Referred to as the Lone Star State, there are several options and places to visit in Texas for the tourists and even the locals.
As the second-largest state of the United States, Texas has a lot in store, from mountaintops to tropical beaches and amusement parks, to offer. And Texans are intensely proud of their history, culture, and the beautiful sceneries this Lone Star State nestles in its lap. They say, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” and once you visit there, you will believe that too.
As Texas has a lot to offer and you wouldn’t want to miss some of its best attractions, we have trimmed down the list of places to visit in Texas for you so that you can make every second count.
22 Places To Visit In Texas
They say, even if you are a local, you will be about the age of thirty-seven before you completely traverse the Lone Star State.
So, there are more than a hundred places worth visiting there, but we have made a list of some of the must-try places to visit in Texas that you would not want to miss when you go there.
Following are the 22 must-try places to visit in Texas.
1. Big Bend National Park
Bordering Mexico, Big Bend National Park is located in West Texas.
If you want to spend a day filled with loads of picturesque scenes and fascinating creatures, then Big Bend National Park is one of the best places to visit in Texas.
This national park has significance as the largest protected area of ecology and Chihuahua Desert Topography. An estimated 1,200 species of plants, 56 reptiles, 75 species of mammals, and more than 450 species of birds are protected in this area.
One of the reasons Big Bend National Park is one of the top tourist attractions in Texas is that it has highly varied terrain. Some of the points in this park are at 1,870 feet above sea level, while others are at 7,875 feet above sea level, giving this national park unique and dramatic sceneries.
If you want, you can also go on a 200 miles long hike in the middle of diverse flora and fauna. This place provides everything.
2. Space Center Houston
Regardless of if you are interested in space or not, Space Center Houston is one of the most incredible places to visit in Texas.
It is the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center in the form of a science museum. Spanned in approximately 250 hundred square meters, this museum has 400 space artifacts, theaters that focus on the history of the human spaceflight program and traveling and permanent exhibits.
You can visit this place and take a close look at the artifacts from Apollo and Mercury missions. There are moon rocks and an absolute Saturn V rocket.
You can also learn about space exploration in this museum and get a chance to meet some astronauts potentially.
3. The Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Located to the east of El Paso, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is one of the most adventurous places to visit in Texas.
Right in the middle of the Chihuahuan desert terrain, Guadalupe Mountains National park looks a little intimidating at first. Who will want to spend their day in the middle of an aggressive-looking, barren land?
But Guadalupe Mountains National Park is home to a variety of wildlife and unique-looking terrain. It also has some serene water-bodies, you can spend your days alongside.
This park has the four highest peaks of Texas within it.
If you fancy hiking, then this park will seem like heaven to you. This place has some of the best hiking trails.
4. Natural Bridge Caverns
Almost a thirty-minute drive from San Antonio, Natural Bridge Caverns are Texas’s largest known commercial caverns and one of the most adventurous places to visit in Texas.
To reach the caverns, you have to drive through the wildlife safari park. This means that you can enjoy a variety of flora and fauna even en-route.
You can get a guided tour of these caverns so that you can appreciate the beauty of these caverns without the fear of getting lost. However, there are two kinds of tours available for this tour: Hidden Passages tour and Discovery tour.
Both of them are approximately 75 minutes long tours through the lighted caverns. However, you don’t have to worry about tight passageways and crawl through the caverns because the tours do not cover those paths.
But still, you can take a close look and appreciate the steep inclines on the inside of the caverns.
5. Padre Island National Seashore
Honored as the most extended barrier island globally, Padre Island National Seashore is one of the most serene places to visit in Texas.
Located in the North Padre Island, to the south of Corpus Christi, Padre Island National Seashore consists of a long beach where crucial conservation of nature and habitats is done.
Stretched approximately 70 miles, it offers a variety of pristine beaches, flat tidal environments, rare sea turtles and bird species, and dune. Padre Island National Seashore has Laguna Madre, a famous spot for windsurfing, on its west coast.
This seashore is deemed heaven for the bird-watchers, as more than 350 bird species stop on this coast every year on their way to and from warmer climates.
Padre Island National Seashore also has relaxing campsites and a visitors center for the visitors so that you can rest after a lovely day on the beach. The Center provides mobility assistance, like wheelchairs for the beach, and guides for water activities like kayaking and canoeing.
6. San Antonio River Walk
Also known as Paseo del Río, San Antonio River Walk is a 15 miles long row of walkways along the San Antonio River. Filled with dining restaurants, shopping, and various attractions, it is one of the most fun places to visit in Texas.
Either you can walk through the walkways or hire one of the riverboats to soak all the scenery from San Antonio’s heart.
San Antonio River Walk is one of the most popular tourist attractions, as it offers museums, restaurants, parks, and malls in the span of just 15 miles. So, you can go out and explore a variety of options at once.
7. Sixth Floor Museum
Sixth Floor Museum is a museum on the sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository, now known as the Dallas County Administration Building. Overlooking the Dealey Plaza is located on the same place and building where John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, had been shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald.
This place holds quite emotional significance for the people who know all about the tragedy that unfolded in that November of the 1960s. It was one of the most unforgettable changes for the United States.
If you want to spend a day filled with educational information and historical artifacts, Sixth Floor Museum is one of the best places to visit in Texas.
This place has historic films, all the documents that display the assassination, photographs, and artifacts. You can also take a close look at the corner window, which is the spot of the crime.
8. Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake is one of the most famous attractions and beautiful places to visit in Texas.
A part of the Colorado River, this lake is a river-like reservoir in Austin, Texas. It is stretched over almost 416 acres of land and has no shortage of outdoor activities and scenic views.
Lady Bird Lake has a ten miles long hike-and-bike trail, which makes a complete loop around the lake. A one-mile-long paved boardwalk is also part of this trail, but what makes this boardwalk stand out is its unique vantage point. You can look at the beautiful downtown skyline from here and also enjoy the sunrise and sunset.
There is no shortage of even water activities in this place. You can get on the boat and take river cruises or go kayaking and canoeing—everything with a beautiful backdrop of the sun shining on this beautiful lake. The sceneries here are even more breathtaking during the time of dawn and dusk.
9. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
A part of the Texas state park system and honored as National Natural Landmark, it is one of the most adventurous places to visit in Texas.
This place is famous for the Native American Folklore attached to it. People around believe that the Enchanted Rock harnesses spiritual powers.
The Tonkawa people who used to live here in the 16th century observed some unexplainable things. Like ghost fires flickering at the top of the dome and sounds of loud groaning and creaking coming from it.
Modern geologists explain it as the contraction of rocks, but Enchanted Rock had gained its reputation as being mystical and stuck with it by then.
Even now, people think that the enormous pink granite dome is haunted by the spirits of fallen tribal princesses and warriors that used to live there.
Regardless of if this place is haunted or not, you will have a great time visiting this dome as it has excellent geographical importance. And its insides are something you will enjoy looking at.
10. Big Texan Steak Ranch
It is a locally-owned steak dinner restaurant and motel in Amarillo, Texas. This place is best known for its 72-ounce steak challenge.
In this challenge, if you eat 72 ounces of steak within one hour or less than that, then you get the whole meal which includes: a baked potato, bread roll with butter, the steak itself, salad, and a shrimp cocktail, all for free. It is almost 72$ worth of meals that you can get for free.
Many people have attempted this challenge, and a tiny proportion of them was able to complete it. And it’s just an added benefit that the food here is delicious.
So, if you want to have a fun day with delicious foods, Big Texan Steak Ranch is one of the best places to visit in Texas.
11. Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
Situated in Fort Worth, it is a historic district registered on the National Register Of Historic Places. The stockyard here is not just any stockyard-this stockyard made Fort Worth famous.
Along with the stockyard, this place is famous for its western-themed stories, prominent boot-making companies, cattle drives, stagecoaches, cowboy cuisine, kid’s activities, and rodeo. There are even dance halls and bars for you to end your day as a traditional cowboy/cowgirl.
The main event of this place is the longhorn cattle drives that happen every day, once in the afternoon and once in the morning. You can stand on the side and watch these long cattle drives.
There are some excellent dining options like steakhouses and BBQ, and you can head on to for a bite to eat and make it one of the most popular attractions and places to visit in Texas.
Fort Worth Stockyards gives a very detailed and enthralling glimpse of country culture.
12. Dallas World Aquarium
Located in Downtown Dallas, Dallas World Aquarium is a zoo and for-profit aquarium in the West End Historic District. It is one of the best places to visit in Texas for kids.
Featured as a replica of the Orinoco rainforest, this aquarium conserves several endangered and threatened species of animals. It also educates its visitors about the significance of conservation.
When you go inside, you will see birds like Toucans and Scarlet Ibis flying freely around there. You can also see some Electric Eels and Three-toed Sloths hanging around on the trees.
The replica of the rainforest makes it all look very genuine. The ease with which animals and birds move around makes it more like a part of an actual rainforest than a zoo in the middle of Texas.
And if you go on the lower level, you can see the aquarium with sea creatures from around the world. Each tank consists of sea creatures from a different country.
13. Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
Pleasure pier is a dock that sticks out from the Texas Gulf Coast. This place was built in the 1940s and since twice has been destroyed by a hurricane. Still, it’s up again and open for the visitors to visit.
The pleasure pier is filled with fun things to do. It has amusement parks, one roller coaster, carnival games, 15 different rides, and token shops.
You can find everything from a barbecue to a pizza shop on this pier. There is also a theme park two blocks east of the dock.
Even if you are not that big about going up on rides, you can sit on the boardwalk and enjoy the Gulf Coast views.
It is one of the best places to visit in Texas for nature lovers as well as kids.
14. Texas State Capitol: National Historic Landmark
Honored as National Historic Landmark, Texas State Capitol is one of the most worthwhile places to visit in Texas.
Spanned in 22 acres of land and 300 feet in height, State Capitol Building is surrounded by one of the most beautiful gardens. The place is perfectly adorned with maintained and manicured gardens, with monuments scattered here and there.
Capitol building has almost $75 million worth of underground extension.
You can take a guided tour of the whole place and learn about the significance of every single monument. You can visit the Vietnam War Monument and know all the engaging stories about it.
It also has the Richards Congress Avenue Bridge and a visitor’s Center for tourists and visitors.
15. Hamilton Pool
With its scenic views and overhanging cliff, Hamilton pool is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Texas.
Located in the Texas Hill Country, Hamilton Pool is a recreational destination and natural pool. It was formed when the dome of an underground river fell due to thousand years worth of erosion.
The Hamilton pool stands out in the naturally made hole in it, filled with jade green water. It is surrounded by limestone rocks and has seasonal waterfalls of height more than 50 feet, which is a sight to see.
Its overhanging cliff is home to Spanish moss and maidenhair fern. Neither the pool nor the creek is chemically treated, so occasionally, swimming is restricted for visitors’ health concerns.
You can also some of the rare birds here, making it one of the must-visit places to visit in Texas.
16. Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Named as the Grand Canyon of Texas and located in Texas Panhandle, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is one of the best places to visit in Texas.
This state park is the second-largest Canyon in the United States. You can explore the Canyon either by motorbike ride, on foot, or car. This place has more than 30 miles of biking and hiking trail.
You can also hire a horse and go horseback riding in the Canyon.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park is one of the best places in Texas for people who like camping as it offers several camping sites. You can choose your campsite, tent site or backpack camping area as this place provides a lot of them with water and electricity.
If you want to spend an adventurous day filled with fun things to do, Palo Duro Canyon State Park might be your best option.
17. Moody Gardens And Aquarium
Spanning 242 acres of land and featuring the corpse flower, Moody Gardens is a non-profit destination that uses nature to enlighten its visitors about nature and wildlife conservation.
Moody Gardens is divided into three main pyramid attractions: Aquarium Pyramid, Discovery Pyramid, and Rainforest pyramid.
The Aquarium Pyramid is 12 stories high blue pyramid that contains all the marine animals like seals, fish, sharks, and penguins.
Rainforest pyramid is a ten stories high clear pyramid that educates about the conservation and breeding of endangered and rare species.
Discovery pyramid is the deep pink-colored pyramid that features various travel exhibits.
With its comprehensive options to explore and learn available, it is one of the best places to visit in Texas.
18. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
This San Antonio national park is one of the best places to visit in Texas if you harbor some love for Spanish colonial history.
This National Park contains four of San Antonio’s Spanish missions: Mission San Juan, Mission Espada, Mission San Jose, and Mission Concepcion.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park contains various natural areas and cultural sites open for visitors to look at.
You will find the unique features of these historic sites engaging.
19. Houston Museum Of Natural Science
Houston museum is one of the best places to visit in Texas for the people searching for a free institution that focuses on education and science.
More than two million visitors are spotted every year in this museum.
The museum complex has four floors of natural science exhibits and halls. It also has Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium, and Wortham Giant Screen theater.
This museum always has guest exhibits and is one of the most famous museums in the United States.
20. The Texas Hill Country
Famous for its countryside scenic views, Texas Hill Country is one of the best places to visit in Texas for a day-out filled with fun activities. Although it is a very remote rural countryside area, it is home to several growing suburban neighborhoods.
Hill Country is home to several Texas attractions like Longhorn Cavern State Park, Natural Bridge Caverns, and Enchanted Rock. This means that no matter where you go, a day spent in Hill Country will be filled with fun activities.
Along with the various sightseeing options, it also has several shopping malls and eateries presenting some of the most delicious food.
The versatility of this place makes it one of the most worthwhile places to visit in Texas.
Dallas is the third-largest city in Texas and has plenty to offer its travelers. It has something for everyone, from sports lovers to artists to history buffs and adventurers. Dallas has it all.
If you are there, make sure to visit the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden are 66 acres of lush land encompassing 16 different gardens for all kinds of people. You can either walk through the beautiful garden or visit the 8-acre museum that exhibits 17 galleries and various artifacts.
If you are big on shopping, Dallas is the dream city for you. It also has several amusement parks you can take your kids to.
Various options available in this packed city make it one of the best places to visit in Texas.
22. South Padre Island
Located on the southern coast of Texas, South Padre Island is one of the best places to visit in Texas for people who are looking for a peaceful vacation.
It has some of the most breathtaking beaches that offer plenty of options to sunbathe, surf, swim, and do other water activities in the Gulf Of Mexico.
You can either play some water sports in South Padre Island or sit on the beach and enjoy the peaceful sight that the ocean basin offers.
You can also get to see some of the rare birds and sea creatures here.
So, these are some of the famous and must-try places to visit in Texas. You can either visit the beach and enjoy the scenic views or head up to Dallas and visit the museum that contains the somber story of the assassination of President Kennedy.
Head out to these places to visit in Texas and soak up everything Lone Star State has to offer to you. To read more articles like this, please click here.