There’s plenty of adventure to be had living in Veranda. Our Richmond location in the heart of Fort Bend means that no matter which direction you travel, amazing summer adventures are less than three hours away. Where should you go? We put together a list of must-sees.
Houston is in Veranda’s backyard, but you’d be surprised how many forget to make it a staycation destination. That’s too bad — Houston’s cosmopolitan nature makes it the perfect spot for a day of urban adventure. Pick a museum or two and explore new things. Hike, bike or kayak Buffalo Bayou. Shop for new school clothes at The Galleria. The Houston Zoo, Hermann Park, Discovery Green Park and Houston Arboretum & Nature Center should all be on the itinerary. Can’t do it all in one day? No worries. Houston is less than 45 minutes from Veranda so you can play every weekend.
Need to feel ocean breezes and warm sand beneath your toes? Galveston Island is the place to be. Galveston is approximately an hour from Houston. East Beach is popular with families due to amenities such as a pavilion, boardwalk and entertainment stage as well as restrooms, showers, chair and umbrella rentals, children's playground and concessions. If that’s not your cup of tea, there are 32 miles of coastline to explore. The Pleasure Pier and Moody Gardens offer attractions galore. The Strand is a great place to shop, dine and explore historic buildings.
A quick trip up I-45 from Galveston will take you to the Kemah Boardwalk. Open daily, this is a getaway the entire family will always be up for. Thrill seekers should head straight for the Boardwalk Bullet, a coaster with the greatest number of track crossovers ever designed. Aquarium, a restaurant and aquarium, entices kids with opportunities to pet sting rays. Midway games, an arcade, dancing water fountains, shopping, concerts and events will keep you busy morning, noon and night.
Space Center Houston
One of Houston’s most famous attractions, Space Center Houston draws tens of thousands of visitors each year. Part museum, part education institution, the center makes space accessible to everyone. The newest exhibit explores the Artemis program which will be taking us back to the moon for the first time since 1972.
Sam Houston National Forest
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
Up your family’s nature-watching game with a trip to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Less than two hours from the Houston area, the refuge protects critically important coastal wetlands. Hike, learn about Texas’ natural resources and stop in at the Butterfly Garden to view beautiful flowers, plants and butterflies.
Located in Southeast Texas on the border of Louisiana, Port Arthur is a seaside city worth the trip. Sea Rim State Park offers opportunities for primitive beach camping, fishing, kayaking, crabbing and just enjoying the sunset. Take the kids to watch big ships on the nautical-themed Port Arthur Boardwalk. Experience another culture with a tour of the Buu Mon Buddhist Temple. Head over to the Museum of the Gulf Coast to learn about the famous musicians who call the Gulf Coast home.
Goose Island State Park
North of Corpus Christi, Goose Island is a favorite with nature-loving families. There are 44 camp sites by the bay and 57 nestled under old-growth oak trees. You can fish from the 1,620-foot-long fishing pier or launch your boat or kayak from the boat launch. Be sure to visit the Big Tree which has been standing on the coast for centuries.
Is there a better way to cool down in the summer than with a scoop of Blue Bell ice cream? You can have that scoop in the birthplace of that iconic creamery — Brenham. There’s more to Brenham than ice cream. Visitors can stroll through Chappell Hill Lavender Farm, learn more about Texas history at the Star of the Republic Museum, visit the many wineries and breweries in the area and stomp some grapes at the Windy Winery.
Admittedly, we’re running right up against our three hours or less timeline but if you can make the drive, Austin is a sight to see. If you go one place in our capitol city, make it 360-acre Zilker Park. Home to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, the park also features a botanical garden, nature center and lake. Bring your towels and make a splash in Barton Springs Pool. The heart of Zilker Park is a three-acre, spring-fed pool that stays a brisk 68 degrees year-round. Round off the day with a performance at Zilker Hillside Theater.