10 Best Places to Visit in Texas
Texas, the country's second-largest state, is filled with opportunities for fun and adventure. The state is geographically and culturally varied, with many unique attractions and activities. Texas offers a diverse range of holiday options, from cities to coastal beaches, mountains, and deserts.
Whether you're interested in history, art, or cowboy culture, Texas has it all. Check out this list of the most significant locations to visit in Texas as you plan your upcoming trip to the Lone Star State.
1. San Antonio's River Walk
The River Walk, which runs for many miles along the San Antonio River in the city's center, is dotted with restaurants and magnificent outdoor patios. You can sit and dine while overlooking the river. This pedestrian walkway, built below street level and hugs the river as it meanders and swirls through the city, is as popular with locals as tourists day and night.
Although wandering along the river is the most popular activity, a leisurely tour on a riverboat is also a terrific way to take in the atmosphere. These are available at all times and include everything from regular sightseeing tours to dinner cruises.
This city, known for its tagline "Keep Austin Weird," stands out from the rest of Texas. The population is young, thanks in part to the University of Texas' massive campus, and it is also known as the Live Music Capital of the United States. Austin is the Lone Star State's capital, so don't miss a tour of the capitol building, famously pink and taller than the United States Capitol Building.
The LBJ Presidential Library, the beautiful trails that wind down Barton Creek, and the Congress Avenue Bridge, where more than one million bats fly out at sunset, creating a memorable event that locals know is a must-do in Austin, are all worth visiting.
3. The Alamo
The Alamo is one of America's most important historical landmarks. Franciscans built it in 1744 as part of a mission station established in 1718, and by 1836, it had been turned into a fort. It gained notoriety during the Texas Revolution when a small force, including Davy Crockett and James Bowie, barricaded themselves against a 3,000-strong Mexican army. While all 187 defenders were murdered in the fall, the cry of "Remember the Alamo!" united the state to defeat the Mexicans eventually.
Today, you can visit this historical site to see the restored buildings and the cenotaph honoring the fallen Texans. Inside is a museum with rotating exhibits of weapons and items related to the mission's events and history.
If you have time, you should also visit some of the other missions in the vicinity, which are all part of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and are linked by the Mission Trail.
4. Space Center Houston
Space Center Houston is one of Texas' most famous tourist attractions, located about 30 minutes from downtown Houston. This is an excellent site to learn about space exploration, future missions, NASA's most recent projects, and perhaps even meet an astronaut. Johnson Space Center and Mission Control are also located at Space Center Houston and can be toured.
Spend at least a half-day exploring the entire complex, including a model of the space shuttle mounted on a shuttle carrier. Visitors are welcome to stroll through the shuttle and transportation. A duplicate of America's first space station, Skylab, is also open to the public. Seeing rockets and touching a rock from the moon and Mars are memorable.
With numerous exhibits, films, models, astronaut-related artifacts, and displays on NASA's experiments and discoveries, the center provides a fascinating glimpse into the operations of the world's most extensive space program.
5. Padre Island National Seashore
A small, thin island stretches parallel to Texas' shore from Corpus Christi to the Mexican border. Padre Island is a small island surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico. The Padre Island National Seashore, which covers most of the island, is a protected treasure where turquoise waters may be seen in almost every direction.
The Padre Island National Seashore leads to South Padre Island, a favorite getaway place for beach vacations, family fun, and serious nightlife. The Padre Island National Seashore is rich in wildlife and an essential spot for bird viewing in Texas.
6. The Texas Hill Country
Hill County is located in the heart of Texas, where a diverse range of cultures collide to produce a melting pot of history, legacy, and food. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, suitable for hiking and camping, and Hill Country State Natural Area, famous for swimming and fishing, are great places to take in the region's natural splendor. Since German settlers settled in the 19th century, Fredericksburg has been a great place to taste German culture.
Visit a winery for a sampling, eat bratwurst and sauerkraut in an actual beer garden, or shop for Bavarian items at an outdoor market in Fredericksburg. In the spring, when the Hill Country is ablaze with wildflowers, including the Texas State Flower the Bluebonnet, it is the most fantastic time to come.
7. Big Bend National Park
Despite being one of the least-visited parks in the United States, Big Bend National Park is a gem in the heart of Texas and a must-see trip. The park is massive and runs alongside the Rio Grande River. The park was once underwater, and dinosaur fossils speak to the region's history.
Big Bend National Park has miles of gorgeous roadways, but hiking is an even better way to observe the rock formations and terrain up close. Instead, take an eastward stroll along Window View Trail, the more difficult Chimneys Trail, or a leisurely float along the river.
8. The Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in the northwest part of the state, about 100 miles east of El Paso, and is home to Texas' four highest peaks. It's also recognized for its diverse wildlife, which includes golden eagles.
The scenery is breathtaking, especially around the towering El Capitan and Guadalupe Peak, Texas' highest point. Hikers love it because of the more than 80 miles of paths that wind through stunning wooded canyons and rich springs. Make a point of stopping by the Pine Springs visitor center for park information, including instructions on hiking and bike paths.
9. Galveston's Beaches & Strand Historic District
Like many other places along the Texas Gulf Coast, Galveston has gorgeous beaches that reach for miles. This is a popular spot for families and beachgoers due to the shallow and frequently calm sea. Set up your beach umbrella along the Seawall in the summer, or visit the Pleasure Pier for some fun and games.
But this isn't simply a beach town; there's much to do here throughout the year. Wander through the opulent Victorian-style mansions that border the quiet streets of downtown's Strand Historic District, a National Historic Landmark District. If you are traveling with kids, be sure to stop by Moody Gardens and Aquarium. This massive complex houses an aquarium, a rainforest, and an amusement park, as well as its iconic glass pyramids.
Galveston is only 45 minutes from Space Center Houston and less than an hour from Houston.
10. Dallas Arboretum
The Dallas Arboretum is regarded as one of the best botanical gardens in the country. When visiting the city, these gardens, beautifully spread out over 66 acres, should be on your "things to make" list. The gardens, which are located on the banks of White Rock Lake, are easily accessible from downtAmiddst of the rush and bustle of Dallas; the parks provide a respite of tranquility and beauty. You can take your time wandering through the numerous gardens and floral plants or rush to some of the popular attractions. The Woman's Garden is one of the park's most famous gardens, containing an infinity pool, aquatic plants, fountains, and sculptures.
The Margaret Elizabeth Jonsson Color Garden is a six-and-a-half-acre showcase of approximately 2,000 azaleas. The garden is exceptionally colorful when the accompanying daffodils and tulips bloom in the spring. Other plants, such as tapioca and bananas, bloom in r own unique ways later in the summer, and chrysanthemums bloom in the fall. Large maintained lawns fill in the gaps between the plants and provide a lovely setting for a coffee break, or a family pic fresco fresco dining is available at the on-site Café on the Green or the Lula Mae Slaughter Dining Terrace, both with views of the gardens and downtown Dallas.