Texas is the second-largest state in the U.S. With that being said, you would expect the state to offer several types of activities and fun and that is exactly what it does. It is both culturally and geographically diverse welcoming tourists from all over the world to view and experience coastal beaches, mountains, hills, and deserts, etc. While that is the natural side of the state, there is a lot more to reveal when it comes to modern art, food, and shopping. If you are someone who is planning to visit Texas this year, we suggest that you consider visiting the following top Texas tourist attractions.
Space Center Houston
The first destination to visit as soon as you land in Texas is the Space Center Houston. It is the official visiting center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The Space Center Houston is a mammoth complex that includes a shuttle replica independence along with the enormous shuttle carrier on which it is mounted on. Then there is Skylab, a replica of America’s first space station that is also open for visitors. It features rock from the moon that you can touch as well. The complex is also the source of information regarding the upcoming projects of NASA. If you were to visit on a Friday afternoon, you might be able to even meet an astronaut.
If you want the ultimate experience, sign-up for the Level 9 tour and get a chance to see the Johnson Space Center from behind the scenes. The tour gives you the chance to visit and see the ISS Mission Control, Buoyancy Lab, and simulation labs along with other areas that are otherwise off-limits in regular tours.
Houston’s Museum District
The Houston Museum District is basically a beautiful downtown area that features 19 breathtaking museums. These buildings are home to centuries worth of history. Out of the 19 museums, only 11 are open to the public. Once you have gotten around the museums, the next thing you need to do is visit the lovely Hermann Park and the Houston Zoo. Plus, catch a show at the Miller Outdoor Theater, which is a unique outdoor experience on its own. The biggest advantage of visiting this area is that most museums are located within a walking distance. With each museum specializing in a particular type of art, you are guaranteed to provide yourself the ultimate touring experience.
Buffalo Bayou Park
The Buffalo Bayou Park is a 160-acre green space, running through the city along with the Buffalo Bayou that features slow-moving waters. This park consists of biking and walking trails along with sculptures, a dog park, and plenty of areas to relax. If you want to explore the city in a different way and enjoy the outdoors at the same time, you can rent a canoe or kayak and paddle yourself along the bayou. You can also opt for tours that range from one hour to three hours in length. Furthermore, Buffalo Bayou Park features a place called Cistern that is an underground drinking-water reservoir dating back to 1926. Visitors can visit this place to see the art installations that are regularly replaced.
The Houston Zoo is a 55-acre area located in Hermann Park that is a huge attraction all over the year for both locals and tourists. The zoo not only is home to around 6000 exotic and endangered animal species but also an education center for children as well. While visiting the zoo, you get a chance to feed the giraffes, get up close to the aquarium and even watch sea lions in their close to natural habitat.
Houston’s Street Art
Although Houston’s Street art is mostly overlooked by tourists but it happens to be a display of splendid talent from around the world including Texas’s very own. The street art is spread in various locations that are worth exploring and driving around. It is said that Gonzo247 is the unofficial curator of Houston’s charismatic street art. While visiting the street, do take a look at one of the most famous wall paintings titled “Houston is Inspired”.
San Antonio River Walk
When they say that the San Antonio River Walk is the most visited tourist attraction in Texas, you better believe it. It is a wealthy combination of restaurants, food, shopping, museums and so much more. The reason it is called river walk is that it features a river that flows in between two small streets full of stores for shopping. It is a 2.5-mile walkway with suspense and excitement around every corner. Furthermore, the San Antonio River Walk also hosts several events during the year including the very famous Ford Fiesta de las Luminaries held each December.
The Sixth Floor Museum
The Sixth Floor Museum is set within the former Texas School Book Depository at Dealey Plaza. If you are not aware, the sixth-floor museum is quite popular as it provides a fascinating look at the fateful day when U.S President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. While other museums hold audio clips, documents, and exhibits related to the particular event, this museum offers a chilling view of the window from where Harvey Lee Oswald fired the shots. The Sixth Floor Museum is home to 45,000 items and highlights the change in the course of history after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. You can find documents, artifacts, and powerful images as well that add to your experience of perhaps the biggest even in the history of the United States.
USS Lexington, Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi is home to USS Lexington that is today nothing less than a legend having served in World War II. It was the fifth U.S Navy Ship that was honored for serving the country during the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Lexington. The warship has been converted into a museum that highlights history about the warship itself and the major events it took part in during the wars. It was converted into a museum in 1992 with an aim to protect and safeguard the history. You can explore the entire ship while climbing the ladders and walking through the hatch doors to experience the ultimate naval fighting machine. You can also visit the gallery deck, hangar deck, and lower deck as well to take command of the ship.
The Cadillac Ranch happens to be the most iconic site of West Texas. Here, you will find several Cadillacs nose down into the ground. It might seem an odd attraction but visitors from all across the globe visit this destination to experience this colorful spectacle and leave their mark. You can add your mark by spray painting the Cadillacs or drawing anything that you like. Furthermore, you can get the spray cans from the local vendors or even use the spray cans left on the ground from other visitors who have visited the place before.
Natural Bridge Caverns
The Natural Bridge Caverns are located just a short drive from San Antonio. These caverns are actually a part of a vast underground network that consists of nearly 10,000 different stalactite formations. It happens to the largest cave network in the U.S open for the public. The major attractions of the Natural Bridge Caverns include the Castle of the White Giants and a 40-foot high King’s Throne. Plus, you can also indulge in several fun activities including themed tours. Although the activities here are slightly limited but you are guaranteed to be on top of your toes each time.
Considering the top tourist attractions above, one should consider visiting Texas atleast once in their lifetime. Not a lot of states or cities in the world that offer a little bit of everything like Texas. You can hike if you are traveling alone or visit the museums with your family to keep your kids entertained. There is something for everyone. Just make sure that you visit at the right time of the year.