The best way to explore the Lone Star State is definitely by hitting the road in the minivan. It offers a variety of places to go, from open plains and laid-back beaches to great cities and wine countryside. It is very convenient to start the trip from Houston as it is located in the middle of everything.
Houston is a great location to visit. The city itself provides the possibility to explore world-class museums, the Space Center, top-notch restaurants, and great outdoor parks. Learn the city before starting your journey. It is comfortable to rent a minivan in Houston if you need more space and comfort on the trip. There are lots of destinations within a 4-hour drive from Houston and we gathered the list for you where you can go on less than a tank of gas. Explore the minivan rental app Rental24h if you need the vehicle for your special family needs.
If you do not plan to drive far away and want to touch the waves, the Bolivar Peninsula offers 27 miles of idyllic beaches to visitors. This resort is only 1.5 hours from the center of the city and you can reach it in two possible ways. The longer one goes around the city and you will avoid the ferry. The shorter one will take you to Galveston on the 2.7-mile ferry ride that takes both cars and passengers. If you like boats, you may enjoy this trip as well before finding the place where to park your rental minivan on the beach. It is very popular there to rent a gold car for driving on the sand, to go swimming and fishing at the Gulf or inside the bay, or order the basket of Gulf Coast fried shrimps at Stingarees.
When there is no traffic, you can reach San Antonio in 3 hours or 197 miles. It is a different world from Houston and it is worth visiting. When you get a cheap minivan rental in Houston, add San Antonio to the list for its SeaWorld, Alamo, lots of museums, and activities downtown along the river. Find a parking lot there and start your morning from Potato Pancakes and Breakfast Tacos at Schilo’s. The Pearl District is well-known for its swanky hotel Emma and the area is full of bars, cafes, and restaurants. If you are interested in historical sights, the legendary Alamo offers its epic story to visitors, as well as Spanish colonial missions that have been grounded in the city. Kids will adore the magnificent SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta. If your visit is on the weekend morning, Farmers Market in the Pearl’s will offer coffee and artisan snacks for everyone. Eat like locals and grab Egg and Ham muffins at Bakery Lorraine.
Creole Nature Trail
If you are one of the hiking fans, the Creole Nature Trail will provide 180 miles of the Louisiana outback. The start is in the city of Creole that is 2 hours from Houston. The route covers several nature reserves and scenic views. Hikers should be aware of 400 types of birds and dangerous alligators in the nearby waters. The Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point presents a free exhibit of Cajun roots and the natural splendor of the state. You can get maps and all useful information, including the parking places for your minivan rental.
Texas State Aquarium
Nature lovers can spend a day in the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi that is 3 hours from Houston. It is an aquarium facility and private organization that protects marine life and the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. You will find numerous exhibits devoted to fish hosts. crabs, stingrays, urchins, jellyfish, and dolphins. Not all of them are devoted to water inhabitants. Local turtles, otters, alligators, and birds find their home and shelter in the aquarium. Kids can enjoy the water park and have fun on the water.
Texas has a wonderful climate and soil for growing wine. Fredericksburg is a romantic and charming village in the heart of beautiful Texas Hill Country, where B&B and R&R are combined with C&C, cheese-and-cabernet style. Open-air wineries load this piece of nature, including 19 of them like:
- Grape Greek Vineyards;
- Messina Hof;
- Pedernales Cellars;
- Narrow Path, and many others.
The city has German roots, and Oktoberfest is the ideal time to visit Marktplatz in historic downtown. The Auslander offers German brews and sausages, while Otto’s German Bistro is well known for Flammkuchen and Duck Schnitzel. You can get herb souvenirs on the Fredericksburg Herb Farm on the way home.
We cannot imagine Texas without harsh desert landscapes, but it also has several picturesque national parks that you may observe on the long road trip around western Texas. Hold on to your cowboy hats and hit the road to El Paso, first. It may take you about 12 hours to get there, so consider it like a separate trip and do not try to cover all miles in a day. After El Paso, Guadalupe Mountains National Park will please your eyes with truly majestic landscapes. It is a perfect place to spend a night there under the stars. If you cross the state border to New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns National Park has also scenic views for passionate tourists. The next stop we advise you to make is Big bend National Park with the views of Marshall Drive and Santa Elena Canyon. Close to this park you will find the park with almost the same name: Big Bend Ranch State Park. On the way back consider a visit to the ghost town Terlingua where not every tourist is brave enough to spend a night even in the rental minivan. The artsy Marfa town, which offers the McDonald Observatory and never opened a Prada store, is the last place on the way back to Houston.