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Best Weekend Getaways In The Houston Area

July 13, 2013 7:00 AM

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Photo Credit: San Luis Resort

Photo Credit: San Luis Resort

Houston’s founders chose the location because they foresaw the immense potential for commerce and culture not far from the Gulf of Mexico, but sufficiently inland for access to roads, forests and farmland. For those willing to explore beyond the urban center, the region is rich in history, culture and unforgettable landscapes.

Photo Credit: San Luis Resort

Photo Credit: San Luis Resort

Galveston Island
San Luis Resort
5222 Seawall Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77551
(800) 392-5937
www.sanluisresort.com

Perhaps the favorite “getaway” from Houston is Galveston Island, about 50 miles southeast of Houston on I-45. Directions are abundant and a free ferry is available. Check in at the San Luis Resort Friday night, and get ready for an amazing weekend. The beaches, causeways, restaurants and entertainment are legendary, so we mention only a few starting points. The Pleasure Pier, Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn water park are only a few of the favorite spots on the island.

Photo Credit: Ant Street Inn

Photo Credit: Ant Street Inn

Brenham
Ant Street Inn
107 W. Commerce St.
Brenham, TX 77833
(979) 836-7393
www.antstreetinn.com

For a delightful weekend in a classic small town setting, try heading west about 75 miles to Brenham and check in at the Ant Street Inn. Brenham is a town with a population of about 14,000. It is perhaps best known to most travelers as the home of the Blue Bell Creamery. A great place to learn of the history of the area is the Museum of the Chappell Hill Historical Society. The staff is able to offer a guide to the town’s historic buildings, particularly on Main Street. The refuge is 3,400 acres dedicated to protecting the rare prairie chicken. Bring binoculars and check out the auto trail or hiking trail. The refuge is open daily free of charge. Another unforgettable site is the Monastery of St. Clair Horse Farm, operated by the Franciscan Poor Clare Nuns. The sisters raise miniature horses to support the monastery. Visitors are welcome in the afternoon. Brenham also has live evening theatre and concerts. Check with the Washington on the Brazos State Park Association for an online guide and calendar of events.

Woodville
Stagecoach Inn of Woodville
902 S. Magnolia St.
Woodville, TX 75979
(409) 331-1100
www.stagecoachinns.com

North and east of Houston, there are many parks and game preserves. A great place for outdoor fun is Wolf Creek Park near Coldspring on the banks of Lake Lexington. Admission is a modest fee per carload. The park provides fantastic skiing, boating, fishing, swimming and hiking venues. A bit further in the same area is the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation in Woodville. Bus tours through the reservation are available Fridays through Sundays. Call ahead at (936) 563-1329. Plan to arrive Friday evening and reserve a room at the Stagecoach Inn of Woodville.

Related: Best Places For Horseback Riding In Houston

Photo Credit: MCM Elegante Hotel

Photo Credit: MCM Elegante Hotel

Lumberton
MCM Eleganté Hotel
2355 I-10 S.
Beaumont, TX 77705
(409) 842-3600
www.mcmelegantebeaumont.com

For those seeking a day of natural wonder, head east to Lumberton, check in at the MCM Eleganté Hotel in nearby Beaumont Friday evening and get an early start in a canoe at the Village Creek State Park. The wildlife preserve is home to more than 300 species of birds, 1,000 species of flowering plants and 50 species of reptiles. Admission is modest and kids 12 and younger can enter free. Call (409) 755-7322.

West Columbia
Cherotel Grand Mariner Hotel
925 Highway 332
Lake Jackson, TX 77566
(979) 297-1161
www.cherotel.com

For those who enjoy a picnic near a stately mansion and pecan orchard, try a visit to West Columbia. Check in at the Cherotel Grand Mariner Hotel on Friday evening and prepare to visit the Varner-Hogg Plantation State Park. Tours of the plantation house are available Wednesdays through Sundays for a modest fee, half-off for children. Call (979) 345-4656 for details.

Related: Best Budget Fitness Classes In Houston

Marc Pembroke is a freelance writer covering all things Houston. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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