The stars at night are big and bright/Deep in the heart of Texas–June Hershey, ”Deep In The Heart Of Texas” (1941)
Barring any reak winter storms, Texas truly is a great place to visit. Those in the know say there are many “amazing destinations” worth seeing. So if you’re in the US and looking to stay stateside, you’ll want to seriously consider the lonely Lone Star State. So, without further ado, here are the 25 top places to add to your Texas bucket list.
1.Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is perhaps the state’s most popular national park. It can be found on the border of Mexico and the western section of the state. The park is most famously the home of the Chisos mountain range.
Experience the phenomenal stargazing, Go camping, hiking, or rating through the Santa Elena Canyon. You can even take a relaxing dip in the popular Langford Hot Springs.
This beach was once home to an encampment of the nigh legendary pirate named Jean Lafitte. It was also where the first Juneteenth, which freed the slaves in the state and other portions of the South years after the historic Emancipation Proclamation. Now trackers experience the history through ghost and historical tours. They also go to enjoy the beach and the boardwalk, historic Strand Street and see the Victorian architecture.
On your way to popular Big Bend, see Marfa. This tiny town is a huge hit with visiting celebrities largely because of its different art installations. Check out Prada Marfa and the massive sculptures at the well-known Chinati Foundation.
You should also check out the marvelous Marfa Lights. Wonder at the mysterious lights in the night sky. Some locals claim they could be UFOs.
4. The Enchanted Rock State Park
The nigh-legendary Enchanted Rock is actually a pinkish granite mountain rising out of the Hill Country in Texas. Visitors are drawn to climbing this ancient dome not only for the views but the history and mystery of it as well. A group of prehistoric people once lived in the surrounding area.
It was also once the home of such indigenous people as the Lipan Apache. Apache legend has stories of the ghost fires seen there. They also tell tales of local hauntings by the ghost of an Indigenous woman who threw herself off the Enchanted Rock after her tribe was slaughtered by an enemy tribe.
5. Caddo Lake State Park
Here you will discover Spanish moss hanging on numerous giant cypress trees that are reflected on the calm bayou waters. The park’s memorable maze of myriad ponds and bayous and ponds draws individuals from across the world to camp, fish, hike, and paddle. The resident alligators reportedly add to the overall atmosphere of this distinct destination.
6. The Hill Country
Hill Country is located in South and Central Texas. It is unsurprisingly named for hills in the area. Such small Hill Country towns as Fredericksburg draw travelers.
The place is perhaps most well-known as “the centerpiece for Texas’ wineries,” There’s also Bandera which is reportedly “the Cowboy Capital of the World.” You can also go for scenic hikes in the pretty Lost Maples State Natural Area and experience apple picking in Medina, or attend a concert at Gruene Hall.
7. South Padre Island
Attractive South Padre Island is a hot spot for spring breaks and summer vacations. Here you can hit the beach and enjoy a number of different activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, and water skiing. Once you’ve had your fill of fun in the sun, check out the birding experiences at the memorable South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center.
8. The Cadillac Ranch
You will find the art installation known as the Cadillac Ranch right outside of the city of Amarillo off legendary Route 66. Doug Michels, Hudson Marquezm, and Chip Lord stuck 10 Cadillac cars in the ground here in 1974. Today, individuals from across the world stop here to leave their own personal mark on this now-famous ever-changing exhibit with spray paint on this famed art installation.
9. Palo Duro Canyon
Texas’ popular Palo Duro Canyon is the official second largest canyon in the USA. Situated in the famous Texas Panhandle, it is highlighted by stunning structures in shades of yellows, reds, browns, and oranges. Here you can go biking, camping, hiking, and horseback riding.
10. The San Antonio Riverwalk
The popular San Antonio Riverwalk has been praised in previous pieces and deservedly so. This iconic 15-mile riverwalk includes different parts referred to as “reaches.” You will find shops, restaurants, and bars, head to the Downtown Reach.
The Mission Reach neighbors the San Antonio Missional National Historical Park. It is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes four of the city’s five missions It extends to the Pearl District and also has such sites as the renowned San Antonio Museum of Art. So like, walk, or run down this 15 miles and explore it all.
11. The NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
If you’re into astronauts and space then you really should stop to see the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. You can see the popular science museum that is home to more than 400 space artifacts, the planet’s largest collection of genuine moon rocks, and other lunar samples. You can also find out about the history of human space exploration via various exhibits. Additionally, you can take a tour of NASA behind-the-scenes or one that features lunch with a real astronaut.
12. The Fort Worth Stockyards
For a cowboy experience, you do not want to miss, head to the famous Fort Worth Stockyards. Here you will find more than bars, clubs, restaurants, and shops. You can also go to a real rodeo. You can see a cattle drive, go two-stepping, see a gunfight reenactment, and even explore some museums and learn more about Texas’ cattle drives in past.
13. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
If you are traveling near El Paso, be sure to stop and explore Guadalupe Mountains, National Park. There you will find the most extensive Permian fossil reef in the world as well as the four tallest peaks in the state. Indeed, if you are a climbing or hiking aficionado, this is the place to e in Texas. You can go camping here too and spend your nights stargazing.
14. Los Ebanos Ferry Crossing
Some travel writers say you simply can’t visit this state without going across the border into Mexico. Make sure you have all your documents in order though as Mexico is not as free and easy with their border security as the US can be. There are a number of crossings from El Paso to McAllen, those in the know confirm that the most memorable place to cross is at Los Ebanos Ferry Crossing. It is reportedly “the last of its kind” in the state. It carries a maximum of three automobiles and goes from one side to the other via hand pulling.
15. Balmorhea State Park
Balmorhea State Park is nestled in Toyahvale. Many people come here to swim in the officially largest spring-fed pool in the world. In fact, it is so big, you can go snorkeling, and even scuba-diving in its crystal-clear waters. You might also want to have a picnic or go camping there.
16. The Alamo
If you truly wish to “remember the Alamo” then you really should visit the historic Spanish mission is located in San Antonio. This is where the infamous Battle of the Alamo took place and inspired the legendary rallying cry “Remember the Alamo!” first heard during the historic Texas Revolution.
17. New Braunfels
New Braunfels earns a spot on this bucket list mainly because it is where you will find the exciting Schlitterbahn Waterpark It’s the state’s largest waterpark and was also voted the number on the planet for 22 years. Need more water and wild adventures? When you’re finished at the waterpark, enjoy a tubing adventure down the Comal or Guadalupe Rivers. Finally, you can check out the popular Natural Bridge Caverns as well.
18. Dealey Plaza
Dealey Plaza is situated in Dallas. This is the infamous location of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Visit the historic Sixth Floor Museum and learn all about the infamous assassination and see for yourself the actual “X” in the street where Kennedy was killed. You can also see the official John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza not far from this noteworthy location.
19. Hamilton Pool
If you’re looking for some excitement then check out the Texas hot spot known as Hamilton Pool. Ah, but don’t forget to make a reservation. This natural pool is situated beneath an unusual grotto structure that features an unforgettable 45-foot waterfall. Make sure you wear your walking shoes too since it’s a half-hour walk from the closest parking lot to this wonderful pool.
20. State Fair of Texas
Since 1888 the biggest event in the state has been the State Fair of Texas. The fair, held in Dallas’ Fair Park, runs for 24 days making it the country’s longest-running fair. It’s also one of the largest held in the US. The yearly event includes an area with games and rides, live concerts, agricultural shows, and some of the most creative food stalls in the entire nation.
21. El Mercado
El Mercado, also known as the Market Square, is found in the city of San Antonio. It is the country’s largest Mexican market. Here you will be able to browse more than 100 businesses that span three blocks.
Here you will not only be able to purchase a multitude of Mexican products but also sample some genuine Mexican pastry at the popular Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia or some other dish any time night or day. You might also find yourself in the midst of any one of the festivals, live concerts, or other weekend events also held there.
22. Six Flags Over Texas
If you like the other Six Flags parks then you really must stop here and see where it all began. As it turns out, six different flags have actually flown over the state of Texas. Additionally, the first amusement park in the chain was launched in Arlington, Texas. This park stretches out across 212-acres. Experts report it is also one of the world’s best theme parks.
23. Sixth Street
When you are ready for wining and dining, and dancing this is the place to be. Travel writers confirm this street is, indeed, “the most popular entertainment street’ in all of Austin. To someone like your roving writer, who was once a full-time music journalist,
Sixth Street is most importantly famous for its thriving music scene. No matter when you get there you will discover plenty of live music. Book a room right on Sixth Street and you will be within a short stroll of tons of fun and music-filled nights.
24. The Selena Memorial Statue
The late Tejana singer Selena was once the hometown hero of Corpus Christi. So much so, in fact, that they honored her by erecting a memorial along Shoreline Boulevard, Ever since it was erected, fans come from all around to take photographs with the popular life-size bronze statue of the departed songstress before going into the Selena Museum.
25, The Hueco Tanks Historic Site
Last but not necessarily least, we have Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Park. Here you will be able to enjoy a number of different activities. Go for a hike here and explore the park’s noteworthy rock hills.
The park also includes a lot of petroglyphs and pictographs that are surprisingly popular. You can also take guided or self-guided tours here. At press time, only a total of 70 tourists are permitted to visit the North Mountain section daily so plan on getting your permit as soon as possible.
There you have it, dear readers, 25 places to include on your Texas travel bucket list. Happy trails to you until we meet again!