Travelers with disabilities shouldn’t have much trouble getting around in Texas; in fact, the only places that may not be wheelchair accessible are some outdated hotels and restaurants. Otherwise, parks, museums, and city attractions are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, providing ramps, elevators, and accessible facilities for public-use areas.
Texas law requires cities to appoint one member to a transit board representing the interest of the “transportation disadvantaged,” a group that can include people with disabilities. As a result, most cities have addressed accessibility issues in airports and public transportation services. For detailed information, contact the municipal offices in the city you’re visiting or the Texas Department of Transportation’s Public Transportation Division at 512/416-2810 or www.dot.state.tx.us .
Other handy resources for disabled travelers en route to Texas are Disabled Online (www.disabledonline.com ), offering a page of links with travel tips; the Handicapped Travel Club (www.handicappedtravelclub.com ), providing information about campgrounds with accessibility; and the Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (www.sath.org ), containing a resources page with handy travel tips for anyone with physical limitations.
For seniors, it’s always a good idea to mention in advance if you’re a member of AARP or if you qualify for a senior discount (typically for ages 65 and older, but occasionally available for the 60 and older crowd). Most museums in Texas offer a few dollars off admission fees for seniors, and many public transportation systems also provide discounts.
If you haven’t done so already, inquire about travel options through Elderhostel (877/426-8056, www.elderhostel.org ), an organization providing several dozen programs in Texas with seniors in mind. Excursions lasting 4 to 12 days are available, ranging from birding trails to heritage-based tours to art, nature, and fishing trips.
Texas’s rural communities (and even some of its smaller cities) aren’t quite as open-minded as its metropolitan areas. Houston , Dallas , and Austin  have sizable gay communities, with bars, restaurants, and services catering exclusively to gay clientele.
To learn more about the news affecting the gay and lesbian community in Texas, pick up a copy of the Texas Triangle weekly newspaper, containing feature articles, a calendar of events, and nightlife listings. For additional information, contact the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas (512/474-5475).