Texas is the land where everything is bigger. From the Gulf Coast to the Hill Country, Big Bend's mountains to the Piney Woods and the plains, Texas offers travelers a remarkable range of landscapes to explore.
Weather you want to kick back on the sunny shores of the Texas Gulf Coast, take advantage of the abundant live performance venues in Austin, or tour the Alamo, the Lone Star state will welcome you.
Texas has more than 300 miles of coastline bordering the Gulf of Mexico.
Port Aransas comforts city folk with a laid-back vibe, whereas South Padre and Galveston draw droves of partiers. For a romantic spot, head to Rockport, a 2.5-hour drive from San Antonio.
This is the official aquarium of Texas. Meet Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in the Dolphin Bay Underwater Room, stare at stingrays in the 800-gallon "Floating Phantoms" exhibit or enter the Amazon rainforest to spy colorful frogs and piranhas.
As you cross the causeway to Galveston, you'll see the pyramids of Moody Gardens rising from the western side of the island. The whole family will enjoy this 242-acre amusement park, with 4-D Special FX Theater, Palm Beach, and Festival of Lights. Perfect for a rainy day or afternoon of adventure, there is a rainforest pyramid featuring plant and animal species from around the world.
As the ninth-largest city in the country, Dallas has all the metropolitan allure of any other world class city. Dallas offers foodies, sports fanatics, and culture vultures all something to keep them engaged.
This massive converted warehouse features stingrays, octopuses and eels - among other exotic species. There's also a living rainforest and weekly exhibitions. It's a great alternative to the Dallas Zoo, especially during the hot summer days.
Right brained-visitors flourish in the Dallas Museum of Art, a hot spot where collections span continents and eras. Start with the ancient works from Africa, move into Mediterranean gems and cap things off with European art spanning the 18th through 20th centuries. Tip: Families should come the third Friday of the month for a "Late Nights" session, which can feature anything from a film screening to game night.
A favorite among locals, the Arboretum has something fun to offer throughout the year. Children can connect with nature at the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. This fall, join the Arboretum for the Cool Thursday Concert Series and make sure to grab a bite from one of the local food trucks.
The AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys, epitomizes Dallas. Not only is it the biggest stadium in the NFL, it's the largest domed structure in the world. You can grab tickets early for a football game, but for the rest of the year, tours are well-worth it.
Austin is not only the capital of Texas, it's been dubbed the "Live Music Capital of the World." Texas' fourth-largest city blends a unique batch of government, culture and counterculture.
The beautiful pink granite structure is one of the most prestigious state capitol buildings in the U.S. The Texas Capitol, perched on the northern side of the downtown commercial district, offers tours throughout the week for visitors who want a peek at stunning architecture and history. The architecture was deeply influenced by 15th century Italian and Renaissance Revival styles, and the rotunda is drenched in "Sunset Red" granite.
No trip to Austin would be complete without indulging in the music scene. Sixth Street is lined with historical houses that have been restored to live music venues, art galleries and upscale restaurants. This area, between Lavaca Avenue and Interstate 35, has been compared to New Orleans' Bourbon Street. Alamo Drafthouse Theatre - The Ritz, Elysium and East Side Showroom are some other local favorites.
Home to the famed Alamo and the River Walk, San Antonio is the most popular tourist spot in Texas. Take in the Mexican culture, dine at the riverside restaurants, and visit Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park.
Tour the site where the legend of Davy Crockett has its roots. Once a Franciscan mission, the Alamo is where 189 Texans fought and lost their lives to a Mexican ruler in 1836, igniting Texas' struggle for independence. Afterward, check out several other famous missions that are now part of the San Antonio Missions National Historic.
This 343-acre park is a haven for relaxation. Stroll through the Japanese Tea Gardens, smell the new perennials at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens or exploit Brackenridge's jogging trails and golf course. The park, which sits north of downtown, makes for a great launching off point to see the nearby San Antonio Zoo and the Witte Museum.
San Antonio’s River Walk, or el Paseo del Rio, is the city’s most visited tourist attraction. See the sights on a boat tour and learn about the areas culture and history. The River Walk comes alive at night with kid-friendly attractions as well as a more adult scene; offering movie theaters, breweries and enough restaurants to satisfy any palate.