Things to do in Texas

Things to do in  Texas

Everything really is bigger here

Look closely, and Texas is full of big surprises. From the desert-bohemian enclaves of West Texas to the surf-worthy shores on the Gulf Coast and the techies sporting cowboy boots in quirky Austin, the Lone Star state is bound to astound. Wander along San Antonio’s darling River Walk, learn about the history of space travel straight from the source in Houston, or tour Dallas’ oversized downtown and charming Arts District. There are so many things to do in Texas that you’ll do a double-take.

Top 15 attractions in Texas

Texas Capitol

Everything is bigger in Texas, and the Texas Capitol building in Austin follows suit. It's the largest by square footage of any state capitol, and is 15 feet (4.6 meters) taller than the US Capitol. Its rosy hue, stunning at sunset, comes from the red granite exterior. Texas Hill Country limestone and granite were used in the building's construction.More

The Alamo

The Alamo is one of the most famous historical sites in the United States, forever linked to the 13-day Battle of the Alamo, when Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna reclaimed the mission and killed most of the occupants. Today, the 18th-century Spanish Mission San Antonio de Valero complex—now known as the Alamo—welcomes more than 2.5 million visitors per year to its chapel, barracks, gardens, and small museum.More

Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston, the official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, offers visitors some out-of-this-world experiences. Watch astronauts train for missions, touch a real moon rock, and tour NASA’s control center. Anyone with an interest in aeronautics and space will appreciate Space Center Houston’s interactive exhibits, presentations, and attractions that dive into the past, present, and future of our universe.More

Congress Avenue Bridge (South Congress Bridge)

Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge is home to roughly 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats—the world’s largest urban bat colony. Spectators gather here on summer nights, cameras in hand, to watch these flying mammals emerge from beneath the bridge to hunt in the sky above Lady Bird Lake.More

6th Street

Austin’s 6th Street, sometimes known colloquially as Dirty Sixth, is the epicenter for late nights, free-flowing drinks, and all-around good times in the Live Music Capital of the World. This historical neighborhood is lined with bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops, and car traffic is blocked on weekends so pedestrians can take their party into the street.More

Driskill Hotel (The Driskill)

The oldest operating hotel in Austin, the Driskill has been legendary in Texas since it was built in 1886. Celebrities have visited the historic landmark over the years, including former president Lyndon B. Johnson, who took Lady Bird there on their first date. Today the Driskill Grill and 1886 Cafe & Bakery restaurants are here as well.More

John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza

Simple but profoundly moving, the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Dallas comprises a granite slab bearing the assassinated president’s name etched in gold. The slab is surrounded by soaring concrete walls that appear to be free-floating, capturing the feeling of loss felt around the world following Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963.More

Dealey Plaza

Dealey Plaza is a public park in Dallas, Texas, best known as the location where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, fired on by a sniper from the Texas School Book Depository. A museum focusing on Kennedy and the assassination now occupies the former depository, and there are various remembrances around the plaza.More

San Antonio River Walk (Paseo Del Rio)

The River Walk winds through the heart of downtown San Antonio, past several parks, historic missions, and other major attractions. Lined with shops, cafés, bars, and restaurants, this pedestrian- and bike-friendly waterway—home to the largest urban ecosystem restoration in the United States—is popular with tourists and locals alike, and is a must-see for any San Antonio visitor.More

San Fernando Cathedral

The oldest continuously operating religious community in Texas, San Fernando De Bexar Cathedral was constructed between 1738 and 1749 and served as General Santa Anna’s headquarters for a time. Don’t miss the Alamo Coffin, located near the church entrance, which is believed to hold the remains of the men who lost their lives at the Alamo.More

Tower of the Americas

Located in the center of Hemisfair Park, this 750-foot (229-meter) Tower of the Americas offers one of the best aerial views of San Antonio. The Flags Over Texas Observation Deck affords a bird’s-eye view of iconic sites, while the rotating Chart House Restaurant offers upscale dining with panoramic views of the city.More

Downtown Aquarium

Houston’s Downtown Aquarium is a fun and educational attraction, especially for families. Children can get up close and personal with more than 200 types of underwater creatures, including myriad fish, eels, rays in a touch tank, sharks, and white tigers. Kids also love the amusement rides and dining in the underwater aquarium restaurant.More

Lady Bird Lake

The 416-acre (169-hectare) Lady Bird Lake, at the northeastern end of Zilker Metropolitan Park, anchors a host of outdoor recreational opportunities in downtown Austin. Locals and visitors alike hike, bike, and walk it, as well as birdwatch, canoe, paddleboard, and fish for carp, largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish in and around this man-made reservoir once known as Town Lake.More

Reunion Tower

Located in the heart of downtown Dallas, Reunion Tower has been a city landmark since 1978. Referred to affectionately as “The Ball” by locals, the tower offers sweeping panoramic views from the only indoor/outdoor observation deck in the city, plus high-definition telescopes and cameras, interactive exhibits, and two rotating restaurants.More

Spanish Governor's Palace

The Spanish Governor’s Palace in San Antonio, which served as housing for a series of Spanish aristocrats, is the only remaining 18th-century Spanish colonial townhouse in Texas. Along with the Alamo and other historic missions, the Governor’s Palace invites visitors to witness an important chapter of Texas history for themselves.More

Top activities in Texas

San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tour
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Waco Fixer Upper Tour: 5 Star, Award Winning, Affordable Price
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San Antonio Full-Day Historic City Tour
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Fixer Upper Tour + City Tour
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Fixer Upper Tour + City Tour

Sightseeing Tour of Dallas

Sightseeing Tour of Dallas

Austin Biker Gang E-Bike Tour

Austin Biker Gang E-Bike Tour

Houston CityPASS®

Houston CityPASS®

Houston's Official City Tour

Houston's Official City Tour

Taste of Fredericksburg Small-Group Wine Tour from San Antonio
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Parasailing Adventure in South Padre Island
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Texas Hill Country and LBJ Tour From San Antonio
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All about Texas

When to visit

If you’re looking for sunny days and endless outdoor activities, plan your Texas visit for spring. The state comes alive with wildflowers and festivals, with temperatures generally below 90°F (32°C). However, if you’re more interested in cowboy culture and foliage, then fall is your season. It’s the perfect time for rodeos and football games. Plus, temperatures in fall are also perfect for outdoor activities, with cooler nights and days that might require a light jacket.

Getting around

The expansive state takes time to explore, no matter the transportation method. Having your own set of wheels offers freedom, allowing you to go long distances to access places and national parks that can’t be reached by public transport. However, buses and trains are economical options, with Greyhound offering long haul bus trips and Amtrak trains linking more than a dozen Texas cities and towns. If exploring by rail, a Rail Pass may be more cost-effective.

Traveler tips

Texans are notoriously proud of their food, and barbecue is the must-try dish in the state. In Texas, barbecue usually means beef, specifically brisket. The other popular food to try is Tex-Mex, a blend of Mexican, Tejano, and American food. Popular Tex-Mex dishes include beef fajitas, refried beans, and cheese enchiladas. Don’t overorder either, as portions are usually quite large in most Texas restaurants, allowing you to share one meal between two.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
CST (UTC -6)
Country Code

People Also Ask

What is the number 1 attraction in Texas?

Without a doubt, the most popular attraction in Texas is the Alamo. Located in San Antonio, this former Spanish mission and fort is embedded in the identity of the Lone Star State as an enduring example of bravery and defiance, and it serves as a symbol of Texas’ indomitable spirit.

What is the funnest thing to do in Texas?

When it comes to the most fun activities in Texas, you can’t beat floating down a river. Whether you’re canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, or tubing, there are plenty of ways to experience Texas’ waterways. Tubers can be found on the popular Guadalupe River from about March through September.

What state is close to Texas?

Texas is a neighbor to a few different states and a country. Louisiana and Arkansas border Texas to the east. Oklahoma borders the Lone Star State to the north. West of Texas is New Mexico. And Texas shares a border to the southwest with Mexico.

What is Texas is known for?

Texas is renowned for its smoky barbecue and Tex-Mex fare, sprawling larger-than-life landscapes, and Texan hospitality. The state is proud of its cowboy heritage—expect to see boots and Western hats as everyday wear. Other big Texas things: the Alamo, football (high school and pro), longhorns, and pick-up trucks.

Where do most people visit in Texas?

People visit Texas for many reasons. Some come for live music in the capital of Austin or for laid-back vibes in the Gulf’s Port Aransas. Dallas is home to Six Flags Over Texas as well as Arlington’s AT&T Stadium, where the Cowboys play. Museums and shopping abound in Houston.

What can you only do in Texas?

Texas is full of big experiences found only in this southern state—from the canyons of Big Bend National Park to San Antonio’s River Walk and historic Alamo. People flock to “weird” Austin (the capital) for its live music and barbecue, while a float down the Guadalupe is another only-in-Texas experience.

Frequently Asked Questions
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