From cowboys and rodeos to The Battle of The Alamo and some of the most beautiful state parks around, it’s easy to see why Texas vacations are something special. Whether you’re vacationing with the whole family and looking for outdoor activities to keep the kids happy, or want to soak up some of the culture and history of the Lone Star State, Texas is the ideal family vacation spot all year round.
The natural beauty of Big Bend National Park, the attractions of coastal cities like Corpus Christi on the Gulf of Mexico, and a taste of the old west in Fort Worth and San Antonio – Texas really does have it all. Whether you’re here for a day trip to catch the Dallas Cowboys game or are staying a little longer to explore the coastal delights of Port Aransas, South Padre Island and Galveston, vacations in Texas are your chance to find out why Texans are so proud of this unique and fiercely independent state.
The Alamo, San Antonio – The ‘Shrine of Texas Liberty’, the Alamo is where the famous battle of the same name took place in 1836. Admission to the site is free and it’s a must-see while you’re in San Antonio.
South Padre Island – This island off the southern coast of Texas is known for its water sports, beaches, bird watching, and swimming. Take a boat tour to spot dolphins and sea turtles in their natural habitat or catch the Texas International Fishing Tournament here in the summer months.
Space Center, Houston – Aspiring astronauts of all ages will love the official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, one of Houston’s top attractions. Packed with space artifacts and exhibits, you can have lunch here with a real NASA astronaut, or come along to ‘Meet an Astronaut Friday’ and find out what it takes to become one of the world’s elite explorers.
1. Austin – The state capital is also known as the live music capital of the world. Check out the State Capital Building Downtown or go shopping in South Austin where you’ll find quirky independent boutiques and galleries.
2. Dallas – Get a taste of the Wild West with rodeo at the Mesquite Championship Rodeo in Dallas, catch a Dallas Cowboys game in Arlington, or visit the city in fall for the annual Texas State Fair.
3. Houston – Texas’ largest city is packed with attractions. For the best value, pick up a Houston CityPASS which grants entry to several attractions, such as Space Center Houston, Downtown Aquarium, Houston Zoo and the Museum of Natural Science.
4. San Antonio – This popular vacation destination is packed with museums and history. As well as the Alamo, makes sure you visit the Zoological Gardens and Aquarium, and the nearby historic city of New Braunfels, with its 19th-century German buildings.
5. Fort Worth – Take a day trip to Fort Worth for rodeos and a taste of the American West at the Fort Worth Stockyards.
6. Lake Travis – This reservoir is a popular recreation spot where you can enjoy water sports, boat rental, hiking and camping on your family vacation.
Summers in Texas can be hot, with temperatures routinely rising above 100°F. The state is known for its changeable weather though, particularly in the north (Dallas) and on the coast (Houston). If you’re coming to Texas for a family vacation then spring or fall are often more pleasant times of year to visit, when the weather is warm and dry.
Texas is a sprawling state with over 72,000 miles of highways, so you’ll need to rent a car to see everything. Many roads cross into Texas from Mexico so make sure you have your passport ready at the border crossing if you’re planning a day trip south.