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Texas, the Lone Star State, is a vast and diverse land filled with an array of activities and adventures waiting to be explored. From the stunning natural wonders to the rich history and culture, there's something for everyone in this great state. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, a foodie, or an art lover, Texas has it all. In this blog post, we'll take you on a journey through the heart of Texas, highlighting some of the most captivating things to do in the state. From spelunking in the Natural Bridge Caverns to savoring Texan cuisine in Houston, you're about to embark on an unforgettable Texan adventure.
Nature and Adventure
Nature Bridge Caverns make for an excellent choice for a natural adventure. It is the largest commercial cavern in Texas and is located near San Antonio.
Texan wilderness is a whole package. Campers throng in different places to star-gaze, explore the natural bounties, and engage in adventure sports.
This popular Karst cave was discovered way back in 1963. Presently, Inner Space Cavern is the only 4th largest cavern in Texas.
Take a trip to the second-largest canyon in the country nicknamed the “The Grand Canyon of Texas.” Also, the Lighthouse Rock is a must-see here.
Also known as Ennis, the Trail features more than 40 miles of stretch of bluebonnet trails and is perfect for scenic drives.
Explore the scenic 1.1-mile loop trail located in the vicinity of Azle, Texas. This trail is commonly regarded as a straightforward path and typically takes about 22 minutes to finish.
For hikers, Big Bend National Park is arguably the best place to visit in Texas. It is a hiker’s dream place that covers more than 150 miles of trails.
Running through west Texas and southeastern New Mexico, the Guadalupe Mountains offer visitors a pleasant River Road trip along the Guadalupe River.
Options available here are plenty and include Wimberley Zipline Adventures, Zip Nac, and Lake Travis Zipline Adventures.
Multiple Texas state parks offer horseback rides such as Dinosaur Valley State Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park for an authentic Texan experience.
While you can have any number of trails on your list of places to visit in Texas, we suggest that you take the East Texas Piney Woods Trail and enjoy the striking lakes nearby.
Drive along the Texas Lakes Trail Region and journey through the long, rich history of North Texas about a land that lies between the plains and piney woods.
The best recreational fishing spots in Texas include Mountain Creek, Toledo Bend Reservoir, and Lake Conroe. Plus, you can fish almost any time of the year.
Multiple locations in West Texas have just the right atmosphere for stargazing. Some recommendations include Enchanted Rock and Dripping Springs.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area can be found in the Llano Uplift. It is known for its pink granite mountain called the Enchanted Rock.
Since 1996, the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center has attracted more than 1 million visitors. It is, however, currently closed for renovation until 2025.
A premier birdwatching destination, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is a first-class place to go in Texas that houses more than 370 species of birds.
A Condé Nast Traveler’s favorite, Hamilton Pool Preserve is a mesmerizing emerald green swimming pool that is often named the most beautiful destination in Texas.
The Cibolo Nature Center is a 162-acre nature preserve where bountiful flora and fauna thrive. Several trails run through the ecosystem to educate the visitors.
You can choose the one-hour tour or the two-hour tour aboard the Riverside Dreamer: the former travels down the river to the dam and the latter covers the upriver.
San Marcos River is fed by the spring originating from the Edwards Aquifer. For your next thing to do in Texas, you can kayak down the river, especially during nighttime.
Overlooking the prairie, the Wichita Mountains is a wildlife hotspot. Its scenic landscape is home to herds of bison, freshwater lakes, and recreational activities such as bird watching and hiking.
To step up the challenge, you can hike up on the rugged trails of the Lost Maples State Natural Area. Multiple trails exist in the area including Maple Trail, East-West Trail, and West Loop Trail.
Probably be the most unusual place you’ll visit in Texas! Bats are the main attraction here; in fact, it is home to one of the largest colonies of Mexican free-tailed bats in the state.
There’s so much to explore along the Llano River and the vastness of natural bounties around it. Even those with an adventuresome spirit can indulge in activities such as kayaking and swimming.
At the heart of San Antonio, you’ll find one of the top-ranked attractions in Texas. The River Walk swarms with myriad shops, dining outlets, and other cultural experiences.
Downtown Fredericksburg is a community that thrives on its energy and offers a wide range of art galleries, shops, boutiques, and restaurants of the highest order.
Galveston Island is a naturally impressive place near Galveston in Texas. It is best known for its rainforest cafe ride, moody gardens, and the Grand 1984 Opera House.
The site has a hilly topography, with a wondrous creek and a lake. The mountain will form part of the namesake State Park in the coming future.
Festivals and Events
The largest Renaissance-themed festival in the country is the Texas Renaissance Festival. It features more than 200 acres of camping facilities for visitors.
The fair draws in more than 100 Texas artists, features a tempting range of local cuisines and drinks and drowns in the beats of the true Texan music.
A fun-filled thing to do in Texas is to witness and/or participate in the largest beach sand sculpture competition in the United States which attracts a wave of tourists every year.
The thematic Texas Rose Festival is held on the third weekend of October every year. It celebrates the contribution of the rose-growing industry in Texas.
Texas is known for its rich, unique culture and is much more beyond the cowboy pop culture. Kerrville Folk Festival supports folk music artists and is conducted in the early summer at Quiet Valley Ranch.
You’ll get to witness peak cowboy pride at the Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering in Fort Worth. It is held in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District.
Longview is known for its Great Texas Balloon Festival. The festival is most notable for the race which attracts several visitors every year.
Several places in Texas offer enthralling hot air balloon rides in the countryside. Recommendations include Bear Creek Balloons, Rohr Balloons, and Altitude Adjustment.
Museum District is hands down the one place you must in Houston. Visitors love the presence of some of the world’s best museums, the highly recreational Houston Zoo, and the Hermann Park.
Gruene was founded by German farmers and now enjoys a rich blend of German-Texan culture reflected in the local lifestyle and architecture.
Granbury has so many things to offer and is among the top visited places in Texas. It is rich in folklore, history, historic architecture, and culture.
The oldest town, Nacogdoches, is also one of the most enlightening places to visit in Texas. Established in 1779, this peaceful, old-fashioned town tells stories about a long past, starting from the Caddo Indians to the present day.
Get a chance to dive into the world of the American presidency, the period during which President Bush served, and access official records from the time. The site of the library is on the west campus of Texas A&M University.
Another landmark library to visit in Austin, Texas is the LBJ Presidential Library. It is under the administration of the National Archives and Records Administration.
Waco is halfway between Austin and Dallas, both being two of the best places to visit in Texas. However, at Waco, you should stop by and visit the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum along the Brazos River.
Located in the Exhibits Building, the establishment is a walk through the great Cowboy history. It also holds the largest collection of Honoree mementos on display.
Of course, shopping is a must-do! And, in Texas, Round Top will surely make it to your list of things to do in Texas. It has such a colorful range of options, especially in antiques and lifestyle.
Enjoy a well-choreographed, top-quality live-acting performance carried out by the theater artists from the Granbury Theatre Company.
Texas Motor Speedway is the neighborhood’ high-ranked superspeedway, which is incidentally among the fastest in the country. There are cars, music, food, and everything else.
Texas State Fair is an annual fair organized on the grounds of Fair Park in Dallas. It highlights the contribution of Texan education, agriculture, and community well-being.
Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in Theatre is a surefire way to make memories, making it a top thing to do in Austin, Texas. It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to grab hold of in either Downtown or Mueller District.
Art lovers find the Deep Ellum neighborhood one of the most entertaining places to be in Dallas. But, it is not just art that will keep you busy; the culture and nightlife are equally memorable.
A few recommendations are the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, WRCA World Championship Rodeo, and Rodeo Austin.
Texas Stars of the American Hockey League play home games regularly at Cedar Park. The games are crowded, loud, and unbelievably exciting and are perfect to conclude a busy day.
On our top things to do in Texas, the State of Texas High School Rodeo finals are an annual, week-long event competition among high school students in Texas.
Ask football fans about the Texas Longhorns, and they’ll tell you to watch one of their games. They are the athletic teams from the University of Texas and are affectionately called the Horns.
Perk up your traveling experiences by visiting one of the most exciting places in Texas. It showcases about 16 plays a year and produces a wide range of work, from classics to contemporary drama.
If you happen to find time to catch a sport, then a Texas Roller Derby match could be the next best thing to do in Austin. Austin’s got its own Roller derby league too–Austin Anarchy!
Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation near Amarillo, Texas. Started by a member of the art group called Ant Farm, this art installation comprises as many as 10 Cadillacs buried halfway up from the nose.
Don’t miss the bewitching, ethereal performances of the critically acclaimed Houston Ballet. Being one of Houston’s top things, Houston Ballet performs regularly and pulls you into its universe of unique storytelling.
The art scene at Kimbell Art Museum is internationally acclaimed. The collection features masterpieces by the who’s who such as Michelangelo, Poussin, and Matisse.
Those interested in knowing about the legacy of Sam Houston, a leader and champion of Texas independence, will find the Sam Houston Memorial Museum a great place to be in Texas.
The Texas Surf Museum is a paradise for surfers. It houses classic and modern surfboards and exhibits movies about them. It is free for the public to access.
In the Fort Worth Museum District, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is a real piece of jewel. It preserves the much-celebrated legacy of cowgirls, with a good dose of history.
Corpus Christi is also home to a popular state aquarium that offers mass-scale exhibitions, entertaining shows, and educational programs on marine life.
Add this tour to your list of places to visit in Austin. You can get free guided tours of the Mansion weekly. It is important to note that walk-up tours are not allowed.
In case you’re in or around Irving, check out the Texas Musician Museum. It can be found in downtown Irving Texas’s Heritage Crossing District.
Are lovers of natural science and cultural heritage here? Well, if so, a visit to the Mayborn Museum Complex in Waco could be just it. It is the best place to explore the heritage of Central Texas.
If you’re interested in naval history, then the USS Lexington Museum should be among the first few things to do in Texas. You’ll be aboard the namesake WWII aircraft carrier while you educate yourself about its history.
Should you be interested in getting a glimpse into the lives of state prisoners visit the Texas Prison Museum. Located north of Huntsville, the museum contains abundant information on the history of the Texas prison system.
Your bucket list must have some space for wine tasting–because it is one of Texas's best things to do. Myriad fine wineries & vineyards are present here including Pedernales Cellars and Becker Vineyards.
Drink to your heart’s content at the lively Texas Craft Brewers Festival in Fiesta Gardens. Incidentally, it is also the largest such celebration in the state, making it one of the must-do things in Austin, Texas.
Chinatown is a gastronomic treat for people interested in Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern cuisines. You can also traverse the market and shop for souvenirs.
Go on a tamed, leisurely tubing experience on either of these two rivers. Comal River is considered to be extremely family-friendly while Guadalupe is inviting to both older and younger generations.
Opened in 1988, the George Ranch Historical Park showcases 4 historic sites, namely Jones Stock Farm, Ryon Prairie Home, Davis Victorian Mansion, and Geroge Ranch Home and Cattle Yard.
The next one is the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas! The National Historical Park preserves 4 of the 5 Spanish frontier missions in San Antonio.
One of the things to do in Texas is to go on an educational trip to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It maintains native plants in sustainable ecosystems and conducts awareness programs for visitors.
At Fort Worth Botanic Garden, visitors can walk through 120 acres of gardens and horticultural exhibits. Founded in 1934, the garden houses more than 2,500 flora species distributed among 23 gardens.
Many trails along Piney Woods can be chosen for the experience including Pineywood Autumn Trail, Tyler To Rusk, and Dan Blocker’s Ranch.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is known for many things: meandering trails, picture-perfect mountains, lush landscape, and the touristy Permian fossil reef. You bet it is one of the top things to do in Texas!
You can swim and hike in the Barton Springs Pool–that’s like getting twice the fun you’d expect. The pool is situated inside Zilker Park in Austin
South by Southwest (SXSW) festival is a treat for cinephiles. It organizes a variety of things, from conferences to music festivals. The event has begun focussing on emerging tech and conducts a startup accelerator.
One-stop destination for all things exciting in Austin, Texas. Sith Street is where you’ll find the best of the clubs, events, dining, and live performances all day long.
We think attending the state’s largest book event should make it to your to-do-in-Texas list, especially if you’re a bibliophile.
Now, we won’t miss the best places to visit in Dallas for your precious Texas bucket list. This one is about a live performance show at a theater that has been successfully featuring classics and contemporary hits.
Another big hit in the music universe is the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. It features some of the world’s finest artists who’d present an unforgettable rendition of the best out there, from Bach to Jazz.
Granbury Opera House has been a centerpiece in the world of performing arts and continues to enamor the audience with its unrivaled style and quality.
You can witness Mexico’s official sport play out in San Antonio and embrace a delightful combination of American and Mexican values.
Marfa is a quirky city located in the Trans-Pecos high desert. It is known for its eccentric art scene, galleries, the enigmatic Marfa Lights, and the movie Giant.
The most special aspect of the historic Stockyards is that it houses the only twice-daily cattle drive in the world. A Texas bucket list must include them, especially if you’re in Fort Worth.
Add some spice to your list of places to visit in Texas by going on a ghost tour in Historic Jefferson. Get acquainted with the ghost tales narrated by local historian Jodi Breckenridge.
Of many things to do in San Antonio, Texas, Alamo should never go off your list. The iconic Alamo is considered symbolic of Texas's heritage and is the site of the historic 13-day siege during the Texas Revolution.
Austin offers a pleasant combination of the old-school Texan culture and the newly-fashioned modern world. Its cultural appeal has received due recognition as the City of Media Arts within UNESCO's Creative Cities Network.
Of course, a beach vacation should be on your list of things to do in Texas. South Padre Island features a lovely range of beaches, from Isla Blanca Park to Beach Access 6.
Spanning about 22 acres of land in Downtown Austin, Texas State Capitol is marked by dedicatedly manicured lawns, historic buildings, and monuments.
Take a self-guided tour of the Texas State Capitol Underground. The underground extension can be found in the northern part of the statehouse, comprising a four-level structure built in 1993.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark is one of the most fun-filled places to visit in Texas. Thrill seekers can enjoy a variety of rides, from Master Blaster to the Boogie Bahn.
The groundbreaking powerhouse of scientific research is on every Texas bucket list. The NASA Space Center has a set of curated tours to go on-site and have a close look at human space exploration.
Passengers are welcome aboard vintage diesel locomotives running along the landmark rails of the Piney Woods. The railroad trip extends from Palestine to Rusk, covering a total roundtrip of 50 miles.
Watch the spellbinding aquatic life unfold as you watch it up close at the Dallas World Aquarium. It is open daily, except on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving.
Along the border of Texas and Louisiana, a boat tour of Caddo Lake is a famous touristy thing to doin Texas. The lake is located in Caddo Lake State Park.
As we conclude our exploration of the myriad activities and experiences that Texas has to offer, it's evident that this state truly has something for everyone. From the depths of the Natural Bridge Caverns to the vibrant culture of Austin, the Lone Star State showcases a rich tapestry of natural beauty, history, and entertainment.
Whether you're seeking the thrill of adventure, the tranquility of nature, or the excitement of cultural events, Texas welcomes you with open arms. So, pack your bags, put on your boots, and get ready to immerse yourself in the unique charm and diversity of Texas. With its enchanting landscapes, warm hospitality, and a spirit as big as the Texas sky, you're in for an unforgettable journey through this remarkable state. So, go ahead, and make your Texas-sized dreams come true!