Texas is the second biggest state in the US, and it is full of fun and exciting things to do. The state has a lot of different things to see and do because it is both geographically and culturally varied. There are many places to go on vacation in Texas, from towns to beaches, mountains, and even the desert.
Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Texas
Cities in West Texas, like Amarillo or Lubbock, are a good comparison to big cities like Houston, Austin, and Dallas. However, each city has its own personality and reason to visit. Hill Country, which is close to San Antonio and is known for the Alamo and the River Walk, should also be on visitors’ lists.
Some of the best places to see nature are parks, like Big Bend National Park in West Texas, which is on a bend in the Rio Grande, and Padre Island National Sea Shore, which is on the Gulf of Mexico.
1. The River Walk in San Antonio
The River Walk runs for several miles along the San Antonio River in the middle of the city. It is lined with restaurants and beautiful outdoor decks where you can sit and eat while watching the river. This pedestrian path is built below street level and follows the river as it winds and weaves through the city. It is popular with both locals and tourists, day and night.
Even though walking along the river is the most popular thing to do here, taking a slow ride on a riverboat is another great way to enjoy the area. These trips happen all the time and can be as simple as seeing the sights or as fancy as a dinner cruise.
2. The Battle of the Alamo
One of the most important places in American history is the Alamo. It was made by Franciscans in 1744 as part of a mission station that was set up in 1718. By 1836, it had been turned into a fort.
During the Texas Revolution, a small group of people, including Davie Crockett and James Bowie, sealed themselves against a 3,000-strong Mexican army that was much bigger and stronger. Even though all 187 fighters were killed, the cry “Remember the Alamo!” rallied the state to fight back against the Mexicans and win in the end.
3. The Houston Space Center
Space Center Houston is one of the most popular places for tourists to visit in Texas. It is only 30 minutes by car from the center of Houston. This is a great place to learn about space exploration, future missions, NASA’s latest projects, and maybe even meet an astronaut. The Johnson Space Center and Mission Control are also at Space Center Houston, which you can tour.
Both the bus and the carrier can be walked through by guests. You can also go inside a copy of Skylab, the first American space station. Seeing rockets and feeling a rock from the moon or Mars are also great things.
4. The Big Bend National Park
In the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas, on a huge bend in the Rio Grande River, is some of the most dramatic and beautiful scenery in the state. Mountains, canyons, and the river that flows along the border between the United States and Mexico give tourists to Big Bend National Park a wide range of ways to have fun and see sights.
Most people enjoy just driving along the roads, but the park has a wide range of things to do. Outdoor lovers will enjoy the large network of hiking tracks and the beautiful campgrounds. Paddling along the Rio Grande or having a picnic and going into the water are also popular things to do on warm days.
5. Padre Island’s National Seashore
Padre Island is the world’s longest undeveloped barrier island. It is just a short drive south of Corpus Christi and runs 70 miles from end to end. Padre Island is one of the most important conservation places in Texas.
It has more than 130,000 acres of beach, dune, and grassland habitats and is home to rare sea turtles and many migrating birds, making it a birder paradise. In fact, 350 different species stop at this stopover on the Central Flyway.
The Malaquite Visitor Center is the best place to start your trip to this beautiful part of the Gulf of Mexico coast. It gives a lot of information, as well as help for people who have trouble moving around, like beach wheelchairs that are made for the sand.
6. The Texas State Capitol is in Austin
The Texas State Capitol, which was built in 1888, is considered one of the best state capitols in the US. It is in downtown Austin and is now a National Historic Landmark. Its size is impressive, as it is 308 feet tall.
Its 22-acre park has statues of the people who defended the Alamo and veterans of the Vietnam War. Guided tours of the building’s interior can be taken, and they start at the tourist center, which has many displays.
At dusk, go to the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge to see a million or so Mexican free-tailed bats flying in and out of their homes under the bridge.
7. Dallas’s Sixth-Floor Museum
The deadly shot that killed President John F. Kennedy was fired from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas. This tall red-brick building is now The Sixth Floor Museum.
It tells in depth about the assassination and Kennedy’s legacy. Some of the best parts are stories about his campaign for president and his time as president, all of which are backed by historic footage, photos, and artifacts.
When you’re in downtown Dallas, you should also check out the John F. Kennedy Memorial, which is close by. This huge monument to President Kennedy was opened in 1970.
8. National Park of the Guadalupe Mountains
The four highest peaks in Texas are in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, which is in the northwestern part of the state, about 100 miles east of El Paso. It’s also known for having a lot of animals, like golden eagles.
The land itself is beautiful, especially near the tall El Capitan and Guadalupe Peak, which is the highest point in Texas. It is also very popular with hikers because it has more than 80 miles of trails that go through beautiful valleys of trees and lush springs. Be sure to stop by the tourist center in Pine Springs to get information about the park, including details about the hiking and biking trails.
9. The Stockyards of Fort Worth
The Stockyards National Historic District is still the best place to visit in Fort Worth. The area was founded in 1866, and its name comes from the cattle business. Millions of cattle came here to rest, be sorted, or be sent to other parts of the state.
These historic stockyards are the only ones of their kind left in the US. They have been turned into a great place to visit with rodeos, concerts, theater shows, and shopping with a Western theme. There will be demos of driving cattle and chances to go trail riding.
10. The Beaches and Strand Historic District of Galveston
Galveston has beautiful beaches that go on for miles, just like many other places along the Texas Gulf Coast. This is a favorite spot for families and beachgoers because the water is usually calm and not too deep. Set up your beach umbrella along the Seawall or have fun at the Pleasure Pier in the summer.
There are lots of things to do here all year. Visit the National Historic Landmark District of the Strand Historic District in downtown and walk by the Victorian-style homes that line the quiet streets. Moody Gardens and Aquarium is a great place to go if you are going with kids. There is an aquarium, a rainforest, and a theme park in this huge complex, which is known for its glass towers.