Over the past couple of decades, many have flocked to the state of Texas either to live or visit. These numbers include a rising number of travelers from around the world who visit cities in Texas. The state of Texas is expansive enough that each section has its own distinct and expressive culture, and that is best represented in its cities. With this article, we aim to showcase the top ten cities in the state of Texas that hold plenty of appeal for visitors!
1. HoustonThe “Space City” of Houston by far the largest city in Texas with regards to population. As a matter of fact, its population size places it as the fourth-largest city in the United States. Long associated with NASA due to housing the Johnson Space Center and the booming oil and energy industries, Houston has embraced an identity that is strident and self-confident. In recent years, Houston has become highly diverse when it comes to its population—at present, 90 languages are spoken by citizens residing in Houston. Houston has a strong Vietnamese community in addition to the presence of immigrants from Mexico and Nigeria, among other nations.
Add to that mix an engaging Theater District with a selection of year-round companies in the arts, and a local culinary scene that runs the gamut from traditional Southwestern Cajun, Ethiopian and even dishes from all over Mexico. As far as shopping is concerned, a trip here isn’t complete without visiting the Galleria Mall in the Uptown District. History buffs will make a bee-line for the U.S.S. Texas (a preserved battleship museum) and the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, which commemorates over 400 years of the state’s history. The Houston Space Center is a prime opportunity for tourists to get an up close and personal look at the history of space flight and exploration in the U.S.
Those visiting Dallas often make it a point to check out the Reunion Tower and visit its large observation deck to marvel at the city skyline at night. Visitors also enjoy learning about a turbulent point in American history by visiting Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum. These attractions commemorate the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy. Another destination that many enjoy visiting here is the Nasher Center—an elegant museum that contains a swath of contemporary art.
3. San Antonio
San Antonio is also an attractive city within Texas because of its growing diversity in relation to its population size. The Natural Bridge Caverns located here is the largest underground cave complex to be found within the country. These caves feature limestone slab formations that can span over 196.9 feet (60 m). Lastly, those who venture through San Antonio in search of somewhere cool will find their mark in the Pearl District—a neighborhood bustling with outdoor cafes and indie bookstores that is treasured by natives of the city.
Austin is a city that isn’t afraid to embrace its quirky side. This is due in part to the crowds that gather at the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge each summer. These people do so in order to watch the flight of the world’s largest urban bat colony that resides under this bridge. Another event that draws many across the globe to Austin is the South by Southwest Festival. It is held each spring and is frequently referred to as SXSW. Another highly frequented event here is the Austin City Limits Festival. It celebrates musical artists from all genres. Other appealing factors of this city includes its barbecue scene, most notably Franklin’s Barbecue. It draws massive lines each day for its smoky brisket. This venue is also becoming highly popular among bikers!
5. Fort Worth
Fort Worth’s collegiate life also offers exciting attractions. In particular, Fort Worth is known for sports activities conducted by the Horned Frogs hailing from the Texas Christian University. Another facet of the exciting attractions Fort Worth has to offer is the Texas Motor Speedway—a major racecourse on the NASCAR circuit. There are also numerous events held here like rodeos, which showcase cowboy life. Lastly, Fort Worth’s downtown layout makes it an interesting place to walk around. While you’re here, do check out the Art Deco buildings that are still in use, as well as various museums in the city.
6. El Paso
On the cultural side, the extensive history of the city of El Paso is on display in different structures and centers. First, there’s the Mission Trail. It links a couple of the remaining missions from the days of Spanish colonial life here during the late 1600s. The Tigua Indian Cultural Center found here showcases the history of the indigenous people that called this area home. Then there’s the Magoffin Home State Historic Site. It is a preserved adobe mansion from the 19th century. Lastly, El Paso also hosts a number of festivals such as the local KLAQ Great River Raft Race. This festival takes place on the Rio Grande. El Paso also hosts the oldest Hispanic cultural festival in the Southwest—Fiesta de las Flores.
7. Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi is also well known for its abundance of coastal wildlife on display. There’s the Oso Bay Wetlands Reserve, which houses various species of birds and has a four mile (6.4 km) long walking trail found on the premises. It’s also close to Padre Island. It is the world’s longest undeveloped barrier island that stretches 70 miles (112.7 km) in length and is home to a stunning beach, which can be found at Mustang Island State Park. Within the city, there are some interesting spots to check out such as the Selena Museum. It is a studio and a shrine dedicated to the late Tejano singer. Also found in the city is North Beach: a popular hangout spot along the channel where you can gaze at ships coming in from the north of Corpus Christi.
The City of Arlington is considered part of a larger collection of cities that include Dallas and Fort Worth. Arlington also has enough attractions to draw visitors in for a spell. This city is a predominant location for many of Dallas’ professional sports franchises. Arlington is also home to the tremendous AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play. The city also hosts the International Bowling Museum. Arlington has been around since the mid-1800s, and was a major player in the region’s farming and cotton gin industries.
Arlington enjoys a happening cultural scene thanks to the Arlington Museum of Art and Theatre Arlington. The latter is one of the biggest community theaters that exists in the country to date. This city has a family-oriented vibe that’s exemplified by the Six Flags Amusement company, which operates the Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor theme parks.
9. College Station
Visitors to College Station who are keen about military history might be interested in checking out the Museum of the American G.I. that was built in 2002. It is dedicated to capturing the life of American soldiers and how they experience various conflicts. This museum also features restored vehicles to boot. Another local attraction to check out here is Messina Hof—a winery that first began in 1977. This winery is open to the public for tours. If you’re looking for some places to have a drink and loosen your collar, the Northgate District is home to a number of happening nightspots.
10. Sugar Land
With regards to attractions that Sugar Land offers, one that steps features in prominence is the pristine wonder of Cullinan Park. This green space spans 750 acres (303.5 hectares) of ponds and lush prairie. On a cultural level, Sugar Land also gives visitors food for thought beginning with the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Houston. This locale is a full-fledged Hindu temple that showcases the history of the Hindu faith found within a traditional structure. Those who hold a fascination with science can check out the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land. It features a large, domed exhibition space and has some rare dinosaur fossils on display.
Experience these hardy Texan cities firsthandThese ten cities certainly prove that Texas is worth experiencing firsthand. From space centers and lively riverwalks, to desert landscapes, each Texan city is unique in its own way, bringing with it attractions and brilliant styles that will not disappoint travellers. I’m sure that you’ll be able to appreciate the vibrant spirit of Texas, whether or not you’re a first time visitor. The Texan character is hardy and adaptable—proudly honoring its frontier spirit past, while still adapting to suit the contemporary face of America. We hope that this list will serve you well on your visit to this hardy and adaptable American state.
What is your favorite city in Texas? And what are your favorite things to do while you’re there? Let us know in the comments below!
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