A Texas-Style Vacation During A Growing Pandemic
It's been over 90 days since we started social distancing and travel has slowed to a stand still for me during this time. But as a woman who loves to get away for moment, I have been actively looking to find my next vacation location to relax. My greatest challenge has been an expired passport caught up in the shutdown of the pandemic and no idea when the U.S. Passport Office will send it back. So, with no passport and still in the midst of the pandemic, I began researching different spots in the United States where I can go for a quick, relaxing getaway. With the rise in Covid-19 cases across the country and mandatory 14-day quarantines popping up in some states, I have decided my best option might be to stay within state.
As I was thinking about where to go, I remember some 19 years ago when I moved to Texas being told by a travel advisor that over 80% of Texans stay in Texas to vacation. At the time that seemed strange but living here for years and having taken a road trip through this massive state, I can see why. Texas offers everything from mountains and deserts, to metropolitan areas, to an array of beaches and islands. For this needed vacation, here are my top considerations.
Galveston, Texas, is a quick drive from Dallas, by Texas standards, to the coast. I don't usually go after the first weekend in June because usually it's full of tourist, the seaweed is everywhere, and it's hot. However, being that it's the closest beach to home and I am without a passport, it is a consideration.
South Padre Island, Texas
In all of my 18+ years residing in Texas and even traveling from one end to the other, I have never visited South Padre Island or traveled along the Texas coastline. But with its appeal to nature, I am seriously considering making it a trip. With lagoons, sand dunes, and pristine beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, it is definitely appealing. There are sandcastle making classes, which could offer some fun time if I take Miles, the Dolphin Research and Sea Life Research Center where you can take a dolphin watching cruise, horsebike riding to explore the beach, and even a pirate cruise.
Corpus Christi, Texas
Corpus Christi and South Padre are not too far from each other and allows for a great road trip. Having not been to either place, I am considering taking the 8 hour drive to South Padre and moving up the coastline to other cities and beaches I have not visited in the state.
About 6 years ago during spring break, my daughter and I took a Mommy and Me road trip across Texas. We started here in Dallas and moved through central and west Texas until we got to El Paso then back, taking a different route to Marfa down to Big Bend National Park and back up to San Antonio and Austin. That was probably one of my favorite trips with my daughter. I have thought about heading back to Marfa, but given the Texas heat, it just doesn't seem smart to go to the desert in the summer.
In sharing my desire to travel during Covid-19, my colleagues shared another spot in Texas that is a great vacation location. Rockport Beach has been voted by USA Today as one of the best beaches in Texas. My research doesn't show many attractions there, but if my goal is to relax on the beach, it just may be the spot. It's only 35 or so minutes north of Corpus Christi, so a road trip is sounding even better.
No matter which spot or spots I choose, deciding during these times to travel is stressful in itself. Finding the right spot that allows for social distancing while also enjoying the beautiful Texas parks is key to having an enjoyable and responsible vacation experience.