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Texas Road Trip Ideas for a (Safe) Pandemic Getaway

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 12/02/2020

Like most Americans, Texans have done their best to stay home and limit the spread of the coronavirus. With this year’s family vacations canceled, the itch to leave home may be intense. This holiday season, road-tripping to some of Texas’ greatest campsites may be the safest answer to your COVID-19 vacation desires. 

Fortunately, as an ATPE member, your membership discounts can add cushion to your bank account, get you out of your home, and allow you to travel cautiously. So, grab your mask and tent, call your quarantine pod, and adventure to some of Texas’ favorite campgrounds!  

Big Bend National Park
Self-proclaimed as “Texas’ Gift to the Nation,” Big Bend National Park does not disappoint. For most Texans, heading west is a great opportunity to experience a change in scenery without crossing the country. Big Bend National Park is located near the U.S./Mexico border where mountainous terrain fills the skyline. There are four campgrounds within the park designated for your preferred style of camping—RV or tent. The entire park is near 800,000 acres—perfect for adventuring! While visiting the park, there are opportunities for backpacking, horse riding, and even off-roading. Make sure to arrive at the park early to find a spot for camping before spots fill up. During breaks in the school year, the park often experiences a large influx of visitors, so plan your travels quickly! Check out the available campsites here before time runs out. 

Caddo Lake State Park
If you are looking to head east, Caddo Lake State Park is the place for you! Only 10 miles outside of Louisiana, the state park is filled with bayous and swampy terrain and is home to more than 70 species of fish. During your visit to the park, try canoeing in the 50 miles of paddling trails—just make sure to keep an eye out for the alligators in the area! Karnack and nearby Marshall are full of historical significance and exciting opportunities for all ages. Caddo Lake State Park offers 46 campsites and multiple cabins to rent. You can make your camping spot reservation here

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Rock climbers and stargazers rejoice! This one is for you. The Enchanted Rock State Natural Area located north of Fredericksburg is an area like no other. The massive, pink granite rock that overlooks the park has been a popular tourist attraction for hundreds of years, drawing thousands of people every year. Legend is that the Tonkawa tribe believed the dome had a magic spell casted on it by a Spanish conquistador who now makes magical ghost fires at the top of the rock.  At the park, however, you will find nearly 11 miles of hiking trails to explore. If you are planning on bringing a furry friend with you during the road trip, be aware that the Loop Trail is the only path that allows pets. You can make a reservation here to secure a camp site. 

Padre Island National Seashore
If you are looking to socially distance, but the woods and hiking are not your style, Padre Island National Seashore is the perfect road trip stop! With over 70 miles of coastlines, dunes, and prairies, Padre Island National Seashore is considered a protected U.S. national park and the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. With over 380 bird species, as well as turtles, that nest in the area, visitors are destined to experience unique wildlife. The picturesque scene is ideal for any camper looking to spend some time catching an ocean breeze. The park offers five unique camping areas—mostly alongside the beach, giving traditional camping a twist. You can check out the different campsites here and reserve your spot today. 

So, are you ready to start adventuring safely? Before you start booking your trip and heading out the door, check out ATPE’s discounts to learn more about how ATPE helps you save on hotels, car rentals, zoos, AAA, and more!

Not an ATPE member? Join the state’s largest community of educators today. Members can more than recoup the cost of their dues by using their ATPE discounts!