In Texas, having fun isn’t a choice, it’s a way of life. The Lone Star State is the second biggest in the country (behind Alaska) and offers an endless variety of fun activities regardless of the occasion. Its cities are packed full of important historical landmarks, fascinating museums, world-class restaurants, and stunning parks.
The truth is, there are so many places to go in Texas for fun that you can get overwhelmed with your choices. And, because it’s so damn big, it’s tough to know where to start. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Below, you’ll find the best places to go in Texas according to the type of trip you’re after.
Places To Go In Texas For Fun: Travel Tips
As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas, including the state itself. Despite its abundance of amazing cities, rolling countryside, and important landmarks, many of the state’s attractions are quite far away from each other. So, to help with your plans, here are some travel tips.
Firstly, we recommend researching several locations ahead of your trip before finally settling on a location. Or, if you have the time, plot a couple of stops along the way. This allows you to narrow your options and better determine what you want to do. The choice is totally yours but big cities are generally good focal points.
Next, you should establish your priorities in terms of what you want to do. Are you after a cultural trip filled with museum visits, historical landmark stops, and educational activities? Or, are you going to Texas for a good old-fashioned holiday where all you want to do is eat, drink, and be merry?
Whatever type of vacation you’re after, we’re confident that Texas can deliver. So, create an outline of what you want to do and fill in the gaps with your favorite activities. Again, unless you want to spend your trip in the wilderness, using a city as a base is a good idea.
Finally, once you’ve settled on your list of activities from the suggestions below, piece together an itinerary. However, we highly recommend leaving some wiggle room.
Texas is a fun place with friendly people so you never know what opportunities can arise on the fly. Now, let’s take a look at some fun things to do.
Fun Things To Do In Texas For Couples
Couples getaways are responsible for some of the best and most romantic moments we experience in life. Texas’s traditions, southern charm, and eclectic cities make it a perfect destination for you and your other half. But fun couples’ trips require some planning to make sure they tick all the boxes.
Fortunately, Texas has something to offer all couples, whether you’re after spa days and fancy restaurants or long walks and camping under the stars. Now, to make your trip plans a little easier, here are some of our top picks for fun things to do in Texas for couples.
Romantic Weekend in San Antonio
San Antonio is one of the most romantic cities in Texas, mainly due to its Spanish colonial architecture. The San Antonio River Walk is an absolute must for couples. It’s a colorful and vibrant walkway surrounded by hotels, restaurants, and shops.
There is always a fun yet calm buzz in the air, especially at night when people go out to eat. We recommend staying there to be in the heart of the city but prices can be a little high. However, we believe it’s worth every penny for the views of the river, availability of great food, and general ambiance.
While a casual stroll is enough to get a taste of the area, the riverboat cruise is also a fun way to explore the city. If you want to escape the urban landscape, take a trip to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. The 41-acre site is an oasis within the city and there you’ll find plenty of romantic photo ops to remember your trip.
The Alamo is perhaps San Antonio’s most important landmark and is a major tourist attraction. You can go on a fascinating guided tour and learn all about the historical significance of the Alamo. And don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time for romantic dinners and couples activities afterward.
Glamping at Big Bend National Park
If you haven’t been glamping yet, put it at the top of your list of things to do with your partner. Essentially, it’s glamorous camping, meaning regular camping but without the rough and ready aspects. You stay in a fancy tent or cabin and have access to all the necessary facilities.
Big Bend National Park is known fondly as “Texas’s Gift to the Nation”. It’s a stunning piece of land that holds rich cultural and historical significance. Its magic truly emerges at night when the stars come out to play. The peace, quiet, and twinkling stars make for a perfect romantic setting.
However, if you’re not keen on an overnight stay with mediocre camping gear, try your hand at glamping. There are several glamping companies on-site that offer a range of accommodation options, including those specialized for couples. Be sure to book in advance as glamping has become extremely popular in recent years.
Stay In The Houston Museum District
Houston is a wonderful city that’s become a very popular tourist destination over the past decade. It’s a great weekend destination for a couple’s trip, offering fun and interesting activities as well as choice restaurants and an awesome bar scene.
But for couples, we recommend staying in the iconic Houston Museum District. It’s our favorite place in the city and is at the epicenter of the top attractions. Moreover, the Museum District is very accessible; you can walk cycle, drive, or take a bus or train to wherever you need to go.
Some of the top museums in the district are:
- The Houston Museum of Natural Science
- Children’s Museum Houston
- The Health Museum
- The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- Houston Museum of African American Culture
- Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
However, museums aren’t all the area is good for. The architecture in this district is some of the best in the city. There are also countless excellent cafes and restaurants so really, it’s the perfect place to set up shop for a short couple’s getaway.
Fun Things To Do In Texas For Adults
Texas is a playground for adults and offers a host of exciting activities and interesting places to visit for groups. Texan cities are the perfect stomping grounds for bachelor and bachelorette parties but also provide plenty of fun for regular vacations.
We could go on for days about the possibilities for an adult’s trip to Texas. But to save you some time and to plant some ideas, we’ve outlined three suggestions to help you orchestrate a vacation that best suits your needs.
Much of the Texan folklore and history revolves around agriculture, from cattle selling to ranching. Naturally, the Lone Star State is home to pristine nature, making it a paradise for outdoor types. There are plenty of adventures to be had regardless of your experience in the wild.
Texas has two national parks and 12 state parks that provide you with easy access to hiking trails, well-preserved forests, and campsites. These parks are perhaps the most convenient ways to enjoy a Texas trip in nature. Experienced outdoorsmen (and women) can consider the areas that aren’t federally governed.
As we discussed earlier, glamping is a fun and somewhat luxurious way to immerse yourself in nature. But if you want something less superficial, there are regular campsites aplenty. Unfortunately, most of the parks are spread all throughout the state so you’ll have to stick to one or two. Here are our top picks:
- Big Bend National Park
- Palo Duro Canyon State Park
- Guadalupe Mountains National Park
- Garner State Park
- Caprock Canyons State Park
- Seminole Canyon State Park
- Inks Lake State Park
- Colorado Bend State Park
Look out for tour or adventure companies to assist you with your plans. Many of them offer guided tours, river canoe trips, rock climbing, hiking, and several other fun activities for groups.
Weekend City Trips
If you’re looking for fun places to go in Texas for the weekend, you’re in luck. Although Texan cities have always been popular places to visit, they’ve really come into their own over the last decade or so. From breweries to BBQ joints and from nightclubs to watersports, Texas has got you covered.
Austin is one of the most exciting cities in Texas. It’s known as the Live Music Capital of the World and you can find top-quality music on every corner. It’s also home to legendary BBQ restaurants like Franklin Barbecue and Terry Black’s BBQ. It’s the perfect lively destination for a group of adults in search of a good time.
Dallas has vibrant arts and cultural scenes demonstrated by its high-grade museums, eclectic music venues, and attractions. Quench your thirst at a local artisan brewery, check out the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, or get your hands on some tickets to see the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas is an ideal weekend getaway spot.
Houston has more chill options for a group trip, including world-class museums in the Museum District. If you’re looking for raw, authentic, Texan fun, we recommend checking out the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the largest livestock show in the world.
Between the Alamo, River Walk, and Market Square, there is no shortage of things to do in San Antonio. We recommend checking out the San Fernando Cathedral Light Show before embarking on a night out along the riverbank. Be sure to sample Tex-Mex while you’re there.
Hit The Rodeo
It’s fair to say that a lot of Texans are sports fanatics, especially when it comes to football. However, one of the only sports that can take the spotlight off the gridiron in the Lone Star State is rodeo. A night at the rodeo is like nothing you’ve ever experienced, particularly for out-of-towners.
Essentially, the rodeo is like a southern festival. Even if bull riding isn’t your thing, you’re sure to get some enjoyment out of the music, entertainment, and food. On a typical night, you can enjoy amazing feats of physicality from the cowboys, a Texan rock band, ice-cold beer, and mouth-watering brisket.
Regardless of where you visit in Texas, there’s most likely a rodo. However, not all are equal. Here are our top five rodeos in the state:
- San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo
- Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo
- WRCA World Championship Rodeo (Amarillo)
- Rodeo Austin
- Huston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Fun Things To Do In Texas For Families
Now, to our final segment. If our couples and adult options don’t suit your travel plans, we have some suggestions for families. Traveling with kids is a whole different ball game but it doesn’t have to negatively impact your vacation. And, to keep costs down, we’ve included free places to go in Texas for fun.
You’ll find that Texas is a very accommodating place for your group. It’s a place that holds family values dear so you and your kids will be well taken care of wherever you decide to go.
Museums and Exhibits
The state of Texas has a thriving museum scene. Virtually every city has fascinating museums and exhibitions due to Texas’s historic significance in the development of the United States. So, wherever you go, you’ll find a plethora of museums that are suitable for the entire family.
The Space Centre Houston is our top family pick and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Texas. You can check out moon rocks, pieces of the Mercury and Apollo missions, and visit NASA’s Mission Control. From live shows to interactive exhibitions, the Space Centre is a hive of technology and information.
In Dallas, visit the Sixth Floor Museum and learn all about John F. Kennedy and his tragic death. Once you’ve explored the life and death of the former president, head down the street and check out the “X” where he was fatally shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963.
If you’re in Houston, the Children’s Museum Houston is a must-visit. It’s a learning hub and an educational playground that your kids won’t forget. The best part is that it’s free for kids under 12 and there’s free general admission every Thursday. But be warned, you’ll need time to explore the full 90,000-square-foot museum.
For kids up to 11 years old, try out Thinkery in Austin. It’s a fun and educational place that provides kids with play-based, hands-on experiences. With 40,000 square feet to explore, there is no shortage of games and interactive exhibits. The optics within the building are stunning.
Visit a Theme Park
Theme parks are always a great option for family adventures, especially when your kids are a little older. Although there are several scattered throughout the state, we recommend Six Flags Over Texas. It’s the standout location, situated in Arlington, right between Fort Worth and Dallas.
The park opened first in 1961 and people travel from all over the country to sample the rides. There are rides for all age groups, including kids and adults. Furthermore, you can enjoy live entertainment, shows, and a broad selection of delicious food. Grab some souvenirs from the gift shop to remember your trip.
Some other great theme parks Texas has to offer include:
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas (San Antonio)
- Morgan’s Wonderland (San Antonio)
- Sea World San Antonio
- Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
- Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown (Houston)
Go To The Beach
There are endless unique places to visit in Texas but sometimes a beach vacation is the best option for families. Although Texas isn’t necessarily known as a beach destination, it’s certainly well-equipped for a seaside getaway. It has several top beach towns to choose from.
The following beach locations not only have fresh ocean water and soft sand, but they’re also set up for tourists. In each of these places, you’ll have no problem finding great hotels or rental properties for the entire family:
- South Padre Island
- Port Aransas
- Galveston Island
- Rockport Beach
- Mustang Island
- Boca Chica Beach
- Texas geographic info: statesymbolsusa.org
- Big Bend National Park info: nps.gov
- Houston Space Centre info: pacecenter.org
Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.