Welcome to the Lone Star State
A local will always introduce themselves as a Texan before American, will undoubtedly be wearing cowboy boots, hat and washed jeans and greet you with a howdy. The spirit of the Wild West is entrenched in Texan culture where rodeo extravaganzas and two-stepping are national past-times. Our tour of the Lone Star State begins in Houston, home to NASA’s rockets and astronauts where the bigger is always better. We’ll continue to San Antonio where the defence of the Alamo gave rise to the nation and locals relax with margaritas and tortilla chips on the peaceful Riverwalk.
We next get hands-on in the cowboy capital of the world, Bandera. We’ll stay on a dude ranch deep in the American Frontier and learn with wranglers to ride like a cowboy through the Hill Country before unwinding by the camp fire in the evening. Our adventure then concludes in Austin, the Texas capital where you’ll hear live music streaming out of honky tonks both day and night.
- Relax and ride on a cowboy ranch
- Dance the Texas Two-Step
- Enjoy your night in a genuine honky tonk
- Explore the Alamo in San Antonio
- Discover NASA’s rockets in Houston
Dates & Prices
The prices shown below include return flights from a specified UK airport. If you are travelling from outside of the UK, please .
May 19 - May 30, 2017 (12 days)
Standard Blind Price: £2899 Contact us for availability
Discounted Sighted Price: £1499 Contact us for availability
The prices shown below are for non-UK travellers and do not include return flights and transfers. If you are travelling from within the UK, please .
Standard Blind Price: 2499 2499 Contact us for availability
Discounted Sighted Price: 1249 1249 Contact us for availability
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- Flights and transfers from the UK (UK prices only)
- 3 and 4-star accommodation
- All breakfasts
- 2 lunches and 2 dinners
- Specified excursions
- Services of local guides
- Services of a Traveleyes tour manager
- Houston Space Centre visit
- Galveston Island visit
- Texas Two-Step Dance Lesson
- Alamo tour
- San Antonio walking tour
- San Antonio Museum of Art sensory tour
- Edward Steves Homestead tour
- Horse rides and ranch activities in Bandera
- Fredericksburg visit
- State Capitol Tour
- Austin walking tour
Below is the itinerary for the holiday. Please click each day for more information.
Friday 19th May
Arrive into Houston and check into our city hotel. We are staying by The Galleria, one of the most popular parts of town with dozens of restaurants and shops on our doorstep.
Overnight in Houston.
Saturday 20th May
Our first tour in Texas takes us to the Space Centre Houston, home to out-of-this-world artefacts. We’ll walk around an original Saturn V Rocket that is taller than the Statue of Liberty and sit in the very theatre seats where VIPs watched the moon landing unfold in Historic Mission Control. Next, we’ll learn about how astronauts live in space, touch moon rocks, come face-to-face with the Lunar Rover and enter the shuttle replica Independence, mounted on top of an original NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft.
From here, we’ll journey to the Gulf of Mexico to the island city and Southern belle called Galveston. The Downtown area known as The Strand boomed at the turn of the 19th century and has been kept much as it was back then with elaborate brick facades, a grand opera house and historic train station. Horse-drawn carriages still clip-clop alongside trolleys and large gas streetlamps. The Strand is lined by art galleries, antique shops and confectionary shops including a traditional sweet retailer where you can smell and taste salt water taffy as it is pulled and spun out before being wrapped by an antique machine. There are also ample restaurants and cafes serving local seafood and BBQ treats as well as grits, chicken fried steak and hushpuppies.
Following some free time to explore the traditional delights of Galveston’s Strand we shall return to Houston for an evening at leisure.
Breakfast included. Overnight in Houston.
Sunday 21st May
Today we’ll learn how to Texas Two-Step to country music like a local. Originating in the 1920s, two-stepping to country music has remained popular in Texas and the dance floors are always heaving. Dancers usually two-step in an anti-clockwise direction, but when a popular tune is played, folks rush to the dance floor and find a spot to dance the routine. Don’t worry if you don’t know the routine, they’re always easy to pick up! To get a taste of what this dance is like we shall have a private lesson with a dance instructor who will show us the technique and get us up to par with the locals for evenings at the honky tonk.
Following this, there will be free time in the afternoon to pursue your individual interests. Houston has a world-respected collection of 19 museums near downtown. Houston’s Museum of Natural Science is one of the countries favourites, exhibiting an array of artefacts including a large Ancient Egyptian section. You may wish to explore the downtown area where you’ll find swanky restaurants, cool bars and tall skyscrapers. You can ascend the 60th floor Sky Lobby inside the JPMorgan Chase tower for free or head to the home of the Houston Rockets (basketball) and the Astros (baseball). Alternatively, the Galleria is on our door step if you fancy a shopping excursion or a bite to eat and the nearby Lower Westheimer neighbourhood is where the vintage and antique shops are alongside hip new eateries.
Breakfast included. Overnight in Houston.
Monday 22nd May
Today we shall depart Houston and journey west to San Antonio in the Texas Hill Country.
San Antonio was founded by a Spaniard, Father Antonio de Olivares in 1709 and was the capital of Spanish Tejas. The region eventually became Mexican before the Texas Revolution when American colonists fought against the centralist republic. San Antonio is central to Texas history as the location of the Battle of the Alamo where around 200 Texan defenders refused to surrender in the face of overwhelming odds, sacrificing their lives for the revolution. The Alamo remains one of the State’s most important historical sites so we shall head there for a tour this afternoon to experience the battlefield first hand and ‘remember the Alamo!’
Unusually for the States, the centre of San Antonio is pedestrian-friendly with most attractions a short walk away. Undoubtedly the place to see and be seen is the Riverwalk. Created in the 1920s, this is a cypress-lined oasis that winds through the city providing easy access to river-side bars and restaurants. Colourful umbrellas keep you in the shade whilst you sip margaritas and eat tortilla chips as barges and ducks glide down the river creating a unique ambience. The perfect place to relax this evening.
Breakfast included. Overnight in San Antonio.
Tuesday 23rd May
This morning we shall embark on a walking tour of San Antonio, visiting the courtyard of San Fernando Cathedral, City Hall and the Spanish Governor’s Palace in the old town. We’ll also visit El Mercado, an outdoor plaza and largest Mexican market in the US where dozens of working artists and craftsmen sell their wares. The tour shall conclude for lunch in the north of town before we rendezvous for a visit to the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Often visual in nature, this museum has a popular tour specially designed for visually impaired visitors that include descriptive language, touch, sound and smell to enhance our enjoyment and understanding of art. Following this, the rest of the afternoon will be free to relax and explore at your leisure.
Breakfast included. Overnight in San Antonio.
Wednesday 24th May
This morning we shall head to the prestigious King William Historic District and to visit the Edward Steves Homestead, an elegant three-story resident dating from 1876. Our tour will enable us to touch the various trinkets laid around the house as if the owners still lived there and experience 19th century life in Texas.
After this tour, say farewell to San Antonio as our journey continues further west to Bandera, The Cowboy Capital of the World. We shall have a brief break in Bandera for lunch before continuing to a dude ranch where we’ll stay for the next two nights. We’ll arrive in the early afternoon, make ourselves at home and immerse ourselves into the cowboy and cowgirl lifestyle with our first wrangler-led scenic horse ride along the trails around the ranch. Upon return, why not cool off in the pool and relax in the hot tub before dinner. We’ll tuck into dinner family style before retiring to the camp fire for evening entertainment.
Breakfast and dinner included. Overnight on a ranch in the Texan Hill Country.
Thursday 25th May
This morning, we’ll enjoy a chuck wagon breakfast, this involves a hayride up a hill for a campfire style breakfast complete with homemade biscuits and gravy. Today we’ll have another two included horse rides with the wranglers along different trails through the wild west countryside.
There is plenty to do on the ranch including catch-and-release fishing (gear is provided), hiking, hayrides, campfire sing-alongs, dancing and other Western activities with the wranglers whose skills include trick roping. The ranch also has space for outdoor activities such as basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, table tennis, tetherball and washers.
You may wish to go for a hike and hunt for fossils and arrowheads or check out the ranch’s century-old barn and Range War Cemetery. This evening we’ll rendezvous for dinner before having more entertainment by the camp fire.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight on a ranch in the Texan Hill Country.
Friday 26th May
This morning will be spent at leisure on the ranch, with another opportunity to go on a horse ride or early walk. We’ll enjoy lunch on the ranch before we leave our Hill Country ranch behind for our next stop, Austin.
Along the way we’ll visit Fredericksburg. This upmarket town was founded by German migrants and has retained a genuine European ambience. Downtown is lined by local gift and craft shops, gourmet food stores, beer gardens and local wineries offering tastings from the vineyards in the Flat Lands.
Our journey continues to Austin, capitol city of Texas. Considered extremely liveable, Austin is one of the most popular cities in the States. Downtown is heaving with live music venues where locals dance till the early hours to jazz, blues and country music. Tonight will be the perfect opportunity to explore a honky tonk.
Breakfast and lunch included. Overnight in Austin.
Saturday 27th May
We shall embark on a walking tour today beginning with a tour of the State Capitol building. We’ll walk through the grand buildings and legislation rooms hearing about the history and intrigue that goes on within these gilded halls. Following this, we shall continue our walking tour with a stroll down Congress Avenue, Austin’s main street exploring the old and the new, discovering the important role the city played in the formation of Texas as a nation and then state.
The afternoon will then be free to enjoy at your leisure. On the other side of Congress Avenue Bridge you’ll find the SoCo (Southern Congress) District, home to many cultural delights such as eclectic shops, art venues and cool restaurants all with an unobstructed view of Texas State Captiol.
This evening, make it back to Congress Avenue Bridge as the sun begins to set as millions of bats emerge in a long dark stream towards the horizon. This natural spectacle began to occur in the 1980s due to conveniently created crevices under the bridge where the bats now roost. They soon became much-loved in Austin as they consume millions of bugs a night!
Breakfast included. Overnight in Austin.
Sunday 28th May
Today is free for you to explore at leisure. You may wish to partake in some outdoor swimming at Barton Springs Pool. Considered the crown jewel of Austin, if not the whole of Texas. This three-acre recreational outdoor swimming pool is entirely fed by nearby natural springs and is within the greenery of Zilker Park.
Austin is also famous for its multiple distilleries, trailer food and live music venues that are spread across downtown for you to explore.
Breakfast included. Overnight in Austin.
Monday 29th May
This morning will be free for you to do any last-minute exploring or shopping in Austin before we check out of the hotel. This afternoon we transfer to the airport in Houston for our flights home.
Tuesday 30th May