For those who have never visited, Texas can easily appear as a caricature of itself, owing to its larger-than-life personality. Indeed, everything is more substantial in Texas. However, what has truly made it such a captivating destination is that beneath the surface lies a state that is authentic through and through.
It was right here that the famous cattle drives occurred in the latter half of the 1800s, cementing the Lone Star State’s position in ranching legend. Texan border towns share a rich history, offering visitors an unadulterated taste of the past, as well as a local cuisine rooted in homegrown recipes passed down through generations.
Experience the vibrant fusion of history, cuisine, and cultural richness in the enchanting city of San Antonio. Otherwise known as the cultural hub of Texas, the charming southern city remains undiscovered. This is fantastic news for you, as the captivating travel scene, the enchanting cityscape, and the enlightening landmarks eagerly await your exploration. Due to this reason, San Antonio emerges as a top destination to explore in Texas.
Your journey should commence and conclude along the scenic Riverwalk, which is brimming with exceptional dining establishments, a lively ambiance, and excellent shopping opportunities, all conveniently located near top-notch hotels. Before or after your exciting adventure, sign up for a thrilling nighttime safari.
Another famous attraction in San Antonio is the Alamo, a famous attraction that should not be missed. It will take just a moment to travel between this iconic destination and the Riverwalk. The travel destination was established in 1744 and, after nearly three centuries, continues to hold a prominent place in US history.
As the largest city in Texas, Houston stands as one of the most sought-after destinations in the state. This fourth-largest city in the United States caters to families with a plethora of attractions that will captivate visitors of all ages.
One of the top priorities should be a visit to the Space Center Houston. While it certainly appeals to children, the entire group will be captivated by its informative and interactive exhibits. With a strong emphasis on science and technology, you can delve into the world of space exploration, view moon artifacts, behold the Saturn V rocket, and even don an astronaut’s suit.
Many of Houston’s most significant attractions are concentrated in the Warehouse District of Downtown Houston. Make your way there to experience the remarkable Downtown Tunnel System, admire panoramic views from the 60th-floor Chase Tower Observatory, explore the Downtown Aquarium, and catch an outdoor performance at TUTS, also known as the Theater Under the Stars.
After spending ample time indoors, venture out to explore the city’s expansive green spaces, including Memorial Park and Buffalo Bayou Park.
Padre Island National Seashore
There’s no other place on Earth where you’ll find an unspoiled coastline longer than the one right here on Padre Island. Stretching over 70 miles, the Padre Island National Seashore is a paradise for birdwatchers and holds a crucial position in global conservation efforts.
Just a short drive from the southern city of Corpus Christi, this national seashore boasts a remarkable expanse of untouched beaches that seamlessly transition into rolling dunes and pristine grassland habitats. Amidst this natural beauty, you can encounter a diverse range of species, including Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, which hatch during the summer months.
While enjoying the beach is a significant part of the seashore experience, there’s much more to explore. Children can indulge in building sandcastles and splashing in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the seashore’s trails are bound to beckon you. These trails offer an opportunity to spot over 350 migratory bird species that make a stop along the barrier island during their journeys.
Additional activities include kayaking on the Laguna Madre or embarking on off-road four-wheel drives along the beach.
Nowadays, Austin, the capital of Texas, is primarily recognized for its vibrant music and arts scene. However, due to its strategic location within the Lone Star State, this increasingly popular city offers a diverse array of attractions for everyone to enjoy.
Austin has earned a well-deserved reputation as a live music leader, thanks to the guitars and drums that resonate into the early hours along Dirty Six, South Congress, and Rainey Street. Pair this musical excellence with mouthwatering Tex-Mex cuisine, and you have the recipe for a week-long celebration.
Furthermore, Austin’s location along the Colorado River provides an abundance of beautiful parks and water-based experiences. Whether you choose to explore Lady Bird Lake on foot or by kayak, don’t miss the opportunity to stroll across the iconic Congress Street Bridge. From mid-spring to early fall, this bridge becomes the stage for the world’s largest urban bat colony, performing its daily flight at sunset.
In addition to its renowned music and culinary scene, Austin boasts other attractions, including the University of Texas and its associated museums, as well as the imposing state capitol building.
For a long time, the coastal town of Galveston has been a magnet for Texans seeking a family-friendly vacation that combines relaxation and excitement. However, the town, often referred to as Texas’ counterpart to Santa Monica, has gained widespread recognition and developed its unique character.
Galveston’s charm lies in its seemingly endless stretches of sun-drenched Gulf of Mexico beaches, where days are bookended by golden sands. In between, visitors can wander through historic streets that once boasted the “Wall Street of the South,” explore state parks, and indulge in heart-pounding theme park adventures.
Once serving as an immigration port akin to Ellis Island, Galveston now offers visitors a choice: delve into the town’s fascinating history or simply unwind with a cocktail under the warm sun. To combine both experiences, a visit to the Historic Pleasure Pier is a must. Here, kids can enjoy the thrill of 16 amusement rides, including a towering 200-foot swing.
Located in the far western corner of Texas, El Paso may not immediately stand out as a must-visit destination. However, to gain a true understanding of Texas, one must spend time in this hidden gem tucked away in a remote corner. Those who embark on the journey to El Paso will uncover a welcoming local culture and a rich history intertwined with its role as a border town.
Situated just steps away from Mexico, El Paso naturally bears a strong influence from its southern neighbor. Within the Downtown Historic District, visitors will encounter Mexican markets and centuries-old architecture that harken back to El Paso’s origins as a trading post in the heart of the Wild West.
The city’s skyline features a blend of modern architecture, including the stunning El Camino Real Hotel, a national historic landmark that was once renowned as the ideal vantage point to witness the Mexican revolution unfold just a few miles away.
El Paso, often referred to as Sun City, offers breathtaking views as the sun sets each evening over the Franklin Mountains. The city boasts numerous outstanding attractions, including the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, the Museum of Archeology at Wilderness Park, and the Centennial Museum.
In the realm of travel, the captivating city of Fort Worth beckons as the second half of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. When it comes to travel, few experiences are as Texan as exploring the world of cattle ranching.
While Dallas focuses on business and art, Fort Worth is all about cowboys and having a good time. To acquaint yourself with the city, visit the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, where the locals continue to celebrate the city’s rich heritage. Stick around to witness the memorable daily cattle drive, catch a rodeo, and learn some Texas Two Step at Billy Bob’s Texas, the largest honky-tonk on earth.
Venturing beyond the Stockyards, you’ll discover a diverse and well-rounded Fort Worth. Be sure to include the Cultural District, the Kimbell Art Museum, and Sundance Square on your travel agenda.
Having explored Fort Worth, let’s now head 30 minutes east to Dallas. No Texas adventure is truly comprehensive until you’ve set foot in the Big D, a nickname that has been synonymous with Dallas since the 1930s. In this vibrant city, you’ll discover one of the premier art districts in the United States, beautiful arboretums, and a wealth of sporting attractions.
Spanning an impressive 19 blocks, the Dallas Arts District is the largest in the country. Notable highlights include the beloved Dallas Art Museum, which may require multiple visits to fully appreciate. Additionally, the city is adorned with Deep Ellum, a district brimming with captivating street art.
While other Texas cities may be more celebrated for their historical significance, Dallas undeniably holds its place in history. It was here that JFK was assassinated, an event you can explore further at the Sixth Floor Museum.
Lastly, sports enthusiasts will find plenty to cheer for in Dallas. The city is home to America’s Team, the Cowboys, as well as the NBA’s Mavericks and MLB’s Rangers.
Palo Duro Canyon
Discover the breathtaking Palo Duro Canyon nestled in the scenic Texas Panhandle. When it comes to travel destinations, the United States boasts numerous renowned canyons. However, this particular canyon proudly holds the title of being the second largest. Located just a short distance from the enchanting town of Amarillo, Palo Duro Canyon presents an array of exciting travel opportunities, catering to both relaxed explorations and thrilling adventures.
Embark on a thrilling journey through breathtaking landscapes as you make your way towards awe-inspiring vistas. Explore the extensive network of hiking trails spanning 30 miles within the canyon, where you’ll be captivated by the juxtaposition of lush greenery and desolate terrain. However, that’s what you will encounter on your journey, with majestic peaks of weathered stone ascending on either side and lush flora competing for the scarce nourishment found on the terrain.
In addition to exploring the great outdoors, make sure to experience the exhilarating zipline adventure that transports you high above the ground, spanning from one end to the other. After your journey, treat yourself to an unforgettable experience at The Big Texas, renowned for its famous 72 oz steak challenge!
Texas Hill Country
One of the top destinations for couples in the Lone Star State is the picturesque Texas Hill Country. In a region that often feels rugged and remote, travelers will be captivated by the lush rolling hills, charming and historic towns, and a delightful array of vineyards. This destination offers a unique experience unlike any other.
Make your way to Fredericksburg to immerse yourself in German culture, as the area was settled by German immigrants in the 19th century. In Fredericksburg, you can explore wineries for tastings, savor bratwurst and sauerkraut at an authentic beer garden, or shop for Bavarian souvenirs at an outdoor market.
However, the Texas Hill Country isn’t just about culture; it offers remarkable natural beauty as well. This includes the captivating Jacobs Well, a 140-foot-deep spring leading to a vast submerged cave. You can also explore the Natural Bridge Caverns and embark on a picnic hike at the renowned Enchanted Rock.
The optimal time to visit this region is in the spring when the Hill Country bursts into a vibrant display of wildflowers, including the beloved Texas State Flower, the Bluebonnet.
Situated along the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi remains renowned for its stunning coastal beauty. In fact, when Alonzo de Pineda first discovered this region in the 16th century, he was so captivated that he named it after the Feast Day of Corpus Christi.
Five centuries later, the town’s natural allure continues to draw travelers from across the country. In addition to the splendid local beaches, perfect for sunbathing and swimming, you will find yourself in close proximity to the unforgettable Mustang Island State Park and Padre Island National Seashore.
While immersing yourself in nature, take a deep dive into the local culture with visits to the Selena Museum and the SS Lexington, a World War II aircraft carrier. Families traveling with children should make sure to explore the Texas State Aquarium and enjoy a delightfully refreshing day at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark.
Big Bend National Park
Located in the heart of the Chihuahuan Desert lies an awe-inspiring national park, renowned not only in Texas but across the United States. Big Bend National Park is a testament to the saying that everything is indeed larger in Texas.
Travelers can anticipate breathtaking rock formations that rise majestically like towering structures of fiery orange. As you journey through breathtaking landscapes, you’ll come across crevasses that unveil vibrant vegetation, gracefully adorning the surroundings and showcasing the awe-inspiring wonders of Mother Nature. The majestic Rio Grande River has skillfully sculpted the rock walls and crevasses over countless centuries, creating a breathtaking masterpiece amidst the rugged terrain.
Immerse yourself in the captivating allure of Big Bend National Park as you explore its enchanting hiking trails, embark on an exhilarating river paddle, or unwind at your campsite under the shimmering stars. Big Bend is a breathtaking destination for stargazing enthusiasts, as it has been designated as an International Dark-Sky Park.
One travel destination that should be at the top of your itinerary is the 12.6-mile South Rime Trail that leads to unforgettable vistas.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Texas: Best Areas & Hotels
Q: What is the best time to visit Texas?
A: The best time to visit Texas is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and pleasant.
Q: Can you swim in the Barton Springs Pool in Austin?
A: Yes, you can swim in the Barton Springs Pool year-round, as it maintains a constant temperature of around 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Q: Are the Marfa Lights a hoax?
A: The origin of the Marfa Lights remains a mystery, and while some explanations have been proposed, they have not been definitively proven as a hoax.
Q: What is Tex-Mex cuisine?
A: Tex-Mex cuisine is a fusion of Texan and Mexican culinary traditions, known for dishes like nachos, burritos, and enchiladas.
Q: Are there any hiking trails in Guadalupe Mountains National Park suitable for beginners?
A: Yes, there are hiking trails of varying difficulty levels in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, including some suitable for beginners. Be sure to check trail descriptions and select one that matches your skill level.