^ CotA events should start in Q1 of next year. The next nearest track would be Harris Hill in San Marcos, then Texas World Speedway in College Station. From there the tracks in Houston and Dallas are pretty equidistant.
Of the other two, Harris Hill is a slower but more technical track. That plus the fact that it has really nice, gentle runoff areas in most places that make it unlikely that you'll damage your car if you find yourself off-roading make it an ideal venue for working on driving technique especially if you're a beginner. TWS is a pretty fast track that rewards high horsepower cars. It still has enough challenge to teach you driving technique, but between the higher speeds and the fact that TWS has some seriously harsh runoff terrain in some areas (including areas where you actually are more likely to go off), it's even more true there than elsewhere that it's up to you as a driver to remain within your own limits.
I'd also recommend checking out The Driver's Edge. They're a popular HPDE group around here because they're awesome. They used to run Harris Hill but stopped because their events got too large to run well on that track. However, they run TWS and MSR near Houston and MSR Cresson in, you guessed it, Cresson. They've run other tracks in the past and may return to those as well. But it's great to run with them because you can try out various (semi-)local tracks while always having a consistent experience since you're with the same group. That means instructors can look at your past progress with them before each event so they know what to work on with you upfront at each event, learning progression in class is better, and you see a lot of familiar faces each time. They also always do 2-day events, which makes traveling farther away more worthwhile, helps you retain what you learn better, and gives you more track time and fun for your dollar.