Where to go and what to do.
When people think of vacationing in the United States, they usually think of places like California, New York, Hawaii, and Florida. There is nothing wrong with any of those places, and their noteriety is well deserved, but there is a great place that is often overlooked: Texas.
There are a lot of great Texas cities that are family-friendly and full of fun activities. There are four major cities in Texas – Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Rather than going into a long list of individual attractions to try out in the Lone Star State, our focus will be on things to do in each of the large four cities, as well in some of the smaller areas.
Austin is well known for music. There is lots of live music available in the city, and people travel from all over to attend SXSW, an annual festival which hosts bands from around the world. Other festivals in Austin include Austin City Limits and Fun Fun Fun Fest, which both combine music and comedy. If you enjoy music or wish to catch your favorite band on tour, Austin may be the place for you.
Despite many assuming Dallas is the capital of Texas, it’s actually Austin. If you’re into politics or history and want to check out some government buildings or museums, such as the Lyndon B Johnson Presidential Library, Austin is the place to visit.
History and tradition are two of San Antonio’s most famous characteristics. Originally part of Mexico, San Antonio has the largest concentration of Spanish colonial architecture in the United States. During the Mexican-American war, San Antonio was home to the Alamo, which gave it even more significance.
If you are into haunted houses or ghost tours, San Antonio is the perfect place for you. With over twenty “haunted” excursions and activities, there will be no shortage of options or variety on your trip.
Additionally, if you are traveling with children, San Antonio offers many family attractions like Sea World, the Riverwalk, Legoland, and Natural Bridge Caverns.
A common saying goes, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” and that is very relevant to Dallas. People enjoy watching games and concerts at the many professional sports arenas and stadiums including the iconic AT&T Cowboys Stadium.
Additionally, the city has numerous museums that share Texas history and art history in general. A few of these include the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, and the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.
There are numerous world-famous restaurants in Dallas offering high-quality cuisine from around the world. There are several places to choose from, including Uchi & Uchiko Restaurant (modern Japanese cuisine), Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, which offers all-you-can-eat meat, and Sonny Bryan’s, which serves barbeque 24 hours a day and has been open for more than 100 years.
Houston is a great place to visit if you want to learn about the space program. Space Center Houston is the official visitor center for NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and it contains a wealth of information and artifacts related to America’s space accomplishments. Visitors can explore the museum galleries, tour the historic Mission Control building, or go on an interactive mission in one of their well-maintained simulators.
The entertainment choices in Houston are similar to those in Dallas. Visitors can watch professional sports games, go to concerts, and see live theater performances, among other things. Houston doesn’t have as many major family attractions as Dallas or San Antonio, but it does have the Houston Museum of Natural Science, one of the most highly rated museums in the country, and the Houston Zoo.
Houston is neighbored by Galveston which is known for its fun activities and great beaches. Originally a fishing community, Galveston has become one of Texas’ largest beach towns, offering visitors countless options like deep sea fishing, eating and playing on Pleasure Pier, and departing on cruises.
Here’s a word of caution about Houston, though: They have a road system that some consider ahead of its time, while others deem it a terrible design. Small freeways break off from highways and interstates, providing fast travel as well as normal road travel all on the same road.
You will end up going the wrong way if you don’t pay attention to what’s going on. Lanes end and lead to different places quickly, so be cautious.
There are times when finding a quiet place is the best option. Small towns and spending time outdoors can lead to better relationships for many people. Whether you are wanting to get closer with the kids, trying to save a marriage, or needing some time alone, small towns can be the perfect remedy and way to reconnect with loved ones.
You can find something for everyone in Texas’ small towns and communities, whether you are looking for a classic small town experience in Amarillo, or camping near the small town of Dripping Springs.
If you love old westerns, you must check out Boerne, a small town 31 miles north of San Antonio. The entire town is old western-themed, so dressing up for the visit will help take you back 150 years.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly vacation spot with lots to do, Texas might be the place for you. Another thing to consider is that Texas is significantly less expensive than some of the more popular tourist destinations in the United States.
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