By Carla Olivo, USMC Spouse
They call it “The Great Place” and despite the fact that Fort Hood is one of the largest military installations in the country, you may want to venture out a bit during your time there.
Just 45 minutes away is Georgetown, a quaint town you will pass on your way to Austin. It has a beautiful city square with local shops, antiques, and excellent restaurants. Not in the mood to shop? Head to the local winery and relax with a wine tasting. Nearby Inner Space Cavern is one of the best-preserved caves in Texas. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring your camera to capture the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.
If You Love Music
Only an hour from Fort Hood, the Texas Capitol of Austin is widely known as the music capital of the world. Most weekends you can easily find a music festival to attend. The largest, of course, is the annual South By Southwest Music Conference and Festival in the spring. Some other areas of interest include: watching the bats fly off the Congress Avenue Bridge, visiting the Lyndon B Johnson Presidential Library, swimming in the Barton Springs Pool, posing in front of the famous “I love you so much” wall, or catching a University of Texas football game.
San Antonio (2.5-hour trip)
Corporate home of PCSgrades! While we love visitors, we realize there are many more exciting attractions to visit here in San Antonio. The Riverwalk, lined with colorful umbrellas, restaurants, and boat tours is a star attraction in the city. Sea World is also a popular destination. They have a great military discount program! And of course, a day trip to San Antonio would not be complete without a visit to the Alamo. Just don’t ask to see the basement!
Dallas (2.5-hour trip)
Dallas may take more than a day trip to really see all the city has to offer. The most notable attractions include the JFK History Tour that ends in Dealey Plaza, the George W. Bush Presidential Library, the Dallas World Aquarium, Cowboys football games, Rangers baseball games, the Dallas Zoo and many more parks and museums.
Houston (3-hour trip)
Houston is home to the (NASA) Space Center Houston, Houston Zoo, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Astros baseball team, the Downtown Aquarium, and the Children’s Museum. Boat tours along the Buffalo Bayou offer a nice respite from the heat. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the world’s largest event of its kind with more than 30,000 livestock and horse show entries recorded.
Galveston (4-hour trip)
Anytime you can drive to the beach from a duty station; it is a good thing! Galveston is a great beach experience. You can simply enjoy Island Time in a beach chair or shop around, tour the Moody Gardens, or head to the Lone Star Flight Museum and check out the historical air crafts and artifacts. Galveston is also a major port of call to hop on a cruise ship and take an extended vacation!
Carla is the Strategic Communications Director for PCSgrades. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, a retired USMC Lt. Colonel, their two children. You can follow her on Twitter @olivowriter.Carla Olivo