Distance from TCU: 100 miles / 2 hours 4 min
A weekend camping trip to Possum Kingdom is a great way to experience the great outdoors. Also known as the “Great Lake of Texas,” Possum Kingdom State Park sits on roughly 20,000 acres of clear water. With its soaring cliffs and rugged landscape, Possum Kingdom has something that no other North Texas getaway offers. The lake is a massive water playground for people to swim, boat, jet ski, cliff dive and snorkel. Its setting in the canyon country of the Palo Pinto Mountains provides 1,500 acres for camping, hiking and fishing, making it the perfect place to pitch a tent.
· Accommodation: Campsites with water and electricity cost $17 per night. Each site can hold up to eight people. They include a picnic table, fire pit, water and electricity hookup with restrooms nearby.
· Food: Don’t worry about spending money at expensive restaurants. Come packed with your favorite groceries for easy meals such as cereal, milk, granola bars, chips, lunchmeat, bread, hotdogs, hamburgers, waters and sodas.
· Activities: Most activities are free, including hiking, fishing, swimming and biking.
· Gas Price Estimate: $20 to $30, round-trip
Sites to See
· Hell’s Gate: Don’t miss this spot. Hell’s Gate, which rises 110 feet above the water features two towering cliffs surrounding the entrance of a small cove. Venture onto the lake and rent a kayak or canoe for the day for no more than $20.
· Hike Johnson Peak: This trail has been called one of the best in North Texas. The trail totals about 13 miles, good for both biking and hiking.
· Eat dinner at The Cliffs Resort on the patio overlooking the lake: If your group ever wanted to splurge on a nice meal, head over to The Cliffs Resort. You could watch the sunset while eating dinner for about $15 to $20.
Glen Rose, Texas
Distance from TCU: 52 miles / 1 hour
Escape Fort Worth for the weekend to get a taste of small town Texas. Known as the “Dinosaur Capital of Texas,” Glen Rose has been a popular tourist destination for years. From beautiful scenery, rolling hills and rivers, Glen Rose has several attractions including Dinosaur Valley State Park and Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. Be sure to look around the historic downtown square, where there are many shops, restaurants and museums all in walking distance.
· Accommodation: Budget hotels in Glen Rose cost between $75 and $90 per night. Book hotels on Hotwire or Priceline for even better deals.
· Food: Be sure to stop by The Green Pickle for lunch to try a one-of-a-kind burger! Meals range from $5 to $10. If you’re in the mood for some barbecue and live music, try the Loco Coyote Grill. It is one of the few places still sporting a true sawdust-covered dirt floor. Find a spot at a picnic table and prepare yourself for some huge portions. Typical meals range from $10 to $20. Another inexpensive option is Hammond’s BBQ. You won’t want to miss trying the smoky and tender brisket. You can even BYOB!
· Gas Price Estimate: $10 to $15, round-trip
Sites to See
· Stop by Fossil Rim Wildlife Center: Throughout the 1,700-acre sanctuary, you’ll find rhinos, zebras, cheetahs, giraffes, bison, antelope and more, with many of the animals roaming freely. Make sure you have a full tank of gas and take a drive through Fossil Rim Wildlife Center to encounter animals like you can nowhere else! Admission prices from March through October: Monday through Friday – $20.95. Saturday and Sunday – $22.95.
· Take a dinosaur track tour: Dinosaur Valley State Park is home to some of the best-preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. Learn about some of the creatures that roamed this area long ago. Other park activities include picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, river swimming and fishing. Entrance fee is $7.
· Listen to live music under the stars: While eating at Loco Coyote Grill, sit back and listen to live music entertainment available every Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Call ahead for music schedule: (254) 897-2324.
· Visit Granbury Square: Spend some time visiting the historical Granbury Square, 22 minutes outside of Glen Rose, where there are a variety of eateries, art galleries and antique shops.
· Bowling at Granbury Lanes: Play a game of midnight bowling, known as “Rock N Bowl,” from 10 p.m. to midnight for $13 per person (includes shoe rental fee).
Be a local tourist. If you’re short on time or money, there’s no better way to take a vacation than to take one in your own city. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has a number of wonders waiting to be explored.
· Accommodation: Since you’ll be traveling locally, you won’t need to splurge on a hotel room. Spend the night at home!
· Food: Go out to lunch at some unique places such as Neighborhood Services, where meals range from $10 to $25. The restaurant has a variety of beer, wine and cocktails.
· Gas Price Estimate: $10 to $40 depending on how far you go.
Sites to See
· Watch a show at Fort Worth Opera: When most people think of opera, they think of ladies in Viking helmets singing in some made-up language. Fort Worth Opera is working to change that stereotype by making opera more modern and fun. The Opera Shots program, which is a free opera and drinks at various bars throughout the Metroplex, allows you to enjoy a sample of opera. Students with a valid ID can purchase tickets for $15 at the box office on the day of the performance.
· Take a ride on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad and spend the day in the Stockyards: Head to Grapevine and take a train ride to the Stockyards on the oldest continuously operating steam engine in the south. Tickets vary from $14 to $20. There are many must-see attractions to check out while you’re in the Fort Worth Stockyards. Make sure to go to the Stockyards Championship Rodeo to watch riding, racing and roping for just $17.50 per person. Rodeo tickets allow free entrance to Billy Bob’s Texas, the world’s largest Honky Tonk, where you can two-step to live music entertainment.
· Sunday brunch at the Botanic Gardens: The Fort Worth Botanic Gardens offers a delicious brunch buffet at their specialty restaurant, the Gardens Restaurant. There, you will have the opportunity to dine outdoors with the beautiful view of the botanic gardens. Brunch is about $20 per person.
· Go to a Rangers game: Enjoy an exciting Rangers baseball game with ticket prices starting less than $20.