Where to Go for Affordable Fun in Texas

Hurricane Harvey may have left damage, destruction and heartbreak through Houston, Texas, but it also reminded us of the unrelenting strength and goodness in humanity. Those who could provide help did and continue to donate and provide support for those in need.

The Lone Star State has shown its resilience and determination as some cities are already up on their feet. Explore the bustling neighborhoods of Galveston, Corpus Christi and South Padre Island as they received minimal to no damage from the hurricane, and are all already open for business.

Galveston

Get on island time and stay in your budget with a trip to Galveston Island. Located on the Texas Gulf Coast, Galveston offers laidback beach life and an active city for budget-minded families.

Family by the pool

© Denis Mishchenko | Dreamstime

Book your stay at the Casa del Mar Beachfront suites for a modest price and prime location. Families of two adults and two children can stay in one room for $139 a night and take advantage of the heated pool, free parking and various services.

Explore the historic villas on Broadway and take a self-guided tour of 1892 Bishop’s Palace. Tickets are $9 for children ages 6–18 and adults pay $12 per ticket. Stroll through the Strand Historic District and pop in the various shops, restaurants and attractions including the Galveston Island Railroad Museum. Enjoy live music and family-friendly activities and events often found downtown throughout the year.

Victorian Homes in the Historic District of Galveston Island, Texas

© Calyx22 | Dreamstime

Corpus Christi

Hit the beaches of Corpus Christi and relax in the sun. Active guests rent boards from one of the many local shops and surf for an hour or two. For families with horse enthusiasts, check out Horses on the Beach for hourly horse-riding rentals and lessons. Prices range from $45–65 depending on the time and number of riders.

Time your trip with the 10th annual Dia de los Muertos street festival on Oct. 28. Check out the local handmade art, crafts and exhibits while listening to live music performances on three stages. Located in the downtown Marina Arts District, the Dia de los Muertos Festival ensues from late afternoon to midnight. Dance the Texas two-step and watch professional performers with the family. This free event is great for all ages and accessible to the disabled.

South Padre Island

For warmer weather and Gulf coast views, make your way to South Padre Island for fresh fish, surf and sunshine. Located on the southernmost point of the state, save on your visit and stay at the Best Western for less than $125 a night.

Bring the kids to Island Adventure Park for some horseback riding, zipline rides, beach parties and bonfires. Scope out sea turtles on Padre Balli Park and visit Point Isabel Lighthouse for some scenic history.