Every year, roughly 450,000 people visit this national park along the U.S.-Mexico border to spend some time outdoors. While exploring the park's sections of the Chihuahuan Desert, the Chinos Mountains and the Rio Grande, keep your eyes peeled for birds.
Big Bend is home to more than 450 bird species, including several kinds of woodpeckers and hummingbirds. While here, expect to enjoy unique outdoor areas like Milker Metropolitan Park (where you'll find the natural Barton Springs Pool), various museums and plenty of delectable barbecue.
Renowned as one of America's top barbecue destinations, Houston offers travelers a finger-licking good time. South Padre offers 34 miles of relaxing beaches along the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
While the island has a reputation for being a prime party spot for spring breakers, the rest of the year it's favored by families thanks to its affordability and bevy of kid-friendly attractions. Located about 50 miles southeast of Houston, Galveston attracts Texans looking for a convenient place to spend some time at the beach.
Originally inhabited by wild horses, the aptly named Mustang Island is now known for its miles of beaches and outdoor activities. The park is also home to endangered sea turtles and more than 400 bird species, making it an excellent destination to spot wildlife.
For more outdoor recreation outside the park, travelers can visit North Packer Beach to enjoy water sports like kite boarding, wakeboarding, surfing and snorkeling. When you're not sunbathing, parasailing or splashing around at the beach, put your angling skills to the test in the “Fishing Capital of Texas” or sign up for a dolphin-watching cruise.
If you love festivals, time your visit to coincide with one of Port Arkansas' events, which focus on everything from art to music to food. Spend your next vacation in The Woodlands if you want to have easy access to both city amenities and outdoor activities.
In this upscale destination 30 miles north of Houston, you'll find high-end shopping centers, an outdoor concert venue and kid-friendly attractions like The Woodlands Children's Museum. Allot most of your stay to enjoying Boca Chica's 8-mile-long stretch of sand, but remember to bring your own equipment since water sports rentals like surfboards, snorkeling gear and kite boards are not available on-site.
Also save time for wildlife watching, as the area is a haven for various bird and sea turtle species. Arrive in spring or summer for a chance to see a critically endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle come ashore to lay eggs.
Easy to reach by ferry from Port Arkansas, this former ranch is now a prime beach destination. For a different kind of Texas vacation, skip the state's main cities and beach towns in favor of a visit to Fredericksburg.
This Texas Hill Country locale is known for its superb shops, rich German roots and tasty wines. When you're not enjoying some retail therapy on Main Street, learn about the town's connection to Germany at the Pioneer Museum.
The latter is also home to two of Corpus Christi's most visited sights, the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington. Meanwhile, shopaholics and fans of the HGTV show “Fixer Upper” will love visiting Magnolia Market at the Silos, a Chip and Joanna Gaines-owned property with a retail store, a garden, food trucks and a bakery.
Although the scenery is stunning year-round, for extra-memorable vistas, visit in fall when the park's tree leaves turn vivid shades of red, orange and yellow. Texas is filled to the brim with breathtaking countrysides, significant historical attractions, diverse museums, pristine city parks, suburban shopping meccas, mouthwatering barbecue and more.