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For individuals and families looking to explore the great state of Texas, there are many opportunities to do so on the weekends. Houston is ideally located to make a quick trip to the island, the beautiful Hill Country or one of the other big Texas cities. For weekend get-aways, many Houstonians head out of town to Galveston, Kemah, the Brenham & Washington County area, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Louisiana or the Hill Country area.

Texas also has over 115 state parks and historic sites that are very worth visiting. Big Bend and Bandera are some of the most popular parks to visit but there are many others that offer great scenic views, lakes, hiking, boating, camping and much more. Springtime is very popular due to the many wild flowers blooming everywhere. Beware that temperatures in the summertime can be challenging for expats not used to Texas heat. Make sure to watch the Texas Parks and Wildlife Shows on the public broadcasting channel PBS. Visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/ for more information.

A good recommendation is a subscription to the Texas Highway Magazine, published by the Texas Department of Transportation. It is an excellent resource for anything Texas as it is the official Texas Travel Magazine. Check out http://www.texashighways.com/

Galveston

One of the most exciting places to visit that is very close is Galveston Island. It is located approximately 30-45 minutes south on I-45. Galveston is a beach town located on an island in the Gulf of Mexico. Galveston offers typical beach activities for the entire family and also entertains with a historic downtown, beautiful palaces such as The Bishop’s Palace or moody Mansion, island tours, dining and arts, the opera and the famous Moody Gardens. During the severe Hurricane Ike in 2008, Galveston experienced a lot damage, but has managed to rebuild most of the island. It is also interesting to learn about the Great Storm of 1900 which changed Galveston forever at http://www.galvestonhistory.org/. Besides a quick day trip, a weekend stay at a beach hotel is a favorite get-away for Houstonians and expats not wanting to travel far from Houston. Make sure to stop by the visitor’s center on 2328 Broadway, phone 1-888-425-4753 and pick up brochures and coupons. Check Galveston’s website for current events such as Mardi Gras or one of the many arts festivals. For more information, please visit http://www.galveston.com/ Galveston is also a great destination for nature lovers, visit http://www.galvestonnaturetourism.org for more info.

Kemah

Kemah is also a location that residents often visit. It is located 20 minutes south of downtown off I-45 and…