Beautiful San Antonio, Texas downtown skyline at dusk. Image credit Sean Pavone via Shutterstock.

7 Affordable Summer Vacation Spots In Texas

Vacations are important. They allow us to break away from the day-to-day grind, offer us a chance to experience new adventures with friends and family, and the chance to recharge. For some of us, the mountains are the place to go, enjoying the great outdoors, communing with nature, and taking in the simple pleasures of peace and tranquility. For others, the beach is the destination, the ebb and flow of the waves, the comfort of the sand, and the wonderful sunshine warming our bodies and souls. However, no one wants to pay an arm and a leg to bask in the bliss of those all-too-rare vacation times. Fortunately, Texas has a few perfect travel spots that will not cause financial strain! In a state this huge, it would be hard not to find something amazing to do when it is time to decompress. Check out some of the best destinations for beautiful travel on a budget in the vast state of Texas! 

South Padre Island

Summer beach travel destination South Padre Island Beach , Texas , USA Aerial Drone view above gorgeous South Texas Beach vacation destination
Aerial view of South Padre Island, TX. Image credit Roschetzky Photography via Shutterstock.

Considered one of America’s best beach towns, South Padre Island is famous for its lovely shoreline, its vibrant culture, and its small-town Texas charm. The accommodations are very economically priced, featuring RV campgrounds with hookups close to the beach, as well as never-ending amounts of activities the whole family can enjoy. Collect shells on the beach, do some fishing from the pier, or take a lovely walk down the Laguna Madre Nature Trail; lucky visitors might even see an alligator! For those with a little extra spending cash after saving on the inexpensive hotels, the dolphin-watching boat excursion is always a crowd-pleaser, however, be mindful about booking this excursion. South Padre Island is a hot spot for college kids during spring break and can get very crowded!


House of the Seasons, Historic House located in Jefferson, TX
House of the Seasons, Historic House located in Jefferson. Image credit LMPark Photos via Shutterstock.

For ghost enthusiasts who also enjoy incredible history, Jefferson, Texas is the place to go. Once a bustling port city, Jefferson has a collection of some of the most gorgeous plantation homes in the state. In addition, it is considered one of the most haunted towns in Texas. Paranormal hotspots, plantation tours, and plenty of stories await those intrigued by these types of encounters. The truth of the matter is that there is a heap of lore surrounding the mysterious deaths on many of the local plantations and the town happily capitalizes on the tales. This genius decision has made Jefferson a fun and unique travel spot, particularly for travelers who love a good ghost story. However, that does not mean it is all Jefferson has to offer, with plenty of affordable places to stay, antique shops, and Caddo Lake being just a stone's throw away, Jefferson is a destination anyone can appreciate! 


A small country café that offers live music in the evenings in Crockett, Texas
Country Cafe in Crockett, Texas. Image credit Sabrina Janelle Gordon via Shutterstock.

Taking the family to a theme park almost guarantees paying a fortune for tickets and food, not to mention waiting in long lines for rides and enduring crowds! However, at Crocketts Family Resort, they might not have roller coasters, but they do have a plethora of activities visitors and families will love and memories wait to be made; all for an inexpensive sticker price! On Houston County Lake, fishing enthusiasts will catch their limit of largemouth bass, while those without the desire to cast a line in the water can swim in the lake or pool. Play some mini-golf or hit some balls at the local course, test your skills at shuffleboard and horseshoes, or maybe try a hand at paddleboarding. The resort has camping spaces, RV hookups, and an on-site restaurant and grocery store, making this resort a family and budget-family destination!

San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas, USA cityscape at the Riverwalk.
San Antonio, Texas cityscape at the Riverwalk. Image credit Sean Pavone via Shutterstock.

Wallets will not take too much of a beating if visiting this historic destination is in the vacation plans. For instance, there is absolutely no charge to visit the Alamo! Learn how in 1836 the Texas Revolution raged in a 13-day siege no one will ever forget. It is a humbling and hallowed place to get a new sense of perspective and is worthy of anyone's attention. The most popular attraction in San Antonio is the gorgeous River Walk. Take an inexpensive boat trip down the River Walk which offers opportunities for plenty of pictures and glimpses of local shops and restaurants that line the canal. Do not forget to pencil in a trip to Market Square, a wonderful spot to purchase hand-crafted goods, fresh produce, and freshly baked items at the 24-hour Mexican bakery.

Galveston Island

Aerial drone view over Galveston Beach
Aerial drone view over Galveston Beach. Image credit Cire notrevo via Shutterstock.

While an hour south of Houston, once on the island, visitors might feel as though they have been teleported to a tropical getaway, complete with pristine beaches, authentic local color, and even a boardwalk! Of course, no good list of vacation spots without naming an amusement park of sorts is complete! Pleasure Pier on Galveston Island checks all the boxes! Galveston Island has not been without its share of torments, though, and was devastated by the Great Storm, a hurricane in 1900 that is still considered the deadliest in US history. Since then, it has bounced back and flourishes to this day being a well-traveled port for shrimp boats. There are plenty of restaurants on the island and reasonable accommodations as well, including a Hotel and Spa that is cheaper than many hotels on the mainland.


Skyline of Fort Worth Texas at night
Skyline of Fort Worth Texas at night. Image credit Leena Robinson via Shutterstock.

What is DFW? It is simply the identifier for the Dallas-Fort Worth area. What many do not know is that not only does DFW encompass Dallas and Fort Worth, but all areas in between. Thus, a vacationing visitor has a lot of ground to cover if they wish to take in some inexpensive enjoyment in a single trip. Fortunately, DFW knows what tourists are after and has made its amenities easy to find in addition to being very affordable. In Forth Worth, say hello to Molly the Trolley, a free vintage trolley that explores downtown and Sundance Square. Take some pictures at the twice-daily cattle drive where longhorns are paraded through the stockyard district. Then visit the Cowgirl Hall of Fame! In Dallas, the McKinney Avenue M-line trolley is free to ride and will shuttle visitors to the 20-block arts district and uptown. Do not forget to sample some authentic Texas barbeque, a taste alone makes the trip worth it! 


Aerial Drone Panoramic view from high above Austin Texas USA skyline cityscape over south congress or Soco downtown sunset view with pinks and colorful dramatic evening sky
Aerial view of Austin, Texas. Image credit Roschetzky Photography via Shutterstock.

Home to the Circuit of the Americas, the rolling Texas Hill Country, and more outdoor recreation imaginable, Austin is a bustling year-round destination. Austin is the place to visit if relaxing is not the highest priority. For travelers looking to fill their time with adventure, music, and lights. Austin is the perfect choice. For those winter vacations, Austin offers mild temperatures that make exploring a joy. Kayaking, hiking, bird watching, fishing, hunting, and even rock climbing are available to the adventurous guest. Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, so music lovers will find their bliss at every corner here. Despite being the capital city of Texas, visitors will not pay a fortune for accommodations or dining, offering beautiful places to stay and things to do at a fraction of the cost of other metropolises.


Vacations can sometimes tend to be a carbon copy of each other. A trip to the beach, a cruise, and a venture to an amusement venue, all follow a pattern, and after a while, these may become a little mundane. Why not try something new, excite the senses, and take a walk on the wild side? In Texas, with such a large landmass and many cities and towns to explore, finding affordable trips is a sinch. With so much culture, history, and of course, Texan barbeque to enjoy, visitors will not be disappointed with any of the aforementioned vacation spots!


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