Texas Places to Visit
Texas is the 2nd largest state in the United States, right behind Alaska, but most people think of it as the biggest. Perhaps because so much of Alaska is wide open places and Texas has lots of cities and towns. In any event, Texas is BIG and proud of the saying, “Everything is BIGGER in Texas”.
Texas Places to Visit – Dallas/Forth Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio
I grew up in Texas and can tell you that I’ve heard so many references to how BIG things are here! Tall tales and whoppers of stories are an every day occurrence.
You’ll hear sayings like:
The mosquito is the state bird.
Cockroaches and mice are so big they can carry off a dog.
Some things about Texas being BIG are true!
Texas is home to some of the United State’s biggest cities.
Texas has more Fortune 500 companies than any other state.
Texas has the largest national parks in the country.
Texan’s love BIG trucks and the F-150 is the state’s most popular vehicle.
Texas road trips are BIG! It can take an entire day just to get out of the state.
Why Visit Texas? Visit Texas for the Fun and Crazy and Silly Truths Like:
Barbecue is serious business.
Everyone has their favorite recipe and their favorite sauce and their favorite restaurant that serves barbecue. All other opinions are just wrong.
Football is a religion.
Truer words have never been spoken and the fever starts young. Little boys start playing football as soon as they are out of diapers it seems!
Texas Places to Visit – Soak up All the BIG State Has to Offer
Texas Places to Visit – Dallas/Fort Worth
Dallas/Fort Worth is one of the best Texas towns to visit and like you would expect, it is BIG! This is really a group of cities that has all grown together and includes Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Garland, Irving, McKinney, Frisco, Denton and Richardson.
There is so much to see in the DFW area!
The world changed forever from this very spot when President John K. Kennedy was assassinated November 22, 1963. The museum is on the 6th floor where the sniper rifle was found that shot the president. Here, lined out for the visitor are many of the theories of what happened that fateful day. Fascinating piece of history.
The Dallas World Aquarium has 5 different exhibits of large tanks which are home to fish and other aquatic animals and plant life.
Do not miss a visit to the Fort Worth Stockyards during your visit to Texas. This area is a stay all day and soak up all the Texas stuff you’ve heard about and read about. Eat, listen to music and even see a cattle drive. This place is a lot of Texas in one spot.
A city the size of DFW has to have a zoo and this one is fantastic! Besides all the usual animals (all 7,000 of them) like lions and tigers and bears (oh, my!) there are other fun activities!
Since 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art, which is one of the 10 largest museums in the US, has brought art to the public in the DFW area. The permanent collection includes 24,000 works of art from all cultures and all time periods. WOW. Everyone is represented here so everyone is sure to find something interesting. This is not the ‘usual’ museum because there are SO many programs!
If you love art and /or want to share art with the kids, be sure to visit the Kimbell Art Museum. The structure itself is a beautiful and interesting piece of art. This building was designed by the same person who created the Centre Pompidou in Paris, which looks like a giant people sized hamster cage with tubes.
Here you’ll find a sculpture garden outside and indoors a marvelous permanent collection representing some of the most famous artists in the world. Artists that have work on display here include: El Greco, Rembrandt, Monet and Picasso.
Texas Places to Visit – Houston
Houston is my home town and I’m rather partial to it because it is a melting pot of cultures and business from all over the world. There is SO much to see and Houston, like most things in Texas, is really BIG. Be careful where you choose to stay so you don’t spend all your time on the road. Unfortunately long distances and traffic make getting around town a time consuming prospect so plan carefully because you’ll be spending some time on the road. DVDs and audio books are perfect!
The people of Houston eat out more than those in any other city and you can have your choice of food type. One of my favorite restaurants is Fadi’s, which serves an amazing array of food from the middle east. If you are going to be in the Galleria area don’t miss it! Another favorite is Merida’s which is just south of downtown and serves true Mexican food. If you are after Tex-Mex, don’t miss the iconic Houston restaurant Ninfa’s! (The green sauce for the chips is not to be missed! Go hungry.) With more than 11,000 restaurants you are sure to find something you love!
Don’t even think about visiting the ‘Space City’ without visiting the actual Space Center. It is truly an amazing experience to see how we sent people to the moon! The experience begins before you even get inside. There is a HUGE rocket outside. Enter to learn and explore space exploration.
TIP – With people traveling here from all over the world it is no surprise that the Space Center gets really busy and crowded. Arrive early and buy your tickets online saving yourself precious time when you arrive.
Read before you go to give the kids a foundation for your trip. They will learn and be even more engaged.
This museum is one of my favorites. No matter where I get the opportunity to visit a museum I always visit this one again and again when I get the chance. Check to see what temporary exhibition is visiting. There is always something wonderfully interesting to see! See the incredible permanent exhibits which include lots of posed, stuffed animals, gorgeous crystals and dinosaur skeletons. Watch the pendulum on the enormous Foucault pendulum clock which knocks over small stones on the floor. Watch an IMAX show!
Getting the blood moving and let the kids run around without worries about them making noise with a visit to the zoo. Everyone loves the zoo! There are a LOT of amazing experiences available. Behind the scene animal encounters, adult only adventures like Brew at the Zoo, Zoo Sprouts for the youngest visitors , “Spend the night at the zoo” for ages 6 and up, Teen Adventures, and more!
*The Galleria Mall
Even shopping centers are bigger in Texas. The Galleria Mall is proudly HUGE and has 2.4 MILLION square feet of space. This mall is Houston’s most popular shopping area with 400 stores and restaurants, office towers and two hotels. Be sure to ice skate, too! See the list of shops! You’ll find everything here from Abercrombie and Fitch to Zumiez!
Texas Places to Visit – Austin
Of all the Texas places to visit, Austin should be high on your list. This laid back and funky town is the capitol of Texas and proudly weird. So much so that the city slogan is actually “Keep Austin Weird”! What can you expect from a city so proudly weird? Lots of fun things!
Everything is bigger in Texas isn’t just a saying, it is true! The State Capitol in Austin is bigger than any other in the country. Visiting is a great way to see a gorgeous building and surroundings. It is located right downtown so you can see it easily.
This famous street in Austin is where you can hear live music and eat and drink the night away. Located right downtown it is wonderful for the entire family during the day and hops at night for adults. A must see when you visit Austin.
This famous hotel is located on 6th street. Be sure to stop in for a drink or dinner if you aren’t staying here. Beautiful place in the heart of the city. Live music in the bar Monday – Saturday.
This open area is fun for the whole family. It has wide open spots for the whole family to stretch legs and get the wiggles out! This space is used for all sorts of experiences during the year so check to see what is going on during your visit.
Bringing the kids? Check out the Kids’ Activity Travel Guide JUST for Kids!
Lady Bird Lake is right downtown. Visit for water experiences like canoes, paddle boards, and kayaks or explore the hiking trails along the banks.
Austin has a lot of street art. I love going around to ‘collect it’ and you will, too. Not only are there fun street murals to find, but there are some wacky things you can only find in Austin. Art installation in someone’s backyard made of 60-100 TONS of …..stuff? Check! Outdoor graffiti spot where you can add your mark? Check!
Want more details for your visit to Austin? You are in the right spot!
Texas Places to Visit – San Antonio
Originally built as a mission in 1700, this was an important place during military events as well. The Alamo is most famous for Sam Houston’s defeat over Santa Anna during the war between Mexico and Texas. The Alamo is the most visited landmark in Texas.
This 2 1/2 mile long walk along the river which winds through the heart of San Antonio. Along the way are restaurants, shops and hotels.
This national park consists of 4 missions and a trail between them. Walk, or rent bikes to explore the entire 8 mile (ONE WAY) or drive between them. Get your national park ‘passport’ stamped!
Enjoy animals on this 35 acre site. Kids of all ages will enjoy the train and carousel, too. With 3500 animals and lots of animal encounters there is something for everyone.
The perfect thing to see on a hot Texas summer day (or any hot day in Texas – they aren’t all in the summer) because the temperature inside the cavern is always 70 degrees. Take a tour of the underground cavern or have some fun above ground on the Canopy Challenge with a 4 story obstacle course. The fun continues with zip lines! Great family fun!
The Pearl District is a neighborhood is 16 city blocks of outdoor restaurants and shopping with a cool, young, hip vibe. Named for a brewery that closed in 2001 it is fun to explore on foot or by rented bicycle.
Saturdays and Sundays bring the farmer’s markets. Saturday is producer only and Sunday has more prepared foods. Explore with your taste buds and try some locally produced cheeses, olive oils and other treats. Come hungry to this fun event.
This outdoor market is the largest Mexican market in the United States and just another example that things really ARE bigger in Texas! More than 100 shops sell a little of everything. Enjoy mariachi bands playing live music while you shop.
In addition to permanent collections of art in Asian, Contemporary, Islamic, Oceanic, and Latin American and American art, the San Antonio Museum of Art holds one of the largest and more comprehensive collections of ancient Egypt, Eastern, Greek and Roman art in the southern United States.
Texas is proud and Texas is BIG! There is a lot to see in this great state!
Super proud of this award! One of the Top 20 “Travelling with Baby” bloggers – chosen out of thousands of bloggers.
Happy Texas Travels,
Natalie, The Educational Tourist