TEXAS - Winter Escape February 18-March 10, 2019 The Lone Star State Along with a Few All American Patriotic Attractions
Save $125 with early registration by Sept. 1st
July 5, 2018 Howdy! Do you remember the winter in Northern Minnesota during the months of February and March 2018? Let me take a moment to refresh your memory. It was cold! It was snowy! It was gray, blustery, and it went on and on and on… Unfortunately, the winter of 2019 does not look any warmer and many of you have been patiently waiting for Happy Trails Tours to “take you away”. You deserve an escape and you have waited long enough! It is with great pleasure that I can say your wait is finally over because we have just completed the plans for your next Winter Escape to Texas. Yes! Big bold Texas…the Lone Star State! We have a fabulous 21-day vacation planned that will highlight some of the most beautiful regions in our country’s 28th state. Plus, you will be provided with ample time to just unwind and comb the beaches on South Padre Island. How does Happy Trails Tours plan to fill the time, you ask? Let me tell you.
Our first destination stop is Fort Worth. Be prepared to experience the Historic Union Stock Yards and the daily Long-horn Cattle drive right down the middle of the street. Then, we will travel on to Dallas where we will visit the George W. Bush Presidential Library.
Our next stop includes three nights in San Antonio, home of the Alamo and famous San Antonio River walk. From here, we are heading farther south to the gorgeous South Padre Island where we will be staying seven nights at the stunning Pearl South Padre Island Resort. The view is breathtaking (from every room) and we have some wonderful activities, excursions and meals planned while still allowing you plenty of time to simply enjoy time in the sun or planning your own activities.
Our next destination will be to Galveston right in the midst of all the glitter, beads, masks, colorful feathers, and outrageous costumes of the third largest Mardi Gras celebration in the country. Our plans include visiting the spectacular Rainforest and Aquarium Pyramids of Moody Gardens. Prepare to be amazed. If that is not enough, we will enjoy the stunning beauty of Galveston Bayou while dining aboard the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat. From Galveston, we will travel to Fredericksburg, right in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, the crossroads of West Texas, Central Texas, and South Texas. Not only will you appreciate the surrounding splendor of the area but our excursions will take us to the “Texas White House”, home of Lyndon B. Johnson, our 36th President, the National Museum of the Pacific War, and even lunch at The Hangar, a fascinating restaurant that is an exact replica of a WWII hangar of the romantic 1940’s.
Our motorcoach will begin heading home from Fredericksburg but not until we stop in Waco for lunch. Here, we will spend a little time at Magnolia Market & –Silo Baking Company. If you are a fan of “Fixer Upper”, starring Chip and Joanna Gaine’s, you will love this last little outing before our motorcoach points true North, back to Minnesota. This extraordinary tour is affordably priced and includes luxurious transportation on a brand new motorcoach, beautiful hotel accommodations throughout the tour, exciting excursions, 33 meals, plus much much more, including a few surprises. Happy Trails Tours has a list of over 200 customers just waiting for this amazing opportunity to escape our cold Minnesota winter. Reservations are on a first come, first serve basis and no reservation is secure without a $250.00 per person deposit payable within seven days of registration. Book today and we are offering $125.00 per person incentive. This special discount ends September 1, 2018.
South Padre Island ~ Fort Worth Historic District ~ Galveston ~ San Antonio ~ Fredericksburg This THREE WEEK TEXAS Tour is HUGE with Fabulous Attractions to Include the Following:
Motor Coach Transportation: Deluxe motor-coach boarding throughout Northeast Minnesota: Hibbing, Virginia, Eveleth, Duluth, Cloquet and Gr Rapids. Central MN: Baxter, Little Falls, Rice and Sartell. Southern MN: Twin Cities, Burnsville, Owatonna and Albert Lea
20 Nights Lodging- SEVEN nights in South Padre Island at the “Pearl South Padre Resort“, One night in Fort Worth's Historic Stockyard District at the “Hyatt Place“, Two nights in Galveston at the “Holiday Inn Resort on the Beach” & Three nights in San Antonio, at the “Drury Inn Riverwalk“, Three nights in Fredericksburg at The “Sunday House Inn Downtown”;
Over the Road Lodging: Two nights in Des Moines (1st & last nights) and two at the in Oklahoma City (2nd & 19th night)
33 Meals: Twenty Breakfasts, One Lunch, Eight Dinners and FOUR Light Dinners @ the Drury Inn
While in Fort Worth: Overnight in the Historic Stockyard District nearby the famous Billy Bob's Honky Tonk, Exchange Street, museums, shopping and restaurants. We'll have dinner in the famous Guitar Bar at Billy Bobs.
Three Nights in San Antonio: Our hotel in San Antonio is nestled right on the Historic Riverwalk! It’s only a few blocks from the historic Alamo, and the River Center Mall. We’ve included a narrated City Tour and lots of time to explore as per your own agenda. Also, enjoy ONE full day at your leisure!
Seven Nights in South Padre Island: Our property is amazing with a direct access to the lovely South Padre Island Beach! Enjoy a Dolphin Cruise to include an “Eco Tour “ with a naturalist (you’ll see little sea creatures up close), “Sea Turtle Sanctuary“, Treasures of the Gulf Museum, "Port IsabelLighthouse” and “Historical Museum”; South Padre Rio Grande World Birding Center and Iwo Jima Monument and Museum in Harlingen, along with plenty of time to relax on the beach as per your own agenda. This hotel also offers an island shuttle.
Two Nights in Galveston: Our property here is located right on the beach! We'll visit “Moody Gardens - Galveston Island Rainforest and Aquarium Pyramid" on Galveston Island and a Dinner Cruise on the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat on the Galveston Bayou - Gulf of Mexico.
Three Nights in Fredericksburg:Our hotel property is the only one in the downtown area of Fredericksburg - only steps from the historic district where shops and restaurants abound in this Bavarian community. We've many great nearby attractions planned while in here...National Museum of the Pacific War, LBJ Ranch and Texas White House, Wildseed Farms and Wedding Oak Winery.
And This, Too! “Magnolia Market & Silos Baking Company“ (owned by Chip & Joanna's Gains from Waco, Texas); George W Bush Presidential Library;Long Horn Cattle Drive ; Luggage handling; Taxes; Most Tips, and Fully Guided with a Happy Trails Tour Manager.
A few other things to know about this tour: Reservations: Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservation is held without a financial deposit made. Dress Code & How to Pack: As far as dress code, the tour is comfortable and casual. Though you'll pack winter clothing to start with, these articles of clothing can be kept inside the coach during the time when the weather is warmer. But keep in mind, it get's chilly at times ... even in the South. Meals: Breakfast is offered each morning. Some full breakfasts and some lighter but always a nice variety. As to other meals, we will offer more details closer to the time of departure. Let us know if you have any special dietary requests. Hotels: The hotels are 3 & 4 Star (Some chains are as follows; Drury's, Hilton Property, Holiday Inn & Marriott Properties). Specifics on each property is in your itinerary. At the time of booking, most are offering Free Wi-Fi. Some offer indoor and outdoor pools, two queen or double beds (and some rooms with KING only. The Sunday Inn in Fredericksburg does not have an elevator. So all rooms are on the main level but spread out more. Fully Guided with Professional Drivers and Escorts: Not to worry - you’re in good hands! Our escorts are very personable and will greet each of you as they take great care in operating a well organized tour. Our drivers are wonderful and very experienced with your safety as their utmost concern. Luggage: Pack one suitcase each. This suitcase is delivered each night to your rooms by the porter. (Tips are included in your package) You may bring a carry-on bag, as well, on board. Carry-on bags are handled by yourself. Do not make them heavier than what you can carrry. Pack a swimming suit if you enjoy the pool, bring a camera, a raincoat, & an umbrella. It is wise to pack an alarm clock, too, as sometimes a glitch occurs for wake-up calls from the front desk. The Coach/ Seat Rotation: The coach is a new 56 passenger motorcoach with reclining seats, big windows, restroom, TV’, CD & DVD and chartered through Trobec’s Bus Company, St Stephens. The coach has seatbelts, foot rests, cup holders and spacious leg room. It also has a restroom. Limited Wi-Fi & 110 outlets are also offered. Check out our website for more info on the coach company and Happy Trails Tours. SEATING: We will prearrange all seating prior to boarding. We do not rotate seats so you will keep the seat you have throughout the tour. If you have a special need for seating, kindly let us know at the time you register. Special request seating is on a first - come, first-served basis so if the seating you are requesting has already been booked, we may not be able to honor your request. We ask that you fill our the reservation form when you first register with any specail needs listed. If we do not see any notations or requests, we may not be able to honor it later. We stop every 2 - 3 hours for breaks. PLEASE NOTE: Sometimes we end up on a stretch of interstate that may prevent us from stopping exactly at 2.5 or 3 hours. We do our best to accommodate but remember…there’s also a restroom on board IF you need it. Thank you for your understanding. Shuttles : Sometimes, if an area we scheduled as a boarding location falls short in numbers, we may have to offer a small shuttle vehicle to help save costs. We'd rather run a shuttle than totally cancel the convenience of a ride for folks for this tour. We hope you'll understand why we occassionally offer smaller shuttle vehicles. By smaller vehicle such as a car or SUV. The shuttle we generally run is a 29 passenger mini-coach. Thank you. Special Needs: Be sure to let us know of any special needs...such as diet, walking, stairs, allergies or motion sickness, etc…. If you use a wheelchair, walker (one with a seat is best) or a scooter, please let us know. Please refrain from using strong colognes or perfumes while on board the coach. So many folks have allergies and we want everyone comfortable while traveling. Diabetics are encouraged to bring along some little snacks as we cannot always promise meal breaks on schedule though we do our best to timely. Tipping: The tour includes tips for luggage handling, meals and step-on-guides. Tips are not included for your driver & on board travel host. On Board Activities: We play movies, play games, listen to CDs & tell stories as we pass the time while traveling. If you have a cute joke or story (and it’s appropriate for all audiences!) then we invite you to use the microphone and share your humor with all on board. Schedule Changes: We reserve the right to adjust this schedule for the benefit of all traveling. Sometimes changes occur beyond our control. If a change occurs, we’ll TRY to replace it with something of equal value. We have no control over any of the attractions listed in this flyer nor can we control hotels, tour companies (other than our own); restaurants and theaters. Final Documents: Your final documents will arrive about 3 weeks prior to departure.
TEXAS - Winter Escape February 18- March 10, 2019
Day 1: February 18 - Monday Travel to Des Moines, Iowa Our tour begins with several convenient pickups including the Iron Range, Duluth, Twin Cities, Central & Southern MN by our friends at Trobec Bus Company. Trobec offers beautiful new deluxe motor coaches with reclining seats, huge windows, on board restrooms, window shades, foot and arm rests, TV, CD and DVD player, sound system, #110 outlets, WI-FI, cup holders and seat belts. With comfort stops every 2-3 hours, sit back and relax as you get acquainted with fellow travelers. Enjoy a buffet of appetizers and drinks once we arrive at our lovely hotel.
Day 2: February 19 - Tuesday Travel to Oklahoma City, OK After a hot buffet breakfast we make our way to Oklahoma City. This is another travel day and our day will go quickly as we visit and get to know one another on board the coach. Comfort stops every 2-3 hours with a lunch break in Kansas City.
Day 3: February 20 - Wednesday Travel to Fort Worth, TX Today we travel to Cattle Country! Explore historic Forth Worth where it intersects with the Old Chisholm Trail. Our hotel is located in the heart of the stockyard district, within walking distance of the Fort Worth Stockyard Museum, shops and restaurants. Dinner is included tonight at the famous Billy Bob’s Guitar Bar, followed by line dancing lessons - boots and hats are optional!
Day 4: February 21 - Thursday Travel to San Antonio Our tour continues as we travel to San Antonio, including a stop in Dallas to visit the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Located on the campus of Southern Methodist University, this museum includes the “Nation Under Attack” exhibit, displaying steel from the World Trade Center, the bullhorn Pres. Bush used to address the crowd at Ground Zero and letter he received in the days following the attack. The day concludes with drinks and refreshments at the hotel and a leisurely evening on your own.
Day 5: February 22 – Friday The Alamo and Narrated City Tour Today we board the bus for a guided city tour to learn about San Antonio’s colorful history with a visit to Mission San Jose. We then head to the heart of San Antonio and Texas’ most visited landmark, The Alamo, where Davy Crockett and 185 other “Texans” fought for independence from Mexico.
Day 6: February 23 – Saturday Free Day in San Antonio Today is your day to explore San Antonio and your options are endless! Browse for one-of-a-kind goods at El Mercado, the Mexican Marketplace. Board a boat and drift along the Paseo del Rio, also known as the River Walk, one of Texas’s most prized attractions. Choose from numerous restaurants and shopping to make this day unforgettable. Day 7: February 24 – Sunday Travel to South Padre Island & Rio Grande Valley We leave San Antonio today and journey to the tropical paradise of South Padre Island. This barrier island off the southern coast of Texas, is known for its beautiful beaches and calm waters. Settle in with dinner at the hotel and an evening on your own.
Day 8: February 25 – Monday Sea Turtle, Inc. The Gulf of Mexico is home to 5 of the world’s seven sea turtle species, including the most endangered sea turtle worldwide, the Kemp’s ridley. Sea Turtle, Inc. was founding in 1977 by Ila Fox Loetscher, better known as “The Turtle Lady of South Padre Island”. Originally this organization was formed to aid in the protection and recovery of the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. The mission has since expanded to include education, rehabilitation and conservation. We wrap of the evening with dinner at a favorite local restaurant, included.
Day 9: February 26 – Tuesday Eco Boat Tour & Dolphin Watch This morning we enjoy a 2 hour Dolphin Watch and Eco-cruise. As curious dolphins follow along, the ship drags nets to catch some of nature’s most fascinating animals. The sea life is brought on board where the experienced crew and on board naturalist identify and explain each catch before safely returning it to the bay. Once back on land, the day is yours. Enjoy an afternoon on the beach or explore the island and its unique shops.
Day 10: February 27 – Wednesday World Birding Center & Iwo Jima Monument & Museum Today we make our way to the Harlingen Arroyo Colorado World Birding Center, one of nine birding centers in the lower Rio Grande Valley. More than 500 bird species visit this center, making it an important refuge in the heart of the city. Afterwards, we head over to visit the Iwo Jima Monument and museum. This is the clay sculpture from which the bronze statue in Arlington National Cemetery was made. We wrap up our day with a leisurely evening on your own.
Day 11: February 28 – Thursday Port Isabel Lighthouse, Gulf of Mexico Museum & Pirates! Enjoy the morning at your leisure before we board the coach and head to Port Isabel. Hear the story of the three Spanish ships that met their fate in 1554 at the Treasures of the Gulf Museum. Visit The Lighthouse which was built to protect and guide ships through Brazos Santiago and barrier islands. View the largest collection of Mexican artifacts from the U.S. & Mexican War at the Historical Museum. Wrap up the day with dinner (included) at the Pirates Landing.
Day 12: March 1 – Friday Free Day/Dinner Out Take the day at your leisure and relax on the beach. Tonight is an included dinner, venue TBA.
Day 13: March 2 – Saturday Another Free Day on the Island Enjoy another free day in paradise!
Day 14: March 3 – Sunday Travel to Galveston Today we say goodbye to South Padre and travel north. With a brief stop in Corpus Christi, we arrive in beautiful Galveston. After an included dinner, enjoy the outdoor pool or nearby shopping.
Day 15: March 4 – Monday Moody Gardens Rainforest & Aquarium Pyramids, Galveston Island This morning we visit the Moody Gardens Rainforest and Aquarium Pyramids. Here you will experience LIFE as you visit the rainforests of Asia, Africa and the Americas. Enjoy a rare, up-close and interactive experience with endangered plants and animals. Then explore the oceans’ depths in the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, North Pacific, and Caribbean. Dive into the oceans in a 1.5 million gallon aquarium teeming sea life. There are plenty of places to sit as you take in these two wonderful attractions at your own pace.
Day 16: March 5 – Tuesday Travel to Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg Today we leave the ocean behind and travel to the heart of the rural Texas Hill Country and Bavarian town of Fredericksburg. The old time southwest will surround you as your take time to independently explore German themed restaurants, shopping and more.
Day 17: March 6 – Wednesday LBJ Nat’l Historic Park, Texas White House, Wildseed Farms & Wedding Oak Winery Journey to Stonewall, Texas and enjoy a visit to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park and Texas White House. Tour the birthplace of the 36th President of the United States and learn about living in the Texas Hill Country. This day is not complete without a visit to the Wildseed Farms, the nation’s largest working wildflower farm & the wonderful, on-site Wedding Oak Winery.
Day 18: March 7 – Thursday Nat’l Museum of the Pacific War & Airport Diner Experience another patriotic attraction at the National Museum of the Pacific War, a hidden gem in the heart of Texas Hill Country. Formerly the Nimitz Museum, this complex is the only museum in the Continental United States centered on the World War II Pacific campaign. Relax during the included lunch at the Airport Diner, located in the unique Hangar Hotel. Enjoy entertaining aircrafts as they take-off and land between bites of their delicious “Bomber Burger”. This diner is a one of a kind experience you are sure to love.
Day 19: March 8 – Friday Travel to Oklahoma City & Magnolia Farms “The Silos” We begin our day early as we travel to Oklahoma City. Along the way we stop in Waco, Texas, and visit the Magnolia Market & Silos Baking Company, owned by HGTV stars, Chip and Joanna Gaines from the show “Fixer-Upper”. This place offers places to eat, a fun place to find unique treasures or simply stretch your legs.
Day 20: March 9 – Saturday Travel to Clive, Iowa After breakfast, we board the coach and journey to Clive, Iowa. Once we arrive at our destination, enjoy a “Farewell Dinner” (included) at the delightful Iowa Machine Shed.
Day 21: March 10 – Sunday Homeward Bound with Fond Memories Today we arrive home. With comfort stops along the way, including a lunch break in Burnsville, MN, we say goodbye to our new friends as we part ways. Estimated arrival times home are between4:30-7:00 p.m., depending upon location.