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Texas Road Tripping

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 2/27/2018

Let everyone else have their out-of-state ski trips and beach outings for Spring Break. Why leave Texas when there’s an endless list of landmarks, attractions, and parks to visit—each different than the last? We put a list together of “roadside” attractions worth driving to, located all across the state.

With your ATPE discounts, you’ll find traveling even easier. Take advantage of your auto rental discounts. If you take your own car, don’t forget that members get a first-year discount on AAA roadside assistance. Figuring out where you’ll stay is effortless with ATPE’s lodging discounts. And now, ATPE members have even more deals, discounts, and brands to choose from with the new BenefitHub. This new marketplace has a category dedicated solely to travel.

Take those discounts for a spin by checking out these Texas destinations.

Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo
Located off I-40 just outside of Amarillo you’ll find a ranch that features a different kind of steer—the Cadillac Ranch. This now iconic public art installation consists of 10 Cadillacs buried car-hood deep in the Texas soil and covered in layers of graffiti. The ranch was commissioned by Stanley March 3 and created by a group of San Francisco-based artists known as the Ant Farm. The cars weren’t always coated with so much graffiti, but visitors are welcome to leave their mark upon a visit, so long as you don’t leave any litter behind! visitamarillo.com

Buddy Holly Center, Lubbock
One of Lubbock’s most well-known spectacles, the Buddy Holly Center catches your eye immediately with a giant replica of the singer’s famous glasses planted just outside the main entrance of the museum—a great photo op! The center’s Buddy Holly exhibits are showcased in a striking guitar-shaped gallery. But the interactive museum also aims to promote the music of West Texas as a whole and allows displays for other contemporary visual arts and music in the region. Don’t forget to stop by the West Texas Walk of Fame nearby. visitlubbock.org

Eiffel Tower, Paris
“Texas” often means two things: cowboy hats and everything being bigger. This combination is perfect for Paris, Texas, a town that boasts about being “the second-largest Paris in the world” and has a 65-foot-tall Eiffel Tower with a cherry red cowboy hat on top to boot. After you take in the view, visit the adjacent Red River Valley Veterans Memorial, a touching tribute to those who have served or are serving in our nation’s military. The town is full of unique architecture and plenty of antique shops, so you can experience old-world charm without leaving Texas. paristexas.com

Dinosaur Valley State Park & Dinosaur World, Glen Rose
Take a walk on the prehistoric side by exploring Dinosaur Valley State Park. Spanning more than 1,500 acres, the park has more than hiking trails and camp sites—dinosaur tracks can still be seen along the bed of the Paluxy River. The region marks the edge of what was once a Precambrian ocean that covered much of what is now Texas. Fittingly, Dinosaur World (down the road a mile) allows visitors to actually walk among life-sized dinosaur figurines and learn about these ancient creatures. glenrosetexas.net

Stonehenge II and Easter Island Heads, Ingram
You don’t have to travel across the pond to see Stonehenge; just head to the shores of Guadalupe River near Ingram. There you’ll find Stonehenge II, an art installation that is 90 percent as wide and 60 percent as high as the original in England. What started as a fun project for local art supporter Al Shepperd and his neighbor Doug Hill now attracts thousands of visitors a year. And just for the heck of it, Shepperd added two Easter Island statues to keep Stonehenge Jr. company. cityofingram.com

Monahans Sandhills State Park, Monahans
Nature has “dune” it again. Monahans Sandhills State Park’s wonder shifts with every whip of wind, drop of rain, or round of sand sledding. The Monahans dunes are actually leftovers from New Mexico’s Rocky Mountains that were eroded by the Pecos River more than 40,000 years ago. Nowadays, families can rent “sand toboggans” and discs for a joyride down the sandy peaks. Allow yourself time to peruse the museum in the Dunagan Visitor Center to learn how this environmental phenomenon came to be. Plus, there’s a quarter-mile hiking trail showcasing the area’s native plants, along with windows for observing wildlife. cityofmonahans.org

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission
Located within the world-class World Birding Center, the Bentsen-Rio Grand Valley State Park is a premier bird-watching destination. More than 525 species have been documented in the Valley itself, with the park notching 358 species alone. Experience a bird’s-eye view in the two-story observation tower, stroll through the butterfly gardens near the visitor center, and wander the seven miles of trails to encounter more wildlife. Nestle up closer to the fowl thanks to two enclosed bird blinds, a birding wall, and water features that entice birds to come closer. Don’t miss this ecological treasure. missiontexas.us

Ready to begin your travels? Check out ATPE’s discounts to see learn more about how ATPE helps you save on hotels, car rentals, theme parks, zoos, vacation and cruise packages, AAA, and more—now even easier with the new BenefitHub marketplace! See the “Discounts and Rewards Marketplace” section of the ATPE services and discounts page for more information.