Oh, Valentine’s Day.
A day that includes last minute gifts, strawberries covered in exotic chocolates, reservations at that expensive place you’ll never go to again, and of course, love. Forget the formers and woo that significant other of yours with some good ol’ fashioned Texas-style sightseeing. The Lone Star State is bigger than a 72-ounce steak and prides itself on an extensive mix of flavor and culture. Come take a trip as we bring you 10 alternatives to the monotony of February 14th.
Located a few minutes of Dallas in Ennis, TX, this modern interpretation of the time-honored tradition of drive-thru theaters features hanging metal speakers for the nostalgic sound, or a more modern approach of listening through your car’s radio. The Galaxy Drive In’s six screens mean there are plenty of choices for date night and you won’t break the bank with tickets at only $7 a pop, leaving plenty of money left over for whatever comes next.
If you’re a couple of people whose lives are fast paced and adrenaline filled, the Circuit of the Americas Tour (COTA) offers an intimate look at one of America’s latest and greatest racing circuits. The tour includes a trip up to the 25-story observation tower that overlooks the entire circuit, walks around the track giving a glimpse of just how much elevation is in play, and a look at the paddock areas. If a frenetic way of life is your only pace, the COTA tour keeps the octane high.
Legend has it that humans have been camping at Enchanted Rock for over 12,000 years, most likely without the pressure of a great Valentine’s Day surprise. Though many of the tales at ER—groaning rocks and ghost fires—were due to the misunderstanding of geology, nowadays it’s a known fact that if you’re looking for a fairytale ending, Enchanted Rock is your destination.
If eating eclectically is something you fancy, head to Klyde Warren Park in Dallas for Sunday Food Trucks. Every Sunday from 11-3pm, a host of trucks supply everything from pizza, lobster, and big honking ice-cream sandwiches to stuff your face. When you’re done with the gluttony, grab some coffee to go and enjoy one of the lawns or the botanical garden.
After climbing a short but heart-pumping set of stairs, you’ll be greeted by one of the best views outside the Austin area, Mount Bonnell. With views of the Colorado River, Lake Austin, the Pennybacker Bridge, and of course downtown Austin in the distance, Mt. Bonnell is a destination within a destination. Grab some drinks, food and a radio and bide the time at the highest point in Austin.
If a little rest and relaxation is more of your housed in your bag of tricks, head to the boutique Belmont Hotel in Dallas to unwind, recharge and put your feet up. The best part? It’s affordable at roughly $159 for a standard room per night and $229 for a suite. The terrace affords views of the Dallas skyline and the SMOKE restaurant offers Texas-style BBQ so bring your appetite.
Set on a sprawling 14 acres of beautiful gardens, lawns and architectural buildings, the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is mostly known for its American decorative arts and paintings museum in the former home of Ima Hogg (seriously). When you want to step back in history, put your monocle on and get fancy, because this Houston gem will rock your world.
There’s no particular destination once inside San Antonio’s famous River Walk (and apparently the number one tourist attraction in Texas) to set your sights on, but once you’re intermixed within the frenzy of bars, cafes, restaurants and shops that will have you occupied for the 2.5-mile circular walkway, it’s an endless variety of San Antonio artisans, excitement, and thrills.
Even if you’re a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, Texas is the place to get your country fix. Steer your way to the Stockyards Nation Historic District in Fort Worth for a slice of Americana in the North Central Plains. Every day at 11:30am and 4pm, The Herd showcases the Old West with the cattle drive down Exchange Avenue featuring a herd of massive Texas longhorns. Other events include rodeos, concerts, cowboy hall of fame, and shops with authentic Texas ware.
Encompassing a massive 180 acres in Corpus Christi, the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is the perfect place to wax poetic and spark that passion amongst the flora and fauna in a beautiful landscape. The eclectic display of reptiles, birds, wetlands, butterflies, arid gardens and more will have Cupid’s arrow hitting the target like a laser-guided missile.
Currently the full-time Editorial Director and Content Manager for RxSpeed.com, & contributing writer for Scout.com. He also loves photography, videography, his Shiba Inu Mia and driving sports cars.