :)
     
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  3. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    You gotta go to the McCarthy House in San Antonio best food/breakfast ever

    Do the river walk and Almo in S.A.

    I'm jealous....my family is in Tx I wanna go!
     
  4. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Err...I mean the Gunther House not McCarthy house
     
  5. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    If you take I10 from SA to Galveston, stop in Schulenburg for some pecans. There are also some painted churches that are interesting if you're into things like that.

    There's a place called the Dixie Grill in Sequin that is a good place to stop and eat. If you like watermelon, stop in Luling for an orange watermelon. They are the best.

    I wouldn't go through Houston during rush hour, but if you do, there are some great museums.
     
  6. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Great!! Thanks for the tips justwanttoteach and teacherintexas. I will look into Gunther House and I did hear about the river walk on Trip Advisor. My husband is a huge watermelon nut so it'll be fun to try out the orange watermelon. Never heard of it. I love museums so I will look into Houston as well, then.

    Thanks guys! :)
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Your drive will be rather warm, I think. Whatever you do, make sure your car has been recently serviced with the drive in mind, and do NOT succumb to the temptation to buy cheap gas. (I've been known to plot routes around Costco locations: my last car that required mid-grade gas was happy around town on Costco regular; it choked on cheap gas on a long, hot summer drive to Oregon, but half premium and half regular got us home in fine shape.)

    For the record, that city in Arizona is spelled "Tucson". (Yes, a silent "c". It's not my fault.) If you're driving via Tucson from the Central Coast, you're probably driving via I-10 or I-8, which pretty much means doing time on Los Angeles-area freeways on that first day's drive: depending on your timing, that could slow you down rather fiercely.

    I-10 passes south of the Transverse Range of mountains that forms the northern border of the Los Angeles basin; it passes through or near Riverside and San Bernardino, not to mention a string of college towns some of which were founded in the 1800s. Farther east off I-10 is Palm Springs, with snazzy shopping for your hubby and a tramway up lofty Mount San Jacinto, which is the southernmost mountain in California to have had glaciers (and the only mountain south of the Sierra Nevada to have that distinction). I think the Agua Caliente tribe has several interesting museums including Indian Canyons. A little farther east, you could stop for a date shake in Indio, or detour south to visit the Salton Sea. Access to Joshua Tree National Park is off I-10 a little east of Palm Springs. You'll cross the Colorado River just east of Blythe, CA.

    I-8 connects San Diego with Imperial County en route to Arizona, passing through the Laguna Mountains. The mountain town of Julian, north of I-8, is the site of San Diego County's own little gold rush, and is a fun place to visit out of apple season. I seem to recall rumors that a gold mine that one used to be able to tour might be worked again. I-8 winds through increasingly dry mountain terrain before dropping precipitously into the desert to the east; if you haven't driven that way, stop briefly at the Desert Tower at In-Ko-Pah for the astonishing view eastward over the Imperial Valley, which shares with Death Valley the distinction of being substantially below sea level (but which, thanks to Colorado River water, is much more hospitable to agriculture). You'll pass south of the Salton Sea and through El Centro en route to crossing the Colorado a little west of Yuma, AZ.

    That's a start, anyway.
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 9, 2015

    In San Antonio, you MUST see the RiverWalk and the Alamo (located in the same general area). It's beautiful and you will get a true "Texas" feel there from the food to the customs to the friendliness of the people.

    You probably won't have time to see the museums in Houston, but they truly are some of the best in the nation. If you have time, and you really want to see one, the best are The Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Fine Arts. They are within walking distance of each other. They are a little off your path from San Antonio to Galveston, but not much. Honestly, though, I wouldn't risk it time wise.

    What time do you plan to be in Galveston on the day your ship departs?

    Galveston is a neat little city, and 1 block away from the cruise terminal is a street called "The Strand". It's a "turn of the century" style area with lots of cute shops and souvenir places. If you have time, it's worth a quick walk around the area. :)

    PM me if you have questions. I've cruised out of Galveston many times, and I live in the Houston area. Galveston is like our second home. LOL! :)
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    TG~ great info!! Thank you. That is a great point in regards to gas. I have been using my AAA Visa card to rack up points, which I will use to order Chevron gift cards. I also use Costco gas, but I mainly drive within the city. I am thinking that Chevron is of higher quality since it costs more, correct? Also great tip on the traffic in LA. Hubby loves to go down to LA so we are quite use to the craziness there. He prefers driving in LA versus San Francisco. Anyways, I will have to time it out and see what time we need to leave here to avoid rush hour traffic.

    bandnerdtx~ I want to arrive in Galveston as early as possible, around 10 AM or so. It depends on how early in the morning hubby will drag his booty out of bed. Our ship departs at 4 PM, but I want to get checked in and on the boat as soon as possible. I don't know if we'll have time to explore Galveston, but maybe when we arrive back. From the little research I did on Galveston, it looked to be a cute little area. Or, perhaps after we explore San Antonio we continue on to Galveston, spend the night there. Explore in the morning and then get on our Cruise. Hmmmm...
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    San Antonio has way more to see and do than Galveston, so spend your extra time there!

    I don't think you can board the ship until noon, so you may have time to see a bit of the Strand (like I said, it's literally a block away), but if not, you could see it when you depart the ship on your return.

    Definitely don't cut San Antonio short for Galveston! :)

    Edit: And as long as you're not driving through Houston from 6:30am-8:30am, you should be okay. :)
     
  11. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    :) Thanks, bandnerdtx.

    It's going to be an interesting trip. A little road trip vacation as we head to our cruise vacation. And as Samantha Brown stated, you're on a cruise vacation as you travel to your excursion/port vacation. We are going on a vacation towards another vacation sailing to three other vacation spots. :p
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Costco is definitely value for money in gasoline. (Locations are listed at http://www.costco.com/gasoline.html.) Where you can't get Costco, any of the majors - Chevron, but also Shell, Texaco, Union, ExxonMobil - should be good. Citgo gets reasonably good marks. One of my kids swears by Safeway gas; I suppose it may be as with Costco, that cutting corners on the filtering and all isn't worth the damage it would do to the rest of the business.
     
  13. 4815162342

    4815162342 Companion

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    If you have time, Kemah, Texas is pretty cool. Lots of restaurants and shops. Galveston is good enough for being a beach close by, but it is kinda gross. Lol and apparently full of fecal matter. I second The Strand idea. It has neat shops and a delicious chocolate shop.
    Oh, and if no one mentioned Bucee's, you should get that experience. There's a huge one right before you get to Galveston. Its just a gas station, but has this massive, weird cultish following.
    I live in the Galveston area.
     
  14. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    There's one in Luling too.
     
  15. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Jul 9, 2015

    Tucson
    Old Tucson Movie studio http://oldtucson.com
    Mt Lemon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Lemmon
    Desert Sonora museum http://www.desertmuseum.org
    Kit Peak http://nsokp.nso.edu
    Titan Missile Museum http://www.titanmissilemuseum.org

    Side trips after leaving Tucson :
    Tombstone http://www.tombstoneweb.com
    Do not stop to see the THING
    Texas Canyon Neat rock formations https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Canyon
    Wilcox AZ, Rex Allen Museum http://www.rexallenmuseum.org
    Chiricahua National Monument, Neat rock formations http://www.nps.gov/chir/index.htm
    Fort Bowie, History http://www.nps.gov/fobo/index.htm
    Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, hot springs http://www.sierracountynewmexico.info/attractions/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs/
    It is recommended not to stop in El Paso
    Carlsbad Caverns, at dusk to watch the Bats http://www.nps.gov/cave/index.htm
    I hope some of these suggestions help
     
  16. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    I live in Fort Stockton Texas It's about half way to San Antonio from El Paso. Not much to see except we have a huge roadrunner named Piasano Pete that many tourists stop and take pictures with. We have lots of hotels and a couple of good steakhouses.
     
  17. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Ah, man. I wish we had all summer to just drive and explore. I think doing just this is in order next summer.

    Thank you guys for your tips and suggestions. I am going to sit down tonight and digest the information. :)
     
  18. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Wow! Thanks for this list! Looking forward to looking into each of these tonight. :)
     
  19. cybergal5184

    cybergal5184 Rookie

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    Jul 21, 2015

    If you want an awesome "mall" the outlets in San Marcos Texas are pretty much the biggest outlet malls in the state. It will be hot though.
     
  20. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    And go back to your car often. I used to date a cop from San Marcos. He said there were many break ins and vehicles stolen.

    Of course, that was many years ago. It might have changed since then, but I am still careful when is shop there.
     

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