We chose to by-pass Houston completely, by coming down to the coast at Freeport and driving along the coastal road to Galveston Beach. This proved to be an excellent choice. We drove empty roads and the last 50 miles were along the sea shore. En route we dropped in on Shiner (pop 2000) where it proved impossible to get even a coffee. We are sure it was founded by Gwen’s relatives, but its current only claim to fame is the brewery – and their beer is very tasty.
Galveston is a tourist resort with a long beach and lots of surf. We had a good walk along the sea wall, but found it disconcerting that the hotels are on the other side of a six-lane road from the beach, with very infrequent crossing places. Fine dining was out of the question so we had very ordinary, over-battered, things which once might have been in the sea.
I thought we were pretty hardened and aware US travellers but the level of taxes is getting ridiculous, so here is my digression: when we checked out of our San Antonio hotel after two nights we found that $90 of the total was taxes, and they included a State Occupancy Tax, City Tax, County Tax, and Parking Tax. This amounted to a 16% markup on the listed price of the room. Hard to swallow.