As the largest state in the continental United States, Texas is filled with big cities and iconic tourist attractions. With five of the fifteen most populated cities in the United States, it is easy to see that people enjoy Texas. From Houston to Amarillo and El Paso to Longview, there is plenty to do and to see in the over 268,000 square miles of the Lone Star State.
The capital city of Texas is a hip spot for people who love live music. Austin is known for being the Live Music Capital of the World and is the home to over 250 live-music venues. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, and for a good reason: there is a lot to do in the heart of Texas in the city that enjoys being weird.
Places to Visit and Things to do in Austin
While in Austin, there are several places to see and things to do. Of course, the city is known for hosting the ever-growing SXSW Festival, but there is more to the city than that. There are natural areas that offer recreation and relaxation, and cultural events that showcase the local treasures in the capital city. These spots include:
- The State Capitol and Visitors Center
- Austin’s Blanton Museum of Art
- Zilker Metropolitan Park Attractions and Barton Springs Pool
- Lady Bird Lake
- Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk to see the Mexican free-tailed bats take flight
The largest city in Texas is in Houston. Like Austin, people continue to move to the city for the opportunities it offers. The Bayou City is home to world-class professional sports teams, memorable museums, and the beautiful beaches on nearby Galveston Bay. Houston is also known for being the home of Johnson Space Center and Mission Control.
Must-Visit Places in Houston
To get the most out of your time in Houston, these are some of the places tourists should see. Many of these spots are family-friendly and provide insight into the American experience in Houston.
- Johnson Space Center and Mission Control
- Museum District in Houston
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- Houston Museum of Natural Science
- Holocaust Museum of Houston
- Rothko Chapel
- Houston Zoo
- The Children’s Museum of Houston
- Galveston Beaches
- Minute Maid Park
- Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
San Antonio brings old and new Texas together in one vibrant city. It is filled with historic sites, natural beauty, and modern tourist attractions. The historic spots often bring the tourists to San Antonio, but it is the city as a whole that brings them back for more. Like Houston and Austin, San Antonio is also a growing city with many people moving in each day.
Things to do in San Antonio
The historic spots in San Antonio are the most frequently visited places in the city. But, the River Walk offers delicious food and plenty of nightlife and entertainment. These are the spots you must see when you visit the home of the Alamo.
- The Alamo and the historic mission and battlefield
- El Mercado
- Pearl District and Farmers Market
- San Antonio Missions National Historical Park & Mission Trail
- Natural Bridge Canyons
- The River Walk
Even though all of these cities are in the same state, they could not be more different from each other. Dallas is a massive city known for its wealth from several lucrative industries like oil and finance. In the 1970s and 80s, the popular TV show Dallas showed the world the beautiful ranches and the vibrant downtown. But the city offers so much more than oil, horses, and money. It is a city filled with history, architecture, and cultural centers.
Top Attractions in Dallas
When visiting Big D, tourists can pay homage to the 35th president. They can also see the way that nature meets innovation in local parks, museums, and architecture. Check out these places when traveling to Dallas:
- The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
- Reunion Tower
- The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
- Wichita Falls and Kell House
- Perot Museum of Nature and Science
- Southfork Ranch
- West Village in Uptown
At the far western side of Texas is El Paso, which was once known for being the lawless gateway to the wild west. Now, the city is a popular spot along the Rio Grande across the way from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. It is a busy port for good traveling back and forth between the two countries, and with that trade comes a vibrant culture that is unique to the city. Along with all of the features of a big city, El Paso also has a rugged mountain landscape that is ideal for outdoor activities.
What to do in El Paso
When in El Paso, take the opportunity to enjoy the Mexican and American cultural sites and sounds. With the proximity to Mexico, there is plenty to do in the city that you cannot do in other places around the United States. There are also several parks with awe-inspiring natural wonders.
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park
- Franklin Mountains State Park
- Chamizal National Memorial
- San Elizario and Billy the Kid Jail
- Hueco Tanks Park & Historic Site
- Magoffin Home State Historic Site
- Big Bend National Park
Whether you visit all of the big cities in Texas in one vacation or you visit one at a time, you will not be disappointed. The five large cities in the Lone Star State offer unique opportunities that you cannot find in other cities. Texas has everything, from the modern Perot Museum in Dallas to the high-tech history at Johnson Space Center in Houston to old-world history at the Alamo in San Antonio to the awe-inspiring views of Big Bend National Park outside of El Paso. You won’t be disappointed when visiting the big cities in Texas.