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A day trip from Houston offers all kinds of possibilities. You can venture into west Texas Hill Country with its rugged granite hills, underground rivers, caves and limestone landscapes. Or head south to the coastline where you’ll find wetlands, bayou areas and sandy white beaches.

Create your own group adventure. Gather your friends and family and book a bus for a day trip outside Houston. Here are some favorites but Vacationidea can provide you with even more locations.

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Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

As you leave the concrete jungle of the Houston metropolis, an hour and 20 minutes later you can arrive at the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge covers 34,000 acres of terrain consisting of prairie, bayous and wetlands along the Texas coast. Among the wildlife being conserved here are bobcats, alligators, various birds such as yellow rail, purple gallinule, and whistling ducks along with over sixty different species of butterflies.

The refuge is a haven for bird watchers. And there’s plenty to do, including hiking the trails, fishing, waterfowl hunting and paddling. Or you can take a less active approach and just view wildlife in its natural habitat and photograph it. Environmental education classes are also available and you can arrange for a park ranger to take you on a tour.

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Galveston Island

For a beach getaway, head to Galveston Island, which is only about an hour drive from Houston. Galveston Island lies off the Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a long island that stretches for about 27 miles and is only about three miles wide at the widest point.

You can relax on the beach and listen to the waves. But for things to do, you’ll find plenty of tourist attractions along Seawall Boulevard, including the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, which is an amusement park contained on a large pier that extends into the gulf. Bishop’s Palace is a historic mansion and Wills-Moody Mansion is another historic spot with guided tours. You can visit the Lone Start Flight Museum or Elyssa, which is a tall three-mast ship moored in Galveston and one of the oldest ships on the sea today.

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Kemah

Kemah lies along the coast on Galveston Bay, southeast of Houston and is about a 50 minutes drive. It’s a small shipping town but is totally geared for tourists. The Kemah Boardwalk has amusement rides in a carnival atmosphere. Ride the Ferris wheel, the carousel or wild rides like the Aviator and Boardwalk Tower. There are also arcade and Midway games you can play to win prizes.

But despite the amusements, the boardwalk’s main attractions are the seafood restaurants with recognized names like Landry’s Seafood House, Bubba Bump Shrimp Co. Aquarium Restaurant and The Cadillac Bar.

Take a tour of the Clear Creek Winery and Vineyard or charter a boat and try your luck at deep-sea fishing. You can also take a carriage ride through the town or visit the haunted lighthouse district for spooky thrills.

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Sam Houston National Forest

Sam Houston National Forest is an hour drive north of Houston. The forest is massive, covering more than 163,000 acres.

There are various hiking trails and bicycle trails. The San Jacinto River and Lake Conroe are favorite spots and people enjoy boating and water sports. You can rent canoes and paddleboat at Double Lake Recreation Area and fish in the lake for bass, bream and catfish.

The wildlife in this area are abundant, especially white-tailed deer but you’ll also see feral hogs, quail, dove, woodpeckers and ducks.

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Space Center Houston

This 30-minute drive from Houston takes you to the Space Center for an out of this world experience. The Disney Imagineering team helped design the Space Center with the goal for visitors to experience first hand what it would be like to travel in outer space.

There are many exhibits to explore, such as Destination Moon, where you’ll see the Apollo 11 command module. You can watch a shortened version of the blockbuster movie Mission Control. Visit the newest Summer Exhibit where you can move objects with your mind or make them disappear in the Science Fiction, Science Future exhibit presented by Coca-Cola. As you make different facial expressions, watch a robot mimic them like they did in one of the Terminator movies.

Book Your Day Trip Bus Charter Through Western Motorcoach.

Getting out of the city can be refreshing, but if you’re stuck driving in gridlock, that’s no fun. Let Western Motorcoach take all the stress out of traffic and driving for you. We have the perfect vehicle for your group and you’ll be in safe hands with a professional driver at the wheel.

You can save on expenses by having everyone chip in. And bus travel rates are very affordable anyway.