The 21 Best Things to Do in Texas 2024

Planning a trip to Texas can be daunting if you’re not familiar with its best attractions. Discover the best things to do in Texas and make the most of your visit to the Lone Star State. Texas is the second-largest state in the country, known for its diverse landscapes, Tex-Mex cuisine, space exploration, and cowboy culture. Walk along the beaches in the east or drive through the deserts in the west.

Visit museums to discover the rich and turbulent history of the state, and visit state and national parks to go swimming in natural lakes and climbing mountains. Texas is home to many exhilarating activities, including some of the best things to do in Texas. I guarantee that a minimum of a handful of these fantastic things to do in Texas will find their way onto your schedule, regardless of your favorite activities!

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Top Activities that Attract Tourists in Texas

From iconic sites like the Alamo to the NASA Space Center in Houston, exploring the best things to do in Texas offers a minimum of 21 exciting activities to choose from when visiting the Lone Star State. One of the major reasons the South is so popular is that it attracts over 250 million tourists annually.

1. History Lesson at The Alamo

The Alamo

One of the most significant tourist destinations in the state is the Alamo, a historic landmark in San Antonio. It is well-known globally for the Battle of the Alamo and serves as a symbol of the Texas Revolution. The former mission church is now a museum featuring revolutionary-era artifacts.

One of the best things to do in Texas is to experience a ghost tour in San Antonio, with the Alamo being a top location. So, for an added thrill, consider joining an evening tour! Admission to the Alamo Exhibit is $14, but for a more comprehensive exploration of the entire complex, a tour costing $45 is available. This is one of the most visited landmarks in the entire state, so it’s usually packed.

2. NASA Space Center Houston

Visiting NASA Space Center Houston could be one of the best things to do in Texas if you have even a passing interest in space exploration. For the most thorough tour of the grounds, schedule a tram tour of the complex. The actual astronaut training facility, the NASA Johnson Space Center, will also be visible to you.

The tram trips also include a visit to the Mission Control Center, where you can see a detailed presentation about the Moon Landing in 1969. A gallery dedicated to spacesuits, the Starship Gallery, and an International Space Station Gallery providing a glimpse into space station life are among the other exhibitions.

This is among the top things to do in Houston and is thrilling for tourists of all ages. It is best to reserve your tram excursion as soon as possible because they sometimes sell out weeks in advance. Tours of NASA Space Center Houston are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Depending on the tour you choose, tickets range from $30 to $55.

3. Admire The Dallas Arboretum’s Floral Display

One of the top attractions in the Lone Star State is the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, which is located on the bank of White Rock Lake. The 66-acre arboretum is home to numerous walking routes, an abundance of flowers, and a tranquil lakefront location.

This place’s display is quite seasonal, making it one of the best things to do in Texas. Visit the arboretum in the winter to enjoy one of Texas’s best Christmas displays, but if you go in the spring, you’ll see an abundance of beautiful flowers in bloom. It makes sense to come back even if you’ve already been here, particularly if it was at a different season. From 9 am to 5 pm, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is open. Adults must pay $22 to enter.

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4. Take A Walk Along The San Antonio River

Although San Antonio has a lot of unique and enjoyable attractions, the River Walk is considered one of the best things to do in Texas after the Alamo. For approximately fifteen kilometers, the promenade traces the course of the San Antonio River and is flanked by cafes, eateries, and retail establishments.

Taking a 30-minute boat ride down the San Antonio River is the ideal way to enjoy the downtown River Walk. For the most memorable experience, locals and visitors swarm the pubs and restaurants as the boats flash brilliant colors. Access to the San Antonio River Walk promenade is free. Boat cruises depart every 15 to 20 minutes and cost $14.5.

5. Visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science to See the Mummies

If you’re in the city, make sure to visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science, which is among the best things to do in Texas. Rare gemstones, Egyptian mummies, and dinosaur bones are among its exhibits. The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers a wealth of interactive exhibits, which I believe is fantastic, especially for younger visitors.

They can engage in hands-on experiments with chemical components and even try their hand at dinosaur excavation, an exciting blend of fun and educational opportunities. The museum welcomes guests every day from 9 AM to 5 PM, with general admission priced at $25 for adults.

6. Explore The Biggest State Capitol Structure

Visiting the Texas state capitol is one of the best things to do in Texas. The Lone Star State is known for its vastness, so it’s no surprise that the state capitol in Austin is the largest in the entire country. And guess what? You can take advantage of free 30-minute guided tours while you’re there.

Not only will you get to explore the impressive Capitol building, but you’ll also have time to soak in more of Austin’s charm. But before you step inside, don’t miss the chance to wander the capitol grounds. It’s like a mini-park with winding paths that lead to other memorials and monuments. So, mark your calendar! The Capitol Building welcomes visitors for guided tours from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

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7. The National Historical Park of San Antonio Missions

The only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas is San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Discover four amazing historic structures that were built here by Spanish colonists to convert the local populace to Christianity. You can take a car, bike, or foot tour of the park, experiencing one of the best things to do in Texas.

The finest tours are usually cycling ones because you cover the area more quickly while still stopping at each location to give it a closer look. Hikers can use the park’s trail, which covers the entire area from Mission Concepcion to Mission Espada and back in around four and a half hours. Every day from sunrise to sunset, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is open. There is no fee to enter.

8. At Six Flags Over Texas, Have Fun

At more than 200 acres, Six Flags Over Texas is the biggest theme park in the state. The easiest ways to get to Arlington are from Dallas and Fort Worth. This Six Flags amusement park boasts over 50 rides in addition to family-friendly shows and live music events. This is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Texas.

Although the park has many thrilling rides that are not for the faint of heart, it is best recognized for its rides that are suitable for children and families. A seasonal Dive Bomber Alley is my favorite activity since it simulates skydiving. Dropped from sixteen stories above the ground, you have an amazing free fall, hitting eighty miles per hour before the steel cable catches you. On weekends and some weekdays, Six Flags Over Texas is open from 12 pm until 7 pm daily rates begin at $55.

9. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Campsite

One of the top places in Texas for hikers and mountaineers to go is the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in West Texas. With an elevation of 8,751 feet, Guadalupe Peak, the highest peak in Texas, is located there. Quite remarkable for a desert!

The national park also has a restored Frijole Ranch with a modest local history museum, the remains of a stagecoach stop, and a stone cabin from the 1930s. Hiking routes lead to all of the park’s noteworthy locations, making it among the best things to do in Texas and a must-visit for anybody who enjoys outdoor experiences.

Another well-liked pastime in the national park is camping. If you’re doing an RV or campervan road trip throughout Texas, think about spending a few nights here. The Guadalupe Mountains National Park visitor center is open from 8 am to 4:30 pm. The admission price is $10 per person.

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10. Enjoying South Padre Island’s Beaches

South Padre Island's Beaches

South Padre Island, a tourist town with fine resorts and sandy beaches, is located off the coast of southern Texas. Make sure to include a day or two at the beach, where you can unwind and take in the sound of the crashing waves, in your Texas schedule.

The 113-mile-long barrier island known as Padre Island is home to the tourist town. If your notion of a laid-back vacation involves sipping drinks on the beach, this is the only tropical island in Texas and one of the best things to do in Texas. In southern Texas, close to the Mexican border, sits South Padre Island. From Corpus Christi, the resort town is about a three-hour drive away.

11. Big Bend National Park Kayaking

Big Bend National Park, which lies on the Mexican border in southwest Texas, offers an amazing variety of diverse landscapes. The Chisos Mountains, the Chihuahuan Desert, and the gorges sculpted by the Rio Grande River are all included in the 801,163-acre park.

Outdoor activities are highly popular in this national park. It offers lots of paths for bicycling and hiking, as well as kayaking and mountain climbing. Big Bend National Park in Texas is the place to go if you enjoy being outside and maybe even camping in the bush. Big Bend National Park is also among the best things to do in Texas. For pedestrians, the admission cost is $15; for private automobiles, it is $30.

12. Fort Worth Bicycle Tour

Few places in Texas better exemplify the cowboy culture for which it is recognized than Fort Worth. Visiting the city is one the best things to do in Texas, well-known for the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Stockyards National Historic District, which are home to the daily cattle procession. For those interested in learning more about the local way of life, the historic quarter is also a great place to go on ghost tours and pub crawls.

However, the Stockyards sector is merely one neighborhood in this city, and there are plenty more to discover. For a full day of touring, a bike tour is the ideal choice because it will let you see more of Fort Worth’s well-known sites. It’s essential to see the Fort Worth Water Gardens. The large public park has an incredible fountain that looks like an oasis in the middle of the desert.

See one of the greatest Japanese gardens in the country and more gorgeous water features at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Spend some time touring a museum in the city’s Cultural District in the afternoon. The National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame honors the ladies of the Wild West, while the Kimbell Art Museum has a superb collection of European and Asian art. Fort Worth bike trips last three to four hours. Normally, until 5 pm, the museums and Botanical Garden are open.

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13. Experience the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi.

How often does one get the opportunity to set foot on an aircraft carrier from World War II? If you just traveled to the gorgeous seaside city of Corpus Christi while in Texas, this is the perfect chance to check something off your bucket list.

Discover 20 distinct aircraft on the carrier on a self-guided tour is among the best things to do in Texas, and try your luck in a special escape room on the USS Lexington. In addition, there’s an IMAX theatre with historical movies and a flight simulator where you can experience what it’s like to pilot a warplane. Daily tours of the USS Lexington are available from 9 am to 5 pm. Adults must pay $20.95 to enter.

14. Savour Tex-Mex Cuisine

One of the best things about visiting Texas is the food. Texas is such a big state that many different cultures and geographical areas have an impact on its food. There’s no shortage of delicious dishes to sample in Texas, ranging from classic Native American to conventional southern Tex-Mex.

Some of the most well-known Tex-Mex foods are nachos, enchiladas, fajitas, and chili, although they’re by no means the only ones. Texas is known for its steak and barbecue, and you’ll have lots of chances to sample robust meat dishes.

Any Texas city is an excellent destination for a food tour, but San Antonio has to be at the top of the list if you’re searching for the best. Market Square in the city is well-known for its Tex-Mex food sellers and for being the original home of the puffy taco! All of Texas’s main cities offer food tours. Usually, they go for two to four hours.

15. Cycling in the State Park of Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, which lies in northern Texas close to Amarillo, is a great spot for mountain bikers and hikers. In addition to taking in the different landscapes of this lovely state, visitors can enjoy a musical performance at the park’s outdoor amphitheater.

Explore the unique rock formations and take in the vistas of the second-largest canyon system in the US by hiking or biking the trails within the National Park. A visit to Palo Duro is one of the best things to do in Texas, a well-liked location for birdwatching, and is also home to a large number of native plant and animal species.

This park is home to the greatest population of Palo Duro mice, although it’s unlikely that you’ll see any there because they often hide in the canyon walls and are only visible at night. From 7 am to 9 pm, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is open. It costs $8 to enter.

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16. Zipline Adventures at Lake Travis

Zipline Adventures at Lake Travis

For the fastest and longest ziplines in the state, go to Lake Travis, which lies northwest of Austin. For tourists who are constantly searching for their next adrenaline fix, it’s among the best things to do in Texas. while an added benefit, while you soar into the air, you get to take in expansive vistas of the lake and the Texas Hill Country.

Although pricey, Lake Travis Zipline Adventures tickets offer a variety of activities. At the park, you may stroll through breathtaking scenery, take a boat ride on the lake, and ride no fewer than five ziplines. The easier ziplines, sometimes known as “bunny slopes,” will be your first experience. Eventually, you’ll go to the faster and higher rides, and the highlight of your three-hour adventure will be a ride on a zipline that is more than 2800 feet long.

Hurrying down, you’ll hit up to 65 mph, and you’ll land directly at the concession stand. You’ve earned an ice cream treat for yourself! Rides are available at Lake Travis Zipline Adventures from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm. All five ziplines are included in the three-hour trip, which costs $141 per person.

17. Examine the Caverns at Natural Bridge

The state’s greatest series of subterranean caves is called Natural Bridge Caverns. The nearest city to Natural Bridge Caverns is San Antonio, while Austin is also not too far away. Visit this location to explore the underground caverns’ distinctive geological formations.

Every day, there are free guided tours of the cave system available to everyone. That might not be a fun experience for everyone, though, because the caves are very hot and muggy. Above ground, there’s an adventure course featuring multiple zip lines, a maze, and rope courses.

Visitors of all ages can enjoy themselves here, as some of the activities are specially created for younger audiences. Natural Bridge Caverns tours take place every day from 9:30 am to 5:30 p.m. The cost of a tour varies based on the style and costs between $30 and $50 per person.

18. See Dallas’s Historic Fair Park

The Texas State Fair is held in Dallas Fair Park, which is unquestionably one of the best things to do in Texas, a spot in the city for an afternoon filled with excitement, entertainment, and mouthwatering fried cuisine. The fair mascot, Big Tex, is well-known for being the tallest cowboy in the world.

There are pumpkin races and funfair rides, to name just a few of the activities available. It’s nearly hard to resist grabbing some snacks, even if you’re not hungry, because there are food kiosks all over the place and the aromas are so enticing.

You can go vehicle shopping, see a rodeo, ride Ferris wheels, and test drive as many cars as you like. Artisan soap and traditional mementos are among the items offered by the merchants. Just remember that everything has a price, and participating in a variety of activities at the fair might rapidly add up. The Texas State Fair is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Unless there is a special event taking place on the grounds, there is no charge to enter Fair Park.

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19. Texas State History Museum in Bullock

Is there a more ideal destination than a museum devoted to narrating the history of Texas over time?  A visit to Bullock is one of the best things to do in Texas If you want to learn everything there is to know about Texas, State History Museum, which is conveniently located in downtown Austin, only a few blocks from the Capitol.

More than 700 artifacts from Texas’s earliest settlers to the current day are on display in the primary exhibit, which takes up three floors. Discover the darker aspects of Texas history during the contentious Civil War, as well as the European explorers that came to the state in the hopes of striking it rich. Every day from 10 AM to 5 PM, the Bullock Texas State History Museum is open. Tickets to the museum cost $13.

20. Early Works of Art at the Dallas Museum of Art

One of the greatest art collections in the state is found in the Dallas Museum of Art. The museum is one of the best things to do in Texas because anyone may view the permanent collection without having to pay any money. The collection of the DMA includes, among many other things, impressionist paintings, Islamic art, and textiles from Japan’s Edo Period.

The fact that this museum features works by well-known artists like Matisse, Monet, and Munch adds to the outstanding show, which is sure to please any art enthusiast. Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm, is when the Dallas Museum of Art is open. The primary display at the museum is free to enter, although special and temporary exhibits typically require a fee.

21. Wine Pairing in the Hill Country of Texas

Wine Pairing in the Hill Country of Texas

There are about sixty wineries in the Texas Hill Country, the majority of which provide tours and tastings. Plan a guided tour to one or more boutique wineries to explore vineyards and discover the distinctions between Texas-produced local wines.

Booking a guided tour is highly recommended since it allows you to taste several of the top wines produced in the area. Wine pairing is among the best things to do in Texas, particularly if you’re looking to unwind and have fun. Fall Creek Vineyards, Invention Vineyards, and Becker Vineyards are a few of the most well-known in the region. Fredericksburg is usually the starting point for five- to six-hour winery excursions in Texas.

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FAQ’s about the Best Things to Do in Texas

1. Which Texas tourism destination is the most popular?
In Texas, the Alamo continues to be the top tourist destination. One of the most important historic sites in the country, the historic mission is a part of Texas’ only UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. Which Texas city is the best to visit?
Depending on your preferences, there are several great cities in Texas to visit, but most people think San Antonio is the greatest. Houston, Dallas, Austin, and other Texas cities are wonderful travel destinations.

3. Which Texas destination is the nicest to visit?
The most pleasant spot to travel in Texas is South Padre Island. The tropical island is a haven of peace in South Texas, offering expansive white sand beaches and scenic surroundings.

4. What has made Texas most well-known?
Texas is most known for its enormous ranches, rodeos, and traditional cowboy culture. The state is renowned for its enormous cities, varied topography, mouthwatering Tex-Mex food, and traditional Southern hospitality.

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Advice And Details Regarding Traveling To Texas

Ideal Time To Go

The best seasons to travel to Texas are in the spring and autumn. Traveling in the summer is best avoided, as it gets extremely hot. Summertime also brings with it a lot of tourists, which lessens the pleasure of exploring the well-known sites and landmarks. Texas travel is best experienced between March and May and September and November.

With over 35 million passengers served annually, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is the second busiest airport in the US. Dallas is the best place to start a journey to Texas because this is where you’ll probably arrive at the airport.

El Paso, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio are the state’s other main airports. Any of these airports can accommodate your flight schedule, as they are all international. Nonetheless, the busiest airport in the state is typically the least expensive to fly to in terms of effectiveness and value for money.

Navigating the Cities of Texas

Contiguous states like Texas are the largest in the union, and getting around them takes a while. The quickest method of traveling between cities is by air, however, flying is also the most costly and ineffective option. The second-best choice is to rent a car, but only if you’re able to handle lengthy drives.

Bus transportation is one way to go from one large city to another. Not significantly slower than driving, it’s also the most economical choice. However, buses aren’t able to get you to off-the-beaten-path destinations, so renting a car gives you the most flexibility and convenience when visiting Texas.

Where in Texas Should I Stay?

Staying in different places is the best way to explore the vast state of Texas. San Antonio, Houston, Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth are all great destinations to stay in Texas. For those who are more interested in beach holidays, San Padre Island is the ideal location, and Texas’ national and state parks include some of the greatest camping areas.

Finding lodging in your pricing range in any of these Texas locations should be rather simple, regardless of your preference for living or cutting costs. The top hotels in Texas for every budget are listed below:

In the center of Dallas, the reasonably priced four-star Magnolia Hotel Downtown Dallas is located.

The Hyatt Place Austin Downtown is a modern, mid-range hotel located in the heart of Austin.

Situated in the heart of Houston lies the magnificent five-star La Colombe d’Or Hotel.

Since it is ideal for you to not spend your entire stay in Texas in one location, here are the selected hotels in the top three cities in the state. You will have an amazing time in Texas as long as you see all the landmarks and sites that most interest you. It doesn’t matter where you start or conclude the trip!

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