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Best things to do in Texas

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Where in the world: USA  /  Texas
Whether you're looking for that Old West charm or state-of-the-art NASA technology at Space Center Houston, Texas will not disappoint you. Things to do in Texas range from urban sightseeing around large cities, to sunbathing on the golden-sand beaches of Texas Gulf Coast. To immerse yourself in the nation's history, add famous attractions like The Alamo or Mission San Jose to your itinerary. Apart from being a popular shopping destination, Dallas also boasts important historical locations, such as The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, from which John F. Kennedy was shot.

Texas is best known for its Specialty Museums, Historic Sites, and Shopping.

Top 15 things to do in Texas

1. Texas State Capitol, Austin

At the time of its construction, Texas' Texas State Capitol was billed as the seventh largest building in the world. The massive Italian Renaissance Revival building was completed in 1888 and is home to the chambers of the Texas Legislature and the office of the governor. You can take a self-guided or guided tour of the building and grounds. Don’t miss the rotunda, displaying a portrait of every person who has served as the president of the Republic of Texas or governor of the state. The 8.9 hectare (22 acre) grounds boast a variety of monuments. Two of the oldest are dedicated to the Heroes of the Alamo and Confederate soldiers. The visitor center contains a gift shop and exhibits about the Capitol.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Tours from $12 › Learn more about Texas State Capitol

2. Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Watching, Austin

Home to the world's largest urban bat colony, Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Watching attracts visitors to the bats' haunt. During the daylight hours, you can see bats hanging under the arches of the bridge that spans the Colorado River. Find a spot along the viewing decks on either side of the river or on top of the bridge. The Mexican free-tailed bats emerge every night at dusk in a swarm that moves across Lady Bird Lake. Because the bats have attracted millions of tourists, some local businesses are using the bat as a symbol of the city. For example, the Austin Ice Bats, a minor league hockey team, was named for these flying residents.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $12 › Learn more about Congress Avenue Bridge Bat Watching

3. The San Antonio River Walk, San Antonio

A network of walkways along the San Antonio River, The San Antonio River Walk winds its way under a series of bridges. Lined with bars, restaurants, and shops, the walkways offer a different perspective of the city, away from the traffic buzzing one level above. You can explore most of the city's main tourist attractions by following this network of pedestrian-friendly sidewalks--without having to worry about parking or getting stuck in commuter traffic. In many sections, no safety fences separate the sidewalks from the water, so be cautious, especially with small children.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $7 › Learn more about The San Antonio River Walk

4. Best of Austin Small-Group Driving Tour with Local Guide

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Austin’s favorite “bucket list tour” offers an excellent city overview in just 2 hours. Visit major landmarks, lesser-known gems that only a local would know about, real neighborhoods, and even a sweet treat! Your guide’s in-the-know commentary provides more insight than you could get elsewhere.You’ll learn all about Austin’s art, music, culture, food, history, parks, famous residents, and how the locals “Keep Austin Weird." By the end of your tour, there is no doubt that you will know why people love Austin. Come as strangers, leave as friends!
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $40 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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Best tours in Texas

5. Mission San Jose, San Antonio

Founded in 1720, Mission San Jose is the largest of the missions in Texas and offers visitors a glimpse into the area's Spanish community life more than 250 years ago. This Catholic mission was rebuilt in limestone in 1768 and is dubbed Queen of the Missions because of its relative size compared to fellow sites within the UNESCO-designated San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. This particular mission underwent restoration in the 1930s and is most well-known for its detailed rose window.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $65 › Learn more about Mission San Jose

6. Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Dallas

Wander through 27 hectares (66 acres) of stunning floral displays and tree-lined paths at Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Situated on the shores of White Rock Lake, the complex boasts a collection of landscaped gardens, open green spaces, and fountains, all with lakeside views overlooking the Dallas city skyline. Admire the garden’s impressive collection of over 2,400 varieties of azaleas, or visit the original estate, the Spanish-style Degolyer House, now home to a garden cafe and the Degolyer Restaurant. Check online for a list of shows happening year-round at the garden’s outdoor concert stage.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $165 › Learn more about Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

7. SeaWorld, San Antonio

Discover the wondrous world of underwater creatures on over 100 hectares (250 acres at SeaWorld. One of the largest aquariums in the country, the complex features an array of interactive exhibits dedicated to sea life, as well as a large water park and children’s play area. Catch an orca show at the world-famous Shamu theater, or head to Rocky Point Preserve for a chance to feed seals, sea lions, and walruses, before spending the rest of your visit riding the dozens of waterslides and roller coasters at the Aquatica water park. Purchase tickets online in advance for discount prices.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about SeaWorld

8. JFK Assassination and Museum Tour with Lee Harvey Oswald Rooming House

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Explore Dallas like never before on this three and a half hour small group tour with transport by air-conditioned van. Travel to the Grassy Knoll and the infamous car ride that made history on November 22, 1963. Many people remember the day when they heard the news of the tragic assassination of former President John F. Kennedy as he drove through Dallas. The assassination, assumed to be by Lee Harvey Oswald, is one of the most discussed and speculated unsolved mysteries of our time. Includes Lee Harvey Oswald Rooming House.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $77 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Natural Bridge Caverns, San Antonio

A natural limestone bridge leads into caves at Natural Bridge Caverns. The cavity houses the largest commercial caves in the United States--viewed as a living cave system because of the active growth of formations. Prior to opening to the public, the cave revealed evidence of ancient human remains dating back to 5,000 BCE. The caverns are part of a drive-through safari park, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Learn more about Natural Bridge Caverns

10. Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail, Austin

Complete with 16 km (10 mi) of paths for foot and cycle traffic, Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail offers a scenic circuit in the heart of the city. The trail loops around lake, which was named for Lady Bird Johnson, the former First Lady, who was dedicated to beautifying the lake and creating a recreation area around it. In addition to crushed granite pavement, the trail has sections of boardwalk. Walk, jog, or bike around, or relax on one of the many benches and enjoy the green scenery.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $30 › Learn more about Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail

11. National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg

Pay tribute to World War II heroes and learn about the conflict at National Museum of the Pacific War. Located in Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz’s hometown, this museum complex includes three major sites--the Admiral Nimitz Museum, the George H.W. Bush Gallery, and the Pacific Combat Zone. Guided tours, artifacts, documents, weapons, and multimedia presentations illustrate the war in the Pacific. Visit the Japanese Garden of Peace, donated by the government of Japan on the town's 130th anniversary. A single ticket gives you access to all of the sites and is valid for two days.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $35 › Learn more about National Museum of the Pacific War

12. Austin Biker Gang E-Bike Adventure

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You can be a part of an e-bike biker gang! Our e-bikes are fun and super easy to ride. See the sights and have a blast! We believe that riding is more fun with others, so add another e-bike so your friend can ride along with you! We have a very dynamic experience and with so much to see in Austin each ride is different! It's an incredible way to get the feel of what Austin is and what it is loved by so many! Tours available every day except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Each ticket also included our CYB equipment protection so if you do any accidental damage to our e-bikes you're not responsible (Horseplay is not covered, so calm down there Evel Knievel, no stunts allowed).Our max ticket purchase is 4 per order. If you have a group larger than 4 you'll just need to make a second (or third) booking for up to 4 at a time to purchase all the tickets you'll need. We cap our groups to 13 total. For groups larger than 13 you need to contact us directly.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $75 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Austin

Admire a variety of Texan and North American plants in the landscaped gardens of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Founded by former first lady Lady Bird Johnson and actress Helen Hayes, the center is dedicated to research, education, and the conservation and sustainable use of native plants. The central gardens include wild flower-filled meadows, a wetland pond with aquatic plants and animals, a family garden with stumps to climb, and a butterfly habitat. The latest addition is an arboretum with a large collection of native trees native. As you walk through the facility, you can enjoy the colors and smells while learning how the plant life benefits the environment. In addition to the gardens, don't miss exhibits devoted the work of Texan artists and photographers, as well nature artists from around the world. The center also features a library, observation tower, shop, gallery, and cafe. Audio tours are available online.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

14. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, Dallas

Located in the building where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the three infamous shots that killed John F. Kennedy, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza examines the life, death, and legacy of the 35th president of the United States. The museum's exhibits use historic films, photographs, and interpretive displays to present the assassination in a historical context, drawing on government investigations that followed the event. This is the only place in the world where you can take a look through the very window on which Oswald leaned as he fired upon the presidential motorcade. Remember that only a limited number of visitors can enter at any one time, so be sure to book your timed-entry tickets well in advance.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $28 › Learn more about The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

15. City Sightseeing San Antonio City Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

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There’s no better way to explore the sights of San Antonio than with a 1, 2, 3 or 4 day unlimited hop-on hop-off bus pass. From the open-top deck you'll have brilliant panoramic views of the key landmarks, including The Alamo, San Fernando Cathedral, Market Square, San Antonio Museum of Art, The River Walk and much more! This hop-on hop-off tour allows you to discover San Antonio to your own schedule, hopping off and spending more time at the locations that interest you most.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Tours from $49 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

Best tours in Texas