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Tours

FAMILIARIZATION

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2/10/11 3:56:26 PM


i HOWDY, Y’ALL! We extend a huge Texas welcome to each of

you, and cannot wait to show you our beautiful and incredibly diverse state. We are proud to be a part of ABA Marketplace

2012, and even more thrilled to help you discover your “Lone Star State of Mind”. Texas truly has something for everyone. Are your clients enthralled with nature? Our biodiversity is simply amazing, with majestic pine forests in east Texas, verdant Hill Country in the central region, magnificent Gulf Coast beaches and the mountains, canyons and Chihuahuan desert in the western areas of the state. Perhaps they prefer history? Then there is nowhere better to travel than the place where the West was forged and tamed, where history was and is made still today. Does your group prefer a truly cultural experience? Well, our Western heritage and Cowboy lifestyle can be enjoyed at our rodeos, ranches, festivals and museums. We are proud of our legacy, and take great pains to keep one foot firmly rooted in our history while striding into our future, as evidenced in particular by our FAMs “Bays, Beaches & Birds,” “Cowboys, Country Music & Chicken Fried Steak,” “Cowboys & Culture”… well, as we said, our roots are so deeply intertwined, this underlying theme runs throughout all of our FAMs! We invite you to take a look at our new Texas videos on www.TravelTex.com before your FAM trip to see some of what you will be enjoying, and to learn more about all the exciting adventures travelers enjoy across Texas. You can sample a wider range of experiences in Texas than almost anywhere, and our FAMs are the perfect way to taste the adventure your guests will savor. After all, we think everything is bigger and better in Texas — come let us prove it to you! Warm Regards,

Julie Chase, Director of Tourism, The State of Texas

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TOUR Green Gulch

Sunday, January 1 • (Optional) Arrive in Midland by 4:00 p.m. and check-in at your hotel, then enjoy dinner at one of Midland’s fine restaurants

Presidential Museum

Experience Folklorico Dancers, Midland, Texas

THE UNIQUE

BIG BEND REGION

McDonald Observatory

JANUARY 2–6 Come experience the unique West Texas region, its delicious cuisine, its friendly hospitality and its exciting attractions. Become surrounded by the nat­ural beauty that encourages a variety of outdoor adventures as you travel through a diverse landscape.

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Monday, January 2 • A motorcoach will pick up arriving delegates at the Midland International Airport at 11:00 a.m. All delegates will begin the tour at 11:30 a.m. • Visit Midland, Your Window to the West • Tour the CAF Airpower Museum, vintage airplanes, and the world’s largest collection of World War II Aviation Nose Art™ • Tour Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, and the world’s largest collection of antique oil drilling equipment • Tour the Museum of the Southwest, including the Blakemore Planetarium, which has one of only 8 HD Spitz SciDome Star Projectors in the world • Enjoy Tex-Mex food and Folklorico dancers Tuesday, January 3 • Visit Fort Davis, named a 2008 Dozen Distinctive Destination® by the National Trust for Historic Preservation® • Tour of Fort Davis National Historic Site, one of the best examples of an Indian Wars’ frontier military posts in the Southwest • Tour and star party at McDonald Observatory. Features one of the world’s largest optical telescopes • Visit the Davis Mountains State Park • Savor a unique dinner at the Historic Prude Ranch • Overnight at Indian Lodge Wednesday, January 4 • Tour Alpine’s Museum of the Big Bend • Lunch at Chisos Mountain Lodge, whose restaurant has the best view of any restaurant in Texas • Tour Big Bend National Park/ Santa Elena Canyon • Tour Historic Terlingua, which holds the best concentration of mining era architecture in the region • Tour and dinner at Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa • Overnight at Big Bend Resort and Adventures • Optional after dinner drinks at Starlight Theatre Thursday, January 5 • Drive through Big Bend National Park • Tour the historic Gage Hotel in Marathon • Visit Fort Stockton, Your Crossroads to Adventure • Lunch at the Historic Annie Riggs Museum • Visit Odessa, The Right Place in Texas • Tour The Globe of the Great Southwest, modeled after the original Shakespearean Globe Theatre • Step back into history at The Presidential Museum & George Bush Home • The Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin. Features rotating art exhibitions and unique Sensory Garden for the visually handicapped • Visit the Stonehenge Replica on the campus of UTPB • Dinner at The Historic Barn Door Restaurant and Pecos Depot Friday, January 6 • Early departure to Grapevine (estimated late morning arrival)

2/10/11 3:56:38 PM


TOUR

Fire Museum of Texas

High Seas

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to Tall Trees

January 3–5

Museum of the Gulf Coast

Monday, January 2 • (Optional) Arrive in Houston by 4:00 p.m. and check-in at your hotel, then enjoy dinner at one of Houston’s fine restaurants Tuesday, January 3 • A motorcoach will pick up arriving delegates at the Houston Hobby Airport at 11:00 a.m. All delegates will begin the tour at 11:30 a.m. • Tour begins in Historic Galveston Island • Visit the 1838 Moody Mansion and 1877 Tall Ship Elissa • Enjoy dinner at Casey’s Seafood Restaurant • Overnight in Galveston, the most beautiful, entertaining and historic island in Texas

Take a journey from the beautiful coasts and historic shopping districts of Galveston Island to Beaumont, Texas with a Cajun kick. Visit one of the “greenest places on Earth in Orange, TX” before setting course for deep East Texas and the Big Thicket, a true natural wonder of Texas. Climb aboard a vintage steam engine and travel along the Texas State Railroad in style. From the High Seas to Tall Trees, East Texas will offer an unforgettable tour that you will not want to miss. Texas State Railroad

Wednesday, January 4 • Group will board motorcoach for narrated city tour and shopping trip along the famous Galveston Strand • Fly by the Lone Star Flight Museum • Visit the rain forests of Asia, Africa and South America at the Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens • Journey to Beaumont aboard the Bolivar Ferry • Stop in Port Arthur for a tour of the Museum of the Gulf Coast • Enjoy a personal guided tour of Beaumont’s Historic Downtown Entertainment & Cultural District • Tour the McFaddin-Ward House, a restored beaux-arts colonial mansion and carriage house • Visit the world’s first oil boomtown recreated at Spindletop/Gladys City Boomtown Museum and watch an oil gusher blow just like in 1901 • Stop by the Fire Museum of Texas for late dinner, entertainment and cooking demonstration Thursday, January 5 • Depart for Orange, TX and Shangri La Botanical Gardens for a nature tour and boat ride in the Blue Elbow Swamp • Visit renowned Stark Museum of Art to view the largest collection of Audubon wildlife books and Native American art • Savor a family style lunch at the Pickett House and tour Heritage Village, before departing for deep East Texas • Be on the lookout for cowboys and outlaws along the way to the Texas State Railroad’s Victorian-style depot in Rusk, TX where you will embark on the Wild West Dinner Train • End the evening with a tour around charming Palestine • Return late evening to Grapevine Shangri La Botanical Gardens?

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2/10/11 3:56:51 PM


TOUR Barrel Racer, Mesquite, Texas

Palestine, Texas Photo Provided by Richardson Media & Publishing, LLC

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Courthouse Lawn, Longview, Texas

Cowy bMuosyics,

Countr Chicken Fried Steak

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Soda Shop, Canton, Texas

Tyler, Texas

JANUARY 3–5 Join us for a fun-filled ride through the Piney Woods of beautiful East Texas, the “green belt” of Texas. East Texas is known for its tall pine trees, national forests, lakes, rivers and just plain natural beauty in the great outdoors. Discover the oldest town in Texas, country music legends, rose fields, historic Main Street districts, East Texas oil fields and much more. Enjoy unique dining places, which ranges from Old South catfish dinners, chicken fried steak to barbecue.

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SJ-Mud Road

Tuesday, January 3 • Tour will depart Grapevine at 12:00 p.m. • Visit Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, featuring more than 300,000 gallons of aquatic displays • Explore Palestine, home of the Texas State Railroad and the Dogwood Trails, and visit Eilenbergers Bakery, famous for their fruitcakes since 1898 • Overnight in Nacogdoches, the Oldest Town in Texas Wednesday, January 4 • Tour Nacogdoches’ most historic buildings including: Historic Town Center, 1830s Durst-Taylor Historic House and the Old Nacogdoches University Building • Drive through the Stephen F. Austin State University campus, including a drive by the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, which is the largest azalea garden in the state of Texas • Take in the charm of Millard’s Crossing Historic Village, featuring 19th century architecture from log cabins to Victorian homes • Enjoy great country music at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and Tex Ritter Museum in Carthage • Tour the famous Harrison County Historic Courthouse “The Crown Jewel” in Marshall • Visit Jefferson, known as “The Bed & Breakfast Capital of Texas” and boasting nearly 70 entries on the National and Texas Registry’s of Historic Places • Visit Kilgore which was thrust into the world limelight with the discovery of a huge oil field and over 1,200 oil wells were once located within the city’s limits • Overnight in Longview and spend the evening in the heart of the historical Main Street district Thursday, January 5 • Discover Tyler, known for Tyler Roses, Texas Rose Festival/ Rose Season in the fall and the Azalea & Spring Flower Trail in the Spring • Visit Canton, home of First Monday Trade Days, one of the nation’s largest, best known flea markets • Discover Mesquite, home of the world-famous Mesquite Championship Rodeo and known as the Rodeo Capital of Texas • Return to Grapevine

2/10/11 3:57:04 PM


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y r t n u o C l l i H Heart of Texas

TOUR

Monday, January 2 • Arrive in Grapevine by 4:00 p.m. and check-in at your hotel, then enjoy dinner at one of Grapevine’s fine restaurants

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum

Tuesday, January 3 • Tour will depart Grapevine at 8:00 a.m. • Start your tour in Waco, Home of Texas Hospitality • Visit the Homestead Heritage Traditional Crafts Village a Christian agricultural settlement • Tour the Waco Mammoth Site, the Nation’s only discovery of a nursery herd of Pleistocene mammoths • Explore Cameron Park Zoo, award winning natural habitat zoo • Enjoy the Dr Pepper Museum, birthplace of the oldest major soft drink • Learn about the oldest state police force at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum • Tour the Mayborn Museum Complex highlighting the natural history of Central Texas • Enjoy an interactive history of Texas sports legends at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame • Travel to Austin, Live Music Capital of the World, for dinner and a little live entertainment

Wednesday, January 4 • Take in an Austin premier city sightseeing tour highlighting historical sites and points of interest such as the Texas Capitol, The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum — where “The Story of Texas comes Alive,” LBJ Library and Museum plus more • Travel to Fredericksburg, German Heritage Texan Hospitality • Drive by LBJ State and National Parks, Wildseed Farm and numerous wineries • Drive through Fredericksburg Historic District, included in the National Historic Register • Relive the story of WWII in the Pacific at the National Museum of the Pacific War • Travel on to San Antonio, Deep in the Heart • Enjoy the newest attraction in San Antonio, “San Antonio Rose Live” at the historic Aztec Theatre Thursday, January 5 • Remember the Alamo with a visit to the IMAX Theatre to view “Alamo, the Price of Freedom,” and visit the historic Alamo • Explore San Antonio’s famous Riverwalk and see the new Museum Reach extension • Visit Market Square (El Mercado), the largest Mexican Market in North America • Visit Mission San Jose, “Queen of the Missions” and catch a glimpse of history in the making: The addition of 11 more miles to the famed River Walk • Return to Grapevine

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January 3–5

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Adventure

Geographically and nostalgically speaking, the Hill Country region encompasses the heart of Texas. Maybe it is the serene valleys tucked between rolling, cedar-studded hills… or the abundant indigo and scarlet wildflowers of spring. Perhaps it is the cypress trees that line meandering riverbanks… or the friendly small towns where time ticks at a slower tock. Then again, it could be the siren song of Austin’s musical melting-pot or the multi-cultural offerings of San Antonio. Whatever the appeal, the Texas Hill Country captivates fans the world over.

Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum

San Antonio Riverwalk

National Museum of the Pacific War

2/10/11 3:57:16 PM


TOUR Rodeo Parade Folks

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e Travel Counselors Event at Fort Concho

Monday, January 2 • Arrive in Grapevine by 4:00 p.m. and check-in at your hotel, then enjoy dinner at one of Grapevine’s fine restaurants Tuesday, January 3 • Tour will depart Grapevine at 8:00 a.m. • Visit the Wildcatter Ranch for a “hands on” cowboy experience • Be captivated by the “alphabet jail” in Albany, where world-class art is featured • Travel on to Abilene, “One of the last places where the true west flavor truly resides.” Texas Highways Magazine • Tour Frontier, Texas! one of few museums in the world that feature life-size holographic figures. You will meet, at least figuratively, some folks who lived and died on the Texas frontier • Enjoy dinner at Perini Ranch, a “Truly Texas” rustic restaurant

Where the West Lives On

Cowboys

& Culture January 3–5 Experience the historic frontier of West Texas and enter an area where the cowboy heritage of the past lives on through the modern cowboy culture that still exists today. Be inspired by the personal sagas that tell the story of this region as you follow along the Texas Forts Trail.

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ML Leddy’s

Wednesday, January 4 • See the art of custom hat making at 5-D Custom Hats and Leather • Discover why the 12th Armored Division became one of the most feared fighting machines of WWII at the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum • Stop at Fort Chadbourne Visitor Center home to Indian, military and ranch artifacts, gun collection, and research library, on the way to San Angelo. Tour the historic frontier fort grounds, and the only restored Butterfield Stage Station in the site of Texas • Travel on to San Angelo and discover the perfect blend of West Texas charm, culture and arts, and just plain old fun • Lunch at Miss Hatties, located in the heart of historic downtown San Angelo • Tour the most famous brothel in West Texas, Miss Hattie’s Bordello Museum • Learn the legend of the “Concho Pearl,” unique to the waters of San Angelo • Learn the art of boot making at ML Leddy’s • Tour Fort Concho National Landmark, once home to the famous Buffalo Soldiers, today one of the nation’s best preserved Indian Wars forts, and part of the Texas Forts Trail • Enjoy an authentic “dutch-oven dinner” and entertainment Thursday, January 5 • Experience hundreds of Indian pictographs at the Campbell Ranch in Paint Rock, many of which are thought to be 200-500 years old • Enjoy lunch at Brennan Vineyards • Visit Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling where their signature product is produced just like it was more than 100 years ago • Tour the new Ben Hogan Museum of Dublin, the only official museum of this legendary golfer • Return to Grapevine

2/10/11 3:57:22 PM


USS Lexington Museum

TOUR

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Tuesday, January 3 • Arrive in Corpus Christi by 5:00 p.m. and check-in at your hotel. The tour will officially begin at 6:30 p.m. with a group dinner in Corpus Christi Wednesday, January 4 • Visit Rockport/Fulton, “Charm of the Texas Coast” • Tour the Texas Maritime Museum • Discover the works of local artisans at the Rockport Center for the Arts • Step back in time at the Fulton Mansion State Historic Site • Take in the grandeur of the “Big Tree” at Goose Island State Park, the largest live oak in Texas • Travel to Port Aransas, “the deep sea fishing capital of Texas,” is just a short ferry ride away • Receive an island style welcome in Port Aransas and enjoy a twenty minute narrated driving tour of the island • Discover why Port Aransas is such a popular birding/nature destination at the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center • Enjoy watching bottlenose dolphins frolicking in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel during a Dolphin Watch Cruise • Enjoy a tour of the Port Aransas Museum, the Art Center for the Islands or shop in one of the unique coastal shops located at Pelican’s Landing

H Bays, Beaches & Birds January 3–6 Whether you are a beach or water fan, history buff or living for the present, urbanite or nature-lover, the Gulf Coast has something for you to enjoy!

Picturesque Sunsets

Thursday, January 5 • Start the day with a driving tour of Corpus Christi and Upper Padre Island • Connect with nature, up close and personal at the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center • Experience fine art and fun at the Art Museum of South Texas, then step into a gourmet lunch delight at the Dobson Café • View Columbus’ ships replicas Santa Maria and Pinta and artifacts from LaBelle and Spanish 1554 Shipwreck exhibits at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History • Explore the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay, a World War II era aircraft carrier with over 250,000 square feet and eleven decks to tour • Venture the depths of the Gulf of Mexico as you are immersed in this aquatic wonderland at the Texas State Aquarium • Enjoy dinner overlooking the Corpus Christi Bay

Beautiful Beaches

Group of Spoonbills

Friday, January 6 • Early departure to Grapevine (estimated late morning arrival)

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2/10/11 3:57:28 PM


North Texas

Horse Country

TOUR

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Wednesday, January 11 • Tour will depart Grapevine at 8:30 a.m. • Enjoy a behind-the-scene tour to a breeding and training facility where you will meet million dollar sires and million dollar riders • Watch reining, halter, dressage and more demonstrations from some of the top riders on some of the best horses • Visit up close Valor Farms, our Premier Thoroughbred Farm • Drive through the heart of the beautiful Horse Country • Enjoy a Truly Texas BBQ Lunch • Return to Grapevine by 3:00 p.m.

January 11 Special one-day Fam!

Horsing around has never been so much fun! Enjoy touring Denton County’s pastoral “horse country” surroundings — home to over 300 horse farms and more than 25,000 horses of every breed and discipline — all within an hour of the Gaylord Texan — a same day postfam opportunity. You’ll be chomping at the bit to see the inner workings of these incredible horse farms and enjoy a truly Texas-style lunch in the heart of the Horse Country. Enjoy beautiful vistas, relaxing backroads, and meet world champion horses, trainers, and riders on this exciting one-day fam.

Photo by Richard Reed

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PREHISTORIC TEXAS TOUR

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DINOSAURS, MAMMOTHS & ANCIENT TEXANS January 11–12 Take a hundred million year journey — TEXAS style. You’ve heard of the Chisholm Trail, the Shawnee Trail and The Goodnight-Loving Trail, but have you seen the tracks left by the inhabitants of the really Old West? Take a 100 million year journey through pre-historic Texas.

Mayborn Museum Complex

Wednesday, January 11 • Tour will depart Grapevine at 8:30 a.m. • Put your feet in the world-renowned dinosaur footprints in Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glenn Rose, Texas • Immerse yourself in ancient traditions as you tour the replica of the Paleo American site called the Horn Shelter at the Bosque Memorial Museum • Enjoy the flavors of Texas, courtesy of the award winning Red Caboose Winery • Visit the Waco Mammoth Site. Approximately 68,000 years ago, rapidly rising waters from the Bosque River caused flooding that trapped at least 19 mammoths from a nursery herd • Return to the enduring values exemplified in handcraftsmanship at Homestead Heritage Traditional Crafts Village • Enjoy dinner and a tour at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum

Waco Mammoth Site

Thursday, January 12 • Immerse yourself in the interactive “Gateway to Gault” exhibit at the Bell County Museum • Travel to the Gault Site itself, one of the most important archaeological sites in North America • Dine where historical characters found a welcome resting place at the historic Stagecoach Inn on the banks of Salado Creek • Step into the Mayborn Museum Complex to experience the Cretaceous Sea, with its 28 foot-long model of a Pliosaur, and Texas Lifeways, which includes a Waco Indian grass hut, a Comanche tipi, and an early log cabin, to discover what makes Waco the Crossroads of Texas • Tour will return to Grapevine around 6:00 p.m.

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Dinosaur Valley State Park

2/10/11 3:57:47 PM


TOUR

Wine, Art & the West January 11–13

Look up and see a West Texas sunset that will ease even the busiest mind, a rich Texas heritage that continues to live on and a western culture true to its roots. As you visit Graham, Lubbock and Abilene you will be surrounded by old-fashioned hospitality.

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Wednesday, January 11 • Tour will depart Grapevine at 9:00 a.m. • Have your very own “Hands-on Cowboy Experience” at the Wildcatter Ranch in Graham, Texas • Arrive in Lubbock, slip into your boots and take a sip of true Lubbock culture at McPherson Cellars. Taste wine that is grown and produced in Lubbock. Be introduced to the history of the Llano Estacado and the family responsible for the beginning of West Texas wines Thursday, January 12 • Begin the day at the Silent Wings Museum • Listen to the story of the U.S. Military Glider Program, and see one of the few fully restored World War II gliders in existence • Jump back in time at the National Ranching Heritage Center and visit the beginning of the Wild West through the preservation of 48 authentic structures • Be blown away at the American Wind Power Center where you will find more than 150 rare and fully restored windmills. Stand before the 6,000 sq. ft. “Legacy of the Wind Mural” and view a landscape of breathtaking windmills of the rolling plains • See where Western culture meets modern art at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts. Enjoy a lunch of West Texas favorites followed by a casual tour of the best contemporary art of the South Plains • Depart for downtown Abilene, which comes to life the 2nd Thursday of each month for Artwalk. Attractions, shops and businesses are open until 8:30 p.m. • Be amazed at the Grace Museum. Here you will find a beautifully restored hotel from 1909, which houses three museums: the Abilene Historical Museum, the Children’s Museum and the Art’s Museum • Discover why the 12th Armored Division became one of the most feared fighting machines of WWII at the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum • Catch a Star at the Paramount Theatre; Book Time at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature and See Artists in Action at the Center for Contemporary Arts Friday, January 13 • Tour Frontier Texas! where you will meet-at least figuratively-some of the real people who lived and died on the Texas Frontier between 1780 and 1880 • Tour will return to Grapevine and DFW International Airport by 2:00 p.m.

National Ranching Heritage Center

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Grapevine CVB Familiarization Tours Brochure