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. 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,” 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 so that you can make every second count.
22 Places To Visit In Texas
They say that even if you are a local, you will be about thirty-seven before you 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.
Big Bend National Park is one of Texas’s best places if you want to spend a day filled with picturesque scenes and fascinating creatures.
This national park is 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 a top tourist attraction in Texas is its highly varied terrain. Some points in this park are 1,870 feet above sea level, while others are 7,875 feet above sea level, giving this national park unique and dramatic sceneries.
You can also go on a 200-mile-long hike amid diverse flora and fauna. This place provides everything.
2. Space Center Houston
Whether you are interested in space or not, Space Center Houston is one of Texas’s most incredible places to visit.
It is the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center in the form of a science museum. Spanned approximately 250 hundred square meters, this museum has 400 space artifacts, theatres that focus on the history of the human spaceflight program, and traveling and permanent exhibits.
You can visit this place and closely examine the artifacts from the 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 potentially meet some astronauts.
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.
In the middle of the Chihuahuan desert terrain, Guadalupe Mountains National Park initially looks intimidating. Who will want to spend their day in the middle of an aggressive-looking, barren land?
However, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is home to various 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, this park will seem like heaven. 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 to appreciate their beauty without the fear of getting lost. However, two kinds of tours are available for this tour: the Hidden Passages tour and the Discovery tour.
Both of them are approximately 75-minute-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 inside the caverns.
Honored as the most extended barrier island globally, Padre Island National Seashore is one of Texas’s most serene places to visit.
Located in North Padre Island, 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 dunes. Padre Island National Seashore has Laguna Madre, a famous windsurfing spot on its west coast.
This seashore is deemed heaven for bird watchers, as more than 350 bird species stop on this coast yearly to and from warmer climates.
Padre Island National Seashore also has relaxing campsites and a visitors center to 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, the San Antonio River Walk is a 15-mile-long row of walkways along the San Antonio River. Filled with dining restaurants, shopping, and various attractions, it is one of Texas’s most fun places to visit.
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, offering museums, restaurants, parks, and malls in just 15 miles. So, you can go out and explore various options at once.
7. Sixth Floor Museum
The Sixth Floor Museum is 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 in 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 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, the 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 look closely 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-mile-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 view the beautiful downtown skyline from here and enjoy the sunrise and sunset.
There is no shortage of 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 scenery here is even more breathtaking during dawn and dusk.
A part of the Texas state park system and honored as a National Natural Landmark, it is one of Texas’s most adventurous places to visit.
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 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 who used to live there.
Whether 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.
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, 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 were 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 food, Big Texan Steak Ranch is one of Texas’s best places to visit.
It is a historic district in Fort Worth 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 BBQs, and you can head on 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, birds like Toucans and Scarlet Ibis fly freely. You can also see some Electric Eels and Three-toed Sloths hanging around in 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 to the lower level, you can see the aquarium with sea creatures worldwide. Each tank consists of sea creatures from a different country.
13. Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
The Pleasure Pier is a dock from the Texas Gulf Coast. This place was built in the 1940s and has since been destroyed by a hurricane twice. Still, it’s up again and open for visitors to visit.
The pleasure pier is filled with fun things to do. It has amusement parks, one roller coaster, carnival games, 15 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 and kids.
14. Texas State Capitol: National Historic Landmark
Honored as a National Historic Landmark, the Texas State Capitol is one of Texas’s most worthwhile places to visit.
Spanned 22 acres of land and 300 feet tall, the 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.
The 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 its engaging stories.
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 Texas’s best places to visit.
Hamilton Pool is a recreational destination and natural pool located in the Texas Hill Country. It was formed when the dome of an underground river fell due to thousands of years of erosion.
The Hamilton pool stands out in its naturally made hole, filled with jade green water. Limestone rocks surround it, and it has seasonal waterfalls of a height of 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 see some rare birds here, making it one of the must-visit places in Texas.
16. Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Named the Grand Canyon of Texas and located in the Texas Panhandle, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is one of Texas’s best places to visit.
This state park is the second-largest Canyon in the United States. You can explore the Canyon by motorbike ride, on foot, or by car. This place has more than 30 miles of biking and hiking trails.
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 these places provide a lot of 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, Discovery, and Rainforest.
The Aquarium Pyramid is 12 12-story high blue pyramid that contains all the marine animals like seals, fish, sharks, and penguins.
Rainforest Pyramid is a ten-story, clear pyramid that educates about the conservation and breeding of endangered and rare species.
The Discovery Pyramid is a deep pink-colored pyramid that features various travel exhibits.
With its comprehensive options to explore and learn, it is one of Texas’s best places to visit.
18. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
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.
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 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 scenic countryside 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, it is home to several growing suburban neighborhoods.
Hill Country has several Texas attractions like Longhorn Cavern State Park, Natural Bridge Caverns, and Enchanted Rock. This means that no matter where you go, a day in Hill Country will be filled with fun activities.
Along with the various sightseeing options, it 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, with 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, visit the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and the 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 walk through the beautiful garden or visit the 8-acre museum exhibiting 17 galleries and various artifacts.
If you are big on shopping, Dallas is your dream city. It also has several amusement parks you can take your kids to.
Various options in this packed city make it one of Texas’s best places to visit.
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 in the Gulf of Mexico, offering plenty of options to sunbathe, surf, swim, and do other water activities.
You can play water sports on South Padre Island or sit on the beach and enjoy the peaceful view of the ocean basin.
You can also get to see some of the rare birds and sea creatures here.
So, these are some 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.