Best Things to See and Do in Texas

A policeman on horseback in the historic Stockyard District of Fort Worth, Texas
A policeman on horseback in the historic Stockyard District of Fort Worth, Texas | © Buddy Mays / Alamy Stock Photo
Hannah Phillips

Most tourists to the Lone Star State will be familiar with a few sources for Texan pride, including major sights like the Alamo, the NASA Johnson Space Center, and the Fort Worth Stockyards. But from haunted tours to Hill Country wine tours, here are some things to see and do that are more off-the-beaten track.

Take a haunted tour of San Antonio

It’s no wonder that the site of Texas’ most famous battle, the Battle of the Alamo, is also considered one of the state’s most haunted cities. For another side of San Antonio, check out Ghost City Tours and learn the history of the town’s spookiest residents.

Root for the Rangers at Global Life Park in Arlington

Partake in America’s pastime with hot dogs, beer, and a baseball game at Global Life Park, home of the Texas Rangers. There’s no better way to get a taste of America’s favorite sport, particularly on a Friday night, when the stadium puts on its weekly fireworks display after home games.

Spin beneath the Zilker Tree

For over fifty years, the Zilker Trail of Lights has showcased over 40 exhibits and two million lights during the holidays. The famous Zilker Tree is an Austin icon, set up on one of the city’s seventeen surviving moon towers. Head to the park during December to spin beneath the dizzying display.

1. Sip in the Sun at the Jester King

Brewery

The Texas Hill Country has become a hot spot for craft beer, and top on the list is the Jester King. The brewery’s mission is to create beers that reflect the unique character of its beautiful surroundings, using water from its own well and locally sourced wild yeast and malted grains. Learn about local agriculture and spontaneous fermentation on a brewery tour, then sample their large selection of beers in the tasting room and sip your favorite outside in the sun.

Float the river in San Marcos

Texans’ favorite way to beat the sweltering summer heat is a trip down the river. Tubing (preferably with a tub of beer) is a popular pastime, especially along the San Marcos, Comal, or Guadalupe Rivers between Austin and San Antonio.

River Tubing at the Frio River near Leakey, Texas

Wind down in Waco at the Magnolia Market

If you’ve heard of Waco for no other reason, you know it as the home of HGTV’s Fixer Upper power duo, Chip and Joanna Gaines. Stop by the Magnolia Market to browse home décor, visit the garden at Magnolia Seed & Supply, or sample baked goods at the new Silos Baking Co.

Try fried foods at the Texas State Fair

Held at the historic Fair Park in Dallas, the annual state fair is the city’s signature event, and one of the most highly attended fairs in America; it’s the only one in the country to feature a full auto show. Savor fried foods of every variety (fried Oreos are a must), ride the famous ferris wheel (America’s largest since it debuted in 1985), and be sure to say hi to Big Tex, the fair’s mascot since 1952.

Watch a live reenactment at Washington-on-the-Brazos

This historic site about an hour outside Houston proudly calls itself the place “Where Texas Became Texas.” On March 2nd, 1836, delegates bravely gathered here to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence. Today, the park’s Visitors Center displays a copy of the momentous document, which asserted freedom from Mexico and established the Republic of Texas as a separate nation until 1846. For a truly Texan experience, visit the park on the first weekend of March for live exhibits and reenactments of the 1836 Texas Army Camp.

Washington on The Brazos State Historic Site in Washington, Texas

Learn about Texas wines in historic Fredericksburg

Before craft beer, the Texas Hill Country was already nationally recognized for its award-winning wine, from Cabernet to Zinfandel. Escape to historic Fredericksburg to choose from over 30 wineries, or let a winery tour choose for you.

Watch a live Rodeo at Rodeo Houston

For twenty days in February, RodeoHouston hosts championship rodeo action, livestock competitions, live auctions, and live entertainment from some of the world’s biggest recording artists. The event is one of the largest live entertainment and livestock exhibitions in the world, kicking off each year with a race and parade through downtown Houston.

Barrel racing at Houston Rodeo, Texas

2. Go back in time at the Gonzales County Jail Museum

Memorial, Museum

Known as the birthplace of the famous “Come and Take It” flag, Gonzales is where the first shots of the Texas Revolution were fired in 1835. Learn more about the Texas Revolution at the Gonzales Memorial Museum, then head down the street for an eerie tour of the old town jail. Built in 1887 to hold 200 prisoners under riot conditions, you’ll find a replica gallows, a spine-chilling solitary confinement chamber, and the original concrete and steel cells for violent and nonviolent prisoners.

Tour famous film locations across Texas

From Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused to Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, Texas filmmakers have made a name for themselves with nostalgic depictions of their home state. Through national parks, cityscapes, and neighborhood scenes, follow the footsteps of your favorite characters across the Lone Star State. Start with our guide to some of Richard Linklater’s Boyhood locations.

Austinites recognize Barton Springs Pool as the backdrop to a dramatic scene in Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life (2011)
landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article