Updated: Feb 26, 2020
If you thought Texas was all cattle ranches and cowboys then you wouldn’t be the only one. That’s what I thought too until I discovered south west Texas. It has mountains, rivers, desert, endemic species, the Gulf of Mexico’s beautiful beaches & so much more. So without further ado, here are our top 10 reasons to visit Texas;
Big Bend National Park -a birding and hiking paradise. More than 150 miles of trails through Chisos mountains, Chihuahuan desert or The Rio Grande River there is something for everyone from multi-day treks to shorter family friendly trails as well as scenic drives and more.
Guadalupe Mountain National Park -the world's most extensive Permian fossil reef, (159 million years of fossil record) the four highest peaks in Texas, an environmentally diverse collection of flora and fauna, and the stories of lives shaped through conflict, cooperation and survival. You don't want to miss this! Although there is no scenic drive here, the park can be accessed via over 80 miles of trails, from easy nature walks through desert flora; more moderate hikes follow canyons and reach riparian oases, and strenuous all day hikes can take you into high country forest or to the "Top of Texas".
Take a day trip to Mexico - via Boquillas Crossing Port of Entry in Big Bend National Park. A valid passport is required and the Port of Entry is open Friday through Monday, 9:00 am-6:00 pm (May 1 - October 31), and Wednesday through Sunday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm (November 1 - April 30).
Mexican food - hands down the best Mexican food in USA can be found in Texas. Don’t forget to try prickly pear cactus candy too. Look for where the locals eat/ food trucks etc..
Austin- You really can't go past the capital of Texas, Austin. Not only do they have some of the best BBQ & breweries in Texas, but Austin is also home to more than 250 live music venues as well as a vibrant and eclectic arts scene. For the best views of the city, enjoy the pleasant Ann and Roy Butler hike and bike trail, and take a dip in the Barton springs natural pools in Zilker Park to cool off. Mosey on over to Terry Black's BBQ. for the best brisket you'll ever have and finish the day with some live music! You're sure to find something to satisfy your senses.
San Antonio- visit the first mission in Texas, The Alamo and learn about the Texas revolution, pioneer & settlement history in this historic landmark in downtown San Antonio. Enjoy a scenic riverwalk or boatride.
Corpus Christie- From camping to luxury accommodations, miles and miles of beaches, Mustang & Padre Island national sea shore and so much more to discover on the Gulf Coast including birding, boating, fishing, swimming, waterparks, sailing, fine dining and shopping.
"Houston - .... we have a problem". Best known for the NASA mission control centre during the Apollo 13 space flight, you will likely want to visit the Space Centre in Houston. But don't stop there, check out the multitude of attractions and special offers here.
Gulf of Mexico - it's a shame you first have to travel through some heavily industrialised areas before stumbling upon some of the most beautiful beaches in the Gulf such as Surfside along the Bluewater highway. Be sure to follow the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail for some secluded & rewarding shell collecting.
GnTonefortheroad Travel Tips:
Houston provides free camping in Spring Creek Park with full hook, restrooms with showers, secure and friendly sites. Up to 7 nights/month are available. All you have to do is make reservations with the local sheriff's office here
For some more wild west history, stop into Langtry to visit the Hanging Judge Roy Bean's Saloon
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