If there is anywhere that can be considered the “heart of America” it is probably Texas. As the second-largest state in the United States and with its distinct culture and huge landmass, it might as well be its own country, which at one point in time it was. Texas is interesting from a historic perspective as it blends different cultures seamlessly together. Southern Dixie culture mixes with frontier culture and Southwestern Mexican influences to create a patchwork of different regions and cultures that are unique but still very quintessentially “Texas”. The state has always been part of popular media with the notion of cowboy and country-western music. Speaking of the music scene, Austin is the “live music capital of the world” and showcases energetic music venues. This is a big state but if you’re going to visit, make sure to read our list below of the best places to visit in Texas, USA.
San Antonio is a beautiful city with a lot to see and explore but if you’re looking for a good way to see some of the highlights, check out this amazing tour of one of its most popular tourist attractions. San Antonio’s River Walk tour spans over two days and grants access to tons of San Antonio landmarks. First, take a relaxing river cruise on the San Antonio River, then get on a hop-on hop-off bus tour around the city. You’ll have access to over 19 different places to visit at your leisure or simply hang out on the bus and enjoy a nice guided ride through the city.
San Antonio River Walk and Tower of the Americas
Duration: 1 day
2. Big Bend National Park
If there is anywhere that exemplifies the beauty of Texas, you’ll find it at Big Bend National Park. Located in far west Texas, Big Bend National Park will blow your mind with the vast open skies, beautiful canyons, miles of hiking trails, and ancient limestone cliffs. The area’s desert landscape is full of animals and plants and if you’re looking for outdoor activities unlike any other, the Chisos Mountain Range is located in the park with Mexico located on the other side.
Big Bend National Park
Address: Big Bend National Park, TX, United States
Website: Big Bend National Park
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
Experience Texas’ capital city, Austin, in a new and fun way. Hop on a Segway and tour the old city of Austin with a guided tour. Roll past famous landmarks and historical attractions around Austin, like the Texas State Capitol, Driskill Hotel, and the historic Sixth street and Rainey street. Guests will get access to a Segway and helmet and receive some training before they set off on their tour. Pack your camera and take note of all the spots you want to return to once the trip is over.
Austin Capitol Segway Group Tour with Experienced Guide
Duration: 90 to 120 minutes
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The Natural Bridge Caverns are a large limestone cave structure in the huge city of San Antonio and they are absolutely stunning to make your way through. The large amphitheater of the cave’s entrance will be the spot to begin your tour but if spelunking isn’t for you, this guest pass also offers tons of other options for landmarks located throughout the city. This tour allows you to select up to five different attractions to visit without having to get a pass ahead of time so you can skip the line.
Go City: San Antonio Explorer Pass - Choose 2, 3, 4 or 5 Attractions
Duration: 60 days
5. USS Lexington
The USS Lexington a.k.a “the blue ghost” is located in Corpus Christi, Texas, and it is now one of the most visited museums in that city. The boat served in the Second World War and was generally unsinkable as the Japanese reported to have attempted to sink it no more than four times throughout the war. The USS Lexington wouldn’t stay down as it had been decommissioned and then recommissioned after the war, seeing service into the 1950s. The aircraft carrier is now a museum open to the public and is a pretty neat spot for history and navy lovers.
Address: 2914 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78402, United States
Website: USS Lexington
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 17 USD
6. Texas State Aquarium
Texas State Aquarium is located in Corpus Christi, which is probably an ideal location as it sits rights on the Gulf of Mexico. The Texas State Aquarium is dedicated to preserving and understanding local sea life and it has one of the best rehabilitation programs for marine animals in the country. This attraction has been around since the 1980s and it is not only the largest in Texas but also one of the biggest in the country. Check out dolphins and stingrays as well as flamingos and learn about ecosystems.
Texas State Aquarium
Address: 2710 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78402, United States
Website: Texas State Aquarium
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 25 USD
7. Moody Gardens
Moody Gardens is part amusement park, part resort, and part education center. Located in the coastal city of Galveston, Moody Gardens has been open since 1986 and operates as a non-profit destination and kid-friendly attraction that uses nature to educate its visitors and aims to promote the conservation of wildlife. It has a hotel and golf course on site but a big part of the resort is a sandy white beach, which has a small waterpark for kids and is perfect for day trips during summer.
Address: 1 Hope Blvd, Galveston, TX 77554, United States
Website: Moody Gardens
Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 30 - 200 USD
Houston Museum of Natural Science is one of the best science museums in the state and it features the largest dinosaur hall in all of North America. This pass grants you access to everything that the museum has to offer. Their extensive collection of rare gems is absolutely mesmerizing and they have permanent exhibits on everything from Texas wildlife to ancient Egypt and, of course, dinosaurs.
Houston Museum of Natural Science General Admission
Duration: 3 hours
9. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
With a name like Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, you better believe that this place is absolutely beautiful. Texas is a massive state with wide-open spaces and open skies, so while all the museums are great, you should definitely spend some time outside and take in the natural beauty. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a perfect place in Central Texas for outdoor lovers to stargaze, rock climb, or even just do some camping. It boasts 11 miles of trails for you to explore and houses some gift shops for souvenirs and camping needs. Bring some amazing food and have a picnic with the family or simply enjoy one of Texas’s most beautiful parks.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Address: 16710 Ranch Rd 965, Fredericksburg, TX 78624, United States
Website: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Opening hours: 8am - 10pm (daily)
Price: 7 USD
10. Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas is the spot to go for a fun day filled with rides, games, and just overall total fun. The term “six flags over Texas” was meant to represent the six nations that had sovereignty over some or all of the landmass of Texas at one point in time (Spain, Mexico, France, Republic of Texas, Confederacy, United States). This fun destination opened in 1961 and since then, the amusement park is one of the best in Texas with rides that are some of the biggest and fastest in the state. The park also has lots of festivals and events they host each year, like Spring Break Out and Fright Fest for Halloween.
Six Flags Over Texas
Address: 2201 E Road to Six Flags St, Arlington, TX 76011, United States
Website: Six Flags Over Texas
Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)
Price: 60 - 80 USD
11. Inner Space Cavern
Inner Space Cavern was a place that was 10,000 years in the making. The cave complex has some of the best-preserved prehistoric cave formations in the country. It was found by accident when they were building a highway in the area in 1963 after road crews took samples of the ground to determine whether or not the soil was good enough to have a road on it. Since then Inner Space Cavern has been a cool tourist destination for spelunkers and people interested in prehistoric natural history. Fossils from saber-tooth tigers and mammoths have been found here, adding to its importance in the city of Georgetown.
Inner Space Cavern
Address: 4200 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd, Georgetown, TX 78626, United State
Website: Inner Space Cavern
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 4pm; Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 11am - 5pm
Price: 20 - 100 USD
San Antonio Zoo is one of the best in the state and with over 3000 different animals from around the world, the zoo is truly something special. They have the largest species of birds in the world along with many different species of monkeys and some fan favorites like hippos, tigers, and lions. The park is totally family-friendly, so if you’re traveling through San Santonio with the family, this is a perfect place to spend an afternoon. Ride the mini-rail through the park and take in the views of the landscaped grounds, check some snacks and souvenirs in the fun shops, and see the animals from a different point of view.
San Antonio Zoo General Admission Ticket
Duration: 4 hours
13. Caverns of Sonora
Located just a little west of the city of Sonora, the Caverns of Sonora are a National Natural Landmark. The beautiful cave is world-class with amazing calcite crystal formations as well as helictites. These are actually pretty rare making this a unique and special place. The cave is over 100 million years old and has a depth of about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) with a lot of trails only having been developed recently since its initial discovery in the 1900s. Discover one of the most beautiful caves in the country and see some rare cave structures.
Caverns of Sonora
Address: 1711 Pvt Rd 4468, Sonora, TX 76950, United States
Website: Caverns of Sonora
Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 20 USD
South Padre Island is located in the southern part of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. The gulf area of this beach town has some amazing and beautiful bird species and wildlife so why not get a little acquainted with it up close and personal? This tour is a trip out onto the water where you can watch Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in a family-friendly and educational environment. Sit back and enjoy the cruise or bring your camera and try to get some snapshots of the dolphin pods going by.
Eco and Dolphin Watch Tour of South Padre Island
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Visiting the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is a fun activity for history lovers out there. Located in Dealey Plaza at the spot where Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy, the area has been turned into a museum showcasing the fateful day in 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated. The building is the former site of the Texas Schoolbook Depository and there are artifacts, films, and photos of the Kennedy assassination. You can look out onto Dallas street below and see everything with your own eyes. It is a little bit macabre but certainly interesting.
JFK Assassination and Museum Tour in Dallas
Duration: 3 hours
California is not the only wine producer in the United States; Texas also has a burgeoning wine industry as well. This tour allows for a full day of checking out the best places around Texas wine-country. Head to two different wineries and taste some of the locally made wine from grapes grown from the ground just right outside. See the behind-the-scenes of how wine is made and learn about the charming town of Fredericksburg. Afterward, enjoy lunch and head to the little shops around town.
Taste of Fredericksburg Small-Group Wine Tour from San Antonio
Duration: 6 to 7 hours
17. Prada Marfa
Prada Marfa is a weird little landmark that is a little out of the way. But that is what makes it kind of special. The art installation is located just north of the town of Valentine and cost 120,000$ USD to build. The installation is designed to look like a Prada store but does not actually function as a store although it has several Prada wares. Although it somehow appears like a fixer-upper, it was designed to never be repaired and its intent was to blend with the natural landscape.
Address: 14880 US-90, Valentine, TX 79854, United States
Website: Prada Marfa
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
18. Circuit of the Americas
Got the need for speed? Head to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. Opened in October 2010, the track has been one of the popular attractions and outdoor recreations for speed and adrenaline lovers. Hosting several events, the raceway is a great spot to come and watch racing enthusiasts and drivers make their laps. The Circuit of the Americas hosts everything from kart racing to F1 and if you’re into getting behind the wheel yourself, there are even driving experiences you can pay for.
Circuit of the Americas
Address: 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd, Austin, TX 78617, United States
Website: Circuit of the Americas
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
Price: 20 - 60 USD
19. Holocaust Museum Houston
Holocaust Museum in Houston is the fourth largest in the U.S, and after opening in 1996, it has served as a place of remembrance and memorial for those who lost their lives in the Holocaust. Honoring the legacy of both survivors and innocent victims, the museum aims to promote education foremost with emphasis on teaching about the root causes of hatred and bigotry as well as understanding and empathy. The museum holds events and speakers regularly and has spaces for classrooms and resource rooms for those looking to educate themselves on their own. Galleries and libraries can also be found on the premises as well as information on other genocides that have taken place in the course of the 20th century.
Holocaust Museum Houston
Address: 5401 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77004, United States
Website: Holocaust Museum Houston
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm
Price: 0 - 12 USD
20. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is also one of Texas’ biggest draws as it is the largest park in the world that hosts the most amount of Permian reef fossils. It is also home to some of the highest peaks in Texas. The park is extremely biodiverse, being home to thousands of species of flora and fauna, and it is the perfect getaway for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Walk the trails in the park and see the plants and animals up close and personal or camp in the vast canyons and backpack through the mountains then stargaze at night.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Address: 400 Pine Canyon Salt Flat, TX 79847
Website: Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Opening hours: 8am - 4:30pm (daily)
Price: 7 USD
21. Gruene Historic District, New Braunfels
A lot of Texas was occupied by German settlers in the 19th century and the town of New Braunfels is one of those towns. German farmers in the 1840s came here and one of them was a man named Ernst Gruene. He and his family built the first home just down the river and after planting the cash crop of the time (cotton) on their land, many other families then followed suit and soon, the town began to prosper because of the Gruene’s.
By the 1970s, people began to recognize that the Gruene Historic District was important to the landscape of the town, seeing as many buildings from the 1800s were still standing and only needing minimal repairs. Today, the historic site is a testament and homage to old-school Texas where day trip visitors can feel like they stepped back in time.
Gruene Historic District, New Braunfels
Address: 1601 Hunter Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
22. Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Located in Dallas, Perot Museum of Nature and Science is actually split between two campuses; one is located in Victory Park and the other is in Fair Park. Although named after a recent historic figure (Ross and Margot Perot) the museum has been part of the Dallas cultural landscape since 1936 when it was built for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exhibition. The museum in Victory Park has over 6 floors of content and has 11 permanent exhibits as well as 6 learning labs.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Address: 2201 N Field St, Dallas, TX 75201, United States
Website: Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 11am - 5pm
Price: 10 - 20 USD
23. Splashtown San Antonio
It is no secret that Texas can get pretty hot. Instead of heading to the beautiful beaches, why not cool off a little at Splashtown San Antonio? The massive waterpark is the best vacation spot in San Antonio for a day of fun and sun with family or friends. The park has been open since 1985 and has over 50 rides including a half-million-gallon (1892705 liters) wave pool, a quarter-mile (0.40 km) lazy river, and beach volleyball. With 40 different kinds of water slides, it is a great place to bring the kids to for a summer vacation to remember.
Splashtown San Antonio
Address: 3600, I-35, San Antonio, TX 78219, United States
Website: Splashtown San Antonio
Opening hours Mon - Fri: 10am - 6pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 9pm
Price: 21 - 35 USD
Houston, the largest city in Texas, has always played an important role in NASA’s space exploration all the way back to the first Apollo mission to the moon. Space Center Houston is a fantastic place for any space enthusiast or person interested in history. The tour covers a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at the NASA Johnson Space Center and there are a ton of interactable popular activities, display artifacts, and multi-media showcases. It’s a perfect destination to bring the kids but there’s no doubt that adults will love it as well.
Space Center Houston Admission Ticket
Duration: 1 day
Located in the city of Dallas, Reunion Tower is one of the city’s biggest attractions. This building is pretty hard to miss and is part of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. This pass allows guests to head to the top of the tower and take in some of the most magnificent views of the city. Get a 360-degree view of the Dallas landscape or take a step outside onto the observation deck and check out their telescopes for an even more breathtaking view. This is a perfect trip for first-timers visiting the city or for a romantic evening in the town.
Dallas' Reunion Tower GeO-Deck Observation Ticket
Duration: 45 to 60 minutes
If you’re looking to get a little more out of your trip to the NASA space center or are simply passing through Houston and want to see the highlights, this tour is perfect for you. Hop on an air-conditioned vehicle and cruise to Houston’s famous landmarks and locations like Kemah Boardwalk and the NASA Space Center where you’ll have tons of time to observe the exhibits. The city tour also covers places like Minute Maid Park and the Toyota Center and it has a lot of cool perks included, like free snacks, pick-up, and drop-off from your hotel, and even a free appetizer at one of Kemah Boardwalk’s many restaurants.
Houston Full-Day NASA Space Center and Kemah Boardwalk Tour
Duration: 4 to 5 hours
Even for those not familiar with Texas, many have heard of the Alamo. This tour gives an inside look at Texas’s most important UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Head out and discover all San Antonio Missions and learn about the history of The Alamo and why it is an important event in Texas history. The tour is located along what is known as the “Mission Trail” and along the way, you’ll make stops and check out the other landmarks in the area and have pre-paid access when you get there so you don’t have to wait in line.
San Antonio: UNESCO World Heritage Missions Small-Group Tour
Duration: 3 hour
San Antonio Botanical Garden has a mission; to bring the natural world and our world a little closer together. Check out some amazing displays of biodiversity and learn about the natural world and why it is important to keep it thriving. The facility serves many functions like research and education as well as simply a quiet and tranquil space in the city that is dedicated to nature and plants. The San Antonio Botanical Garden has been around since 1980 and receives more than 150,000 visitors a year and it is one of the city’s most visited landmarks.
Admission to San Antonio Botanical Garden
Duration: 1 to 3 hours
Continuing on the trend of Aquatic life in San Antonio is SeaWorld San Antonio! More than just a place where you can catch a glimpse of marine life, this famous attraction is also a pretty fun amusement park with a ton of rides and attractions. Get up close with penguins and sharks or watch a show where dolphins and whales do flips in the water. Enjoy over 30 rides and a day of animal-filled fun.
SeaWorld® San Antonio Admission Ticket
Whether you’re a Dallas or Texas native looking for a mini-vacation or you’re from out of town looking to experience Dallas’s best spots, this tour is a great one. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden are included in this pass and it is a must-see if you’re in the city. You’ll find tons of plants and flowers both from across the state of Texas but also around the United States and even from around the world. This tour also grants you access to Dallas Zoo and Reunion Tower, not to mention a three-night stay in the Magnolia Hotel located right in the heart of the city.
Two-Night Stay in Dallas Plus Attraction Pass, City Tour or Shopping Experience
Duration: 2 days
Something for everyone
From the wide-open skies and mountain ranges to the sandy beaches and city’s museums, it does really seem like everything is bigger in Texas. Texas has a little something for everyone, whether you’re into its art and food scene, backpacking through canyons and desert plains, camping under the night sky, or simply embarking on a road trip for scenic drives. Head to the lone star state and experience some of that Texas hospitality firsthand!
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