Texas is a state full of adventure, culture, and history. From the bustling cities to the wide open plains, there is something for everyone in this great state. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities, historical sites, or just some fun in the sun, Texas has it all.
Here are 20 of the top attractions and things to do in Texas that you won’t want to miss out on .
Moody Gardens is a popular tourist attraction and educational center located in Galveston, Texas. Moody Gardens originally opened in 1986 as a non-profit organization. The gardens offer over 60,000 square feet of fun for all ages.
Moody Gardens has something for everyone! The 3D IMAX theater offers breathtaking 4D films that let you experience space travel up close.
You can also explore the outdoor tropical paradise by strolling along the shoreline or stopping to view the marine life at Aquarium Pyramid.
The Discovery Pyramid will blow your mind with its interactive exhibits on science and space.
Plus, don’t miss out on one of Moody Gardens newest attractions – the Rainforest Pyramid! Discover 250+ species of butterflies and plants while you explore this lush environment!
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, located at the eastern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert in Texas, is one of the most stunning national parks in the United States.
The park covers over 86,000 acres and includes hundreds of colorful stone formations. It is home to a large variety of species, including lynx, bighorn sheep, birds, bats, plants, and invertebrates.
Whether you’re looking for an afternoon hike or a weeklong adventure, Guadalupe Mountains National Park has something to offer every outdoor enthusiast!
The park is located in West Texas near Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands Missile Range. There are five different trails that range from 0.3 miles long to a challenging 36-mile-long trek through McKittrick Canyon Trail.
You can also explore many nearby caves or check out the numerous scenic overlooks within the park boundaries.
Activities such as camping under the stars and wildlife viewing provide an opportunity to appreciate the isolation from modern life offered by this remote location once visited by Spanish conquistadors.
The significance of this area dates back to prehistoric times when nomads used ancient trails along which they traded goods with other tribes in Mexico for centuries.
Later on after Italian immigrant Angelo Guzman discovered gold here in 1629 during an exploration mission for Hernan Cortés, Spaniards began settling into this lush mountain range overlooking present-day El Paso.
Today visitors can explore natural geologic wonders like El Capitan—a sheer limestone face jutting out 750 feet above ground level—along with historic sites like Salt Basin Dunes or Frijole Ranch Repass valley where indigenous tribes once traded goods before Western settlers arrived in 1855.
Hamilton Pool is one of the seven most beautiful, natural swimming holes in Texas. Located about 45 minutes west of Austin, it’s an oasis in a sea of sweltering summers and drought-ridden winters.
With its clear blue waters and majestic green surroundings, Hamilton Pool is a must-see if you’re ever in the area.
Walking into Hamilton Pool is like admiring a work of art. The scenery is unforgettable, with its lush green foliage surrounded by majestic limestone and dripping waterfalls below.
The pool measures approximately 50 feet across with a depth ranging from three to twelve feet deep, depending on the season.
Whether swimming or just lounging around on shore, visitors can take comfort knowing that they’re in esteemed company – over 800 species of plants and animals inhabit the park, including endangered species like the golden-cheeked warbler.
Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, Dripping Springs is a rural city that has become increasingly popular as an outdoor retreat for families and outdoor adventurers alike.
From stunning 360-degree views to numerous recreational activities, there are plenty of things to do while staying in Dripping Springs.
Dripping Springs is surrounded by the beautiful Hill Country where you can find unique nature trails, hidden waterfalls and picturesque creeks.
Explore Reimers Ranch Park, which offers swimming holes, rock climbing walls, rope swings and mountain biking trails all while being surrounded by majestic wildlife.
If you’re looking for something a little less strenuous, West Cave Preserve offers guided nature walks with breathtaking views of the Edwards Plateau and Balcones Escarpment.
You can also take a peaceful stroll down Hamilton Pool Nature Trail or rent out kayaks or paddle boards from Deep Eddy Water Activities for a chance to experience Lake Travis up close.
Although Dripping Springs may be considered small with its several thousand inhabitants, it still has plenty of offerings from art galleries and shopping centers to wineries and restaurants.
Get some souvenirs at Sweetwater Exploring Company where you can find handmade goods from local vendors such as jewelry, pottery, clothing and accessories or explore the town’s unique collection of gifts at Poppy Lane & Five Arrows Boutique which includes apparel items such as scarves hand-painted by local artists.
Stop off at Mercer Street Dancehall which hosts live performances throughout the summer months where visitors can two-step on one of its two dancefloors or sample some locally crafted beers at Torchies Brewery while taking in 360-degree views of Hill Country’s rugged hillsides from their rooftop patio.
And lastly top off your visit with a stop at one of Drippings Spring’s many wineries such as Jester King Brewery or Grape Creek Vineyards to sample some old world wines made right here in Texas Hill Country
5. Hermann Park
Hermann Park is an oasis located in the heart of inner-city Houston, Texas (Also check out Best State Parks Near Houston). The 445 acre of parkland offers locals and visitors alike an opportunity to experience a bit of nature while still being in the city.
From popular attractions like the Hermann Park Train, Miller Outdoor Theatre and the Japanese Gardens, Hermann Park has something for everyone.
In 1934, William Ward Watkin designed and created a layout plan that turned Hermann Park into an urban oasis; with three bodies of water fed by underground springs, centered around McGovern Lake which was stocked with fish each fall until 1975 when it underwent more changes such as dredging and leveling the lake bed along with enlarging the bird islands.
Within Herman Park is the Herman Centennial Gardens – This 20-acre area boasts beautifully landscaped gardens filled with over 5,500 plant species including native Texas wildflowers interspersed among winding pathways.
There is also a one-acre section known as “Hope Hill” which features numerous bronze sculptures celebrating famous works from Italy as well as some from local artists representing historical events or figures in Houston’s past such as leprechauns climbing up a hill!
6. Zilker Park
Situated in the heart of Austin, Texas, Zilker Park is an oasis of fun and natural beauty. Spanning more than 358 acres, Zilker Park is home to several unique attractions, including outdoor recreational areas, cultural sites, and pavilion complexes.
Along with providing park-goers with activities that promote environmental awareness and education, there’s plenty for all ages to enjoy.
The Zilker Metropolitan Park Botanical Garden is one of the best attractions in Austin’s premier parkland. Home to over fifty species of trees from around the world—including species from Europe, Asia and Africa—the garden features winding paths that are ideal for a leisurely stroll or self-time meditation.
The colorful display of flowers makes it perfect for romantic walks too.
Barton Springs Pool serves as one of Austin’s greatest tourist draws due its inviting temperatures year-round cool waters.
Along with its amazing waterslides that provide endless summer fun for children and adults alike, Barton Springs Pool supplies visitors with opportunities to enjoy amenities such as showers and lockers which make it easier if you want to bring extra clothing along with your swimming suit.
Galveston Island is an island off the coast of Texas and a popular vacation destination for those seeking relaxation on the beach. With crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, attractions, and historical sites, there’s something to do for everyone who visits.
The Gulf Coast offers many acres of natural beauty just waiting to be explored along nature trails while families can look forward to biking along designated paths or taking a slow amble down the historic strand district boardwalk.
In addition to relaxing, bird watching is also quite popular due to 300 species calling Galveston home , making it one of Texas’ premium bird areas! =
Don’t forget there are many ocean-based activities too if you want even more adventure – surfing , jet skiing , scuba diving – the list goes on !
The Fort Worth Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in Fort Worth, Texas. Established in 1909, this zoo features more than 500 species of animals and a wide variety of flora and fauna to discover. =
Not only is the Fort Worth Zoo an amazing place to visit, but visitors can get up close and personal with some of their favorite animals.
At the Fortworth Zoo, visitors can get acquainted with many different species from around the world including lions, giraffes, elephants, rhinos and gorillas. =
In addition to these large mammals, the zoo also houses smaller species such as frogs, squirrels, capuchin monkeys and parrots.
The highlights of any visit to the zoo are its outstanding exhibits which feature interactive experiences and educational programs that showcase animals in an engaging way.
For those who want an insider view of animal life at the zoo, there are special tour packages that take visitors behind-the-scenes. These tours allow guests to observe animal feedings and even get up close and personal with some specific animals.
Space Center Houston is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in space exploration. Located inside of the NASA Johnson Space Center, Space Center Houston has been captivating visitors since 1992 and features a range of exhibits and astronaut experiences that are sure to please kids and grownups alike.
Space Center Houston offers plenty of interactive experiences tailored for children ages preschool to junior high.
Kids can explore simulations and fantasy spaces, see special live presentations by astronauts or engineers, design rockets and robots, or take part in Mission Mars.
There are also plenty of learning opportunities for all ages—experience a simulated mission control room, learn about aerospace science, become an astronaut and more.
In addition to interactive exhibits, visitors may explore the many exhibit halls curated by expert space tour guides. Explore history through lunar artifacts from past missions as well as rare photos taken on historic flights around the world.
Plus there numerous replicas of famous spacecraft and other aerospace technology, including models from the early days of manned space flight through present day.
The Dallas World Aquarium is one of the most popular attractions in Dallas, Texas.
From a unique three-story rainforest to an eccentric birds of South America (Also check out Best Places To Visit In The South) aviary, guests of all ages will be enthralled at the myriad of sights and sounds offered throughout this one-of-a-kind aquarium.
Whether you’re swooning over the graceful jellyfish or admiring the array of exotic fish, both young children and adults alike are sure to be captivated by this dynamic destination.
As soon as you enter The Dallas World Aquarium, you’ll find yourself immersed in a captivating underwater world filled with a wide variety of beautiful sea creatures.
From brightly colored tropical fish to magnificent corals, there is no shortage of fascinating aquatic species to explore as you meander through this aquarium. Take your time appreciating these unique features as no two are ever alike!
11. Mount Bonnell
Mount Bonnell is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Austin, Texas. Located on the picturesque Colorado River, this hill stands tall and offers amazing views of downtown and the surrounding area.
If you’re ever visiting Austin and want to experience something out of the ordinary then a trek up Mt. Bonnell is definitely worth it.
Mount Bonnell stands at 775-feet tall above the city of Austin, giving visitors unparalleled views of downtown, the Colorado River, Lake Austin, and beyond from its summit.
What makes Mount Bonnell even more interesting is that even though it lies within Austin city limits today, for many years it served as part of a multi-county ranch known as “Mound Bonnell Ranch” which was owned by an eccentric Englishman named Colonel George W Bonnell who eventually passed away in 1873.
Once at the top of Mt. Bothell all you have to do is climb 106 steps, weaving your way past several signs telling curious passers-by trivia about this historical site before reaching the summit where absolutely breathtaking 360 degree views await anyone who has made it all the way up these steps!
Once back down at ground level again there are plenty of benches scattered around perfect for soaking in all those mesmerizing glimpses down below before making your way back home – hopefully satisfied with your adventure and packing lots of awesome photographs/video clips/happy memories too!
12. Pleasure Pier
The Pleasure Pier Texas is a family friendly amusement park and boardwalk on the Texas Gulf Coast that offers visitors a unique combination of thrills, activities, and entertainment.
Situated at the end of 25th Street in Galveston, Texas, the Pleasure Pier is home to 16 exhilarating rides and attractions as well as an array of delicious eateries.
The Pleasure Pier Texas features an exciting selection of 16 rides and attractions, ranging from world-class roller coasters to kid-friendly ferris wheels. The Texas Star Flyer is one of the park’s most popular thrill rides.
This Scandinavian-style giant swing propels riders 230 feet into the air for unparalleled views of Galveston Bay. Other thrilling attractions include The Pirate’s Plunge log flume ride and The Sea Dragon swinging ship. The kids will love this place!
Dinosaur Valley State Park is a beautiful, historic state park located in the heart of Texas. It is renowned for its fossilized dinosaur tracks that were discovered in the beds of the Paluxy River.
In addition to containing important evidence of prehistoric life, Dinosaur Valley State Park also offers visitors plenty of outdoor activities and scenic nature trails to explore.
Dinosaur Valley State Park presents guests with many options for fun and exciting activities to take part in while visiting.
For those who love the outdoors, there is plenty of opportunity to hike, bike, or horseback ride on one of the multitude of trails winding through the park’s 1,572-acre domain.
There are also areas for picnicking, camping, swimming (in designated areas), and fishing in either the river or one of several stocked ponds.
Wildlife viewing is also popular at Dinosaur Valley State Park; wildlife including bobcats, armadillos, raccoons, deer and more can be seen by roaming around the grounds.
The main attraction at Dinosaur Valley State Park is obviously it’s dinosaur tracks – after all, it’s earned its “Valley” namesake! About 113 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period enormous dinosaurs roamed what today is known as McGreggor County Texas.
The prints left behind by some 40 specimens can still be seen along the edges and shallow stands of water within Dinosaur Valley State Park.
Guided tours are available every Saturday at 10am if you want an expert’s insight into these fossils from prehistory.
Located in the bustling downtown of Dallas, Texas is Klyde Warren Park—a 5.2-acre urban green space with interactive attractions for all ages.
Deep in the heart of the city, this whimsical park draws visitors from around the world to enjoy daily events and activities from live music to outdoor movies under the stars.
Klyde Warren Park provides locals and tourists alike with opportunities to relax, explore, and enjoy leisure activities in a scenic oasis right in the center of Dallas’s busiest streets.
The park features several walking trails winding through gardens, trees and ponds; an interactive children’s area full of storytelling booths, rag dolls and lunchables; two performance stages, plus multiple large green spaces perfect for playtime or picnics.
During summer months, visitors can cool down with splash pads located near food trucks offering a variety of wines and snacks.
For culture lovers, there is no shortage of unique special events at Klyde Warren Park—from yoga classes to live musical performances on weekends.
On select days throughout the month, you can also find groups enjoying organized activities such as chess competitions or playing their favorite board game on one of many themed tables spread throughout the park.
Take some time out to watch a film on their jumbotron every Thursday evening during their Sunset Screenings series!
The San Antonio Riverwalk is an urban park, located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, Texas. It’s a unique destination with something for everyone to enjoy, from tourists to locals alike.
The best way to experience the San Antonio Riverwalk is by taking a narrated boat tour along its charming banks.
The tour allows you to witness the amazing architecture along both sides of the river while learning interesting facts about some of its historical points of interest.
During your tour you’ll also be able to enjoy a spectacular view of the city’s skyline as well as a variety of other attractions such as restaurants and shops along the way. And if that isn’t enough, guided boat rides are also available in Spanish as well!
If shopping is your thing then make sure not to miss out on all the amazing stores lining up along both sides of the Riverwalk during your visit.
From souvenir shops and boutiques offering stylish clothing and accessories, there’s something for everybody no matter what their tastes or budget may be.
If you’re looking for some unique treats or gift ideas you can always head over to one of many candy & ice cream or handmade leather goods stores dotted along this riverside shopping district.
For those seeking the beauty of nature in the great American Outback, a visit to Bend National Park should be at the top of your list.
Located in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, Bend National Park is an area of unparalleled natural beauty with its cacti-dotted landscapes and breathtaking sunsets.
There are some important details that you’ll need to plan before visiting Bend National Park. First, the area is a part of the Sonoran Desert and can reach extremely hot temperatures during peak season from May to October – so be sure to plan accordingly.
Secondly, it’s important to understand that many parts of the park are only accessible via off-road vehicles or by foot; so if your plans include exploring remote areas you’ll need appropriate transportation and supplies for yourself and any companions.
Lastly, there are campgrounds available as well as accommodations just outside the park – both come with different rates depending on location and amenities.
The number one reason visitors come to Bend National Park is for its awe-inspiring views of wildlife and plants unique to the region.
The Chihuahuan desert may appear desolate but it is home to an array of creatures like bighorn sheep and coyotes while plants including Creosote bush and Palo Verde thrive here too.
Explore this beautiful desert biome with a trip down any one of its many hiking trails or take a tour and get up close with some local flora or fauna!
17. Mustang Island
Mustang Island is located off the coast of Port Aransas, Texas. The island is only around 8 miles long and 5 miles wide, but it’s packed with plenty of natural beauty.
It’s a popular destination for outdoor pursuits such as beachcombing, swimming, fishing, paddling, surfing, sailing and bird watching.
There are also numerous restaurants featuring fresh-caught seafood like crabs, oysters and shrimp which make for great picnic spots.
Mustang Island is part of Padre Island National Seashore (PAINS), a protected area first established by President Nixon in 1972.
Stretching over 70 miles along the gulf coast of South Texas, PINS covers some of the most untouched beaches in America and provides guests with an up-close view of nature’s wonders like sea turtles hatching on beaches during summer months or rare migrating birds throughout the year.
Campers can stay 3 nights at PAINS’ campground while RV travelers can stay up to 14 days. Swimmers must take heed as stinging jellyfish populate certain parts of PINS during certain times of year.
The fourth longest ferry route in the United States operates from Port Aransas Ferry Landing to nearby Mustang Harbor (across from PAINS).
This route transports vacationers across the bay in just minutes compared to driving three hours if taking the long way around Padre Islands by automobile – all aboard!
Once making landfall on Mustang Island there are multiple nature trails offering bird watchers views into otherwise overlooked natural locations like Deserted Lake Trails or Moore Bay Refuge Trail.
Here hikers will find coastal marshes full of colorful waterfowl looking for their next meal among other local wildlife including dolphins which are often seen jumping alongside boats traversing backwaters that flow between islands here near the mainland.
For thrillseekers seeking more leisurely entertainment nothing beats a sunset beach fire complete with sizzling fish tacos straight from your catch just moments before.
As night approaches look towards the skyward where fireworks explode higher still – while grilling catches sits atop hot coals warming locals around Kingfisher Pier nearby as both visitors alike welcome another evening spent on beautiful shores here amidst gentle waves crashing against powdery white sand below.
These are just some examples why Mustang Island holds so much charm when it comes to coastal getaways; many turn trips here into yearly vacations thanks to the very diverse experiences available each visit!
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is one of the premier educational, scientific and cultural institutions in the nation.
Located in Houston, Texas, the institution carries with it a long history of connecting guests to their natural world and inspiring them to act on behalf of their environment.
Founded in 1909 as a private, non-profit organization funded by its members and patrons, today the museum’s vast collections cover a variety of topics ranging from evolution and paleontology to chemistry and astronomy.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science has over a dozen galleries featuring millions of rare artifacts that span time and space.
These unique exhibits take visitors around the world and beyond – exploring prehistoric dinosaurs, ancient cultures and more – not to mention captivating live animal shows.
The museum also houses rotating special exhibitions dedicated to uncovering new information about our universe.
The National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas is a living tribute to all those who served or were impacted by World War II in the Pacific.
The museum, which opened in 1967, houses a variety of exhibits, interactive displays, and multimedia presentations that tell the story of America’s involvement in the war against Imperial Japan.
The National Museum of the Pacific War offers a variety of exhibits and multimedia presentations covering major battles and campaigns during WW2 along with events leading up to and following America’s entry into war.
Visitors will also be able view personal artifacts from the time period as well as models of ships from both sides.
20. Ladybird Lake
Ladybird Lake is one of the most popular recreation spots in Austin, Texas and is located in the heart of downtown.
It’s a scenic lake that offers great views of the skyline and serves as a haven for people who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Visitors have plenty of options when it comes to activities around Lady Bird Lake, including kayaking, fishing, bird watching, or just taking a relaxing stroll around the lake.
There are various activities visitors can do while they visit Ladybird Lake. There are over 10 miles of hike-and-bike trails that surround the lake’s shores which offer a great way to get some exercise outdoors.
Kayakers also frequent the lake due to its calm waters making it ideal for beginner paddlers who are just starting out or those interested in exploring nature peacefully on watercraft.
You can also fish at specific areas around the lake such as under MoPac Bridge or East (Festival) Beach where anglers are invited to toss out their lines and see what bites!
Texas is a great place to explore and experience the best of what nature has to offer. From the Houston Museum of Natural Science to Ladybird Lake, there are plenty of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy.
Whether you’re looking for an educational experience or just want to relax outdoors, Texas has something for everyone. So don’t miss out on all that this amazing state has to offer and start planning your trip today!
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