Blake Walsh

80 Best Things to Do in Texas

  • Published 2023/04/01

Many people associate Texas with the cowboy stereotype popularized by Westerns.

However, there’s more to this state than cowboy hats and country music.

Texas is the second-largest state in the United States in population and land area.

Its nickname, “Lone Star State,” represents Texas’ brief stint as a republic and its subsequent fight for independence from Mexico.

Located in the south-central United States and sharing a border with Mexico, this area is well-known for its scorching summers, tasty barbecue, and significant historical monuments crucial to American identity.

The state consists of seven regions: Big Bend Country, Gulf Coast, Hill Country, Panhandle, Piney Woods, Prairies and Lakes, and South Texas Plains.

Texas has long been associated with ranching, cattle, and livestock; even those who aren’t very familiar with the United States should recognize the name.

The Lone Star State has left an indelible imprint on the mainstream culture around the globe, making it attractive to visitors.

Explore this great state through this list of the best things to do in Texas:

Big Bend Country

Big Bend Country lies in west Texas and contains broad landscapes, plateaus, and desert mountains.

Here, you’ll find the only mountains in Texas.

Big Bend County features a wildlife refuge and state park called Big Bend National Park.

It is also home to abundant desert flora and fauna.

Learn more about this region with the best things to do in Big Bend Country.

Explore the Great Outdoors at Big Bend National Park

Natural rock formation at Big Bend National Park

Zack Frank /

The scenic Big Bend National Park in Brewster County is a must-see.

It is located in the Chihuahuan Desert and shares a border with Mexico.

Outdoorsy types can find paradise at Big Bend National Park.

Spend quality time in the great outdoors with your loved ones or pals.

Starry sky at Big Bend National Park

Pi-Lens /

In this gorgeous park, your options are virtually limitless between the lake, the picturesque trails, and the towering mountains.

There are many things to do at the Big Bend National Park, including hiking, camping, stargazing, and exploring the park’s information center.

In the park’s bookstore, visitors may pick up a map of the grounds and read more about the park’s history and attractions.

River flowing through the Big Bend National Park

Zack Frank /

Learn about Life in the Region at the Museum of the Big Bend

Visit the Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine, Brewster County, to learn about the history of the black bear and the dinosaurs that lived there.

All things cowboy and modern Western art are displayed during the 36th Annual Trappings of Texas, showcasing the talents of the state’s cattlemen and cattlewomen.

The displays include wooden wheeled carts and dioramas of early settlers depicting the history of buffalo soldiers, cowboys, the railroad, mining, the stagecoach, and the general store.

Award-winning artist Phil Epp, a native of Nebraska’s vast plains, describes his work as “simple,” “pure,” “unspoiled,” and “spiritual.”

His mediums include outdoor installations, acrylic landscape paintings, and enormous porcelain tiled sculptures.

Epp was inducted into the Cowboy Artists of America ranks in 2017.

Visit the Museum of the Big Bend!

Climb the Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Landscape of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Invisible Witness /

If you want to test your mettle in Texas, head to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, covering Hudspeth and Culberson Counties.

Hike up Guadalupe Peak for a 3,000-foot rise throughout an 8.5-mile roundtrip to reach the state’s highest point.

It takes six to eight hours for hikers to reach Texas’ highest peak, 8,751 feet above sea level.

The journey is well worth it for the breathtaking vistas that await them at the summit.

Oasis at Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Alisa_Ch /

The view of El Capitan from this peak is spectacular since it stands atop the 40-mile-long Guadalupe Mountain Range.

Off Highway 62 in western Texas, not far from El Paso, you’ll find this park home to a unique ecosystem that combines canyon slots, desert shrubland, and lush woodlands.

You may choose between tent and RV camping to spend the night at Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Walls of Devil's hall at Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Billy McDonald /

Practice Your Swing at Black Jack’s Crossing Golf Course

Golf legend Lanny Wadkins, a World Golf Hall of Famer, established Black Jack’s Crossing Golf Course in a 27,000-acre resort in Terlingua, Brewster County.

The golf course mixes the natural beauty of Big Bend National Park with the country’s fascinating history.

Army General “Black Jack” Pershing used to stay there as he chased Pancho Villa across the Rio Grande.

This course is a work of art because of the magnificent mountain holes set against breathtaking mountain landscapes.

You may find Longhorn Museum and Pro Shop in the historic Lajitas Trading Post, circa the 1800s, spared during Pershing’s wars.

Black Jack’s Crossing Clubhouse was formerly the site of a Trading Post, where cowboys and miners met to do business, drink whiskey, and trade goods.

Don’t leave home without your camera to remember the world-class Black Jack’s Crossing Golf Course forever.

Admire the Rock Formations at Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site

Rock climbing at Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site

slopjop, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When you visit Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site in El Paso, El Paso County, you may learn more about the park’s background at the ranch house.

Spot the spectacular rock formations on both guided and self-directed tours.

Hueco is a rock basin used for ages to collect rainwater, and the name has stayed.

Beautiful rock formation at Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site

Brian Stansberry, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hiking routes dot the landscape.

Visitors may take in sweeping vistas of the landscape and the brilliant birds that call it home.

Exploring the Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site is one of the best things to do in El Paso.

Remember the Holocaust at El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center

Henry Kellen, a survivor of the Holocaust, established the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center.

The organization began to raise public consciousness of the Holocaust and World War II resistance activities.

You will see and feel the plight of the European Jews through videos and displays.

Displayed items, such as the dining room scenario, are the real deal and will stir some strong feelings.

While most displays are permanent, the museum hosts several temporary exhibits yearly.

The El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center is in El Paso, Texas.

Discover the Desert at UTEP Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens

Signage of UTEP Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens

Susan Barnum, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

UTEP Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens in El Paso has opened since 1936.

It has permanent displays and materials that explore the natural and cultural history of the Chihuahuan Desert and its surrounding areas.

El Paso’s geology, paleontology, and zoology are all represented in the museum’s natural history exhibits.

Meditating pool at UTEP Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens

Susan Barnum, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Guests also have the opportunity to explore the desert’s flora, fauna, sceneries, and gardens.

The UTEP Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens house temporary and permanent archaeological and ethnological displays.

Activities at the museum include talks based on the institution’s research collections.

Walkway at UTEP Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens

Susan Barnum, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Leave a Note in the Desk on Hancock Hill Trailhead

Thousands of visitors have climbed a hill in Alpine searching for the Desk on Hancock Hill Trailhead.

Climbers leave notes in the notebook hidden inside the bottom drawer.

The many travelers who have made the journey have left notebooks filled with stories of their lives.

Long-distance runner and member of the Sul Ross University’s track team Jim Kitchen had the idea of lugging the desk to the hill in 1979.

Aided by two pals, Kitchen hauled it to a mountaintop perch from which he could survey the university and nearby settlement.

Aside from recording the times he and his teammates ran, he also started writing down his thoughts, which quickly spread among the team.

Many notebooks contain personal writings, confessions, laments for lost loves, and “we were here” notes.

The Big Bend’s Sul Ross Archives maintains journals beginning in 1991.

Every so often, Sul Ross University replaces worn-out and graffiti-covered desks and adds new chairs and notebooks to keep the tradition alive.

Some people wander the hilltop until they find the desk on Hancock Hill.

Once you spot the bicycle tree, you know you’re close.

Check Out the Fort Davis National Historic Site

Ruins at Fort Davis National Historic Site

Philip Arno Photography /

Fort Davis is one of the outstanding examples of a frontier military post from the Indian Wars in the Southwest.

Fort Davis National Historic Site is located in the stunning Davis Mountains in Jeff Davis County.

It is a classic example of a military outpost during the Indian Wars in the American Southwest.

Fort Davis watched over travelers on the Trans-Pecos section of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and the Chihuahua Trail between 1854 and 1891.

Landscape of the Fort Davis National Historic Site

William Silver /

It also served as a critical location for regulating the southern branch of the Great Comanche War Trail and the Mescalero Apache War Trail.

Visit Fort Davis to learn the history of African Americans in the West and the frontier military.

The post was home to a cavalry unit, a black-only regiment formed after the Civil War.

Five historic buildings have been restored to their 1880s appearance, allowing you to imagine the fort during its heyday.

Interior view of the ruins at Fort Davis National Historic Site

Zack Frank /

See the Stars at McDonald Observatory

Telescope at McDonald Observatory

Fredlyfish4 /

No Fort Davis itinerary would be complete without including a McDonald Observatory trip.

It is located in Jeff Davis County and is a world-class facility for astronomical study and education.

As a part of the University of Texas, the McDonald Observatory strongly connects to the academic community.

View of the McDonald Observatory

Jeffery Edwards /

The Davis Mountains have some of the darkest skies in the United States mainland, so stargazers will love coming here.

Plus, it’s home to the Hobby-Eberly telescopes, one of the world’s largest optical telescopes.

If you plan to visit the McDonald Observatory, prepare to see the stars as you have never seen them.

Telescope at McDonald Observatory

Sean Hannon acritelyphoto /

Gulf Coast

Hundreds of miles of coastline line the Gulf Coast from Mexico’s southern border to Louisiana.

You may discover wetlands, prairies, grasslands, barrier islands, and bays here.

Explore some of the Gulf Coast’s most recognizable and populated urban centers, including Houston, Galveston, South Padre Island, and Corpus Christi.

Here are the best things to do in the Gulf Coast region, Texas.

Try Water Sports at Port Aransas Beach

Vibrant sunset at Port Aransas Beach

Roschetzky Photography /

Port Aransas Beach in Nueces County is a popular tourist destination along the Gulf of Mexico.

It has an azure sea, a sandy beach, and many facilities.

Port Aransas Beach is a fantastic option for friends looking for an unforgettable beach vacation.

Sand dunes at Port Aransas Beach

Stephanie A Sellers /

The well-kept beach has many excellent facilities, including a pier, outdoor showers, bathrooms, attentive lifeguards, and more.

Beach activities include boogie boarding, surfing, bodysurfing, beach volleyball, picnicking, sunbathing, stand-up paddleboarding, frisbee tossing, and fishing.

Aerial view of Port Aransas Beach

Roschetzky Photography /

See the Sea Turtles at Padre Island National Seashore

Turtle at Padre Island National Seashore

JB Manning /

Padre Island National Seashore in Corpus Christi, Nueces County, became a national seashore in 1962.

It features 130,434 acres of tranquil coastline.

Padre Island National Seashore is also home to the world’s largest oversized undeveloped barrier island.

A man enjoying the view from his camping tent at Padre Island National Seashore

IrinaK /

This coastline’s tranquil atmosphere, stunning beaches, meadows, animals, and dunes will enchant you.

In the summer, don’t miss park personnel releasing baby sea turtles into the ocean after they’ve hatched.

Relax on the beach, make sandcastles, dip in the clear ocean, or try out windsurfing or a four-wheeler ride on the sandy beaches of Laguna Madre.

Crab resting on the shore at Padre Island National Seashore

Gary Mc Alea Photography /

Meet the Sea Creatures at Texas State Aquarium

Entrance to the Texas State Aquarium

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Texas State Aquarium has been open to the public for free since 1995.

Its mission is to encourage environmental preservation and wildlife rescue.

Do you want to try indoor activities that can educate and entertain you throughout the wet and chilly months?

Then visit the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi.

Turtle swimming at Texas State Aquarium

Rajin45 /

Marine creatures, including dolphins, octopuses, stingrays, and sharks, teach visitors about marine life.

Furthermore, it provides tourists with invaluable information on the marine life of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Discover the fascinating stories behind the aquarium’s rescue animals and learn from the expertise of the aquarium’s volunteers.

Visit the nursery display to learn more about the development of bamboo sharks, moon jellies, and brine shrimp.

Exterior view of the Texas State Aquarium

Philip Lange /

Embrace the Diverse Culture of Port Arthur at Faith Trail

Because of its history as a rail and port town, Port Arthur in Jefferson County is home to people from various cultural backgrounds.

Consequently, people of many faiths began moving into the neighborhood as well.

Port Arthur is home to three remarkable faith-based attractions along the Faith Trail.

Visit the serene grounds of the Buu Mon Buddhist Temple and see the calm figure of Buddha.

A stunning bronze statue at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe depicts the Virgin Mary’s apparition to Juan Diego.

The builders incorporated rocks from the Mexican church where the vision took place in the design.

Last but not least, there is a Blessed Mother statue in the Queen of Peace Shrine and Gardens.

The Catholic Church of the Queen of Vietnam commissioned its construction.

Strengthen your faith along the Faith Trail!

Be an Astronaut for a Day at NASA Johnson Space Center

Interior view of the NASA Johnson Space Center

John_Silver /

NASA Johnson Space Center is a must-see for any first-time visitors to the city, and with good reason.

The massive facility in Houston, Harris County, offers the closest thing to an actual space mission you can have on Earth.

Beginning at the Visitor Center, you may quickly fill a day with activities and attractions.

Model of an astronaut at NASA Johnson Space Center

Oleg Anisimov /

Ride the tram to Mission Control, where you’ll find real space rockets, then head to Rocket Park.

Skylab, America’s first space station, is open for tours; visitors may also hold a rock brought back from the moon.

Spending time at NASA Johnson Space Center is of the most traditional Houston activities.

Display of aeroplanes at NASA Johnson Space Center

Tricia Daniel /

Travel in Time at the Museum of the Gulf Coast

Port Arthur’s Museum of the Gulf Coast lives up to one of its trademarks, “Jurassic to Joplin,” with exhibits spanning millions of years.

You may learn about the history of the Texas Navy and the Gulf Coast from prehistoric times to the current day in the museum’s lower-level exhibits.

The Halls of Fame lies on the upper level.

The three distinct areas are the Music Hall of Fame, the Notable People Gallery, and the Sports Legends Gallery.

Everyone featured in these displays was either born on the Gulf Coast or had long-term links there.

Even though there is a minimal admission charge, the museum is well worth the fees because it may quickly fill two hours of your day.

Enjoy Open-Air Performances at Miller Outdoor Theater

Exterior view of the Miller Outdoor Theater

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

Miller Outdoor Theatre, spanning nearly eight acres in the middle of Houston’s Hermann Park, is the only free open-air theatre in the country.

Miller Outdoor Theatre at Hermann Park has hosted thousands of spectacular free concerts since it opened in 1923.

It is one of Houston’s most treasured cultural assets.

This theater is unique since it provides a season’s worth of free professional, aesthetically superb, and culturally varied entertainment to the public.

Empty white chairs lined perfectly at Miller Outdoor Theater

Dtobias, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It offers fantastic entertainment value.

Daytime activities are tailored to younger audiences.

Meanwhile, guests can enjoy nighttime performances of jazz, classical music, ethnic music and dance, Shakespeare, films, and more.

Hillside seating does not require tickets.

Feel free to bring a blanket or lawn chair to make yourself more comfortable.

Stage at the Miller Outdoor Theater

Dtobias, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Paddle through Victoria Paddling Trail

This 25-mile paddling path in Victoria takes you via Riverside Park, Chisholm Trail, Mission Espiritu Santo, and Fort Saint Louis.

In the Coastal Region, the Victoria Paddling Trail in Victoria County winds down the tranquil Guadalupe River, surrounded by picturesque soft banks.

Occasionally you can take a break on resting or birding areas along the Victoria Paddling Trail, a fantastic place with fast-flowing and shallow water.

You may go fishing for various fish in the Guadalupe River, including catfish, sunfish, Guadalupe bass, and others.

Numerous flora, fauna, and aquatic organisms call the Guadalupe River their home.

Spot various bird species like egrets, bald eagles, hawks, herons, phoebes, and many more.

You may reach the Victoria Paddling Trail from five different points.

Getting there requires going eight or nine miles north of Victoria on Highway 87, turning left onto FM447, and then going 3.2 miles to the access point.

Check Out Exquisite Pieces at the Museum of Fine Arts

Glassell school at the Museum of Fine Arts

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

Another Houston gem is the Museum of Fine Arts.

It spans 6,000 years of history and showcases art from around the world in its two buildings and picturesque outdoor sculpture garden.

The Museum of Fine Arts houses almost 60,000 works of art, so you’ll have to do work if you want to see them all.

Night view of the Museum of Fine Arts

Iktotchi /

Among the highlights are European and American decorative arts.

There are also artworks from the Impressionist Renaissance and historical artifacts from the pre-Columbian era and other parts of Africa.

A lavish sculpture garden between the two buildings offers a unique perspective on the Museum of Fine Arts.

Spend the Night at Presidio La Bahia

Exterior view of the Presidio La Bahia

Philip Arno Photography /

The Presidio La Bahia, the most well-known historical site in Goliad, Goliad County, is the finest example of a Spanish frontier fort.

Its walls protected Spanish, Mexican, and Texan troops, and it participated in and witnessed six national revolutions.

The museum inside the fort is home to several surviving items from the Presidio.

Facade of the Presidio La Bahia

Barna Tanko /

Additionally, hundreds of people travel to San Miguel de Allende every year to see the Church of Our Lady of Loreto, the oldest church in the United States.

Experience authentic Texas culture at the Presidio La Bahia.

Within the fort’s walls is a lodging facility called “The Quarters,” where you may spend a night or two.

An old well at Presidio La Bahia

William Silver /

Hill Country

Picturesque landscape at Hill Country

Dean Fikar /

Hill Country lies around the middle of Texas.

It has hilly landscapes, steep canyons, many springs, and an underground network of lakes and caverns.

Here are the best things to do in Hill Country:

Enjoy the Breathtaking Views of Mount Bonnell

Visitors hiking Mount Bonnell

Philip Arno Photography /

Mount Bonnell, at an altitude of 1,875 feet, is a popular tourist destination due to its breathtaking panoramas, which are perfect for taking snaps.

Mount Bonnell is in Austin, Travis County.

It has been a famous tourist destination in Austin since the 1850s.

View from Mount Bonnell

Roschetzky Photography /

It has been recognized as a Texas Historic Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Even people not used to hiking can climb the 102 steps to the top for panoramic views of Austin, Lake Austin, and the surrounding hills.

The overlook is also an excellent location to witness one of Austin’s famously breathtaking sunsets.

Stairs at Mount Bonnell

Kyle Cargill /

Escape the Texas Heat at Barton Springs Pool

Aerial view of the Barton Springs Pool

Trong Nguyen /

Barton Springs Pool, a three-acre natural pool within Zilker Park, is one of Austin’s most visited tourist destinations.

Do you need to get away from Texas’s oppressive summer heat?

If you’re looking for something entertaining in Austin, you should prioritize visiting the Barton Springs Pool.

People enjoying their day at Barton Springs Pool

Alizada Studios /

A natural spring provides the water for this pool, keeping the water temperature between 68 and 70 degrees year-round.

After cooling off in the spring water, you may explore the bathhouses and informative displays on the spring’s biology and history.

Similarly, the lush and laid-back grasses of Zilker Park are open for sunbathing.

A man swimming in Barton Springs Pool

Danita Delimont /

Discover Mexican Culture at Mexic-Arte Museum

Street view of the Mexic-Arte Museum

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin has been around since 1983.

It aims to keep the art and culture of Mexico and Latin America alive and well.

Don’t be fooled by its size!

The museum may be modest, but it has an impressive collection.

Closer view of the Mexic-Arte Museum

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Moreover, it does a fantastic job of illuminating Mexican art’s beauty, color, and brightness.

Photographs of the Mexican Revolution sit alongside modern art and relics from the country’s ancient ceremonial mass in this museum.

Visit the Mexic-Arte Museum anytime to enjoy live music or plays.

Stroll through the San Antonio River Walk

Stunning view of the San Antonio River Walk

f11photo /

The San Antonio River has been a popular tourist destination since 1535.

It was also the site of several conflicts in the past.

Those visiting San Antonio, Bexar County, should check out the San Antonio River Walk for its attractions.

They can also shop, dine, and party there.

Boat tours along the San Antonio River Walk

GagliardiPhotography /

The RiverWalk in San Antonio, also known as Paseo del Rio, is a pedestrian mall that links several of the city’s major tourist destinations.

If you’re staying in one of the nearby hotels, the view of the San Antonio River Walk from your bed is unparalleled.

View of the San Antonio River Walk

Meyta /

Take a gorgeous tour of downtown while listening to mariachi bands as you walk along the river’s cobblestone walks or ride the river boat.

Celebrations like Fiesta Noche del Rio and Fiesta de Las Luminarias bring the River Walk to life with dazzling displays of light and color.

Scenic view of the San Antonio River Walk

jbtphotos /

Enjoy the Vibe at Kerrville Hills Winery

One of the most well-known establishments in Kerrville, Kerr County, is the Kerrville Hills Winery, the city’s first winery now known for its exceptional vintages.

You may sample its wines in the winery’s fantastic tasting area, outfitted with exciting furnishings and a two-sided fireplace.

Kerrville Hills Winery features a food truck with tasty treats and a gift shop to help you locate the perfect present for friends and family.

A 30-minute guided tour of the winery’s facilities allow guests to look inside the winemaking and bottling processes.

Kerrville Hills Winery is a great place to unwind because of the soothing atmosphere and live music.

Admire the Limestone Formations at Natural Bridge Caverns

Interior view of the Natural Bridge Caverns

John Le /

In 1960, St. Mary’s College students uncovered the Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio.

One even left school to help with research and development by exploring the caves deeper.

Explore the natural version of a Gothic building, crafted over millions of years out of limestone and steady raindrops.

Entrance to the Natural Bridge Caverns

Jason Christopher Pandy /

An entire football field could fit within this subterranean masterpiece.

The fun at Natural Bridge Caverns never ends.

Experience an underground journey through tunnels, chambers, and massive geological formations, all illuminated by the site’s cutting-edge lighting.

However, the excitement does not stop below the earth.

Above ground, visitors can partake in various activities, including rope courses, zip lines, obstacle courses, mining, and a maze.

Rock formations at Natural Bridge Caverns

Lost_in_the_Midwest /

Check Out the Bikes at Hill Country Motorheads Motorcycle Museum

Pat and Janell Hanlon run the Hill Country Motorheads Motorcycle Museum in Burnet.

A wide variety of motorbikes and related artifacts from the past are on display, including modern and classic models.

Most of the almost 200 bikes in the collection date between 1960 and 1979.

It also features over 70 motorcycles representing dozens of manufacturers.

Moreover, there are a few motorcycles on exhibit that predate the 1960s.

In addition to exploring the museum’s 7,000-square-foot exhibit space, guests may enjoy a game of pool, some light refreshments, movie screenings, or a quiet moment in the lounge.

Experience Zen at the Japanese Tea Garden

Waterfall at Japanese Tea Garden

Kit Leong /

In 1899, San Antonio received a former limestone rock quarry from the San Antonio Water Works Company president.

In 1918, the city turned the quarry into the beautiful Oriental garden known as the Japanese Tea Garden.

A Japanese-American artist and his family, who once owned a tea shop, developed the area.

Landscape of the Japanese Tea Garden

Bill Florence /

The tea garden attracts many visitors, especially couples looking for a romantic setting.

Stroll along the stone walkways and bridges, admire the tranquil waterfall and Oriental landscaping, and indulge in Japanese refreshments and fare at the cafe.

Enjoy your time at the Japanese Tea Garden and learn more about the family who created it.

Wooden bridge at Japanese Tea Garden

His Hands Photograhpy /

Challenge Yourself at Spider Mountain Bike Park

Spider Mountain Bike Park in Burnet is the only year-round, lift-served bike park in the United States.

The mountain has Texas’s first “lift-served mountain biking park,” right next to Lake Buchanon.

The first chairlift in the state provides mountain bikers with around 350 vertical feet of gravity-fueled fun.

From Spider Mountain’s peak, you may access nine distinct routes whose difficulty ranges from easy to challenging.

These trails include the Itsy-Bitsy green track, perfect for people new to mountain biking, to the more advanced Blue and Black trails.

Conquer the terrain at Spider Mountain Bike Park!

Take Photos of the Majestic Falkenstein Castle

A distant view of the Falkenstein Castle

Raul Baena /

Falkenstein Castle in Burnet, Burnet County, is a popular tourist attraction and the personal home of Terry and Kim Young.

While vacationing in Bavaria to see Neuschwanstein Castle, the Young family discovered blueprints for another castle they later christened, “Falkenstein.”

Although the Youngs could not construct the structure, they found the artist’s designs and blueprints.

Exterior view of the Falkenstein Castle

Justin Wright from Vancouver, WA, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They planned to build a real-life castle in Burnet based on these sketches.

On a total of 113 acres, the castle’s grounds take up four.

Falkenstein Castle is the Young family’s home and a popular location for weddings and charity galas.

Even if you don’t explore the interior, you can take photos of its grandeur outside!

Explore Local Art at Kerr Arts & Cultural Center

Exterior view of the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located in historic downtown Kerrville, the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center dedicates itself to producing original works of art.

Anyone can visit the center to learn new talents or hone their existing ones.

Likewise, instructors work with amateurs and veterans to help them reach their full creative potential.

Experts in the field are available to mentor and instruct aspiring artists.

There are around 600 artists represented in the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center’s permanent collection.

Check out the sculpture, furniture, jewelry, paintings, pottery, photographs, etc.

You may take a free tour of the facility and browse the gift store containing many artists’ unique creations.

Shop for one-of-a-kind keepsakes and presents for your loved ones at the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center.


Landscape of Panhandle Texas

Hundley Photography /

Panhandle lies in northern Texas and meets the Big Bend Country, Prairies and Lakes, and Hill Country regions.

It comprises largely plains or treeless grassland.

Deep gorges cut by rivers and tributaries divide this region’s western and eastern sections.

Explore the best things to do in the Panhandle region.

Strike a Pose with the Colorful Installations at Cadillac Ranch

View of the Cadillac Ranch

mcrvlife /

In 1974, Hudson Marquez, Doug Michels, and Chip Lord created the Cadillac Ranch sculpture park in Amarillo, Potter County.

You can find it a short distance west of Amarillo, along Route 66.

The line of Cadillacs painted with graffiti and half-buried on the side of the road is undoubtedly one of Amarillo’s most exciting and unusual sights.

Colorful cadillac at Cadillac Ranch

Cheri Alguire /

Don’t miss this incredible art exhibition since it’s amidst the Texas desert.

Since there is no parking in the area, you’ll need to pull off the road and park on the grass.

Afterward, walk a few yards and take photos of the Cadillac Ranch.

View of the Cadillac Ranch

Steve Lagreca /

Explore the Route 66 Historic District

Signage of the Route 66 Historic District

Heidi Besen /

You’ll find historically significant storefronts along the former Route 66 along the Route 66 Historic District in Amarillo.

These 13 blocks comprise the city’s past and present; no visit downtown is complete without exploring them.

Shops at Route 66 Historic District

Renelibrary, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for cost-free activities in Amarillo, stroll along this strip and peek inside the shops.

The Route 66 Historic District has many fantastic places to visit, such as antique shops, pubs, and galleries.

Each stands in a landmark structure along Historic Route 66, serving as a great photo op for tourists.

Street view of Route 66 Historic District

BriceWi999, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Celebrate the Cowboy Spirit at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum

Exterior view of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum

Kit Leong /

American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum in Amarillo preserves the heritage of the American Quarter Horse via its collection and exhibits.

This museum is quintessential Texas because it celebrates the state’s cultural icons: the cowboy and his horse.

The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum honors these iconic horses with life-size bronze statues, artwork, and displays.

Entrance to American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum

Kit Leong /

The Wall of Honor commemorates the remarkable animals and significant persons in the history of this American horse breed.

It is a must-see in addition to the other exhibitions and artwork.

Statue of a horse at American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum

No machine-readable author provided. J. Nguyen~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check Out the World’s Littlest Skyscraper, the Newby–McMahon Building

Outside view of Newby–McMahon Building

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1919, construction began on the world’s littlest skyscraper, a 40-foot structure in Wichita Falls, Wichita County.

Newby-McMahon Building is the official name of this structure.

Besides its distinctive red brick exterior, this building is known for its cast-iron detailing.

A boastful prankster pledged to construct a skyscraper in Wichita Falls, and the city finally got one.

Front view of Newby–McMahon Building

Travis K. Witt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Since its construction, people have called it the World’s Littlest Skyscraper, a name given in jest by the general public.

Many people were perplexed when this structure first appeared many years ago.

Stop by this landmark representing Wichita Falls’s rich history and culture.

Take Photos with Vintage Cars at P’s Crazy Car Museum

In Wichita Falls, you can visit P’s Crazy Car Museum, a classic car museum beloved by auto enthusiasts.

Visit this museum to see how cars have changed over time and across borders by checking out more than 40 classic cars, tractors, trucks, and other exciting vehicles.

A Lincoln Zephyr from 1941 and a pay race car from the 1930s are on display.

If you like what you see, buy them from P’s Crazy Car Museum.

Of course, this is your chance to bring home a genuine artifact from the early days of the car.

Explore the Life of a Legendary Musician at Buddy Holly Center

Signage at the entrance of the Buddy Holly Center

Cheri Alguire /

The Buddy Holly Center opened in Lubbock in 1928 as a Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway terminal.

It is now one of Lubbock County’s most popular tourist destinations.

The center is a must-see on any visit to Lubbock.

The museum is a tribute to the “Peggy Sue” singer and provides extensive information about rock and roll’s past.

Interior view of the Buddy Holly Center

Kit Leong /

The Buddy Holly Center is a must-see for music lovers of all ages.

In this center, visitors can watch a short documentary about the short life of Buddy Holly and his impact on the music industry.

Get a sense of Buddy’s character and warmth as you read his letters to friends and family.

Exterior view of the Buddy Holly Center

Kit Leong /

Bring Your Kids to the National Ranching Heritage Center

Windmill at National Ranching Heritage Center

Regine Poirier /

National Ranching Heritage Center was established on 27 acres of land in Lubbock to conserve and exhibit the country’s ranching past.

The facility is under the management of Texas Tech University and funded by the Ranching Heritage Association.

It is an excellent place for students and their families to visit.

Stone house at National Ranching Heritage Center

Regine Poirier /

The National Ranching Heritage Center is ideal for families visiting Lubbock.

There are many free events and activities for kids, such as the Candlelight at the Ranch, Summer Stampede, Ranch Day, and more.

Take a trolley tour of the National Ranching Heritage Center to see the exhibits without wearing yourself out.

View of the National Ranching Heritage Center

Regine Poirier /

Feast Your Eyes on the Lovely International Waterlily Collection

If you are passionate about floral design, visit the International Waterlily Collection, a paradise in San Angelo, Tom Green County.

The Water Lily is a famous flower because of its vibrant colors and graceful form.

Getting up close and personal is your best bet to get the full effect of the International Water Lily Collection.

Here you may see various lilies and learn interesting facts about flowers.

Take a stroll in the tranquil garden surrounded by water lilies.

Plan your trip around September, when you will see beautiful displays of water lilies.

It’s going to be the most incredible thing you’ve ever experienced.

See Windmills of All Sizes at American Windmill Museum

Windmills at American Windmill Museum

Grossinger /

American Windmill Museum in Lubbock is home to more than 150 meticulously rebuilt windmills, making it the biggest windmill museum in the world.

The American Windmill Museum is home to some of Lubbock’s most exciting and unusual attractions.

For example, the Axtell Standard is one of the most famous windmills in the area.

Its thin blades and hand-wrought wheel measuring 22.5 feet catch light in lacy revolutions and emit swooshing sounds that are curiously pleasurable.

Bring the kids to see the massive garden-size model railway chugging the length of the structure.

Dollhouses and model trains are among the miniatures at the American Windmill Museum.

Meet the Animals at Abilene Zoo

Large sign of a zoo at Abilene Zoo

Abilene Zoo is a must-see attraction for every traveler to the Abilene area, part of Taylor and Jones Counties.

Over a thousand different animals live in the zoo.

It is a fantastic destination for people of all ages who enjoy animals.

Abilene Zoo spans more than 16 acres.

Giraffe at Abilene Zoo

Zach Fredenburg /

Elm Creek Backyard is home to cougars, bobcats, and armadillos.

The giraffe habitat allows visitors to interact with and feed the giraffes.

Meanwhile, the herbarium (reptile house) has over 80 species of reptiles and amphibians.

Likewise, there is a wetlands boardwalk, a tropical aviary, a gift store, and classrooms inside the adventure center complex.

Bring Your Little Bookworm to the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature

National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) began in 2000 as a museum in Abilene dedicated to illustrations from children’s books.

It’s where acclaimed artists and writers showcase some of the most impressive examples of children’s book illustrations from the past several years.

The NCCIL also hosts book signings by featured artists, free family-friendly art activities, yearly summer camps, and museum tours conducted by docents for elementary school students.

Its number of visitor-focused educational opportunities is impressive.

It’s a fantastic place to bring your kids to read various illustrated children’s books.

Catch Spectacular Shows at Paramount Theatre

Exterior view of Paramount Theatre

Kokoulina /

The renovated Paramount Theatre, founded in 1930 by H. O. Wooten, screens films and stage plays from the nation’s history.

When it reopened in 1986, the building had been restored to its original beauty and conventional structure and looked fantastic.

Paramount Theatre is a true spectacle with its Spanish-Moorish décor, beautiful domed roof, moving clouds, and brilliant stars.

Night view of Paramount Theatre

John Pesina /

The theater is also one of the best in the Southwest.

It hosts various events, including movies, musicals, operas, dance performances, concerts, and private parties.

Enjoy the performances of Abilene Ballet Theatre, Chameleon Performing Arts Company, Classical Chorus of Abilene, or Abilene Opera Association.

Visit the Railway Museum of San Angelo

The Railway Museum of San Angelo is a great place to take kids and learn something new simultaneously.

Magnificent statues and paintings will elevate your experience to a new level.

You can imagine yourself in a bygone era of railroad travel here.

You can see everything the museum has to offer on a guided tour.

The best part is your guides wear period-accurate clothing to complete your experience.

Learn everything you need to know about the fascinating past of the Railway Museum of San Angelo.

Take photos with the guides and with the museum artifacts!

Piney Woods

View of Piney Woods

Timothy L Barnes /

The Piney Woods area runs from the Louisiana border to Gulf Coast.

It is a dense pine forest that spans Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

Swamps are abundant, especially in the southernmost area called “Big Thicket.”

Explore the best things to do in Piney Woods.

Spot the Wildlife at Big Thicket National Preserve

Trail along the Big Thicket National Preserve

Jeffrey M. Frank /

The “Big Thicket” in Kountze is the first protected area in the United States.

Big Thicket National Preserve spans over a hundred thousand acres, covering Hardin, Liberty, Polk, Tyler, and Jasper Counties.

It attracts thousands of visitors annually who explore its unique ecosystem.

Big Thicket National Preserve’s visitor center stands along US Route 69/Highway 287.

Turtle at Big Thicket National Preserve

Anna Westman /

As a protected area, wildlife is abundant here.

Camping, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing are other outdoor activities for Big Thicket National Preserve visitors.

The tall cypress trees and abundance of animals within the preserve never fail to wow the many people who come to see them.

Boardwalk at Big Thicket National Preserve

Jeffrey M. Frank /

Revisit Old Nacogdoches at Millard’s Crossing Historic Village

Millard’s Crossing Historic Village is one of the best spots in Nacogdoches since it allows visitors to learn about the city’s past.

Located in northern Nacogdoches, this museum is open to the public for free.

It got its name because a train line used to run across the land once owned by the Millar family.

You may see several preserved structures from the 1800s, including Victorian-era homes and rustic cottages at Millard’s Crossing Historic Village.

The late Lera Millard Thomas had the foresight to preserve and display these buildings, artifacts, and antiques as part of Texas’ cultural legacy.

Explore the Life of a Great General at Sam Houston Memorial Museum

View of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum

Larry D. Moore, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Huntsville, Walker County, is well-known for its proximity to the region’s characteristic piney forests and rolling hills and its association with the legendary General Sam Houston.

Sam Houston Memorial Museum in Huntsville is the ideal venue to learn about General Sam Houston, widely regarded as one of the most outstanding Texans.

Houston resided there on many occasions.

Kitchen of Sam Houston at Sam Houston Memorial Museum

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The exhibits at the museum cover every period of his life and serve as instructive examples.

Towards the museum’s rear are two buildings: the Woodland residence Houston constructed for his family and the Steamboat House, where he died.

Stop by the Sam Houston Memorial Museum if you’re looking for a fun time in the Huntsville area.

Satisfy Your Need for Speed at Pine Valley Raceway

Motorsport fans should make their way to Pine Valley Raceway in Lufkin.

However, this isn’t your typical racing facility.

First, the vehicles in the event are not your regular high-tech race cars; they are a mix of novelty automobiles, brightly colored trucks, and weird devices.

The main attraction at Pine Valley Raceway is always a good drag race.

The cars compete along a straight track less than a mile long.

Guests should remain in the designated viewing area near the track for an excellent vantage position.

As a result, watching a race here is one of the best leisure activities in Lufkin.

Go Diving at the Blue Lagoon

Clear water at Blue Lagoon

Alice yue /

Have you ever dreamed about diving into crystal-clear turquoise waters?

Today may be the day your hopes and aspirations come true.

Scuba divers in the Blue Lagoon can dive to their hearts’ content in Huntsville.

This area has some of the cleanest water in the state.

It’s no surprise that swimmers from all around enjoy it.

Bring your mates to the Blue Lagoon!

Experience Life behind Bars at Texas Prison Museum

Electric chair kept for display at Texas Prison Museum

Teresa Otto /

Are you interested in the Texas jail system?

Texas Prison Museum in Huntsville can teach you all you need to know.

The museum has displays on such topics as the Texas Prison Rodeo (also known as the “Wildest Show Behind Bars”) and the notorious American outlaws Bonnie and Clyde.

Prisoner's rodeo costume displayed at Texas Prison Museum

Teresa Otto /

As you stroll through the facility, you will know how convicts lived inside the prison walls.

You cannot visit Texas without stopping by the Texas Prison Museum.

Relax under the Trees at SFA Mast Arboretum

Those who care about the environment should stop by the SFA Mast Arboretum in Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County.

This arboretum spans over ten acres and is home to over 7,500 plant varieties.

These gardens in Nacogdoches County are some of the most exciting you’ll ever see.

The pioneer class at Stephen F. Austin University began working on the SFA Mast Arboretum in 1985.

It conserves most of these plants and displays them for its guests.

The SFA Mast Arboretum is a great place to go if you need a vacation from the city.

The arboretum is a great destination to add to your list if you enjoy being outdoors.

Learn about Earthmoving Machines at LeTourneau University

Exterior view of the LeTourneau University

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

RG LeTourneau, a pioneer in earthmoving machinery, inspired the establishment of the university that bears his name.

With his wife Evelyn, the businessman and earnest Christian LeTourneau visited Longview, Gregg County, in 1946 to look for a location to build his next earthmoving equipment facility.

In 1946, the all-male LeTourneau Technical Institute opened there.

LeTourneau University, a four-year institution, was established in 1961.

The institution now has students from around the world and eight different departments.

Earth moving machines at LeTourneau University

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take in the beauty and historical allure of the campus as you make your way to the performance space.

They also hold performances ranging from laser displays to plays, concerts, and band plays.

One of the best free things to do in Longview is to take a stroll in this tranquil sanctuary.

The LeTourneau University campus is full of historical artifacts and features several performances.

Earth moving machine at LeTourneau University

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bring Your Kids to the Quirky Longview World of Wonders

Studies on establishing a museum for kids in Longview started in the late ’90s.

It was the first step towards creating the Longview World of Wonders.

This effort, dubbed “Museum without Walls,” was officially inaugurated in October 2009.

The organization also changed its name to Longview World of Wonders and began holding various events.

For a list of the best family-friendly activities in Longview, stop by this museum.

Your kids can spend hours here letting their imaginations run wild, which will help them as they grow up.

Give your kids a chance to have fun while learning and engaging with various toys.

There are puzzles, toys, and a pretend farmer’s market for kids to use their imaginations.

Learn about Conservation at the Texas Forestry Museum

Exterior view of the Texas Forestry Museum

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lufkin, Angelina County, is the administrative center for Texas’s four national forests, but the city is far from the other two.

Despite this, Texas Forestry Museum is a great place to learn about the state’s woods and the history of the forestry industry.

You may learn about the forest’s diverse natural riches by exploring the indoor and outdoor displays and paths.

Sawmill worker's house at Texas Forestry Museum

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These natural elements contribute to the growth of the forest’s biodiversity.

The most popular attraction at the Texas Forestry Museum is a “money tree.”

It demonstrates how ancient humans used trees and wood in the past.

Besides, Timber Town offers a place for kids to act out historical roles and discover the function of sawmills through play.

Additionally, it features informative displays.

Outdoor Train Exhibit also has a real-life locomotive that was retired from service in the city’s erstwhile wood industry.

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth from Atkinson Candy Company

Candies from Atkinson Candy Company

Antonio Cavallo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Atkinson Candy Company has served the Lufkin area since 1932.

As the country’s first candy and confectionery manufacturer, its name is known far and wide.

Visitors may sample delicious delicacies right in the factory kitchen.

Popular brands produced at the Atkinson Candy Company include Chick-O-Sticks, Peanut Butter Bars, Black Cow, and Gemstones.

You may have encountered these sweets at a corner store or as a Halloween treat.

Atkinson’s also carries various other imaginative and delicious pleasures and boxed sweets suitable for numerous occasions.

The assortment of sweets available at Atkinson’s should sate your cravings.

Prairies and Lakes

The Prairies and Lakes region is in north-central and central Texas.

Historic and record-breaking attractions lie in this gently sloping, hilly landscape.

It’s also home to the bustling business and fashion scene in Dallas, eclectic stores and restaurants of Fort Worth, and the quiet countryside and agricultural life of the small towns in between.

Here are the best things to do in the Prairies and Lakes region.

Honor Local Heroes at Gonzales Memorial Museum

Exterior view of the Gonzales Memorial Museum

ProfReader, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The “Come and Take It” cannon is the most well-known artifact at the Gonzales Memorial Museum in Gonzales, Texas.

The original cannon that started it all is on display for the public.

The museum in Gonzales County claims that the only non-original part is the vehicle’s wheelbase.

Besides the cannon, you’ll discover some treasures: old guns, antique apparel, home goods, military medical supplies, and historical pictures.

You can also see a tribute to the Immortal 32, or the 32 men and women from Gonzales who answered the call of duty and marched to defend the Alamo.

Entry to the Gonzales Memorial Museum is entirely free.

Catch a Football Game at AT&T Stadium

Exterior view of the AT&T Stadium

Katherine Welles /

AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tarrant County, is the biggest domed building in the world.

It never fails to impress first-time visitors with its vast size and cutting-edge amenities.

The Dallas Cowboys play their home games at this stadium that seats 105,000 people and has a retractable top and a massive HDTV screen.

Interior view of the AT&T Stadium

David J Maldonado /

The stadium is one of the most costly sports arenas, costing well over a billion dollars to build.

Self-guided walks are available after home games, while guided tours for VIPs are available and even provide access to the locker rooms and press box.

You must go to a Cowboys game to get the most out of the AT&T Stadium.

People cheering for their favorite teams at AT&T Stadium

fitzcrittle /

Dress Like a Pioneer at Pioneer Village Living History Center

Explore life in the American West during the 1800s and 1900s at Pioneer Village Living History Center in Gonzales.

The museum lies in several donated structures from the late 1800s and early 1900s.

All the buildings have furnishings, including original antiques from the era they represent.

You’ll also see authentic blacksmithing equipment, playthings, and vintage printing presses at the Pioneer Village Living History Center.

The authentic Civil War-era recruitment papers are among the most exciting artifacts.

There are a variety of buildings in the hamlet for you to check out, including a blacksmith, bar, opera theater, broom shop, printing business, and schoolhouse.

If you want to see Pioneer Village at its finest, you should attend the Come And Take It festival in early October.

Attendees dress the part and reenact the historic battle at the Alamo.

Learn about Bowling at the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame

Interior view of the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that bowling dates back some five thousand years?

Bowling fans won’t want to miss Arlington’s International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame.

This museum chronicles the sport’s illustrious history via photographs, antiques, and moving displays.

Bowling lane at International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The displays teach people more about bowling and its rich history, which dates back to the 17th century in Manhattan.

Bowling’s greatest legends have their exploits chronicled in the Hall of Fame.

The International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame pro store sells personalized bowling balls for guests.

Exhibits at International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bring Your A-Game to Esports Stadium Arlington

Exterior view of the Esports Stadium Arlington

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As the industry continues to boom, more people are tuning in to watch live esports events.

Arlington is clearly in the lead with the largest dedicated esports venue in the entire continent.

With a versatile layout and a state-of-the-art 85-foot LED board, the 100,000-square-foot establishment of Esports Stadium Arlington has gaming events in mind.

Up to 100 gamers and 2,500 spectators can fit in the wired arena.

In addition to the broadcasting studio, the Esports Stadium Arlington also features a control room.

Remember JFK’s Final Moments in the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Exterior view of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

amadeustx /

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza provides a stunning cultural, social, and historical account of the life and death of President John F. Kennedy.

Over 60 percent of Americans believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was only one little cog in a far more complex plan to assassinate JFK.

Moreover, this fascinating museum in Dallas, Dallas County, has some extra treats for you if you count yourself among the JFK conspiracy believers.

Photo exhibits at Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Gilberto Mesquita /

It’s one of the best locations for history enthusiasts because it features over 60,000 items.

Visit the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza to gain insight into the assassination and learn new, fascinating information about JFK.

Finally, you can stand where Oswald fired the shot that changed the world.

In addition, you can go to the grassy knoll and see the X-marked spot where JFK was shot and killed.

Display of a rifle at Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Gilberto Mesquita /

Marvel at the Bronze Steers at Pioneer Plaza

Cattle statues at Pioneer Plaza

Victor Jiang /

A fantastic, free-to-enter monument lies between the Dallas city hall and convention center.

Pioneer Plaza is the second most visited attraction in the central business district.

The park contains a herd of bronze steers, which has become a symbol of the city.

View of the statues at Pioneer Plaza

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

Robert Summers cast these bronze works of art to honor the paths that brought early settlers into the area.

Enjoy a stroll through this picture-perfect park and take pictures with the larger-than-life statues of three trail riders and 49 steers.

You may also look at the native plants, artificial cliffs, and waterfalls at Pioneer Plaza.

Closeup view of the cattle at Pioneer Plaza

Kokoulina /

Join the State Fair at Fair Park

Big tex statue at  Fair Park

Leena Robinson /

This massive cultural complex opened in 1880, encompassing over 200 acres of parkland, exhibition spaces, and museums.

When it comes to cultural attractions, nothing compares to Fair Park.

Fair Park features various entertainment options, from exhibit halls to arenas.

It also hosts many major yearly public events, including the biggest state fair in the United States.

Entrance to  Fair Park

Leena Robinson /

Do you want to know what you can do this weekend in Dallas without spending money?

Take advantage of the park’s free admission to see one of the most significant concentrations of Art Deco buildings in the United States.

You may also enjoy the park’s free fountains and massive paintings.

Ferris wheel at  Fair Park

Marquisphoto /

Walk around Fort Worth Water Gardens

Signage of Fort Worth Water Gardens

Trong Nguyen /

Do you want to know some of the best free things to do in Fort Worth?

Fort Worth Water Gardens, a peaceful haven in the heart of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, will astound and humble you.

These gardens, designed by the renowned Philip Johnson, are a marvel of modern architecture.

Unique architecture at Fort Worth Water Gardens

Megan McHatten /

Enjoy the contemporary ponds and modernist terraces that surround the plaza.

Of course, the Active Pool is the primary attraction, so don’t miss it!

Otherwise, you may take a break and relax amid breathtaking nature.

Fountain at Fort Worth Water Gardens

Victoria Ditkovsky /

Join the Rodeos at Fort Worth Stockyards

Sign board of Fort Worth Stockyards

4kclips /

Fort Worth Stockyards is a hive of activity.

This historic neighborhood in Rodeo Plaza, well known for representing the American Wild West, provides various exciting activities.

Cowboy culture is alive and well at the Fort Worth Stockyards, where tourists enjoy exciting live acts, including shootouts, concerts, and rodeos.

Love shack at Fort Worth Stockyards

James Kirkikis /

The 98-acre Fort Worth Stockyards was also included on the National Register of Historic Places when it began in 1976.

You may ride a horse, witness the world-famous Cattle Drive, and engage with the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame exhibits.

Moreover, you can try bull riding at Billy Bob’s.

Cattle show at Fort Worth Stockyards

Kit Leong /

Learn State History at Texas Civil War Museum

Display of Confederate infantry leaders pictures at Texas Civil War Museum

Rafał Klisowski, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Texas Civil War Museum in Fort Worth is an excellent resource for learning more about that era.

This collection finds genuine Civil War-era clothes, relics, uniforms, and weaponry.

Additionally, the theater features a 75-person seating capacity and emphasizes Texas’ role in the war.

Display of a model ship at Texas Civil War Museum

Rafał Klisowski, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the Texas Civil War Museum and see the documentary theater to learn more about the war.

After that, check out the Judy Richey Victorian Dress Collection, which has over 200 stunning garments.

Spend time in the gift store looking at Victorian-era and military-themed things to round off your trip.

CSA Belts displayed at Texas Civil War Museum

Rafał Klisowski, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

South Texas Plains

Landscape of South Texas Plains

jordaneil /

South Texas Plains extends to the subtropical Lower Rio Grande Valley from the lower Hill Country and western Gulf Coast.

The terrain is primarily dry grasses and prickly bush, home to palms, subtropical woods, and tropical birds.

Birdwatchers around the world gather to see the birds there.

Prepare for an adventure of a lifetime with the best things to do in South Texas Plains.

Revisit the Civil War’s Final Battle at Palmito Ranch Battlefield National Historic Landmark

Marker of the Palmito Ranch Battlefield

Txsurfgirl1, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Palmito Ranch Battlefield National Historic Landmark in Brownsville, Cameron County, is a site that many visitors find fascinating.

In many respects, the battlefield looks much the same as in 1865 in the final moments of the American Civil War: isolated and undeveloped.

Multiple signs and markers dot the Boca Chica Highway.

For instance, the State Route 4 sign indicates the battlefield site.

The Palmito Ranch Battlefield National Historic Landmark also holds Park Day, an annual event where volunteers assist in setting up, cleaning up, and maintaining the battlefield for visitors.

Relax amid the Palm Trees at Sabal Palm Sanctuary

Exterior view of Sabal Palm Sanctuary

Loslazos, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sabal Palm Sanctuary is one of the top Brownsville attractions, and a trip there should be on your list of things to do.

The 557-acre Sabal Palm Sanctuary is a nature preserve where many Sabal Palms and edible heart-bearing palms are grown.

Only in this area of the Rio Grande Valley will you find these particular palm trees.

Nature trail at Sabal Palm Sanctuary

vagabond54 /

This protected area is home to the endangered Sabal Palm and various avian species.

North Mexican and surrounding states’ flora and fauna are also on the reserve.

Walking through the palm trees, butterfly garden, and oxbow lake are highlights of a visit.

Tall palm trees at Sabal Palm Sanctuary

On^ste82, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Explore Textile History at Costumes of the Americas Museum

A trip to Brownsville wouldn’t be complete without checking out the Costumes of the Americas Museum.

Visit these areas to view exhibits of unique textiles.

The museum devotes a lot of space to display many regions’ local garments and costumery.

If you want something bright and unique to wear, you’re in luck!

Learn about the development of woven textiles in the United States at the museum.

The Costumes of the Americas Museum is an excellent resource if you’re interested in fashion.

The museum houses one of the largest collections of authentic North, Central, and South American regional costumes, including footwear, apparel, and adornments.

See Mexican Architecture at the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum

Outside view of the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum

AMAPO, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Republic of the Rio Grande Museum stands in downtown Laredo, Webb County.

As one of the oldest structures in the metropolis, the 1830 building is an important landmark.

The warm and distinctive style of Mexican vernacular architecture is undeniable.

Interior view of the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Before becoming the capital of the Republic of the Rio Grande, this building was the mayor’s residence.

The museum recreates an actual Laredo residence from the 1830s through its displays.

Along with San Agustin Cathedral and La Posada Hotel, it is one of the town’s three most popular tourist attractions.

Marvel at the Architecture of the San Agustin de Laredo Historic District

Facade of the San Agustin Cathedral

AMAPO, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

San Agustin de Laredo Historic District is a picturesque section of town.

This historic neighborhood, which used to encompass all of Laredo, is currently located amid the city’s bustling commercial hub.

You can see brick pavers on the streets; the stunning architecture of the buildings carries 19th-century Spanish and Mexican influences.

You can find relics of the Spanish colonial era in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

In addition to the Cathedral, you may visit the historic center of the Republic of the Rio Grande.

That’s where the neighborhood got its moniker of San Agustin de Laredo Historic District.

Explore Outer Space at Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium

Exterior view of the Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium

AMAPO, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Laredo Texas A&M International University campus features the Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium.

Nature lovers would appreciate the planetarium, another excellent addition to your itinerary in Laredo.

Field tours, stargazing programs, and public presentations are available at the Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium, which features a state-of-the-art education center.

It’s one of the state-of-the-art planetariums in Texas, with features like a viewing area where visitors can take in breathtaking panoramas of the Earth and the entire Long universe.

This cutting-edge facility is among the best of its kind, and its improved technology provides spectacular vistas of the known universe as seen from Earth.

Go on a journey through the cosmos with the Digistar 5, discovering new planets and marveling at the incredible splendor of the universe.

See Gorgeous Creatures at Quinta Mazatlan

View of the Quinta Mazatlan

ALAN SCHMIERER, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Quinta Mazatlan is a 1930s Spanish colonial-style structure in McAllen, Hidalgo County.

It now operates as an educational and birding facility.

Around 230 species of birds live in the region around the Rio Grande Valley; some of these birds are migratory, while others live there permanently.

Quinta Mazatlan is home to several rare and exotic species, including the buff-bellied hummingbird.

An owl peeking out of a tree at Quinta Mazatlan

Northern Exposure by JR /

This free-flying butterfly haven is just twenty minutes from McAllen’s central business district.

Botanical and historical excursions and other creative activities are available for people of all ages, both local and foreign.

Take advantage of the stunning scenery by hiking the area’s network of pathways through nature.

View of the Quinta Mazatlan

ALAN SCHMIERER, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Grab Fresh Local Produce from McAllen Farmers Market

In McAllen, you may buy locally grown produce and other agricultural goods at the McAllen Farmers Market.

The market is bustling with merchants selling various goods to satisfy shoppers’ needs.

Vegetables, fruits, eggs, honey, grass-fed meats, dairy products, and other farm products are all available for purchase.

It also features health aids, decorative accessories, and handicrafts.

The mission of the McAllen Farmers Market is to provide high-quality products at affordable prices to inspire customers to embrace a healthy diet and lifestyle.

The market is only open one day a week, so plan your visit.

Visit the McAllen Farmers Market to pick up local ingredients and get recipes for some of the city’s classic cuisine.

Revel in the Nightlife at 17th Street Entertainment District

17th Street Entertainment District is an absolute must-visit if you’re looking for a good time in McAllen.

It’s the heart of McAllen, where all the action takes place.

Since the area has so many eateries and bars, visitors may choose from various entertainment options.

The 17th Street Entertainment District is the place to go if you want to have a laid-back meal with friends or family, groove to some live tunes, or kick back and relax at the bar.

Trained security officers keep the 17th Street Entertainment District safe.

Experience Southern Texas Culture at the Museum of South Texas History

Depending on where you are, various regions of Texas might have varied historical viewpoints.

As recently as 1836, Texas was a part of Mexico.

Many remnants of Mexico’s influence on the culture of southern Texas remain.

The Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg, Hidalgo County, aims to demonstrate the breadth and depth of this heritage.

It depicts the bloody conflict that occurred during the Mexican-American War.

Southern Texans are proud of their region’s unique history and heritage and want to help you better understand Edinburg.

The Museum of South Texas History is a fantastic way to get acquainted with your surroundings before diving headfirst into a holiday.

Practice Your Pitch at First Pitch Academy

You may pursue your passion for baseball or softball full-time, thanks to First Pitch Academy in Edinburg.

You may get pitches of varying speeds in the batting cage at this training center.

Let loose and enjoy yourself as you might have imagined as a kid.

It offers training sessions, where you may learn the finer points of striking from experts.

First Pitch Academy provides an alternative to staying inside to play computer games or watch television and an excuse to get outside and enjoy the sun.

Those experiences will last a lifetime, so why not take the family out for a day of adventure, education, and fun?

Spot Birds at Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center

Birds at Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center

William Cushman /

Dallas and Austin are the two major cities that come to mind when most people think of Texas.

One thing they wouldn’t expect to find in Edinburgh is a marsh or swamp, yet you can find both of these places, and they’re pretty unique and worth seeing.

In 2003, a 40-acre facility called the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center opened.

You may observe the local wildlife from a close distance in this marsh.

There is a gift shop where you may buy souvenirs to make your friends and family envious, in addition to bird viewing and two wetland ponds.

The goal of the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center is to deliver a memorable visit that is both entertaining and educational.

Bring your family to the center for a weekend with the birds!

Final Thoughts

As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas.

The immensity of the Lone Star State means that no matter where you go, you’ll be greeted with a unique culture and environment.

Considering everything Texas offers, it’s simple to see why it’s such a popular tourist destination.

Each attraction represents a different facet of the Lone Star State, and this list of the best things to do in Texas can help you get only the best of the state.

© All rights reserved.