Texas football road trip help
Replies: 30 - Last Post: Oct 21, 2012 7:43 AM Last Post By: tilos
Oct 13, 2012 1:44 PM
Texas football road trip helpI'm looking into a road trip in Texas to please my loving of American football. I would arrive the day before Thanksgiving and depart around December 3-4.
I'm 36 from Northern Europe and will be travelling by myself. I will rent a car during my stay. Since I'm a Cowboys fan, I would be flying in to DFW Airport and set up base for a few days in Fort Worth.
Initial plans during the first days:
Nov 22 Redskins @ Cowboys
Nov 23 Festival of light in FW
I've tried to find a major college team that play during my 2 week stay, but the only thing I found was Texas A&M that play on Sat 24 Nov, Would you recommend me going to that game? Is there a different game I should watch instead?
After the match, I'm thinking of driving to Austin and stay there for a couple of days and then Houston for a couple of days. I've understood that Austin has a downtown area with a lot of bars and live music. I've been to Broadway in Nashville and Beale in Memphis and loved it, so I'm assuming I would love 6th street in Austin too? Is there anything else I should do in Austin apart from taking a couple of pictures of the capitol building?
I love history, but I'm not a museum type of guy. More like walking around and check out the historic areas of the towns I visit. I don't mind getting on sightseeing buses and stuff too.
In Houston, I might go see the NASA museum though, but it seems to be more for kids? Anything else I should see? I'm not even sure if I should put Houston on my list or if I should travel to some other 'hidden gem'. Any suggestions?
Towards the weekend, I'm headed back towards DFW, but would love to see a Friday Night High School game too. You know, the type of game where the entire small town is at the game as TV series like Friday Night Lights pictures. Which small town in East Texas should I travel to? I've tried to do some research on this myself, but there's simply too many high schools playing football in Texas for a European like myself to get a grasp of it all.
The last weekend will be set in DFW and I will do some sightseeing there. Incl the 6th floor museum, I recently read Stephen King's 11/22/63 so I'm probably going to drive around town, checking out the areas where LH Oswald lived. Maybe I can see a rodeo in town as well? On Dec 2 the Cowboys host the Eagles in Arlington and I will depart the day after or the day after that.
As you understand, I love sports. Pity that the ice hockey is off, but if there's other sports in the area (not basketball) that you would recommend me checking out, please let me know. My itinerary is very flexible.
My main question is if I would see enough of Texas by going to DFW, Austin and Houston, or if I should stop anywhere else along the way. America's filled with small towns with a lot of charm that might be worth checking out.
Oct 13, 2012 1:53 PM
1Texas A & M is an excellent choice to watch a college football game. They have a rich tradition and football games are a big deal on campus.
Taking in a couple high school games on Friday nights would be fun, but my guess is their season is just about over, or at least near the very end, by Thanksgiving weekend. In my state the high school state championships are that week and the last of the games end Friday and Saturday.
Google the Mesquite Rodeo. Mesquite is a suburb of Dallas and they have a big rodeo. I'm not sure of their schedule.
Texas is huge. Dallas, Houston and Austin represent only a fraction of the state and its culture. With your limited time and other interests there's only so much you can see however, so sticking to those places and others in between is about all you can do.
Have a great trip.
Oct 13, 2012 2:14 PM
TCU plays Texas in Austin, but it's the same day as your pro game.
The next week, Baylor plays Oklahoma State. That should be another fun one to watch.
Also, TCU plays Oklahoma. That could have conference title implications. (This would be my pick of games.)
Whichever you pick, it should be good.
(SMU also plays Tulsa, but don't bother.)
Also read FAQ 260.
Oct 13, 2012 4:37 PM
Oct 13, 2012 4:53 PM
Oct 13, 2012 5:20 PM
To second post #2, you'd be crazy not to go to San Antonio, the one city in Texas where "just walking around" is a good way of seeing it. Do the Riverwalk, see some of the rest of downtown, do the mission trail. Be underwhelmed by the Alamo (everyone is, but that's part of the point, really--how small it is).
Eat barbecue. The question of what's the best barbecue place in Austin is one of those subjects on which everyone has an opinion. I haven't tried them all, so I'm agnostic. But look here.
You mentioned you don't like museums, but the Texas state history museum is pretty good; so is the Lyndon Johnson library.
It's more than a pity--it's absolutely asinine. Anyway, keep an eye on the labor negotiations--they still may be ready for some hockey by early December. (Don't hold your breath, though.)
Oct 13, 2012 5:53 PM
6Friday night (local) high school football is also a big thing in Texas (small town) culture. Watch a local 16-18 yr old high school students play football for their school.
Oct 13, 2012 5:56 PM
Oct 13, 2012 6:24 PM
Oct 14, 2012 8:30 AM
9I personally find San Antonio to be somewhat boring and think that the riverwalk is a bit hokey. You might do some research and see if it appeals to you--to me, it screams tourist trap. They do have sublime tex-mex (I love puffy tacos and they have the best tamales).
As for NASA, there are some good tours that take you through the areas where they show you where the astronauts train and mission control. See http://www.spacecenter.org/Level9Tour.html. This will set you back $90. I did a similar tour when a bunch of government officials visit my workplace, and it was really awesome. We got to see mission control when there was a power failure on the international space station, and could see the various error messages, camera views, and the like. If you are a space buff, I wouldn't skip it.
There are also some of the country's best restaurants and bars in Houston proper. I wouldn't miss Anvil Bar and Refuge if you like classic cocktails (my Manhattan-dwelling cocktail snob friends love this place). Underbelly and Oxheart both have been on national best new restaurant lists.
Consider the following (driving times are in parenthesis, and note that NASA is a 45-60 minute drive from downtown Houston).
Dallas-->(3.5 hours) Austin--> (3 hours) Houston-->(4 hours) Dallas,
or if you want to see San Antonio:
Dallas-->(3.5 hours) Austin-->(1.5 hours) San Antonio--> (3.5 hours)Houston-->(4 hours) Dallas.
When heading from Austin to Houston, pick a route that has you going through Lockhart, so you can get some of the best bbq in the country.
Swim in Barton Springs or kayak in Zilker Park. Go for an easy hike. Eat delicious austin tex-mex at Magnolia Grill or Trudy's. Soak in the general weirdness of Austin.
Oct 14, 2012 8:45 AM
10@bzookaj - Would you go for Texas A&M or Baylor the first Saturday? After the feedback I'm getting, it seems like A&M gets the nod. Having said that, it depends what time kickoff is. Since I'm thinking of driving to Austin after the game, it's going to be a long night if kickoff is after 8 pm...
TCU have totally skipped my radar. Since I'll be in FW at the time, it seems like a winner for the second week!
Oct 14, 2012 8:51 AM
11I agree with the San Antonio recommendation, although I agree with tilos that the Riverwalk is made for tourists and can be skipped. There's lots more there, though.
Consider the Texas history museum while you're in Austin even if you're not into museums. It's free and I thought it was quite good. There is also the Lyndon Johnson library and museum, but I haven't seen it. Presidential libraries are usually pretty good for people who are into history, although obviously less so if you're really phobic about museums.
I know there's a slogan "keep Austin weird" but I have to say it seemed like one of the more wholesome places I have been. So many fresh-faced blondes!
Oct 14, 2012 8:56 AM
12@mrpenney - One of the things I like to do when I travel the world, is to go to placed I've heard about before planning my trip. From an early age, I've known of Alamo and Davy Crockett so I think I'll stop by and check it out. The Texas museum actually looks pretty good too, so I would check that out as well. Thanks for a great tip!
@tilos - Yeah, San Antonio sounds a bit touristy, a bit too much for my taste, but still something I would check out as mentioned above. I usually plan my trips pretty well in advanced (I don't see any reason why anyone would stay at a crappy hotel when you can book a top rated hotel for less at an earlier stage). On this trip however, I think I'm gonna do a day at a time.
To sit by myself sipping to a fancy cocktail might send out the wrong signal... ;)
Regarding drive times, 3-4 hours is pretty much perfect as you have to check out at 11-12 and can't check in until 3-4. So why not spend that time driving?
Thanks for the tip about Lockhart. I love me some good BBQ!
Oct 14, 2012 9:02 AM
13@VinnyD - Yeah, I'll check out the Texas History Museum, but I think I'll skip the LBJ library. Even though it would be cool to see the replica Oval Office, I've seen that before at a Native American private person who built his own in Minnesota. Also, the library seems to undergo a redesign which isn't completed until Xmas.
Regarding fresh-faced-blondes... I'm from Northern Europe. We created them! ;)
Oct 14, 2012 9:03 AM
I like the Baylor-Tech game because it's more likely to be competitive (and who doesn't like to see a shoot-out, other than the defensive coordinators?), but A&M has the best atmosphere (Google "12th Man").
So the answer to your question would be whether you want the atmosphere or the game, and of course, the times.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$255.15 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$259.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$169.00 per night