Get ready for some big fun in the Lone Star State. Ride the tallest Ferris wheel in America, haul in a hefty catfish and then rev up those engines in an off-roading playground. It’s a trip of superlatives that you’ll only find in Texas.
1) Fort Worth
Steeped in the history of the cattle business, the Texas Stockyards give visitors a window into a Wild West past. Enjoy bull riding and livestock shows at the 23-day Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo in January and February. National Day of the American Cowboy takes to the saddle in July, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with parades and rib-eating contests at Fort Worth’s Stockyards Station. As the sun sets, hoist a beer at Billy Bob’s, voted the No. 1 country music venue.
Northlake Village RV Park • Roanoke, TX – (817) 430-3303
Shady Creek RV Park and Storage • Aubrey, TX- (972) 347-5384
Drive 32 miles • 34 minutes
Time your visit to the awesome Texas State Fair in September. Ride the distinctive Texas State Ferris wheel, the tallest Ferris Wheel in North America at a height of 216 feet. Take in even more stellar views from Reunion Tower, which rises 561 feet over the metropolis. Get back to nature at the Trinity River for kayaking and canoeing. Elsewhere, the amazing restaurants in Dallas range from five-star gourmet establishments to rib-sticking downhome restaurants. Take your pick and enjoy.
3) Lake Tawakoni
Drive 57 miles • 1 hour • 10 minutes
The “Catfish Capital of Texas” lives up to its name with trophies that routinely tip the scale on the high end. The record stands at 87.5 pounds, but it may change any day now as bigger fish get pulled out of the 37,879-acre reservoir on a regular basis. Cast lines for striped bass, white bass, large-mouth bass, hybrid bass, sandbass, crappie and, of course, big catfish. Hire a fishing guide for a catfish trip or largemouth bass trip and prepare for some heavy catches. Several docks and launches accommodate boaters, and jet skiers are welcome as well. Several towns around the lake’s 200 miles of shoreline provide all the amenities you’ll need. In the town of West Tawakoni, Ranchero’s Mexican Grill serves up authentic fare close to the lakeshore.
Drive 60 miles • 1 hour, 15 minutes
You won’t find wide-open prairies at Tyler State Park. Instead, you’ll encounter a cool, 64-acre spring-fed lake and 100-foot-tall trees that cast abundant shade on lots of green grass. Visitors can hit the lake for boating, fishing and swimming, or hit the trails for hiking and mountain biking. Geocaching is available in the park, and joining a high-tech treasure hunt is a great way to keep the kids engaged. In Town, Tyler blooms with oceans of roses throughout town. Stroll the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden, where more than 38,000 rose bushes cast off a sweet fragrance.