Grab your cowboy boots and start packing for the Lone Star State! See Texas living it at its finest and explore some of the best up and coming cities in the United States. With beautiful scenery, a cosmopolitan vibe, and a friendly community to meet, get ready to indulge in an active and family friendly vacation.
From Tex Mex, tasty BBQ, and lots of comfort food, get ready for delicious treats on every corner. See famous national parks, classic ranches, and a community of people from all walks of life on your exciting trip! Alright, Alight, Alight who’s ready to see some Texas Longhorns!
Here are 23 of the absolute best things to do in Texas that you’re not going to want to miss!
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
With stunning arches, cliff formations and miles upon miles of unbelievable hiking, Big Bend should be top of your list for Texas activities. This beautifully wild and remote area will have you feeling like you’re walking on a different planet and its untouched view will have you gazing for miles!
This area was once explored by pioneers, ranchers, miners, and Native Americans — and now it’s time to be explored by you.
From the desert to the mountains, the choice is yours as this gigantic space really has it all. Search for hot springs and come across gorgeous rivers spread through this spectacular national park!
With plenty of hikes available, I strongly encourage you to download the “All Trails” app, so you can find hikes that suit your skill level and track your location in case you get lost. Big Bend is an exciting way for you to escape busy life and enjoy pure bliss in this natural wonder!
NATURAL BRIDGE CAVERNS
Looking for excitement, thill and adventure? Then start planning an excursion to Natural Bridge Caverns. This natural attraction sits beneath the earth’s surface, and allows you to explore rock formations that have been around for centuries.
Guided tours allow you to walk through tiny passageways, crawl through small spaces, and go off the charted path. Step into the unknown and look with your own eyes at the importance of earth and preservation. The Caverns truly must be seen to be believed.
Tip: If you visit in late spring, book to see the Bracken Bat Flight. Watch as millions of bats come alive at night in the sky!
Welcome aboard the USS Lexington! Who’s ready to dive into the history of this remarkable ship? Tour this national treasure and grasp the importance this ship had during World War II, and listen to stories of its fleet.
With self-guided and guided tours, choose an option that allows you to learn the most and experience the life of the ship. Head to the flight deck and see restored planes, and walk within the boat to see where sailors worked and lived.
THE SIXTH FLOOR MUSEUM
Come to a historic site that had major effects on U.S. history. The Sixth Floor Museum is an informative museum dedicated to the life and assassination of President John F Kennedy. Learn about the historical context of the day and the days leading up to the devastating attack.
With historic images, news footage, artifacts, and original evidence, learn more about the day and walk the floor of where it happened. Visit a true testament of American history, and see the political and cultural shock that it left this nation in.
Head over to the oldest dance hall in Texas and get your groove on! With live music, open dance access and original features, Gruene Hall has some of the best local artists around, and they always put on a show.
Fall in love with a small town, locals favorite bar. Enjoy a cold beer outside and listen to varying music genres in this iconic hall. Get ready for a great evening with fun people, enjoying good tunes.
Tip: Bring cash, as this is a cash only bar!
Walk into paradise and see a beautiful waterfall in the scenic state of Texas. A hike to Gorman Falls in Colorado Bend State Park is peaceful and calming, is suitable for most ages, and invites all adventure seekers to its natural wonder.
As this is in an arid desert, I highly suggest bringing and drinking lots of water. There is little shade on the hike to Gorman Falls, causing extreme heat and humidity. The serene atmosphere and undisturbed views give you a glimpse at simple Texas life and being at one with nature!
Tip: It can be slippery at times, so make sure you have slip resistant shoes!
Details: Colorado Bend State Park, Bend, TX | Website
SEA TURTLE INC
Are you looking for an educational and fun experience among wildlife? Then head over to South Padre Island and visit Sea Turtle Inc. This turtle rescue and rehabilitation center is open year round, and gives great insight about the sea turtles living in the Gulf of Mexico.
View current residents of the center and understand why they cannot be released back into the wild. Essentially understand the rehabilitation journey many turtles are on for their fight back to the wild and life. This is a great activity to share with children and see how conservation and care is played into everyday life.
FORT WORTH STOCKYARDS
Have you been to “Cowtown”? Are you looking for a truly unique experience that celebrates Western heritage? Then grab your cowboy hats and cameras, and take a trip to the Fort Worth Stockyards.
From delicious restaurants and fun shops to the sound of hoofbeats from daily cattle driving, watch and be amazed as old town western living comes alive. Watch as the Fort Worth Herd of Longhorns walk down the old cobblestone streets, driven by real Texas cowboys.
You’ll get a feel for life in Fort Worth, by seeing the museum and chatting with its lovely community, when stopping off at the Stockyard. I highly recommend going to a rodeo in town if you get the chance.
If you love cars, especially Cadillacs, this is the place for you! See 10 Cadillac’s lined up, sticking out of the ground with inches upon inches of graffiti spayed on them. This quirky and eccentric place is great for artists and creative individuals.
The best part about Cadillac Ranch is that you can add your own art to the graffiti collection, too. See many pop-culture references and discover where many musicians have named songs or felt connections here.
Read More: 15 SUPER FUN THINGS TO DO IN AMARILLO, TEXAS
Voted in the top 10 for Botanical Gardens in America, Dallas Arboretum is a colorful space to be admired and loved. With over 66 acres to explore and be dazzled by, you’re sure to love this place.
From the Children’s Adventure Garden to the Women’s Garden, it’s time to meander through flowers and smell the fresh scent of spring clean air on your Texas vacation. This truly is a special place, encapsulating the beauty of Dallas’s outdoor green space with vibrant natural flora life.
WILLOW CITY LOOP
If you’re visiting Texas in March through May, have a drive and ponder through Willow City Loop. See the Texas state flower, the bluebonnets, and thrive in this beautiful 13-mile loop!
The location is fairly remote; however, you will constantly be looking at scenic views with flowers, meadows and lots of farming land. This beautiful drive through the Texas Hill Country, will offer you a chance to see wildlife, effervescent colors, and serene peace.
SPACE CENTER HOUSTON
3, 2, 1, Lift Off! From the space center’s huge outdoor rocket to unbelievable exhibits, it’s time for you and your family to enjoy space exploration! With interactive exhibits and a real-life space shuttle replica to discover, see some of the most amazing artifacts in Houston at Space Center Houston.
See a huge collection of space suits, tour a training facility, and understand the importance of space and earth. From iconic missions like Apollo 12 and SpaceX, learn the historic significance of missions and astronauts. Take time to explore the facilities, ask questions, and have an out of this world journey.
Looking for online tickets to attractions or cool tours offering insider info? Get Your Guide is our family’s go-to resource for online purchases. Find Space Center Houston tickets here.
GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
Slip on your hiking shoes and start embarking to the highest point in Texas. With many hikes and treks to choose from at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, you’ll see mountains, canyons, deserts and much more here.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park has a diverse ecosystem that allows its visitors to see a vast array of flora, fauna and wildlife. From the Salt Basin Dunes to its highest peak, explore and be curious in a remarkably quiet, remote and picturesque national park.
Details: Salt Flat, TX 79847 | Website
HAMILTON POOL NATURE PRESERVE
Stop by this natural vision and marvel in the true beauty of earth. This swimming hole sits within a gorgeous rock formation and offers lovely blue water to swim in. Begin your excursion to the Hamilton Pool Natural Preserve with a small hike to get your heart rate up!
Explore the surrounding areas of the pool and enjoy a nice picnic with family and friends on a hot Texas day. Check online to see when the swimming pools are available for swimming again, as geologists have been working with the parks to improve conditions and rock falls.
Details: 24300 Hamilton Road, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 | Website
Step into a cultural icon and find the truth and history of the Alamo‘s colonial past. With guided tours, hands on demonstrations, and important artifacts, observe a historical landmark that is meant to be shared, embraced and appreciated.
Learn about the Battle of Alamo and its role in the Texas Revolution, and honor the people who fought and sacrificed their lives. With so much history to uncover, plan your trip and be completely enthralled in this cultural and significant homage to Texas story.
SAN ANTONIO RIVERWALK
Enjoy a lively, fun and picturesque walk along the San Antonio River at the riverwalk in San Antonio. Pop in shops, eat delicious meals along the water’s edge, and see tour boats cruise by at this enchanting and wonderful Texas activity.
Head to the river walk to experience a charming and amusing time under the Texas sun. I highly suggest eating at one of the restaurants along the river, as it not only offers stunning views, but offers a look at Texas life through a new lens.
Tip: If visiting with children, the river boat tour is a must!
THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON
With extraordinary exhibits, world class collections, and work from various artists, this is a highly regarded art museum in Texas. The art spans decades and holds a cultural significance throughout the museum.
This wonderful museum has great works of art from Georgia O’Keeffe and Picasso on rotation.
Tip: Regularly check online to see which exhibits they’re hosting, as they often rotate.
Read More: 63 AMAZING AND FREE THINGS TO DO IN HOUSTON
THE TEXAS STATE CAPITOL
With stunning architectural detail and enriching history to be seen, heard, and observed, the Texas State Capitol invites you to see politics in action and government in present times. With plenty of guided tours, understand the Texas governing body and significant historical dates of importance.
With spectacular grounds to be seen, wander around before or after your tour to gain more insight on this gorgeous building. Stop off at the Visitor Center for more information on the building and important dates. Make sure to look at the Goddess of Liberty atop the dome in all its glory.
Soar, play and find adventure at Galveston Pleasure Pier! Ride on a roller-coaster over the water, seek joy in classic arcade games, and feel like a kid again going round and round on the carousel at this exciting and exhilarating pier.
With plenty of food choices for you and the family, try something new or keep it fresh with Bubba Shrimp CO and its original location. With a 5D theater ride to fun games like “whack a mole,” this is the time for children to experience the joys of Pleasure Pier on your Texas holiday!
While there are no known tours available for SpaceX in Texas, if you plan it right you can view an amazing show from South Padre Island. Sit on the beach and look on in wonder with the amazing achievements SpaceX is making towards space.
Space enthusiasts of all kinds will come and flock to South Padre Island to witness the next launch into space. Sit with your toes in the sand and marvel at the improvements space exploration is having on a monumental scale.
Read More: Visiting SpaceX Boca Chica
Moody Gardens is an enormous complex with so many things to do for the entire family. The three glass pyramids’ most prominent details are the Rainforest Pyramid, the Discovery Pyramid, and the Aquarium Pyramid.
The Aquarium Pyramid showcases marine life in different water systems like the Pacific, the Antarctic, the Great Barrier Reef, the Coral Sea, and the Caribbean. Walk in the underwater tunnel and interact with otters and penguins.
In the Rainforest Pyramid, you will see flora and fauna from the tropics. Get up close and personal to monkeys, sloths, birds, and fish. At the Discovery Pyramid, lovers of science explore nature.
Movie buffs will be thoroughly tickled by Moody Gardens, which has the widest movie screens in Texas. You’ll also find a hotel, spa, golf course, a paddlewheel boat, and events throughout the year.
HOUSTON MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE
The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1969, and is one of the most visited museums in the United States. Its main agenda is to secure and increase public awareness of natural science.
A visit to the Houston Museum of Natural Science is like going back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth…and then fast-forwarding to the future with its renewable energy.
Different exhibitions, from Astronomy to the science of space energy to Native American culture, will spark interest in children’s minds.
Discount tickets: Houston CityPASS®: Save up to 47% at 5 Top Attractions including the Museum of Natural Science
DALLAS WORLD AQUARIUM
Dallas World Aquarium is found in the historic West End District of Dallas. It is a privately owned water wonderland housed in a massive repurposed warehouse.
Find your way to a 20,000-gallon glass walk-through exhibit filled with sharks, stingrays, electric eels, piranhas, and more. Wave at penguins, giant river otters, sloths, and many others. Explore big aviaries and discover different exotic birds flying around.
You are sure to make a new animal best friend when you visit Dallas World Aquarium.
Details: 1801 N Griffin St, Dallas, TX 75202 | Website
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