9 Must-See Attractions in Texas

The Alamo
••• The Alamo. gsloan/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

They say everything's bigger in Texas, and that starts with things to do. There's something for everyone in every city, from the live music and beautiful parks of Austin, TX to NASA's Space Center and notable museums in Houston, TX. Whether you have a pre-determined travel itinerary for your Texas vacation or not, here is a list of nine unique Texas attractions to complete any vacation.

1. The Alamo

Originally built as a Spanish mission, the Alamo was the site of one of the most infamous battles in North American history. This 18th-century chapel is located in San Antonio, TX and is known to Texans as the "Shrine of Texas Liberty." The historic site provides an audio tour of Texas history with beautiful grounds, a gift shop, and the river walk nearby.

2. Johnson Space Center

Famously known during the Space Race of the 1960s, Houston’s Johnson Space Center is home to space shuttles, astronauts, and a host of other outer space information. Travelers can take a tour or get the “feel” of space while visiting exhibitions like “ground control.” Over 110 astronauts work at the Johnson Space Center which has focused on human exploration for over 50 years.

3. The Riverwalk

San Antonio’s famous shopping and dining district is located along the winding banks of the San Antonio River. This is a must-see for any visitor to the Central or South Texas region. It's also a fantastic place for people watching, boat rides, a downtown walk, and more.

4. Schlitterbahn

The name Schlitterbahn is derived from the waterpark’s original location in the German-heritage town of New Braunfels. Recent years have seen a second location open on South Padre Island, allowing for both Hill Country and South Texas visitors to experience the most famous water park in the state. This unique destination has provided fun in the sun for over 35 years and offers neat attractions like tubing rivers, surfing rides, and picnic areas.

5. SeaWorld

Known as one of the three SeaWorld locations nation-wide, SeaWorld Texas in San Antonio offers a variety of live shows, educational programs, adventure camps, and even sleepovers. This 250-acre marine mammal park offers an oceanarium, animal theme park, and fun events for the whole family.

6. The State Capitol

Built in the mid-1800s, the Texas State Capitol building is still as majestic as the day it opened. Visitors flock to the Capitol to view the architecture, as well as the legislative chambers it houses. When the legislature is in session, visitors are allowed to sit in. Formal tours are offered, and visitors are also free to take do-it-yourself tours.

7. The Bullock Texas State History Museum

Renamed after late Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock, the Bob Bullock Story of Texas Museum has interactive displays tracing the history of Texas from pre-historic times. Over 8 million visitors have stopped by this history museum since it has opened its doors, and travelers can enjoy important artifacts, over 50 exhibitions, an IMAX theatre, and great gift shop.

8. The Texas State Aquarium

Corpus Christi’s Texas State Aquarium, the most extensive aquarium in Texas, displays a wide variety of fish and marine life, including many species that are indigenous to the Gulf Coast. Educational programs and tours are also available, and travelers can block out a full day to explore everything it has to offer.

9. USS Lexington

Located right next to the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, the USS Lexington is a retired WWII-era warship. Educational tours and programs, as well as “sleep aboard” programs, are offered at the Lex. Visitors will be able to see "The Blue Ghost" aircraft carrier at the museum on the bay.