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Saying that Texas is the second-largest state in the United States only begins to illustrate the diversity it offers. From metropolitan centers like Houston, Austin, and Dallas, through the West Texas cities like Amarillo or Lubbock, to all the coastal beaches, mountains, and a desert, this state is truly brimming with an abundance of possibilities for fun and adventure.

Nature lovers will also find quite a few places to satiate their enthusiasm, from gorgeous parks set along a bend in the Rio Grande, all the way to Padre Island National Seashore along the Gulf of Mexico. If you are eager to find the best tourist attractions in Texas and ensure you are visiting places worthy of your attention, make sure to take a look at our list that follows.

Let us just say that you should not confine your Texas adventure solely to these top-rated attractions. Texas has a plethora of places and experiences to offer, and hidden gems are, by all means, worth exploring. That being said, if you have just moved, and are still settling down in Texas, this list will prove to be a great guide and a starting point.

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There are a plethora of tourist attractions in Texas, some of which we will now mention.

1. Enjoy your day along the River Walk in San Antonio


Both locals and tourists love to spend their leisure time along the River Walk. It's not hard to see why. Stretching for several miles along the San Antonio River, the River Walk is lined with restaurants and lovely outdoor patios. So, when you get tired from the walk, you can sit and dine alongside this gorgeous river.

Located in the heart of the city, and built below street level, it is a great place for a casual get-together. The pedestrian walkway hugs the river as it flows through the city, giving you a wonderful experience during the day as well as night.

Although people most often opt for strolling along the river, there is one more way in which you can enjoy the beauty of this area. And that is a cruise on a riverboat. They run all the time and range from dinner cruises to standard sightseeing trips.

2. Have the most memorable day at the Space Center Houston


Being that this is one of the most wonderful places to learn about space exploration, it is no wonder that Space Center Houston is also one of the top-rated tourist attractions in Texas. A short 30-minute drive from the heart of Houston is what separates you from this marvelous adventure. Taking your kids here would be a great idea.

However, even if you choose to go alone, you will by no means be disappointed. Learn about upcoming space missions, NASA's latest projects, and possibly even meet an astronaut. Keep in mind that Space Center Houston is also home to Johnson Space Center and Mission Control. If this has piqued your interest, know that you can visit on a tour.

Mind you, you will need at least half a day to explore the entire complex. And let us not forget about a space shuttle replica mounted on a shuttle carrier, which you can walk inside. And speaking of walking inside, you will get to do the same with America's first space station, Skylab. One of the experiences you will surely remember is touching rocks from the moon and Mars.

3. Let the Big Bend National Park be your nature getaway


Take a ride to the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas, and when you reach a huge bend in the Rio Grande River, you will get to witness some of the most extraordinary and uniquely beautiful scenery in the whole state. It is a place where mountains, canyons, and the river meet, providing a diverse range of recreational and sightseeing opportunities for visitors to Big Bend National Park.

This is a place that will truly leave you breathless.

While touring along the roads will be more than enough to keep you reminiscing about the experience for years to come, the park itself offers many activities one can attend. Outdoor enthusiasts often choose to tackle the extensive network of hiking trails and pay a stop to the beautiful campgrounds. Warmer days are often used for picnics, and paddling along the Rio Grande.

Birdwatching is also a prominent pastime in the park. And even if you are not the person to go looking for them, with more than 400 species of birds, it is rather likely that you will see roadrunners darting across the roads and trails.

The Caverns of Sonora are a great stop on the way to western Texas. They are halfway between Big Bend and San Antonio. These caves are formed by acres of limestone, and you can enjoy walking or even camping during your stop.

4. See something completely different at the Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo


Speaking of top-rated tourist attractions in Texas, one simply has to mention one of West Texas' most iconic sites. Cadillac Ranch is a colorful spectacle of Cadillacs standing in a line, nose-first into the ground. While visitors flock in large numbers to see and photograph this unique exhibit, they also like to leave their mark.

As almost everyone who visits adds their own creative expression, the artwork on the vehicles can be considered an ever-changing canvas. You are welcome to spray paint your own design and contribute to the unique beauty of this place. Mind you, there is no need to bring a spray can. You can find a tone of them left there on the grounds from thousands of others who have preceded your visit.

5. Relax at Beaches in Galveston and explore Strand Historic District


Galveston is a true representative of the Texas Gulf Coast. It is home to gorgeous beaches that stretch on for miles. The shallows and often calm waters are a favorite of families and beach goers. During the summertime, we suggest that you set up your beach parasol along the Seawall or have some fun and enjoy the games at the Pleasure Pier.

Enjoy the summer in Texas by visiting its beautiful beaches

However, Galveston has more to it than meets the eye. Yes, beaches are one of the main tourist attractions during the summer. Still, there is plenty to do here all year long. It would be well worth your time to explore the Strand Historic District in downtown, a National Historic Landmark District, as well as the Victorian-style mansions that line the quiet streets.

If your kids are accompanying you on this journey, make sure to pay a visit to Moody Gardens and Aquarium.

6. Relax at Beaches in Texas


Rockport Beach has pristine sandy beaches and magnificent blue water. It is the perfect place to have a picnic. In addition, it has a path to continue exploring, if you want to do more than sunbathing.

7. Explore Palo Duro Canyon State Park


Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the USA after the Grand Canyon.

8. Explore Colorado Bend State Park


Gorman Falls is in the Colorado Bend State Park, one of the most beautiful and popular state parks in Texas. You can explore the falls on a 2.5 km guided hike, or take a 5 km climb. At the nearby lake you can take a boat ride, kayak and swim.

9. Explore East Texas


East Texas has a different ecology, and that's where you'll find most of the lakes in Texas, which are much more magnificent than you can imagine. The area is full of bare cypress trees covered in Spanish moss, providing a natural playground for swamps and bodies of water to explore through kayaking or canoeing.

10. Explore Padre Island National Seashore


Do you think it's not possible to see snow in Texas? In the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, on the border between Texas and New Mexico, is the El Capitán peak. It is dry and sterile most of the year, but receives a white layer of snow and clouds from time to time. Also called Padre island, it is the longest sandbar in the world.

In the southern part there is a tourist city called South Padre Island where you can do various recreational activities. The main access to Padre Island is a bridge built over the Laguna Madre that connects the mainland to the island.

As you can see, tourist attractions in Texas are not lacking. It is only a matter of time you can allocate to visit them. Let this list be your guide and inspiration. Happy travels!
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