Texas is the second largest state in the United States, and an important tourist destination with picturesque mountains and pristine beaches. The weather is usually sunny; a bit warm in summer. But the spring and fall are delightful times to visit Texas. Texas has a plethora of tourist destinations, ranging from historical monuments and parks, to hilly terrains and beaches. The destinations mentioned below are some of the truly remarkable places that can help you enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
Corpus Christi is the place where you can admire the breathtaking views of the beaches, and enjoy an exciting fishing excursion. You can go to the Mustang Island for birdwatching. The Padre Island National Seashore is the place that can be termed as the haven for bird watchers, as it is a major route for migratory birds.
A view over the Texas State Aquarium
The Texas State Aquarium, a nonprofit aquarium, is also located in Corpus Christi. This state aquarium has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 1995.
The Big Bend National Park
A visit to the Big Bend National Park can be an experience of a lifetime for nature lovers. It is a National Park that covers a vast area of about 800,000 acres, and contains more than 1,200 species of plants, 56 species of reptiles, more than 450 species of birds, 75 species of mammals, more than 600 species of vertebrates, and about 3,600 species of insects.
The spectacular Santa Elena Canyon of the Big Bend National Park
Despite being the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology, the Big Bend National Park is one of the least-visited national parks in the country, mainly due to its remoteness. The park is also known for its extreme climate. The temperature in the hot spring and summer days can exceed 38°C (in lower elevations). Winter days are usually mild, but occasionally sub-freezing temperatures can occur. But still, the hiking and backpacking trails of this National Park hold special attraction for many tourists.
The Dallas World Aquarium
The Dallas World Aquarium is undoubtedly one of the best tourist destinations for children, where they can explore the exotic marine life. The aquarium houses some rare species of birds and marine animals, like tea turtles, sharks, rays, and birds like scarlet ibis, the Cock-of-the-rock, and toucans. The Aquarium has two levels, the upper level being a replica of the Orinoco rainforest. The lower level on the other hand, houses aquariums inhabited by fish, corals, sea anemones, leafy seadragons, Ribbon seadragons, Japanese crabs, etc.
Underwater life in the Dallas Aquarium
Apart from marine life, you can admire some exotic plants, birds, reptiles, and other animals in the aquarium. The Dallas zoo houses endangered animals like the Orinoco crocodiles, giant river otters, Antillean manatees, and several species of monkeys. Since 1997, the Dallas World Aquarium has been an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). It is also a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Amarillo, Texas
The Palo Duro canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States, and is located in the city of Amarillo. It is a great place for anyone looking for adventures, as the Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers activities like hiking, mountain biking, camping, and horse riding. The famous rim cabins of the park were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934 with the stones quarried nearby. The park is a home to many interesting geological formations, such as hoodoo (thin and tall columns of sedimentary rocks protruding from the canyon floor), the Lighthouse peak, and the Devil's Slide.
A view of Galveston beach
Galveston is a home to famous museums, art galleries, beautiful beaches, and architectural treasures like Bishop's Palace. Nature lovers can visit the moody gardens, which is a type of educational tourist destination that tries to create awareness about the importance of wildlife and its conservation. The main attractions of the garden are the three pyramids - the Aquarium pyramid, the Rainforest pyramid, and the Discovery Pyramid. Other tourist attractions of Galveston are, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, the Lone Star Flight Museum, Galveston Railroad Museum, and other historical museums and mansions.
Meandering river walk in San Antonio
Named after Saint Anthony of Padua, San Antonio is the place for anyone interested in history. SeaWorld San Antonio offers a unique experience to animal lovers. San Antonio is also famous for its river walk meanders or the network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, which are lined by shops, restaurants, nightclubs, and bars. The Alamo, located in the Downtown area, is one of the top tourist destinations of Texas. Another interesting place to visit is the theme park 'Six Flags Fiesta'. Apart from these, you can visit the Cathedral of San Fernando, Hemisfair Park, the Spanish Governor's Palace, the Majestic Theatre, and the historic Menger Hotel.
A view of the Elephant Rock in Franklin Mountains, El Paso
The downtown, as well as the central El Paso are famous for some of the city's oldest and most historic neighborhoods. The Cathedral of St. Patrick (erected in 1916) is located in Central El Paso. Another tourist attraction is the Franklin Mountains State Park that covers an area of about 24,248 acres, and offers a host of activities, like hiking, mountain biking, and scenic driving. Another attraction of the park is the huge elephant rock. Apart from these, there are more than 100 parks and 16 golf courses in the city. Other places to visit in El Paso are, the El Paso Zoo, the Magoffin Home State Historic Site, and the Plaza Hotel.
The Hamilton Pool, Austin
Austin is the capital of Texas and home to several important museums, like the Texas Memorial Museum, the Blanton Museum of Art, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum. You can also visit the Austin zoo, and the Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve, which is a natural pool located about 37 km west of Austin. A 50 foot or 15 m waterfall flows into this historic swimming pool, which formed when the dome of an underground river tumbled due to erosion. The serene and peaceful ambiance of the Hamilton pool can help you relax, and forget the humdrums of the busy and crowded city life.
Other Tourist Attractions
Garner State Park
: This State Park is just 30 miles away from the north of Uvalde. The park is named after John Nance Garner, the former Vice President of the United States. In the park, you will find a riverfront over an area of ten acres, where you can enjoy swimming and pedal boating. A long walk through the nature trails of this park will simply rejuvenate you and your family. It is an ideal place for camping as well.
: If mystery fascinates your mind, then Marfa is the right place for you. It is known for a peculiar phenomenon, known as the Marfa lights or ghost lights. Till now, nobody has been able to put forward a convincing theory that can explain the formation of these mysterious glowing orbs. For some, these are the ghosts of ancient explorers, while others are of the opinion that these are nothing but the ordinary lights of vehicles, ranch lights, or mirages caused by atmospheric conditions.
Six Flags Theme Park, Arlington
: This is a theme park where both you and your children can enjoy the amusement rides. This park is located in Arlington, and it features more than 50 rides besides having several other attractions for visitors. The park also organizes several seasonal events throughout the year.
NASA Space Center, Houston
: A visit to the NASA space center located in Houston is a must for the fans of astronauts and the aspiring space travelers. Here, you can learn more about space traveling, along with the famous missions or space programs undertaken by the NASA.
Gladys Porter Zoo
: Being a famous zoological and botanical park, the Gladys Porter Zoo continues to be one of the most important tourist destinations in South Texas. The zoo is located in the city of Brownsville, and it covers an area of about 26 acres. The zoo houses almost 1,600 animals, of which several species are endangered. This zoo is known for breeding several vulnerable and endangered animals successfully.
A visit to these famous vacation spots would surely make your holidays exciting and memorable. However, these are not the only tourist destinations in Texas. In fact, Texas has a lot to offer, and it will surely not disappoint you, if you consider it for your next vacation.