Islands are always fun and about an hour south of Houston lies the best known island in the state, Galveston Island, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Texas. Spring is celebrated on Galveston island with visits to attractions such as Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn Waterpark, and the historic Galveston Strand in downtown. It’s also a good time to head to the beach and take advantage of the moderate crowds, not to mention the warm springtime sun and warming Gulf of Mexico waters.
If inland water is more to your liking, then a great springtime destination is Lake Conroe. Located less than an hour north of Houston, Lake Conroe is notable for its boating and lakeside resorts that dot the shoreline. If you like the rugged outdoors, just drive around to the north side of Lake Conroe, take a hike in Sam Houston National Forest, and encounter the wildlife common to this area. Its a great way to get in touch with nature and enjoy the sights and sounds of spring just a short distance from the big city.
Those who like the rolling terrain should consider a visit to the Texas Hill Country. This area contrasts sharply with the Houston area’s flat plains and it features many memorable sites, like the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, Balcones Canyon National Wildlife Refuge, the Natural Bridge Caverns, and much more. The bluebonnets often bloom during this time of year, adding a colorful hue to the landscape and helping tourists get in a springtime mood.
Drive a couple of hours east across the border in Louisiana and you will arrive at the resort city of Lake Charles. This town is best known for its gambling casinos and the lake that bears its name. Stay at one of the waterfront casinos, try your luck at a round of blackjack, then lounge by the resort pool while you take in the warmer weather. If time permits, drive to the Charpentier Historic District and witness the plantation style architecture that invokes the spirit of the South in this charming and accessible resort city in neighboring Louisiana.
Best known for its non-stop party action during spring break, South Padre Island is a great place for beach activities and other tourist attractions. The Gulf of Mexico water is blue and inviting and tourists can enjoy a game of beach volleyball, a dip in the Gulf, or a boat tour of the waterways where dolphins are often just a few feet away. Natural attractions abound and with Mexico only minutes away, a spring afternoon of shopping south of the border is always an option. It’s all part of the action that awaits on South Padre Island, one of the best springtime destinations in the state.