An Adventure Traveler's Guide to Texas

Biker in Palo Duro Canyon © Martin Konopacki
Biker in Palo Duro Canyon © Martin Konopacki
Photo of Sarah Karney
28 June 2017

Don’t mess with Texas – but you can mess around in Texas if you’re in need of a quick adrenaline rush. Check out these hair-raising adventures while making your way across the Lone Star State.

North Texas

Central Texas

Indoor skydive in Austin

If you’re feeling a bit nervous about jumping out of a plane at 30,000 feet (9,144 meters), why don’t you get your feet wet by “skydiving” inside first? iFly in Austin simulates skydiving with an indoor wind tunnel producing a smooth column of air that allows you to get the feeling of free falling. You can wing it or purchase time with one of their coaches to learn the art of “bodyflight.”

iFly, 13265 US-183 A, Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 774 4359

Cliff jump in Wimberley

Jacob’s Well Natural Area in Wimberley includes over 80 acres of preserved land, encompassing the namesake spring. It’s open year-round, though swimming in the constant 68-degree Fahrenheit (20-degree Celsius) water is only permitted from May through October. Cliff jumping is reserved for the brave, though the most serious adventurers around these parts are the cave researchers, the only people allowed to explore Jacob’s Well’s deep cave system.

Jacob’s Well Natural Area, 1699 Mt Sharp Rd, Wimberley, TX, USA, +1 512 847 2140

Wakesurf in Austin

Lake Austin and the Colorado River give visitors the opportunity to not only sunbathe and boat but also to wakesurf. There are numerous wakesurfing schools in the area, permitting the water levels are high enough to venture out.

Wakesurfer | © Justin Jenson

West Texas

Raft down the Rio Grande

While you won’t find wild whitewater rafting on the Rio Grande in Texas, you can try an array of more casual escapades. Take the family along for a half-day float, or spend multiple days paddling downstream and camping along the way. There are even gourmet-oriented trips for foodies.

Santa Elena Canyon | © David Fulmer / Flickr

Rock climb in Big Bend

Once you’ve made your way downstream via raft, get a different view of Big Bend by rock climbing up and rappelling down. Some of Big Bend can be unstable, so be sure to wear a helmet and grab a climbing guide from the National Park Service. Additionally, no bolting is allowed, so choose your path wisely.

Big Bend National Park, TX, USA, +1 432 477 2251

East Texas / Gulf Coast

Go deep sea fishing in Galveston

Bring a unique souvenir home from deep sea fishing escapades in Galveston. There are a range of trips to suit different skill levels, and the price of your trip usually includes equipment and refreshments. Not feeling up to catching your own fish? Spectators are often allowed onboard for half the price.

Galveston Fishing | © Sarah Worthy

South Texas