Thinking About Affordable Family Vacations? Think About East Texas!
As a mother of 6, raising our kids in Dallas Texas, I can tell you that affordable, easily organized vacations used to seem like an almost impossible task to me. Then happily, my husband and I fell upon something that worked. Vacation houses instead of hotels.
How did we discover it? Desperation, I think. Maybe it was after leaving one child at a gas station restroom and having to drive back 45 minutes to pick him up. (Headcounts still work.) Maybe it was the insanity of separate hotel rooms and no place for the kids to run around outside… I don’t really remember. But, I can tell you when we stumbled across renting vacation houses instead of hotel rooms, our vacations suddenly seemed like real vacations for mom and dad as well as the kids.
As our children grew – their interests changed and became more varied so we searched for locations with more varied activities and now 6 children, spouses and 7 grandchildren in the mix, one place that we’ve found that satisfies every imagination and vacation preference in our tribe is East Texas.
East Texas?? Yes. East Texas. I know, I know… what is there to do in East Texas? We are constantly being surprised at all the things to do in East Texas.
Just 1.5 hours from Dallas, Texas; East Texas is full of diverse and affordable places to see and things to do – absolutely no one will be disappointed. Whether all you want to do is sit in a chair and watch the sunsets, have a picnic, or swing from the trees. There is something for everyone in East Texas.
Some of our favorite things to do in East Texas:
Zipline – Let’s hear it for Tarzan! Every family has an adventurous one. The one who would probably live in the trees if you’d let them. The longest ziplines in Texas are right here at a place called Wired Zipline http://www.ziptheusa.com/
Texas wine: For the romantics in the family. The Texas wine industry has exploded and East Texas has 17 wineries. East Texas is home to the Piney Woods Wine Trail. Is there anything more romantic than a view at a winery? With the wineries open for tastings almost every day, a calendar of local events, and just beautiful drives in the country, East Texas has some good times waiting for you. http://pineywoodswinetrail.com
Eat: Well, who likes to eat a little extra while on vacation? WE DO! One required stop in East Texas is The Shed Cafe. Started in 1967, it’s considered the #1 East Texas cafe by local and national publications. The Shed Cafe serves up all the country cooking your tummy’s been waiting for! Breakfast, lunch and dinner – and if you’re staying close by – they’ll spoil you way more than your mamma will. They’ll DELIVER! http://theshedcafe.com
Animal lovers: Caldwell Zoo. Hanging out with animals will drop your blood pressure and fascinate the little ones for several hours. I like to match the animals with personalities of family members. Animals from The African Savanna, North America, South America, Wild Bird Walkabout and all the reptiles you could want. Just visiting their website and a wild bird walkabout listening to the background animal noises will make you smile. http://www.caldwellzoo.org
Fishing: Plenty of fishing lakes in East Texas. With 19 lakes to choose from, you’ll find the one that’s right for the fish enthusiasts in your family. Everything you need to know about fishing in East Texas is right here: http://fishingeasttexas.com
Antiquing: East Texas is home to the famous “First Mondays in Canton” an antique and art lover, craft lover’s paradise. http://firstmondaycanton.com Some of the most beautiful things you’ll ever buy for your home or office. Antiques, unique art, handmade jewelry. Shop like you mean it – visit Canton.
Art Fairs, Local Festivals and more: Art Fairs, Local Festivals and more: County Line Magazine website has one of the most complete calendar of events of the area to give you event MORE ways to entertain your family. http://www.countylinemagazine.com/
How much do we love East Texas? Enough to buy 88 acres and open 5 unique vacation houses for families and groups looking for a more relaxed, affordable vacation that can naturally improve family communication. Lots of bedrooms in each house, bunk beds in some houses, fully equipped kitchens, swimming pool, rolling hills – just an ideal location for relaxation and fun.
MaryEllen Malone is a mother of 6 and proud owner of Trinity Pines Retreat and Conference Center in East Texas. If you’re thinking about East Texas, be sure to visit us online or in person! http://trinitypinesedom.com We wish you many years of happy family vacations!