Family travel in Texas

In (believe it or not) December, my son at a Texas Christmas tree farm (photo by Sheila Scarborough)Every Tuesday until we run out of states, I plan to post about family-friendly vacation ideas, attractions and events in each one of the US states, taking input mostly from Twitter and Facebook.

Yes, I know how to search for travel ideas on a destination or attraction Web site, but a tweet or a Facebook Wall recommendation is a much more engaging and public way to spread the word.

Please don’t email suggestions to me;  that’s nice but it is one-to-one communication. Tweet me and/or Facebook me, so that all of our networks can see what’s cool about your state.

We’re going in alphabetical order but started with the end, so our first state for the series was Wyoming, then we investigated Wisconsin , West Virginia , Washington, Virginia, Vermont, Utah and now we’re moving on to my current home state….Texas!

I could not find their state tourism organization on Twitter. I did find @VisitAustinTX, @VisitHoustonTX, @VisitSanAntonio, @GalvestonIsland, @PadreDude (South Padre Island) @BeaumontCVB and @SportsCapital (the city of Round Rock, just north of Austin.)

Texas state tourism is not on Facebook (that I could find.)

When I asked for ideas, here’s what came in….

Twitter Travel Tips for Texas

***  From the Round Rock CVB (Convention and Visitor’s Bureau) via @SportsCapital on Twitter  —  Round Rock TX has tons of family-friendly activities: inexpensive water parks, great baseball games & miles of hike/bike trails!

***  From John Q. Pope via @JohnatDell on Twitter  — Might consider two classic Texas swimming holes for your post: Krause Springs in Spicewood and the Blue Hole in Wimberley.

***  From Shawn Freeman via @shawnthinks on Twitter  —  Enchanted Rock, Hamilton Pool, Schlitterbahn [water park,] Sea World, Six Flags, Dallas Aquarium, Dell Children’s Museum [in Austin.]

***  From Andrea Schulle via @andreaschulle on Twitter  — If you ever go to Brownwood, eat at Underwoods. It is a throwback and the food is delish. Best rolls EVER!

***  From the San Antonio CVB via @VisitSanAntonio on Twitter  — We just launched a SA savings blog – Great, great savings each week and updated too! Also, see San Antonio’s Family Fun Attractions.

***  From Mozies Bar and Grill via @MoziesGTX on Twitter  —  Hi, Sheila! We are a family-friendly restaurant in Gruene, TX just outside of San Antonio near New Braunfels. Across from [the historic] Gristmill!

***  From Debi Pfitzenmaier via @MomonMars on Twitter  — Just put up some more info about the Serengeti Resort [in this blog post] Free summer fun – camels, corned beef and chocolate ice cream.

***  From Dana Freeman via @MissMagpieFGS on Twitter  — For Austin, have you seen this site also

***  From Sarah Page via @pagetx on Twitter  — Check out Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls. Pick your own & great fall festival. Also, family fun on the Colorado River Trail; river recreation, festivals, history, food. Lots of family goodies. There’s LCRA (Lower Colorado River Authority) McKinney Roughs Nature Park; canoe/kayak the Colorado River, summer camps, horses. LCRA’s Matagorda Bay Nature Park [has] wetland kayaking, beach combing, birding & more!

(Colorado River Trail also has a Facebook page and a blog.)

***  From Dana Smith via @TexasTravelGal on Twitter  —  Please see my San Antonio family travel story and a Glen Rose [dinosaurs] story.

Facebook Travel Tips for Texas

From Kara S. Williams on Facebook:  The family and I had a ball at Grapevine, Texas’ Great Wolf Lodge [near Dallas/Fort Worth] — indoor water park, family-friendly menus, hotel-wide interactive quest game, giant arcade. Kid heaven. All under one roof. My children did not breathe fresh air for 3 days. (Should I admit that?)

From Tammy Moore on Facebook: Glen Rose, Texas has “Dinosaur Valley State Park” and “Fossil Rim Wildlife Center” – great, inexpensive, family attractions!

From Don Inbody on Facebook:   The Red, White and Buda Festival 4 July in Buda (south of Austin,) the Parish Festival at Santa Cruz Catholic Church (1100 Main Street, Buda, TX 78610 – June 26th through 28th, 2009) the Buda Fine Arts Festival Oct 3 and 4, 2009, the Buda Fest Dec 5 and 6, 2009, the annual Buda Lions Club Country Fair & Cookoff, usually in April. Also,  the Salt Lick for BBQ in Driftwood, TX, the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop, Schlitterbahn water park in New Braunfels and [shopping for the outdoors] at Cabelas in Buda.

From Kelley R. Burrus on Facebook:  FREE Family Day/Night with the San Angelo Symphony and Fireworks Extravaganza. Expecting 35,000 people. Corporate sponsored, so that the arts and fireworks are made available to EVERYONE. Park opens at Noon. Three hour drive [northwest] from Austin.

On the BootsnAll Travel Network, here’s the Boots Texas Travel Guide.

Thanks so much for the contributions – the next state in the series is Tennessee.

Send your Tennessee highlights to @SheilaS on Twitter or write them on my Facebook Wall (tell me you’re a 50 state-er if you want to friend me.)

My purpose for this series is not only to highlight worthy kid-friendly vacation destinations in all 50 states, but by using Twitter and Facebook I want to also encourage tourism organizations to learn more about connecting with their visitors using social media and online networks.

Please add your own Texas suggestions in the comments below, if we’ve missed anything. Thanks!