Guess what, tourists? You’re this close to Texas’ Travel and Tourism Week, which runs from May 5-11.

The tourism industry in Texas is as massive as the state itself, bringing in $164 billion to the economy. $80.2 billion comes from direct travel spending—which saves Texas residents $740 in state and local taxes per year!

Are you ready to visit the big and beautiful state of Texas, the US’ second-largest? What are the best things to do and places to see in Texas?

Here, we highlight some fantastic, local-approved spots that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetimes. Keep reading to ensure the most fun and fascinating vacation ever!

1. Visit the Capital City of Austin

The Austin skyline, the excellent food and craft beer scene, the hustling, bustling city—what more could you ask for?

If you’re going to visit Texas, you have to make a stop at its capital city. Austin is full of great things to do and see, like

  • Check out one of several various museums
  • Enjoy live music everywhere
  • All the BBQ and queso you could ever want
  • Beautiful architecture, like the classic State Capital Building

You won’t run out of things to explore in this city!

2. Stroll Along San Antonio’s Riverwalk

Travel lovers will find tons of satisfaction taking a stroll through San Antonio’s riverwalk, which has major historical significance to Texans.

For centuries and generations, the water has been a lifeline for Texas residents. The Riverwalk keeps that alive with events, brightly-colored riverside umbrellas, nightlife, shopping, dining, hotels, and more.

3. Enjoy the Breathtaking Palo Duro Canyon

This gigantic canyon is second only to the Grand Canyon itself!

Palo Duro Canyon is located in the State Park of its same name. The Canyon offers over 30 miles of space for hiking, biking, and riding your horse! There’s also plenty of campsites with electricity and water hookups, as well as lots of room for tent camping.

Enjoy sprawling rock faces, deep caverns, and plenty of bare, open land that provides the perfect backdrop for a starlit sky.

4. Check Out Big Bend National Park

This gorgeous park in West Texas offers black skies at night, lit up by stars, and temple-like canyons made of limestone that were organically carved by its rivers.

Expect lots of desert, unyielding cactus bloom, and an incredible diversity of species. Give yourself time to explore, hike its many trails, and appreciate the unique landscape.

5. Take a Dip in Hamilton Pool in Dripping Springs, TX

Hamilton Pool Preserve is gorgeous to observe, but even more incredible when you allow yourself to dive in!

This crystalline watering hole is entirely shaded by the natural rock that cascades above it. Below, you’ll find blue-green water with excellent visibility, and a little beach that leads you in. Stalactites hang from the top, providing a natural-as-can-be ceiling above swimmers and spectators.

6. Witness Forth Worth’s Water Gardens

This ‘refreshing oasis‘ is adjacent to Fort Worth’s Convention Center, and is nothing like you’d expect it to be!

It’s hailed as an architectural and engineering marvel, open at all times of year—rain or shine, hot or cold. To give you a mental picture, it’s an urban waterpark with countless water features throughout. One super exciting view is the staircase of fountains that all meet in a hot tub-esque pool at the bottom center.

7. Watch the Brave Swimmers at Jacob’s Well (Or Cautiously Partake Yourself)

Adventure lovers, this is for you! Jacob’s Well is fascinating and beautiful, especially during the hotter months of the year, but it does come with some precautions.

What is Jacob’s Well, exactly? Well, it’s a natural spring, fed by Trinity Aquifer, that’s located in Hays County—a short drive southwest of Austin. The spring pushes water up into the well, and anything that’s superfluous spills into Cypress Creek, which is right next door.

The well’s opening is slim, so jumpers and divers have to take precautions there. But in general, some consider it a space for daredevils only, because it has thin openings into dark underwater caves. Some freedivers even explore its depths, which goes up to 100 feet (and likely deeper), sans gear.

Recreational scuba diving isn’t even allowed here.

But, the space is beautiful, so it’s perfectly safe for experienced swimmers who just want to graze the top and enjoy the cold waters.

8. Walk the Beach at Padre Island National Seashore

This gorgeous seashore is known as the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world!

So, whether you’re an avid beach lover or not, you’ll enjoy knowing you’ve touched down in such an organic and natural place.

This seashore separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre, which is one of the few hypersaline lagoons left in the world. The park it’s located in holds 70 miles of coastline, tons of dunes and prairies, and countless sea turtles and bird species.

9. See What’s Happening in Dallas

If this article is accurate, you may not only love Dallas as a tourist, but you might consider becoming a permanent resident!

The Dallas Fort Worth area has it all—fantastic cuisine, proximity to other famous cities, warm weather, tons of sports, and great entertainment. While here, consider paying a visit to

  • The Dallas World Aquarium
  • The Dallas Museum of Art
  • The Nasher Sculpture Center

And much, much more. Good luck finding a reason to leave!

The Places to See in Texas Are Endless!

We hope this article informed you of some of Texas’ most fascinating, fun, and historical destinations. Use this guide to make your way through the state, hitting up all the prime destinations.

If you enjoyed this article on the best places to see in Texas, you’ll love our other travel-related materials. Keep scrolling our blog for more excellent advice like this.

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