The Perfect Family Vacations in Texas on a Budget

Contrary to the popular notion that memorable family trips always operate on an exorbitant budget, there are numerous blissful family vacation plans which you can make without spending a dollop of money. Owing to a huge plethora of expedition spots which provide bang for the buck, Texas is a popular place when it comes to planning budget vacations. Boasting of a huge list of camping areas, bed-and-breakfast inns, affordable resorts and cheap accommodation options, Texas is the place you should be heading to with your loved ones if you are operating on a shoestring travel allowance. Here is the ultimate checklist of destinations to plan family vacations in Texas on a budget!

  • Wimberley
  • South Padre Island
  • Georgetown
  • Meridian State Park
  • Bastrop
  • Texas Hill Country Wildflowers
  • Brownsville
  • Krause Springs Camping
  • Victoria
  • San Marcos

1. Wimberley - An Inexpensive Weekend Getaway in Texas

Wimberley -  for some family time in texas

Image Source: Nan Palmero/flickr.com

Looking for affordable weekend getaways in Texas with your kin? Replete with plenty of sightseeing and hiking opportunities, the quaint Texas Hill Country village of Wimberley is the perfect option for you! 

Zipline adventures ensure that your little ones have plenty of exciting activities to do while a wide range of cozy cabins make sure that the couples have a romantic time when in Wimberley. The best part is that all these recreational options come at affordable rates, thus corroborating the fact that you can have a fun-filled family vacation here without burning a hole in your pocket. This is one of the most popular vacation spots in Texas for couples as well as families. 

Things to do- Explore the Jacob’s Well Natural Area, have a fun-filled time at the zip-line adventures, visit the Wimberley Glassworks, take a nature hike at Blue Hole Regional Park, have a romantic time at the Emily Ann Theater Trail of Lights and book a cozy cabin and relax by the fire indoors.

Best Time to Visit- Throughout the year

Approximate Budget- Condo and room rentals starting at $20/person

Looking for pocket-friendly places to stay around Wimberley? If yes, then check this out!

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2. South Padre Island - Ideal for Family Beach Vacations in Texas

South Padre Island - families who love beach vacations

Image Source: Stuart Seeger/flickr.com

Home to some of the best beaches in Texas, and brimming with exciting activities, there is no dearth of and things to do in South Padre Island. This island is ideal for family vacations because people across all age groups are sure to find something that fits their personality and interests perfectly.

Numerous inexpensive accommodation options lining the coast ensure that your family gets their dream beach vacation without worrying about spending too much. So, what are you waiting for? Get out your sunscreens and explore this wonderful shoreline! 

Things to do - Dolphin watching, kiteboarding, fishing, horseback riding tours, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, skydiving, ziplining, sea turtle rehabilitation projects.

Best Time to Visit - March to May, September to November

Approximate Budget - Hotel rooms starting at $40 

Looking for pocket-friendly places to stay around South Padre Island? If yes, then check this out!

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3. Georgetown - The One with a Rustic Charm

Georgetown - historical getaway

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Charming neighborhoods seeped in history and culture welcome you to the picturesque Georgetown. From rustic wineries and delightful boutique shops to scenic lakes and underground caverns, there are endless indulgent opportunities here, thus making it one of the most ideal spots for all-inclusive family vacations in Texas. 

Hailed as the "Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas," Georgetown's downtown district boasts of unique shops and restaurants housed in historic, Victoria era buildings. Exploring the rustic locales of Georgetown is a delightful and an inexpensive way to have a quiet and a blissful vacation with your kinfolks in Texas. 

Things to do- Relax at the Berry Springs Park and Preserve, visit the Georgetown Art Center, catch a performance at the Georgetown Palace Theatre, go cave-exploring at the Inner Space Cavern, savor some locally produced wines at the Georgetown Winery and soak in the charming culture of Georgia at the Historic Downtown Georgetown.

Best Time to Visit- October

Approximate Budget- Hotel rooms starting at $50

Looking for pocket-friendly places to stay around Georgetown? If yes, then check this out!

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4. Meridian State Park - Perfect for Family Camping Expeditions

Meridian State Park - camping destinations for families

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Housing a 72-acre lake in its premises, the Meridian State Park is a scenic place which provides ample number of outdoor recreational opportunities at throwaway prices. Apart from camping, picnicking and bicycling, visitors can also indulge in swimming, fishing and hiking!

In addition to campsites for tents and RVs, the park also has screened shelters, group facilities and a cabin which can be availed at pretty cheap rates. Affordable accommodation, inexpensive recreational opportunities and suitable for all age groups - what else do you need to plan family vacations in Texas on a budget! Do check some of the other lakes in Texas where you can plan your trip.

Things to do- Hiking, swimming, paddling, birdwatching, camping and fishing.

Best Time to Visit- Summers

Approximate Budget- Fully-equipped campsite starting at $25

Looking for a pocket-friendly place to stay around Meridian State Park? If yes, then check this out!

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5. Bastrop - A Great Blend of the Historic Downtown and the Scenic Natural Settings

Bastrop for an affordable family vacation

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Boasting of a huge list of things to do for free, the quaint central Texas town of Bastrop situated right on the Colorado River is a popular choice for people looking for wonderful family vacations without pinching the pocket. A town that promises a serene getaway amidst breathtaking natural beauty, it is a place whose wilderness is best explored by riding your bike or hiking the nature trails here.

Home-cooked meals, old-fashioned shops and a relaxing float down the river is all that you need to bond with your loved ones like never before. A perfect blend of the historic downtown and the scenic natural settings, Bastrop bequeaths you with a wide array of cheap leisure prospects, thus making it one of the top vacation spots in Texas for families.

Things to do- Visit the Bastrop County Courthouse and Jail, catch a show at the Bastrop Opera House, take a bicycle ride at the Bastrop State Park and admire the wonderful creations at the Lost Pines Art Cente

Best Time to Visit- Throughout the year

Approximate Budget- Hotel rooms starting at $40

Looking for pocket-friendly places to stay around Bastrop? If yes, then check this out!

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6. Texas Hill Country Wildflowers, Willow City - Ideal for Picturesque Drives

Texas Hill Country Wildflowers, Willow City

Image Source: Pixabay.com

An ideal location for scenic drives, the Texas Hill Country Wildflowers, Willow City is a charming place that is full of rolling hills, blossoming meadows, pleasant creeks, and lush green valleys. Admiring the gorgeous scenery and the brilliant wildflowers is something that can be done free of cost, thus making a trip to this place all the more economical. 

A walk on the nature trail that navigates past pastures that house longhorns, American bison and white-tailed deer is an ideal recreational activity for the entire family. Also, you can book a bus tour to the LBJ Ranch or visit the Sauer-Beckmann Farmstead for a nominal fee. 

Things to do- Scenic drives, camp, hike, bird watch, picnic, rock climb, backpack, hike, stargaze, and geocache.

Best Time to Visit- Spring

Approximate Budget- Bed-and-breakfast and camping options starting at $25

Looking for a pocket-friendly place to stay around Texas Hill Country Wildflowers, Willow City? If yes, then check this out!

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7. Brownsville - A South-Texan Paradise

Brownsville - kid friendly vacation in Texas

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The southernmost city in Texas, Brownsville is home to a variety of historical sites, golf courses and nature trails. Plenty of museums and art galleries which charge nominal fees make this city ideal for planning family vacations in Texas on a budget. 

The Children’s Museum of Brownsville and the Gladys Porter Zoo make Brownsville one of the most popular spots for baby-friendly vacations in Texas. Also, a plethora of zoos, parks and bicycle trails in the city make it an ideal option for fitness-conscious families!

Things to do- Explore historical sites, play golf, hike down the nature trails, visit the Gladys Porter Zoo and have an interesting time at the Costumes of the Americas Museum. 

Best Time to Visit- Throughout the year

Approximate Budget- Hotel rooms starting at $40

Looking for pocket-friendly places to stay around Brownsville? If yes, then check this out!

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8. Krause Springs Camping - Swim through Central Texas!

Krause Springs Camping

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Spring-fed natural swimming holes, breathtaking waterfalls, a lovely butterfly garden and umpteen primitive camping opportunities are things that you should be looking forward to when planning a family vacation to Krause Springs in Central Texas. 

Reasonably priced and bequeathing families with endless outdoor recreational activities in the lap of the nature, Krause Springs is a great place to unwind and relax with your loved ones, away from the noisy crowds!

Things to do - Dive into the natural pools, stroll through the Butterfly Gardens, camp in the beautiful natural settings and go birdwatching

Best Time to Visit - Summers

Approximate Budget - Admission fees of $8 for adults and $5 for kids

Looking for pocket-friendly places to stay around Krause Springs? If yes, then check this out!

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9. Victoria - A Hub of Outdoor Recreational Opportunities

Victoria - child friendly outdoor activities

Image Source: Ken Lund/flickr.com

Situated near the mid-point of the Texas Gulf Coast region, Victoria is a city that is steeped in history and culture. What’s more, there are a huge number of recreational opportunities here- kayaking along the Guadalupe River, fishing Coleto Creek Reservoir, touring an extensive nature walk at Riverside Park- which the visitors can undertake for free! Indeed, Victoria is perfect for inexpensive weekend getaways in Texas!

Things to do - Go to the Riverside Park and Rose Garden, listen to a performance by the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, buy fresh and local produce at the Victoria Farmers Market, camp at Coleto Creek Park and Reservoir and visit the Museum of the Coastal Bend

Best Time to Visit - Spring and Autumn

Approximate Budget - Hotel rooms starting at $40

Looking for pocket-friendly places to stay around Victoria? If yes, then check this out!

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10. San Marcos - The Quintessential Texas Hill Country Town!

San Marcos - a perfect weekend getaway

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

There is never a dearth of things to do in the charming Texan city of San Marcos- entertaining activities and fascinating neighborhoods ensure that no person who visits this place goes back disappointed! 

It exemplifies the many things that make the Texas Hill Country great and presents the tourists with really cheap bargains on shopping, accommodation and recreational opportunities! No wonder, San Marcos is considered to be one of the most preferred spots for budget-friendly family vacations in Texas.

Things to do- Experience the San Marcos River, discover Wonder World Park, explore Dick’s Classic Garage Car Museum and take a boat tour at the Meadows Center Glass Bottom Boat Tours

Best Time to Visit- Summers

Approximate Budget- Hotel rooms starting at $45

Looking for pocket-friendly places to stay around San Marcos? If yes, then check this out!

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So, stop worrying and start planning! It is time to take your loved ones on an idyllic holiday that they surely deserve!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MEGHANA AGASHE MEGHANA AGASHE

Oscillating between reality and day-dreaming, Meghana is a journalist by education and a travel-blogger by profession. The eternal love for exploring different places and cuisines, the urge to interact with people across cultures and the thirst for adventures is what drew her to the world of travel. An effervescent and a happy-go-lucky person who draws inspiration from the world of books and movies, she believes in mostly following her heart and very rarely, her brain! One moment you might find her curled up with a book and a cup of coffee while in the next, she might be reaching out for her keys and heading for a road-trip. Unpredictability is something that defines her the best and her sensitive nature juxtaposing with her ambitious attitude, makes her a contradiction of all sorts.

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