17 BEST Places to Visit in Texas [December 2019]

Last Updated on

The state of Texas is known as the second largest state in the USA. Apart from its large size, its also famous for preserving and showcasing some of the American “Old West” culture to this day.

When you make your trip here, you’ll be surprised to find that there’s a lot more to see and do beyond what meets the eye. Although the American “Old West” culture still forms a big part of this state, that’s not all it has to offer.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite places to visit in Texas. Experience the best of this culturally rich destination and everything it has in store.

Staying Safe in Texas

Texas is a relatively safe destination for tourists. However, as with any place in the world, it’s always best to take the necessary precautions while you’re here.

To avoid any incidents of petty theft, always make sure that you keep your bag closed and on the front of your body. Just the fact that you’re being cautious will make you a far less easy target for petty thieves! If you ever find yourself in a crowded area, never leave your valuables unattended or out of sight.

 

#1 – Houston

Awesome place to visit in Texas with kids!

Houston

Houston (Photo credit – opendoor.com )

  • At the forefront of space exploration
  • Most populated city in Texas

This family-friendly destination has a plethora of exciting things to do on any given day. You can delve into this city’s art and history in its interactive museums, enjoy its eclectic restaurants or relax and sunbathe at the beach. Houston is one of the best places to travel to in Texas.

Best Attractions
  • The Johnson Space Center is a very educational excursion that you can enjoy by yourself or with the kids. This space center highlights some of the different first-hand feats that have been achieved in space exploration throughout the years.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Houston, Texas

#2 – Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Photo credit – nationalgeographic.com )

  • Beautiful sprawling views
  • One of the best natural attractions in Texas

The Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a great escape if you want to unwind away from the major crowds. It’s also one of the best places to appreciate and admire the beauty of nature in Texas.

If you’re looking for an amazing way to spend your day, spend it in the wilderness at this impressive national park.

Best Attractions
  • The hike to the Guadalupe Peak is one of the most popular hikes within the national park. This hike can take up to 8 hours depending on your speed, but the views at the top are entirely worth it!

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

#3 – Dallas

A great place in Texas if you love to shop!

Dallas

Dallas (Photo credit – tripsavvy.com )

  • Booming art district
  • One of the top ten most populated cities in the USA

Dallas is the place to be if you want to go large while you’re in Texas. There’s something to do here for everyone. Enjoy the best of what this city has to offer by immersing yourself in its exciting culture.

You can do this through its guided tours, museum visits or even by enjoying a day out at some of its most exhilarating amusement parks.

Best Attractions
  • Reunion Tower is one of the best places to take in the sprawling views of Dallas, Texas. You can even pair these amazing panoramic views with a refreshing Yoga class or with an exquisite dining experience at the top of the tower.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Dallas, Texas

Pennsylvania is beautiful! These are the best places to visit in all of Pennsylvania!

#4 – San Antonio

San Antonio

San Antonio (Photo credit – tripadvisor.ie.com )

  • Most visited city in the state of Texas
  • Enriching culture and history

San Antonio is one of the best cities to visit in Texas. This spectacular city is a firm favorite amongst many because it’s so versatile in nature. You’ll find everything to do here from the quirky and unexpected to the more conventional and straightforward.

It’s no wonder people choose to make their way here, year and year out.

Best Attractions
  • The Six Flags Theme Park is one of San Antonio’s biggest attractions. Apart from a range of thrilling rides and family-friendly activities, it also has a number of interesting entertainment options on offer. You can enjoy some live shows and a whole range of shopping experiences while you’re here.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in San Antonio, Texas

Let’s simplify this! We’ve put together our favorite places to stay in Austin, USA so you don’t have to stress!

#5 – Pedernales Falls State Park

A very cool place in Texas to go for a day

Pedernales Falls State Park

Pedernales Falls State Park (Photo credit – flickr.com )

  • Family-friendly state park
  • Great workout surrounded by nature

Pedernales Falls State Park is one of the cool places to visit in Texas if you’re looking for an interesting outdoor day trip. This state park attracts people from different corners of the world with its wide range of activities. You can also choose to camp under the stars while you’re stationed here.

Best Attractions
  • The Pedernales Falls are a must-see in Texas. These falls cascade beautifully down below to create stunning pools of water with a limestone backdrop. They are surrounded by the most awe-inspiring greenery. Unfortunately, although it might be tempting to jump in and swim, it is prohibited to do so.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas

Let’s make this simple. These are the best hotels in Austin, USA!

#6 – El Paso

El Paso

El Paso (Photo credit – uhaul.com )

  • Nicknamed “sun city” because it gets a lot of sun throughout the year
  • The only museum dedicated to border patrol is here

El Paso is a melting pot of culture due to its location at the border of Mexico. This lively city with a vibrant personality is a definite must-see if you’re ever in Texas. Not only is it rich in history, but it also offers a different perspective of Texas.

Best Attractions
  • The Chamizal National Memorial is where you’ll learn about this historic city and some of its trials, tribulations and victories regarding border disputes throughout the years. It’s also a great place to get some added context about El Paso and where it comes from.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in El Paso, Texas

Downtown Austin is amazing! And these great hotels will blow your mind!

#7- Corpus Christi

A beautiful and scenic place to check out in Texas

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi (Photo credit – binkleybarfield.com )

  • Corpus Christi means “body of Christ” in Latin
  • Stunning natural landscapes and beaches

Corpus Christi is the perfect place to visit if you’d like to enjoy the beach, sightseeing and some of the best weather around. It also has a popular windsurfing culture that you may want to learn about or join in on while you’re here. It’s one of the most exciting places to explore in Texas.

Best Attractions
  • The Padre Island National Seashore is one of the most beautiful treasures in Texas. This 70-mile long national seashore gives off the illusion that it’s never-ending. It’s one of Corpus Christi’s main attractions and a great way to spend the day out on the beach.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Corpus Christi, Texas

Excited to visit Austin, USA? Get excited to take an amazing day trip too!

#8 – Fort Worth

Fort Worth

Fort Worth (Photo credit – fortworth.com )

  • Interesting preservation of cowboy culture
  • Daily cattle runs on show

If you’ve ever heard about the state of Texas, you’ve probably heard about its thriving cowboy culture and love for cattle ranching. Fort Worth is one of the best tourist attractions in Texas if you want to experience all of the above.

Although this city has a lot more to offer outside of that, this is one of its most unique offerings.

Best Attractions
  • The Fort Worth Stockyards is the place to be if you want to enjoy the thriving cowboy culture in this region. Here, you can experience a range of performances and rodeos throughout the year. Grab a front seat, sit back and enjoy!

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Fort Worth, Texas

#9 – Big Bend National Park

A must visit place in Texas on the weekend!

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park (Photo credit – planetware.com )

  • Easy to follow clear hiking trails
  • Perfect escape from the city

The Big Bend National Park is one of the best places to visit if you’re looking for a serene out of town experience. Be one with nature at this grand park with a number of hiking trails and activities. And enjoy the scenic views that spread out across some of the most barren lands.

Best Attractions
  • Stargazing is a firm favorite amongst many in this region because the stars come out in all their glory at night. You’ll be able to spot a range of some of the most popular constellations while you’re here. This is undoubtedly one of the best things to see in Texas – and it’s free!

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Big Bend National Park, Texas

Not yet booked? Take a look at our favorite hotels in Seattle, USA!

#10 – Austin

Austin

Austin (Photo credit – annmariegianni.com )

  • Dynamic city with some of the best all-year-round weather
  • Great inland getaway in Texas

Austin is an amazing city to visit because it’s relatively easy to explore. Its most famed attractions are closely packed together in the city center. It also has everything you’d want to find in a major city within the vicinity.

It’s definitely one of the loveliest places to visit in Texas even if you’re traveling solo.

Best Attractions
  • Ladybird Lake is the perfect spot to row your boat or paddleboard gently down the stream. This is one of Austin’s top attractions and a great way to relax after a long day out. Admire the beautiful reflection of this lovely city on the glistening waters and everything else around it.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Austin, Texas

#11 – Palo Duro Canyon

A nice quiet place to see in Texas

Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon (Photo credit – tpwd.texas.gov )

  • Stunning natural wonder
  • Second largest canyon in the USA

The Palo Duro Canyon is an unmatched natural wonder. It’s also one of the best places to go in Texas if you’d love to appreciate Mother Nature’s creative hands.

Learn about the ways in which this canyon was formed and spend your nights in the wilderness surrounded by the type of bliss that only nature can provide.

Best Attractions
  • Hiking is the best way to enjoy the splendor of this wonder at every corner. The canyon has a range of hiking trails to choose from at differing levels of difficulty. Just make sure to pack the right shoes and some water to keep you hydrated along the way.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Palo Duro Canyon, Texas

Not sold on Seattle? There are some incredible things to do in Seattle that won’t believe!

#12 – Galveston

Galveston

Galveston (Photo credit – 10best.com )

  • Beautiful island-city with lots to do
  • Awesome day trip idea

Make your way to Galveston if you feel like refreshing beach waters, sunbathing, and people-watching. As well as delicious ice cream to match.

This island-city is the perfect place to explore if you feel like making your way through one of Texas’s best coastal treasures. It’s also a very family-friendly destination.

Best Attractions
  • Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier is one of this city’s most iconic landmarks. It offers amazing food, exciting rides and traditional game stalls where you can try out your luck. It’s also perfectly perched on the seafront providing some of the best views of the water.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Galveston, Texas

Excited to visit NYC? Get excited to take an amazing day trip too!

#13 – Marfa

A nice non-touristy place to visit in Texas

Marfa

Marfa (Photo credit – mvtimes.com )

  • Quaint desert town
  • Hidden gem with interesting history

Marfa doesn’t top the lists of places to visit while you’re in Texas, but for those looking for a bit of adventure, it’s definitely one to add to your itinerary.

You’ll be surprised to find some interesting and unique things to do in this small quirky town that’s unlike any other.

Best Attractions
  • The Marfa Lights are a mysterious feature in this quaint town. They are believed to be lights from some form of UFO. Texas attractions come in many different sizes and shapes. However, these lights are some of the most unique things you’ll find in this state.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Marfa, Texas

Planning a trip to Colorado? Have a look at the top places to visit for inspiration!

#14 – Waco

A must-see for foodies!

Waco

Waco (Photo credit – caseusa.com )

  • Interesting range of museums
  • Dr Pepper was invented here

Waco is an intriguing small town located in central Texas. A number of famous people were born and bred here, including Jennifer Love-Hewitt.

It has a large lake and a marina to enjoy while on your stay. The food, however, is one of the major highlights to indulge in, in this part of town.

Best Attractions
  • The Magnolia Market is a definite must-visit if you ever find yourself in Waco. This is the perfect place to sample some of the most interesting gastronomical experiences while on your Texas vacation. Get your taste buds ready for some delicious sensations!

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Waco, Texas

#15 – Natural Bridge Caverns

Natural Bridge Caverns

Natural Bridge Caverns (Photo credit – spectrumlocalnews.com )

  • Gorgeous thousand-year-old natural phenomena
  • Wonderful interactive history

The Natural Bridge Caverns are one of the most captivating sights to see in Texas. Take a tour in this beautiful one of a kind gem that has been well-preserved throughout the years. These caverns run incredibly deep, so make sure to bring along some comfortable shoes to wear along the way.

Best Attractions
  • The Mining Company is where you can have a dig at finding your own gems in your own time. Search through thousands of differently colored gems and choose the ones that capture your heart. These will be the ones you can take home.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Natural Bridge Caverns, Texas

#16 – Fredericksburg

Great place to visit in Texas for couples!

Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg (Photo credit – texaswinelimos.com )

  • Has an attractive small city charm
  • Beautifully made wines and vineyards

Fredericksburg is one of the nicest places to visit in Texas for couples because it has a wide range of romantic things to explore. It also caters to different people of different ages, and is a fantastic all-round destination. Its quaint small city atmosphere will immediately make you feel right at home.

Best Attractions
  • Texas Hill Country Winery is a definite must-visit if you ever find yourself in this part of town. This vineyard is one of the largest in the city and the perfect place to taste the aromatic wine selection of this unassuming region.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Fredericksburg, Texas

#17 – Amarillo

Amarillo

Amarillo (Photo credit – teaspoonofnose.com )

  • Thriving American Old West heritage
  • One of the most interesting places in Texas with lots to offer

Amarillo packs a lot of punch with its many culturally rich activities on offer. It’s one of the best places to visit if you want to experience everything you’ve grown to know about Texas’s Old West culture.

If you don’t know where to go in Texas, add this city to your list! It will be an incredibly authentic and interesting vacation.

Best Attractions
  • Cadillac Ranch is one of the best Texas attractions around. This art exhibition with Cadillacs seemingly sticking out of the ground is one of the most interactive pieces you’ll come across while you’re here. You can even bring your own spray paint to leave your mark like many others before you.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Amarillo, Texas

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to visit in Texas

The state of Texas is larger than life, not only in size but also through its many unique destinations and their offerings.

It’s one of the best places to visit in the USA if you’d like to get a glimpse into the American “Old West” culture or if you’d like to experience some of the most beautiful natural wonders around.

We hope that you go on to discover some of the best of what Texas tourism has in store with our list of favorite places to explore!

*** Some of the links on Hotel Jules are affiliate links, which means if you do make a purchase, we may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you.) Thank you for using our links! Your support keeps the site going***

About the Author Aaron Hovanesian

Born in Los Angeles, Aaron Hovanesian is one of the original staff writers for Hotel Jules. Having backpacked the world as a young man, Aaron now prefers to travel the world in luxury, proudly staying in the world's most amazing hotels and properties. When Aaron is not traveling he lives in Western Colorado he can be found brewing his own beer (probably an IPA) or spending time with his two amazing golden retrievers.