8 DAYS/ 7 NIGHTS
Group members who are not on the pre-tour will arrive today.
This evening, mingle with other group members at a meet and greet reception hosted by our guide, a destination specialist. We’ll be introduced to our 8-day exploration of Texas at a nearby Saloon in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District.
Fort Worth – Dallas – Fort Worth
This morning we’ll take an orientation tour of Dallas, a city that offers a unique blend of Southwestern warmth, cosmopolitan flair, old west charm and modern sophistication. We’ll visit the Sixth-Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, The Museum, located within the former Texas School Book Depository building, chronicles the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. After visiting the museum, we’ll travel the route of the Presidential Motorcade and follow the timeline of Lee Harvey Oswald as that fatal day in November 1963 unfolded.
In the afternoon, we return to the Stockyards in time to watch the late afternoon cattle drive. There’ll be time for dinner before gathering to attend the Stockyards Championship Rodeo at the Cowtown Coliseum. Afterwards you may choose to cap off the night at Billy Bob’s for a drink, listening to country music, and dancing the Texas Two-Step, or try riding a mechanical bull!
Fort Worth – Beaumont Ranch – Austin
Depart Fort Worth for Beaumont Ranch. This western ranch reflects Texas in the 1880s when cowboys were driving their herds along the Chisolm Trail – where it now stands. Beaumont Ranch offers outdoor adventure activities to guests, and it is a working cattle ranch with herds of Longhorn Cattle and horses.
Here, you can experience ranch life when you choose from a variety of activities; take a horseback trail ride, learn how to rope cattle, or shoot sporting clays.
Continue to Austin, the capital of Texas, better known these days as the Live Music Capital of the World and a mecca for foodies. Tonight, tickle your taste buds with a taste of Texas Bar-B-Que and local craft beer at one of the city’s iconic smokehouses.
Begin the day with an orientation tour of downtown Austin to see such sites as the University of Texas, the Capital building, and 360 Bridge. Head to ACL Live at the Moody Theater, the permanent home of the PBS program. Austin City Limits is the longest running music series in American television history and the only TV series to be awarded the National Medal of Arts. The pilot episode in 1974 featured Willie Nelson.
We’ll stop for lunch at one of Austin’s famous Food Truck parks. Started in the early ‘90s it has blossomed into a citywide movement. All over town, chefs are eschewing sit-down establishments and serving inexpensive, unpretentious cuisine whipped up in the back of refurbished Airstreams and concession trailers.
The tour continues through Austin’s Hill Country before time to visit SoCo, a vibrant neighbourhood that oozes homespun character and boasts the story of Austin’s yesteryear in its boutiques, eateries, galleries and music venues.
No trip to Austin is complete without a visit to the Continental Club. This retro Austin vestige opened in 1957 is a mecca for roots, rockabilly, country and swing music. A classic neon sign hangs above the entrance, and custom hot rods line South Congress Avenue in front of the dimly lit club, which both Rolling Stone and Playboy magazine named one of the Best Clubs in America.
Austin – Fredericksburg – San Antonio
A drive through the Texas hill country brings us to Fredericksburg, a charming town that proudly embraces its extensive German heritage. Walk the town’s streets and pass Gothic-style churches with pointed archways and vaulted ceilings, restaurants serving savoury schnitzels and tall pints of dunkelweizen, and the sweet smell of German pastries emanating from historic bakeries.
The scenic rolling hills that surround the town are home to approximately 45 wineries. We’ll follow along the Fredericksburg Wine Road and make stops to taste some of the region’s delicious merlots or fruity zinfandels.
We’ll arrive in San Antonio late afternoon. This evening we’ll take an early evening narrated riverboat cruise, stopping for dinner along the Riverwalk.
In the 18th century, Spanish priests established five Catholic missions along the San Antonio River. Today, the five missions represent the largest concentration of Spanish colonial missions in North America and have been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
There’ll be free time this afternoon to explore more of the Riverwalk and surrounding area before we drive out to Gruene National Historic District to experience” bona fide Texas”. The centrepiece of this sleepy, former ghost town is Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas. There’s nothing false or gentrified about Gruene Hall.
The old wooden floors creak and give a little when you dance, and flaps are lifted on the side of the building to create instant natural air conditioning. Here, it’s about listening to the live music and trying the two-step if so inclined.
San Antonio – Houston
Upon arrival in Houston, we’ll visit Space Center Houston, the gateway to NASA’s Johnson Space Center where we’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at space exploration. The Johnson Space Center is the home of Mission Control where human space missions and the operations of the International Space Station are monitored. A variety of astronauts prepare and train for missions here.
Northeast of Downtown sits a section of historic neighbourhoods that date back to the late 1800s. Residents once flocked to the Heights to escape the big city, but today it’s the hipsters and young couples that are drawn to this area’s rich and character-filled architecture, mom and pop-type shops and funky restaurants.
We’ll enjoy an included final night dinner surrounded by century-old bungalows and unique architectural accents. The area offers an eclectic mix of ice houses, pubs and eateries and we’ll try some of the area’s best local Southern Comfort Foods.
Houston – Depart or Houston –New Orleans
Those ending their tour in Houston will be transferred to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Depart for New Orleans. En route, we’ll stop for lunch in Lake Charles before arriving New Orleans late afternoon.
Passengers may conclude tour in Houston, or travel by coach to New Orleans. (no additional charge)