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The Top Vacation Spots in Texas

By Sam Bocetta

One of the best aspects of visiting Texas is the fact that it has a nearly unlimited number of things to do.

From visiting historical sites such as the Alamo in San Antonio to relaxing at some truly scenic beaches in the Gulf of Mexico to camping at RV parks and hiking in some scenic areas to exploring sprawling urban cities to enjoying great food and experiencing a unique and vibrant culture, the possibilities of things to do in Texas is nearly endless.

For this reason, it’s tough to narrow the top vacation spots in Texas down to a handful, but we’ve managed to boil them down to the ones below, presented in alphabetical order:

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is located in west Texas, and is truly one of the most scenic and beautiful camping destinations in the state.

The park boasts of over 800,000 acres of canyons, mountains, and rivers where during the day you can do everything from biking to backpacking to kayaking to fishing to nature watching of the thousands of species of animals that call the park their home.

In the evening, you can break out the camping chairs and relax while enjoying a BBQ or S’mores with friends along the river.

Colorado Bend State Park

Colorado Bend State Park, located just outside of Austin, is perhaps the most popular camping and backpacking destination in the state.

The major features of the park that gain it so much attention is the sixty-five-foot Gorman Falls, the green lush, the large variety of swimming holes, and the scenic backpacking trails. birdwatching, fishing, and caving are other activities you will often find visitors doing at the park.

Corpus Christi

A coastal city in southeastern Texas near the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi is one of the most popular family vacation destinations in the state.

As far as what the main attractions are concerned, the USS Lexington, fishing from a private charter, the Texas State Aquarium, and the fair number of theme parks and family centers are what draw the most amount of people, not to mention the sunny and beautiful beaches.

Dallas

If you’re only going to visit one city in Texas, a strong argument can be made that it should be Dallas. This city has everything from fairs to festivals to theme parks to big shopping centers to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden to the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys (at least in the fall).

Even though Texas is not often thought of as being an ‘urban state’ like New York or Massachusetts, the truth is that Texas is really a combination between rural and urban areas, and there are very fun things to do in both.

Galveston Island

One thing that will immediately stand out to you when you visit Galveston Island, located just southeast of Houston, is the impressive architecture from the 19th Century.

The eastern side of the island features a number of fun spring and summer festivals, such as the FeatherFest Birding Festival.

You can also go camping in Galveston Island State Park, or also visit the Moody Gardens Amusement Park.

Highland Lakes

Located just a short drive away from Austin, the Highland Lakes region consists of seven different lakes that were formed in the 1930s and 40s.

The largest of the lakes is Lake Buchanan, which contains some excellent campgrounds, resorts, and fishing locations. This is the perfect destination to get away with your family and enjoy a weekend of swimming, fishing, and kayaking.

As a bonus, if you take the Vanishing River Cruise, you’ll become witness to a truly beautiful waterfall and a vast panorama of scenic beauty.

Ray Robert Lake State Park

If you are ever in the Dallas area and want to go camping, you’ll want to check out Ray Roberts Lake State Park, a reservoir located just north of the city.

This is a state park for the true adventurer, as the camping grounds are rather primitive with less amenities, though you’ll also enjoy prime access to the lake and beaches in which you can boat, fish, swim, water ski, and kayak.

This park is also the location of a number of excellent hiking trails and running marathons throughout each year as well.

South Padre Island

If you’re more in the mood for a relaxing trip by a beach in Texas, the destination you’re looking for could be South Padre Island.

This resort town is located in southern Texas right on the Gulf of Mexico. The most popular activities to do there are fishing, surfing, swimming, jet skiing, relaxing on the beach (especially on Padre Island National Seashore), and dolphin watching.

If you’re a camper, you’ll want to check out the public campgrounds located right on the seashore where you can go beach camping.

Conclusion

As you can hopefully tell by now, there really is no shortage of activities that you can do in the Lone Star State. Regardless of whether you’re an outdoors person or a city lover, Texas will have multiple things for you and your family to do.

But of course, don’t think that you’re just limited to the vacation destinations that we have outlined and discussed here. While any one of these travel places is great, there are many other outdoor and urban vacation spots in Texas that you’ll want to consider researching and checking out too.

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




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