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Touring Texas

Most Overlooked Texas Travel Destinations

By Sam Bocetta

The great Lone Star State could easily be considered one of the most popular travel destinations in the United States, be it tourists visiting the country for the first time or US citizens alike.

This comes as no surprise considering the massive scale of land the state spans, even if you’ve been to Texas multiple times, you’re bound to find something new to explore.

Each city and demographic area offer their own cultures, their own attractions, and their own people. From the shores of the Gulf of Mexico to the expansive desert that borders New Mexico, there are about a million things to experience in between.

To make your vacation a little easier, we compiled a list of the most overlooked travels destinations in the grand state so you can spend more time preparing than you can figuring out what you will do when you get there. Let’s get started.


Texas School Book Depository

Located in Dallas, the Texas School Book Depository is easily considered the site of one of the most notorious assassinations in the history of the United States, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

Now, the building serves as a museum and memorial to the president and the fateful events that shook a nation. The building is open to the public during business hours and you can explore the history of JFK’s presidential campaign, his term in office and detailed accounts and history footage from the day of the assassination.

If you feel like a bit of a walk, you can take a short walk from the depository and make your way to the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial, which was constructed in the late president’s honor in 1970.


The Alamo, San Antonio

The Alamo is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Texas, but if you haven't heard about it, you definitely don't want to overlook it. As a bonus, it's near the San Antonio Riverwalk.

What started as the Mission San Francisco de Solano in 1700, Spanish missionary Father Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares began spreading Catholicism amongst the local population for the next 94 years.

Post American Revolution, Spain mobilized their armies on the Texas frontier to counter the American threat in Louisiana and converted the mission into a military outpost to house the garrison.

After Mexico declared its independence, the soldiers declared allegiance to the new government and was occupied by William Travis. After a long fought siege in what some may consider one of the greatest military last stands in history, the Alamo now serves as a historic site that stands as symbol for what it means to fight for freedom no matter the odds.

Visitors can explore the fort and learn through battlefield tours exhibits with artifacts, and tours of the sounds themselves.


The Range, Austin

"The Range" is one of the largest indoor shooting ranges in the country, and is a must visit location in Texas if target shooting is one of your favorite hobbies.

At over fifteen thousand square feet, The Range features no less than thirty seven rifle lanes and five one hundred yard lanes. The Range also has a full staff consisting of gun trainers, armorers and gunsmiths.

Literally any firearm up to .50 caliber is allowed to be fired at The Range, and there are also an abundance of different kinds of guns that are available for you to rent as well. The only thing you’ll need to remember to bring is your shooting equipment, such as your shooting glasses and hearing protection.


NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston

Located a short drive from the center of Houston, the Space Center is one of the most popular travel destinations in the state.

For all you space lovers out there, you finally can experience the grand scale of how the world’s largest space agency operates by visiting the countless exhibits, movie theater, and even try on an actual astronauts suit and try out the visitors centers hyper-realistic space flight simulators.

Upon arrival, you’re greeted by the sight of just how towering a rocket or space shuttle truly is by checking out the vessels on display from the Apollo, Mercury, and Gemini space programs.

If you’re lucky, you may even have the opportunity to visit mission control and see where the agency communicates with their space faring vessels and crews.


San Antonio Riverwalk

San Antonio’s River Walk, San Antonio

The San Antonio Riverwalk is actually Texas' most popular tourist destination. The is definitely a must-see desination when you're in the state, especially since it's right next to the Alamo, another must-see desination.

If you’re a fan of culture and booming nightlife and find yourself in San Antonio, check out the city’s beautiful riverwalk.

Built below where the streets would usually sit, the river walk extends miles of the rivers coastline, flanked on each side by countless restaurants, shopping centers, and bars.

It doesn’t matter if you prefer your tourism during the day or at night because the river walk is always thriving, be it day or night.

You can start your visit by taking a river tour upstream and get off the boat and work your way down the attractions as you go. You can even stop at the museums before grabbing something to eat or grabbing a drink and listen to one of the live bands.


Conclusion

These are only a few of the countless destinations the Lone Star State has to offer its visitors. If you love the outdoors, check out one of the dozens of natural parks and nature preserves. No matter your preference, there is always something new for you to do in Texas.

Sam Bocetta is a defense contractor the U.S. Navy, a defense analyst, and freelance journalist.




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