The best way to find out about activities and services in the city you’re visiting is through the local convention and visitors bureau, or in smaller communities, the chamber of commerce. Each destination in this guide includes contact information for visitor services, and even the most rural areas have discovered the value of promoting themselves online thanks to the wonders of the Web.
It’s always a good idea to have cash on hand for tips, bottles of water, and parking or tollway fees, but you can get by in most Texas cities with a credit or debit card. Some smaller towns still don’t accept them (old-fashioned restaurants and “convenience” stores, in particular), but they’re typically modern enough to have ATM machines. Also available, yet not quite as accessible, are wire transfers and travelers checks. Call ahead for the bank’s hours of operation, since some institutions close at odd hours.
Convention and visitors bureaus are the best resource for planning a trip to Texas. Call ahead to have maps and brochures sent before your trip, or check the town’s website for electronic versions of walking tours and street maps available for download. It’s also a good idea to check these sites or call in advance to find out if the city you’re visiting is hosting its annual pecan days or biker festival at the same time. Depending on your outlook, this can enhance or hinder your excursion.