What to see in Texas: attractions and places of interest to visit the Lone Star State

Who I am
Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Texas is one of the Southern States and is also known as the Lone Star State: it is second only to Alaska in terms of extension and, as you can imagine, of things to see and there are many to do. This is why we have decided to propose a selection of the best attractions to give you an idea of ​​what awaits you: we will range from wonderful natural sites to cultural ones to finish with the most beautiful beaches on which to relax (yes, in Texas there are also beaches!) in order to satisfy all tastes.



PS: in this article we have decided to focus on specific attractions, while I point out my article dedicated to the cities of Texas. Here you will not even find the sights of Route 66, which we have already collected in our guide on how to visit Route 66 in Texas. If you are looking for a route that includes the main attractions of the state, you can read our Texas itinerary.

Index

  • Texas attractions map
  • Natural Sites
    • Guadalupe Mountains National Park
    • Padre island national seashore
    • Natural Bridge Caverns
    • Big bend national park
    • Palo Duro Canyon
    • Hamilton Pool Preserve
  • Cultural sites
    • The USS Lexington – Corpus Christi
    • Dallas Museum of Art
    • Space Center – Houston
    • The Sixth Floor Museum – Dallas
    • The Alamo – San Antonio
  • Texas Beaches

Texas attractions map

Natural Sites

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

It is located in western Texas near the Colorado border. Inside it houses the Guadalupe Peek which with its 2600 meters is the highest peak in the state and from the top of which you can enjoy a splendid 360 ° view over the surrounding Texas. There are numerous hiking trails even for one day that will allow you to stay in direct contact with nature. the two most famous trails are the Devil’s Hall Trail which will take you to walk between the gorges of the canyon and the Guadalupe Peak Trail which, as you can guess from the name, will allow you to reach the top of the mountain.



Padre island national seashore

From the highest peak in Texas we totally change the landscape and move along the coast where some await us beaches which extend visibly (and if you are equipped with a 4 × 4 car you can also travel along them for some stretches). The peculiarity for which this park is known is the presence of numerous sea turtles.

Depending on the month in which you visit the park you will be able to observe different events, ranging from nesting in the period from April to August, to the hatching of the eggs with dozens of specimens of turtles that will carry out the path that divides the beach from the Gulf of Mexico, which typically occurs six to eight weeks after laying. For this it is very useful to visit the official website of the park where you can update yourself on the best dates to attend this spectacle of nature.

Natural Bridge Caverns

If you are an expert speleologist, this attraction located in the immediate vicinity of San Antonio is definitely the one for you. THE tour that can be done inside the two large natural caves are many and can satisfy all tastes (and even all budgets). In the complex there is also a playground with zip line attached which makes this place particularly recommended if you are a family with children in tow.

Info and Tickets for the caves


Big bend national park

To reach this park we have to move south where the river flows Rio Grande which marks the border with Mexico and which makes this park extremely interesting to visit not only for the erosion and the splendid views it has created over the centuries but also for the activities it offers to visitors. In addition to the classic walking tours, if you have the right car, this park still offers many scenic routes that can be used without making too much effort.


If, on the other hand, you are sporty tourists and you love canoes, you can undoubtedly consider a trip, lasting a few hours or even a few days, along the river. The international border between Mexico and the United States it is located exactly in the middle of the Rio Grande so it is very likely that you will pass it numerous times during your canoe trip but do not worry, it will not be considered a problem. On the contrary, landing along the Mexican coast of the river, unless there are security reasons to be considered, will be considered an illegal border crossing with all that entails, so be careful. To find out more, read our guide on what to see in Big Bend National Park.

Palo Duro Canyon

Located south of the city of Yellow (where Cadillac Ranch is located) is therefore a perfect stop in case you are traveling along Route 66. The various shades of colors from green to deep red are the main feature of this park. If you have yet to visit the most famous parks in the United States and Palo Duro is part of your itinerary, you can consider it as a "small" preview of what will await you in the continuation of your adventure. Read our guide on how to visit Palo Duro Canyon.


Hamilton Pool Preserve

A beautiful natural swimming pool about an hour away from Austin it is the ideal place to take a walk and enjoy a very special view. If the season allows it you can also go for a swim but this is not always allowed, so the advice is to keep an eye on the official website to see if there are any restrictions on bathing or not. To preserve the natural habitat, the number of visitors is also kept under control so, in order not to find yourself in the unpleasant situation of having to go back, especially during the summer season it can be very useful to make a reservation through the official channels.


Hamilton Pool

Cultural sites

The USS Lexington – Corpus Christi

A war aircraft carrier used primarily in the Pacific during World War II. His nickname dates back to this period Blue ghost, due to the fact that every time the Japanese navy thought it sunk, it always reappeared intact. Today it has been transformed into a museum and can also be visited inside by reaching the coast of the town of Corpus Christi in Texas of the South. It can be an attraction to consider especially if you are traveling with children in tow, since there is a flight simulator, a 3d cinema and many video games.

Dallas Museum of Art

Although there is no tendency to associate Texas with the history of art, visiting this museum will have to change your mind. Located inArt District in Dallas it hosts numerous collections ranging from purely American art, with some works by Hopper and Georgia O 'Keeffe, to European art. To underline the presence of numerous works by Italian artists including Canaletto, Canova, Modigliani and De Chirico.

Space Center – Houston

Together with the Alamo it is perhaps the most famous attraction in all of Texas so it is definitely worth a visit whether you are passionate about science or just curious. The complex that houses the Space Center di Houston it is very large as well as the things to see and do, so unless you want to miss something, visiting everything in its entirety can take a long time.

However, you cannot deprive yourself of the Starship Gallery, which will allow you to touch a real specimen of moon rock and take a journey to discover the most famous finds of the discovery of space, including the Apollo 17 command module.

Through a kind of internal train you can visit the NASA real in Johnson Space Center, where the operations of the International Space Station are still monitored and astronauts prepare for the missions they will have to undertake. Concludes the triptych of these must see theIndipendence Plaza, where you can admire a replica of the Independence shuttle, mounted on an original Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, both of which can be visited.

The Space Center is a little way out of Houston and, unless you have a rental car, it's not that easy to reach by public transportation, so plan carefully how and when to add it to your itinerary.

Info and Tickets for the Space Center

The Sixth Floor Museum – Dallas

The building located in Dealey Plaza before November 22, 1963 it was only an anonymous repository of school books, but when Lee Harvey Oswald at 12.30 chose one of his sixth floor windows to shoot President Kennedy, it became one of the most famous places in the United States.

Today the building houses a museum that through video reconstructions, audio guides and photographic material traces the private and political life of one of the most loved and discussed presidents by Americans and, if it doesn't seem too macabre, you can see (but obviously not look out) the window from which the history of the world has been changed.

In the square in front, in addition to some conspirators who propagate alternative truths, there are numerous testimonies of what happened and you cannot help but notice a white X on the asphalt of the road, however you think it, that is the exact point where he was hit Kennedy.

Info and Tickets for the Museum

The Alamo – San Antonio

We have already talked about this place that was the scene of the most famous episode of the Texas war of independence from Mexico in more detail in our article on Fort Alamo. However, we also point it out here because it is undoubtedly a destination to take into account if you are planning your trip.

Texas Beaches

When we think of beaches in America the first places that come to mind are California (have you already checked out our article on the best beaches in California?) And Florida (here is our selection of the best beaches in Florida) but Texas with its coasts that stretch for hundreds of kilometers is also well protected and offers numerous solutions for those looking for a little relaxation. Among the many options we point out three in particular:

  • father island it is a real island that extends along the coast of Texas for about 200 kilometers and is separated from it by the Mother Lagoon. Inside it has a double soul capable of satisfying all holidaying spirits; in its central part it houses the aforementioned nature reserve of Padre island national seashore where primordial nature reigns supreme, in the south you will find the city of South Padre Island, famous for its luxury hotels, its tourist attractions and for being the perfect place for dolphin watching.
  • Boca Chica State Park located in the deep south of Texas, on the border with Mexico, near the city of Brownsville, it is the perfect place for those who do not like crowds and prefer the coast where the only two services are the sea and the beach.
  • Surfside Beach just an hour's drive from Huston, as you can guess from the name, it is particularly suitable for those who have surfing in their blood, since historically it is one of the favorite beaches for locals to practice the famous sport.
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