Of all the states in the US, Texas is one of the most popular with tourists, and for a reason: it is endowed with stunning geography and a host of exciting cultural attractions. The state boasts of natural as well as man-made features which draw thousands of tourists each year due to their incredible beauty. From world-class beaches and imposing mountains to great hotels and popular shopping districts, Texas has it all. Here is a detailed guide on the top travel destinations in Texas.
San Antonio’s River Walk
This long pedestrian walkway that stretches for several miles is famed for its spectacular beauty. Built along the river, it zigzags through the city and is popular among the visitors and the locals alike. Some of the city’s best hotels, restaurants and shopping streets can be found along the River Walk, which also hosts many festivals and craft shows. To fully absorb the charm of this area, take a cruise upstream then slowly walk back to your starting point, taking a stop for a bite or a museum visit along the way.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Located in the northeastern part of the state, the park has some of the best desert scenery that you will ever get to see anywhere in your travels. Here you will find the golden eagles and other rare wildlife not found anywhere else. That’s not all; the landscape’s beauty is bewitching, especially as you near the Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in the state. It is also the perfect place to have a hiking expedition due to the many miles of trails which weave through woodland canyons, hills and lush springs.
South Padre Island
If you are looking for superior beaches and crystal clear waters, then South Padre Island is the place to be. Found near the Texas-Mexico border, it is accessible from airports at McAllen, Harlingen and South Padre. These sandy beaches are very popular along the gulf coast and the resorts, hotels and condos are also top-notch. You can visit the islands anytime of the year, and you can expect to have a very good time. Concerts are held almost daily, and thousands of visitors troop here to attend them. South Padre Island is never short of excitement.
If you are a fan of rock climbing, then you will love Enchanted Rock. Found to the north of Fredericksburg, Texas Hill Country, this rock formation rises 425 feet above the ground level. It is the largest rock formation in the US. Enchanted Rock was made a National Natural Landmark in 1970 and placed under the Texas State Parks System. Here, you can try rock climbing, camping as well as bird watching. Since the place is very popular with campers, the state avails basic facilities to them.
One of America’s most important historic sites, it is located to the east of San Antonio. It was started as a mission station in 1718 by the Franciscans, and by 1836, they had developed it into a fort. During the Texan War of Independence, a small group of soldiers took shelter there, and for a while they were able to keep a large Mexican army of 3000 men at bay. Eventually all the 187 defenders were defeated and killed, but their courage galvanized the state and rallied the residents to eventually overcome the Mexicans. Today, the center is visited by close to 3 million people annually who come to see the restored mission and to commemorate the fallen Texans.