Few things provide the opportunity to break from your daily routine like the open road. Adding a few stops at interesting places can elevate the quality of your journey, and a road trip from Houston to Galveston has it all. Like most drives through the deep south, you'll come across historical sites, parks and campgrounds. Keep reading to find out more about planning your Houston to Galveston RV road trip.
National parks are a great way to kick things off on a road trip as there's plenty to do and see. Some even have playgrounds, RV campgrounds and dump stations. Below are some of the national parks along your route that are worth checking out.
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park is a 5,550-acre property with a rich ecosystem and a diverse cultural past. This beautiful park is found right at the center of Garland County, Arkansas, about 400 miles from Houston. The key attractions at the park are the hots springs, which some believe have mystical powers. There are a total of 20 bathhouses at the Bathhouse row. Other places of interest include the Arlington Lawn, the Stonebridge and the Hot Springs Mountain Tower. If you're looking for something a bit more active, you can explore the 26-mile hiking trail or bike around the park. After a long day, you can retire to the Gulp Gorge Campground for some rest.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is home to one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The park features four of the five Spanish missions, and it's comprised of frontiers that were set up in the early 1700s. Due to a combination of drought and attacks from the Apaches, the settlers eventually moved into the missions to seek sanctuary. As a result, San Antonio became a melting pot of Indian, American and Mexican cultures, something the audio tour will explain in detail. In addition to the tours, there's also a trail for hiking and biking. The park is open every day from sunrise to sunset, and it's located just a three-hour drive from Houston.
Cane River Creole National Historical Park
Cane River Creole National is home to the unique cultures of the Creoles, sitting on an area the Creoles have called home for over 200 years. This hidden gem can be found in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. The guided tour will take you through plantations and sections that were once workers' quarters. You also have the opportunity to tour the Magnolia and Oakland Cotton Plantations. Group tours are available daily from 9:00 am. To get to the park, you'll have to cross into Louisiana, but it only takes four hours to drive to the park from Houston.
While national parks tend to be the first choice for many, state parks also offer plenty of fun. Here are some options along the way that should make it to your road trip itinerary from Houston to Galveston.
Sea Rim State Park
Sea Rim State Park lies at the remote southeastern corner of Texas. The park covers 4,141 acres of coastal land. The landscape consists of sandy beaches and dunes that gradually transform into marshlands as you move further inland. Some of the animals you can expect to see here include raccoons, opossum, coyotes, crabs and alligators. The park is also home to countless bird species, such as sparrows, ducks and doves.
Stephen F. Austin State Park
The 663-acre Stephen F. Austin State Park is located in Austin County, about 49 miles west of Houston. You can get there in just 53 minutes via I-10. The park was set aside to honor the Township of San Felipe, which was once the seat of the Anglo-American colonies in Texas. There's plenty to do at the park, such as visiting the historical museum, exploring the hiking trails, seeing the wildlife and setting up at the campground.
Brazos Bend State Park
Brazos Bend State Park is found 28 miles southwest Houston. The park is comprised of 5,000 acres and is made up of bottomland and coastal prairies. The typical vegetation in the area consists of native tall grasses and oak woodlands. You can expect to see some animals in the park, such as raccoons, squirrels, foxes and alligators. You can also go birdwatching for species such as songbirds and waterfowl. There are even several camping sites in the area with full hook up. Other activities at the park include hiking and horseback riding.
Galveston Island State Park
Galveston State Park is a 2,013-acre property located in the city of Galveston. Although the park is considered a quiet paradise today, it has a turbulent past. The park provides a sanctuary for more than 30 bird species, including mallard ducks and shorebirds. Other animal species found at the park are raccoons, armadillos and rabbits. You can also try fishing sand trout, redfish and Blackburn.
In addition to parks, there are some other exciting places that you can visit. Here are some points of interest along the route you should consider visiting while on your Houston to Galveston road trip.
Space Center Houston
It's no exaggeration to say that The Space Center has over a million things to explore. It's home to one of the most extensive collections of spacesuits and moon rocks, and the site is where space expeditions like the Gemini, Apollo and Skylab were monitored. It remains home to both NASA and ISS mission control, and guests are allowed to see the Johnson Space Center. The park is open daily from 10:00 am for space cadets of all ages.
The USS Lexington is a 52-foot tall battleship that took part in operations near the Pacific during World War II, destroying an impressive 372 enemy aircrafts. The battleship is docked at Corpus Christi, Texas, where it serves as a museum. The main attractions at the USS Lexington are the escape room and the 440 pieces of the collection. Alternatively, you can enjoy the 3-D theatre, virtual battle stations and a flight simulator.
The Alamo is the site of one of the fiercest battles in the Texas revolution. The mission was founded in 1836 by the Roman Catholic Church. This Spanish church later turned into a fortress during the pivotal war. Other attractions that can be found at the nearby Alamo Plaza are Ripley's Believe It or Not! and the San Antonio Fire Museum.
Although driving through backcountry roads can be pretty peaceful, you may need to make stops to rest and replenish. You can also take advantage of dump stations where you can safely empty your tank when driving through cities.
Pasadena is a small Texas city located in the Houston metropolitan area. It's home to just over 149,000 people and is known as the strawberry capital. Attractions in Pasadena are the Veterans Memorial Stadium, Pasadena Historical Museum and Strawberry Park. Since the city is only 20 minutes from Houston, finding campgrounds won't be a problem. You can also find plenty of dump stations in the area. Braunig Lake RV Resort is a great place to start since they charge a dumping fee of just $5.
Baytown is a city found in Harris County and extends partly to Chambers County. The city is home to an estimated 77,000 people, and it's known for being the location where General Sam Houston once defeated General Santa Ana, which marked the end of the Texan revolution in 1836. Baytown is just 27 minutes from Houston, which means you can use the dump stations in the Houston Metropolitan area. Stop by the Southlake RV Resort if you need a place to park your RV.
Texas City is located on the southern shoreline of the Galveston Bay with an economy mainly driven by port and petrochemical manufacturing. Attractions in the city include the Texas City museum and the Haak Vineyards and Winery. If you're looking for campgrounds, Fredericksburg RV Park is a great choice as it has all the amenities you'll need.
In order to fully enjoy this trip, you'll likely need the convenience of a recreational vehicle. You can rent an RV in Houston before you start your trip. Or, you can pick one up in Galveston and take the trip in reverse. Either way, make the most of your travel time by cruising in style and comfort.