Road Trip Around East Texas
A journey from Houston to East Texas is unlike any other, with the trees becoming higher and the foliage becoming more evergreen. Experience history and nature in a duet that sounds like the wind whistling through the pines and leaves you with lifelong road trip memories.
This adventure begins in the bustling city of Houston, but we will not visit any museums or shops in the downtown area. We'll instead take it easy at the Houston Zoo, which has been ranked one of the best in the country. Then take a break from walking, pack a picnic, and relax by Buffalo Bayou, a canal that runs through the heart of Houston and is surrounded by a lovely urban park. You may take your dog for a stroll, hire a bike, go paddleboarding, or simply sit and gaze at the skyline. You might be ready for a quick journey out of town to visit the vineyards along the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail by now. The vineyards will not let you down.
Houston ZooHouston Zoo, Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX, USA
Grab your trail mix and travel up to Sam Houston National Forest for a peaceful respite surrounded by pine trees. Feel yourself relax and soak in the landscape as the city skyline fades from your rearview mirror and the forests embrace you like a blanket. This lovely piece of land is home to a diverse range of species as well as natural lakes ideal for fishing or canoeing. The Lone Star hiking route includes 129 miles of lovely landscapes to explore for hikers. You are welcome to stay the entire night if you choose. In the vicinity, there are a number of excellent camping alternatives.
Sam Houston National ForestSam Houston National Forest, New Waverly, TX, USA
After less than two hours of driving north, you'll arrive in Palestine, Texas, a little town known for its fantastic old-timey train trip. Take a four-hour round ride from the Texas State Railroad train depot to be transported to a simpler period. Check out Bralys Ace Hardware before leaving town. The restored 1938 school building is worth a look around even if you don't need a new socket wrench. The old lockers and bookshelves are still in use, but today they are used to store items.
PalestinePalestine, Texas, USA
After there, continue east to Nacogdoches, the typical Piney Woods hamlet in Texas. If you have the time, stop by the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site along the way to learn about the Hasinai people who lived over a thousand years ago. The site, which was once used for rituals, is now an excellent spot to learn about Native American culture in the area.
Caddo Mounds State Historic SiteCaddo Mounds State Historic Site, Texas 21, Alto, TX, USA
Nacogdoches is known as Texas's oldest town, and the quaint downtown and historic landmarks will make you feel like you're in the middle of history. We recommend taking a stroll through the SFA Gardens and appreciating the beautiful assortment of native flora for our nature enthusiasts. Millard's Crossing Historic Village is another excellent choice for anyone interested in learning about the area's history. Stroll through the town center, which is dotted with authentic 19th-century structures, offering a rare chance to see a bygone age up close.
NacogdochesNacogdoches, TX, USA
Angelina National Forest is a 15-minute drive from Nacogdoches and is a fantastic spot for quiet and private camping or just seeing a few sights on some short, pleasant paths. Bouton Lake is a beautiful place to go fishing or have a nice lakeside meal. There are several hiking paths to select from, but Sawmill Hiking Trail is a fantastic alternative. It's a short, moderate trail that passes straight past the ruins of the Aldridge Sawmill, which were abandoned in 1923 and are now surrounded by foliage and stand out in the forest.
Angelina National ForestAngelina National Forest, Texas, USA
This is a fantastic one to visit if you're looking for another natural park: Head south to Big Thicket National Preserve, a complex and gorgeous mix of nine ecosystems with a wide range of plant and animal species. Camping is "primitive" here, which means you're on your own. With a permission, you can set up shop practically anywhere. The Neches River area offers miles of scenery for kayakers and canoeists to enjoy, and there are 40 miles of Big Thicket paths to select from for hikers of all levels.
Big Thicket National PreserveBig Thicket National Preserve, Farm to Market 420, Kountze, TX, USA
The Neches River flows all the way down to Beaumont, your eventual destination (although we recommend you travel there by road). Gator Country, a vast alligator sanctuary, is located here. The kids are likely to remember the feeding show they put on here for the rest of their lives. Cattail Marsh is a great place to see gators in their natural habitat. At the marsh, there are always a variety of activities going on, including Saturday morning yoga for a good stretch after a long travel.
Neches RiverNeches River, Texas, USA
Slow down and take your time on this excursion, listening to the native birds, enjoying the beauty of the flora and fauna, and choosing the right rock to balance your lunch on. What a thrilling adventure! So get on the road and remember to drive like a Texan.
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