Welcome to the Lone Star State, where things to do in Texas are as vast and vibrant as the state itself. From the sprawling urban landscapes to the breathtaking natural wonders, everything is bigger in Texas – including the array of fun things to explore. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the 50 best places to visit in this diverse and dynamic destination. Whether you're a history buff, nature enthusiast, or city dweller seeking entertainment, Texas offers an unparalleled variety of experiences that are sure to leave you captivated and inspired. So, let's dive into the heart of Texas and uncover the excitement that awaits in every corner of this remarkable state.
50 Best Places To Visit In Texas
The Alamo, San Antonio
If you're planning a visit to Texas, a trip to The Alamo in San Antonio is an absolute must. This iconic landmark is not just a historic site; it's a symbol of the fierce battle where Texas fought for its independence. Steeped in rich history, The Alamo offers an immersive and educational experience that captivates both adults and children alike. Its grounds and museum bring the past to life, making history tangible and engaging for all ages. The best times to visit are in the fall and spring when the weather in San Antonio is at its most pleasant. Family-friendly and filled with remarkable stories, The Alamo stands as a proud testament to Texas's indomitable spirit and resilience. Don't miss the chance to explore this essential piece of American heritage.
Big Bend National Park
For outdoor enthusiasts venturing into the heart of Texas, Big Bend National Park presents an unparalleled opportunity to explore breathtaking desert landscapes. This vast park is a tapestry of canyons, mountains, and desert flora, offering some of the most scenic hiking trails in the country. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, Big Bend promises a rewarding experience. The spring and fall seasons are particularly ideal for visiting, as the temperatures are moderate, allowing for comfortable exploration. From stargazing under clear night skies to encountering diverse wildlife, Big Bend National Park is a captivating destination that beckons to all who seek adventure and natural beauty in the Lone Star State.
Space Center Houston
Space Center Houston offers a galactic adventure right here on Earth. As NASA's official visitor center, it's a gateway to the world of space exploration. Open year-round, this family-friendly attraction is packed with interactive exhibits that spark curiosity in visitors of all ages. Whether you're a space enthusiast or looking for a unique experience, a visit to Space Center Houston is sure to be an out-of-this-world highlight of your Texas trip.
San Antonio River Walk
The San Antonio River Walk is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Texas. This vibrant area offers a unique blend of dining, shopping, and scenic beauty, all nestled along the meandering river. Best experienced in the spring or fall, it comes alive with cultural charm and lively ambiance. While it can get crowded on weekends, the River Walk's allure and energy make it an unforgettable Texan experience.
Austin's Sixth Street
A hotspot for music lovers, Austin's Sixth Street is renowned for its bustling live music scene and vibrant nightlife. With clubs and bars offering a variety of genres, it's the heart and soul of Austin's entertainment district. While it's a lively destination year-round, the energy peaks during music festivals, making it an unmissable experience for those seeking the rhythm of Texas. Note that this area is more suitable for adults, offering a taste of the local culture after dark
Dallas Museum of Art
A cultural gem in the heart of Texas, the Dallas Museum of Art houses an impressive collection of artworks that span 5,000 years of history. Open year-round, it's a destination that's suitable for art enthusiasts of all ages, from young children to seasoned connoisseurs. Whether exploring ancient artifacts or contemporary masterpieces, visitors will find inspiration and insight at this world-class museum, making it a must-visit spot in Dallas.
Galveston Island offers the perfect blend of a beach getaway and historic charm in Texas. With its sandy shores and Victorian architecture, it's a delightful destination for families looking to enjoy the sun and surf. The summer months bring warm weather and gentle waves, making it an ideal time for beach activities and exploration. Whether you're building sandcastles or delving into the island's storied past, Galveston Island promises a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.
As one of the most visited zoos in the country, Houston Zoo is a must-see attraction for families traveling to Texas. Home to a diverse array of animals from around the world, the zoo offers an engaging and educational experience for children and adults alike. Open year-round, visitors can explore unique habitats and up-close encounters with fascinating creatures. Whether you're an animal lover or simply looking for a fun day out, Houston Zoo promises an unforgettable adventure for all.
Fort Worth Stockyards
Embrace the true spirit of Texas with a visit to the Fort Worth Stockyards. Here, cowboy culture comes to life with authentic Western shops, cattle drives, and even the chance to see real cowboys in action. The best time to visit is during the annual rodeo, where thrilling performances and competitions take center stage. Family-friendly and steeped in tradition, the Fort Worth Stockyards offers a genuine taste of Texas that visitors young and old will treasure.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
For outdoor enthusiasts, a trip to Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a Texas must-do. Renowned for its stunning hiking trails and secluded camping spots, it offers a refreshing escape into nature's grandeur. The cooler months are the best time to explore, providing comfortable temperatures for adventure seekers. Whether scaling the peaks or finding tranquility in the desert wilderness, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a haven for those who love the great outdoors.
South Padre Island
South Padre Island, along with nearby Mustang Island State Park, is celebrated for being the best beach in Texas and offering thrilling watersports. These coastal destinations provide a summertime haven for sun-seekers and adventurers alike. Whether you're looking to surf, parasail, or explore the unspoiled nature of Mustang Island, the area offers something for every beach lover. While summer is the perfect time to visit, be mindful that South Padre can become crowded during spring break. For excitement, natural beauty, and a true taste of Texas's Gulf Coast, a visit to these islands is a must.
Texas State Capitol, Austin
The Texas State Capitol in Austin stands as a monument to the state's rich history, earning the distinction of being the nation's largest state capitol. Open year-round, this architectural marvel offers guided tours that delve into the legislative process and the building's fascinating past. With its stunning rotunda and lush grounds, it's an ideal destination for history buffs seeking to understand the heart of Texas governance and culture. A visit to the Capitol of Texas provides a unique perspective on the Lone Star State that should not be missed.
Dallas World Aquarium
The Dallas World Aquarium offers a unique and immersive experience that brings the aquatic life of the Gulf of Mexico to the heart of the city. Open year-round and perfectly suited for families, visitors can marvel at creatures like sea turtles, jellyfish, and countless colorful fish. The aquarium's commitment to showcasing native species provides an educational and enchanting glimpse into the diverse ecosystems of the region. A visit to the Dallas World Aquarium promises both enjoyment and insight, making it a must-see attraction in Texas
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Known as the 'Grand Canyon of Texas,' Palo Duro Canyon State Park is the second-largest canyon in the U.S. and one of the best places to visit for nature enthusiasts. With miles of hiking trails weaving through the majestic landscapes, it's an ideal destination for hiking and camping, especially in the milder spring and fall months. The rugged beauty of the canyon offers an unparalleled wilderness experience, earning Palo Duro its rightful reputation as one of Texas's most breathtaking natural wonders.
Moody Gardens, Galveston
Moody Gardens in Galveston is a family attraction that captivates visitors with its fascinating aquarium and stunning rainforest pyramid. Open year-round, it offers a chance to explore diverse marine life and lush tropical flora without leaving Texas. From interactive exhibits to tranquil paths winding through the recreated rainforest, Moody Gardens promises a delightful and educational experience for visitors of all ages. It's a perfect destination for families looking to immerse themselves in nature's wonders.
San Jacinto Monument, Houston
The San Jacinto Monument in Houston stands as a towering tribute to Texas's fight for independence and offers an enriching experience for visitors of all ages. Housing a museum filled with artifacts and exhibits, the monument provides a deep dive into the state's storied past. Best visited in the cooler months to enjoy the surrounding parklands, it's a destination that both educates and inspires. The San Jacinto Monument is an essential stop for history enthusiasts and anyone seeking to connect with the rich heritage of Texas.
Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg is renowned for its German heritage, wineries, and vibrant vineyards. As part of the Texas wine-growing region, the town boasts a myriad of tasting rooms and winery tours, making it a perfect adult-oriented getaway. The best time to visit is in the fall when Oktoberfest celebrates the town's German roots with festive music, food, and, of course, fine wine. A trip to Fredericksburg offers a unique blend of cultural richness and indulgence in some of the state's finest vintages.
Bullock Texas State History Museum, Austin
The Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin offers an engaging and interactive exploration of Texas's rich and diverse history. Open year-round and designed to be family-friendly, the museum's exhibits bring the state's past to life through immersive displays, hands-on activities, and compelling storytelling. A visit to the Bullock Museum not only educates but entertains, making it a perfect destination for history buffs and families seeking an informative and enjoyable experience in the heart of Texas.
Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington
Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington is a thrilling amusement park that promises a day filled with excitement and fun for the entire family. Open seasonally, it offers a wide range of roller coasters, rides, and entertainment suitable for all ages. While the park can be crowded in the summer, the lively atmosphere and adrenaline-pumping attractions make it one of the best parks in Texas. For families seeking adventure and joy, Six Flags Over Texas provides the perfect blend of entertainment and unforgettable memories.
Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island National Seashore is a natural haven that beckons nature enthusiasts to explore its unspoiled beauty. Known for abundant bird-watching opportunities, it offers a serene setting for camping and reconnecting with the wild. The best time to visit is in spring and fall when the weather is ideal for outdoor activities. Whether you're an avid birder, camper, or simply someone seeking tranquility amidst nature, Padre Island National Seashore provides an unforgettable escape in the heart of Texas.
Bishop's Palace, Galveston
Bishop's Palace in Galveston stands as a testament to Victorian architecture and design, offering an elegant and historic glimpse into the past. Open year-round, this grand mansion attracts history lovers with its intricate details and beautifully preserved interiors. Whether marveling at the ornate woodwork or exploring the lavish rooms, visitors will find a rich cultural experience awaiting them at this unique Texan treasure. A visit to Bishop's Palace is sure to be an enriching experience for all who appreciate art and history.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden offers a serene escape into nature's beauty, making it a must-visit destination in Texas. Best explored in the spring and fall when the flowers are in full bloom, the garden presents a picturesque setting that's perfect for families looking to spend quality time together. With various themed gardens and seasonal displays, visitors of all ages can enjoy the tranquil paths and vibrant landscapes. It's an idyllic spot for leisurely strolls, photography, or simply relaxing in a peaceful environment.
LBJ Presidential Library, Austin
The LBJ Presidential Library in Austin stands as a testament to the legacy of President Lyndon B. Johnson, offering historical insights and educational experiences. Open year-round, it's a venue suitable for adults and older children who wish to delve into political history and the era of the 36th President. Exhibits include presidential documents, photographs, and interactive displays, providing a comprehensive view of the Johnson administration. It's an engaging visit for those interested in American history and governance.
Natural Bridge Caverns
Natural Bridge Caverns, Texas's largest underground attraction, offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience for visitors of all ages. Open year-round, guests can explore the fascinating geological formations within these limestone caverns. Whether it's witnessing the majestic stalagmites or walking through the stunning passages, the caverns provide a one-of-a-kind adventure that is both educational and thrilling. It's a must-see destination for those looking to discover the hidden beauty beneath the Texas landscape.
Kemah Boardwalk, located near Houston, is a bustling hub for entertainment, offering dining, shopping, and amusement rides that are sure to delight both adults and children. Open year-round, it's an especially popular destination in the summer months, providing a blend of coastal charm and family-friendly fun. From enjoying fresh seafood at waterfront restaurants to trying exciting rides, Kemah Boardwalk promises a memorable experience for those visiting Texas.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas is a must-visit destination for families and science enthusiasts alike. With its interactive science exhibits, it offers an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Open year-round, the museum provides endless opportunities to explore and discover, making it a top attraction in Texas for those looking to blend fun with learning.
Fort Davis National Historic Site
Fort Davis National Historic Site in East Texas is a well-preserved military post that offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. Ideal for history enthusiasts, the site provides an authentic experience of military life during the 19th century. Best visited in the cooler months, it offers a serene and educational escape, making it an essential stop for those looking to delve into Texas's rich historical heritage.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in Texas is renowned for its striking pink granite dome, a geological marvel that draws visitors from near and far. Ideal for hiking, the area offers unique trails and stunning vistas, especially during the mild weather of spring and fall. This natural wonder not only offers an invigorating outdoor experience but also serves as a backdrop for awe-inspiring photographs, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a leading destination for those intrigued by the wonders of science. Open year-round, this family-friendly museum offers an array of captivating exhibits and educational programs that engage both children and adults alike. Whether you're interested in exploring the cosmos, delving into Earth's natural history, or unraveling the mysteries of ancient civilizations, there's something for everyone at this must-see Texas attraction.
SeaWorld San Antonio
SeaWorld San Antonio offers an unforgettable experience combining the thrills of a theme park with the wonders of marine life. Open seasonally, it's a great destination for families looking to enjoy exciting rides, live shows, and up-close encounters with dolphins, whales, and other sea creatures. From thrilling roller coasters to interactive animal exhibits, SeaWorld provides endless entertainment and educational opportunities, making it a must-visit while in Texas.
Gruene Historic District
Gruene Historic District is a charming destination in Texas that's perfect for those seeking a blend of music, dining, and old-world charm. Open year-round, this quaint town offers a more adult-oriented experience, with live music venues, delectable dining options, and boutique shops lining its historic streets. Whether it's two-stepping at the renowned Gruene Hall or enjoying a relaxing meal by the river, Gruene provides a memorable experience for visitors seeking a unique and vibrant atmosphere.
Port Aransas is a popular beach destination on the coast of Texas that comes alive in the summer months. With its family-friendly atmosphere, visitors can enjoy sun-soaked days building sandcastles, swimming, or indulging in water sports. From relaxing on the pristine beaches to exploring nearby shops and restaurants, Port Aransas offers an ideal coastal getaway for families and beach lovers alike. Make sure to pack your sunscreen and beach gear for a memorable vacation experience!
The Menil Collection, Houston
The Menil Collection in Houston is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts. Home to a renowned art collection, this museum offers an impressive display of paintings, sculptures, and decorative art, open year-round. Whether you're an art connoisseur or simply curious about creativity, The Menil Collection provides an inspiring and educational experience. Its varied exhibitions cater to all tastes, making it a rewarding stop on any Texas art tour.
Waco Mammoth National Monument
Waco Mammoth National Monument is a fascinating paleontological site open to visitors year-round. Located in Waco, Texas, this unique destination showcases well-preserved mammoth fossils and offers an educational experience that's especially engaging for children. Whether you're a history buff or traveling with curious young minds, exploring the ancient remnants of these majestic creatures will provide a memorable and enriching adventure.
Zilker Metropolitan Park, Austin
Zilker Metropolitan Park in Austin, Texas, is an urban oasis offering a plethora of activities for visitors. Best visited in spring and fall, the park provides a family-friendly environment with opportunities for picnicking, hiking, kayaking, and enjoying outdoor concerts. Its diverse attractions and natural beauty make it a must-visit location for those looking to experience the vibrant outdoor culture of Austin.
Brazos Bend State Park
Brazos Bend State Park, located in Texas, offers a thrilling experience for nature enthusiasts, particularly those interested in alligator sightings. The park is best visited in spring and fall when the weather is ideal for exploring its diverse ecosystems. From hiking and bird-watching to up-close encounters with the resident alligators, it's a unique destination that showcases the wild side of Texas.
McKinney Falls State Park
McKinney Falls State Park, situated near Austin, Texas, is an oasis for outdoor enthusiasts. Known for its picturesque waterfalls and diverse camping options, it offers an idyllic escape from city life. The park is best visited in spring and summer, allowing guests to fully engage in hiking, swimming, and exploring the natural beauty. It's a must-see location for those seeking adventure and relaxation amidst stunning Texas landscapes.
USS Lexington, Corpus Christi
The USS Lexington in Corpus Christi is not just an aircraft carrier, but a naval museum that provides an insightful experience for history buffs. Open year-round, visitors can explore the decks, witness the power of naval engineering, and immerse themselves in maritime history. It's a unique opportunity to step back in time and discover the stories of naval warfare and heroism. A visit to the "Blue Ghost" is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Texas.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Dinosaur Valley State Park offers a unique and family-friendly experience where visitors can see real dinosaur footprints preserved in the riverbed. Open year-round, this exciting location allows children and adults alike to walk where giants once roamed and imagine the prehistoric creatures that inhabited the region. It's an educational adventure that brings the fascinating world of paleontology to life, making it a must-see destination in Texas.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin is a botanical garden that blossoms with color and life, especially during the spring. Showcasing native Texas plants, it provides a serene and educational experience suitable for all ages. Whether you're a nature lover or simply seeking a peaceful escape, the beautifully landscaped gardens offer a refreshing outing in the heart of Texas.
George W. Bush Presidential Library, Dallas
The George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas offers an insightful look into the life and leadership of the 43rd president of the United States. With interactive exhibits and a comprehensive collection of records, it provides a unique historical perspective. Open year-round, this engaging experience is most suitable for adults and anyone interested in modern American history. It's a must-see destination for political enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
Galveston Railroad Museum
The Galveston Railroad Museum is a haven for train enthusiasts of all ages, boasting an impressive collection of railroad artifacts and vintage locomotives. Families can explore the rich history of rail transportation, and even take a ride on a real caboose. Open year-round, this interactive and educational destination promises a memorable experience for both young explorers and seasoned rail fans. It's a perfect stop for anyone with an interest in trains and Texas's industrial heritage.
Lake Travis in Texas is a popular destination for families, offering a plethora of exciting water activities. Best visited in summer, the lake is renowned for boating, water sports, and scenic views. Whether you're seeking thrilling adventures like jet skiing or a leisurely day of fishing, Lake Travis provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable summer outing. It's an essential stop for anyone looking to experience Texas's vibrant outdoor lifestyle.
The Strand, Galveston
The Strand in Galveston is a must-visit historic shopping district that captures the charm of yesteryears. Open year-round and suitable for all ages, visitors can explore unique shops, dine in elegant restaurants, and enjoy the well-preserved Victorian architecture. A walk through The Strand offers a delightful blend of history and modern amenities, making it a perfect destination for a leisurely day out in Texas.
Mission San José, San Antonio
Mission San José in San Antonio is a historic Spanish mission that offers a captivating glimpse into the region's rich past. Open year-round and particularly suitable for history enthusiasts, the site showcases stunning colonial architecture and provides insights into the lives of the early inhabitants. Whether exploring the church, the grounds, or the informative visitor center, a visit to Mission San José offers a unique opportunity to connect with Texas's cultural heritage.
Texas State Aquarium, Corpus Christi
The Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi offers a fascinating journey into the world of marine life. Open year-round, it provides an engaging experience for visitors of all ages, but it's especially family-friendly. From colorful fish and coral displays to interactive exhibits and hands-on encounters, this state-of-the-art facility promises a day filled with educational entertainment. Don't miss the chance to explore the underwater wonders at this must-see Texas destination.
Franklin Mountains State Park
Franklin Mountains State Park is the perfect destination for adventurers visiting the Texas panhandle. Best explored in the cooler months, this park offers thrilling opportunities for rock climbing and hiking. With miles of rugged trails and a variety of climbing routes, it caters to both beginners and experienced enthusiasts. If you crave outdoor excitement and breathtaking landscapes, Franklin Mountains State Park is a must-visit location.
Caddo Lake, the only natural lake in Texas, is a remarkable destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Best in spring and fall, this unique lake is a haven for fishing and boating activities. The mysterious cypress swamp and water lilies provide a picturesque setting for exploration. If you love the tranquility of water and the thrill of catching fish, a visit to Caddo Lake is highly recommended.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston stands as one of America's largest and most impressive art museums. Open year-round, it's a haven for art lovers seeking to explore a diverse range of artistic treasures. From classic to contemporary, its extensive collection spans various genres, cultures, and eras, offering a truly enriching experience for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the world of art.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, Austin
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin offers a captivating insight into the life and legacy of the 36th president of the United States. Open year-round and perfect for history enthusiasts, this museum provides a comprehensive journey through the pivotal moments of Johnson's presidency, including the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. Immerse yourself in the history of a significant era in American politics and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and triumphs that shaped the nation.
Ready To Visit Texas?
Whether you're dreaming of a Texas vacation or simply in need of a refreshing getaway, the Lone Star State beckons with open arms and boundless opportunities. From bustling cities to the serene countryside, Texas offers a diverse range of attractions that cater to every traveler's preferences. Whether you're seeking cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, or simply the joy of exploration, Texas has it all. So, why wait? Your unforgettable adventure awaits – hit the road and explore the endless wonders of the Lone Star State!
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