Governor Rick Perry proclaimed May 5-13 Texas Travel and Tourism Week in honor of the Texas travel industry’s contribution to the economic health of Texas.
In 2011, an estimated 208.3 million domestic travelers visited Texas destinations. Total travel spending in Texas was more than $63 billion in 2011, an increase of 10% over 2010 and the highest level of spending recorded to date!
The Winspear Opera House in Dallas, Texas will kick off U.S. Travel Rally Day on May 8 with entertainment and speakers.
However, a little closer to home, we plan to visit Galveston Island . On Sunday, May 6, the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau will offer a 50% discount on admission to Moody Gardens, the Lone Star Flight Museum, the Texas Seaport Museum and 1877 Tall Ship Elissa, as well as five other popular venues.
Galveston Island is one of the top locations for birding in the nation with approximately 200 species of birds. Thousands of birds fly north across the Gulf from Central and South America each spring.
From April 12-15, 2012, Galveston will hold over one hundred field trips, photography workshops, and evening social events. Many renowned photographers and bird experts will be attending and sharing their expertise. For details and to sign up for events go to www.galvestonfeatherfest.com.
Take a trip to Chappell Hill, Texas on Saturday, April 14 from 10AM-6PM or on Sunday, April 15 from 12PM-5PM to see some of the most beautiful Bluebonnet Blossoms and other wildflowers in Texas!
Chappell Hill is located at U.S. Highway 290 and FM 1155. Admission is free and parking is $5.00. Vendors sell a variety of crafts and food. There is plenty of live entertainment, children’s activities, and tours of the community. For more information, see www.chappellhillmuseum.org.
For our 28th wedding anniversary, my husband and I treated ourselves to a trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Neither of us had ever been there before. It did not disappoint. We flew directly from Houston to Charleston on Southwest Airlines, and checked into the French Quarter Inn. The name is very appropriate both for the hotel and for the downtown area of Charleston, which mimics New Orleans’ French Quarter. There is so much to see and do downtown that we did not use our rental car for three days!
Charleston has been appropriately awarded Top City in the U.S. by Conde Nast Traveler 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards. Highlights from our trip include:
Historic Charleston Battery and White Point Gardens. The views of Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumter are outstanding.
Museum Mile which has a variety of historical attractions.
Old City Market is one of the oldest public markets in the United States and one of the best places to shop for unique and handmade goods.
The Powder Magazine which is the oldest public building in the Carolina’s. Currently a National Historic Landmark, it stored the powder used to defend Charleston.
Middleton Place and House Museum which is an 18th century plantation and home to America’s oldest landscaped gardens.
Great food can be found everywhere! Some of the restaurants that we enjoyed were High Cotton, Mercato, Kaminsky’s, and Muse Restaurant.
We recently took a trip to New York City and had a wonderful time! There truly is something going on there at all hours of the day or night! Trip highlights include great theater, great food, great sightseeing and great shopping! Doesn’t that sound like a winning formula?
As for theater, we saw “Jersey Boys” and “Anything Goes.” They are both musicals and were outstanding performances! “Jersey Boys” is about the evolution of the group, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, and featured their music. “Anything Goes” is a revival of Cole Porter’s romantic comedy. It takes place aboard an ocean-liner during the 1930’s. The costumes, dancing and music from that era are fabulous.
When it comes to restaurants, it is difficult to find a bad one in New York City! We had several unforgettable meals. “Victor’s Cafe” serves incredible Cuban food, that combined with the music and the ambiance transports you to what it must have been like in Old Havana. “The Russian Tea Room” is elegantly decorated in gold and red and serves delicious Russian cuisine that includes Chicken Kiev and Boeuf a la Stroganoff. The Borscht was the best that I have ever eaten.
Highlights in sightseeing were the 9/11 Memorial, Top of the Rock, the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, Chinatown and Little Italy.
As for shopping, a New York City staple that we do not have in Texas is Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street! I managed to do some major damage there and in many of the individual shops along Fifth Avenue.
This is a vacation that is on the expensive side, but worth every penny!
It’s not too late to participate in the Mardi Gras festivities on Galveston Island! From February 10-21, 2012, there will be a total of 5 masked balls, 19 balcony parties, 24 parades, 26 concerts and more than 3 million beads thrown! Galveston is home to Texas’ largest Mardi Gras celebration and this is its 101st celebration. For more details, check out www.mardigrasgalveston.com.
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