The American south is a kaleidoscope run wild. The climate blends perfectly with natural scenery and modern cities to create an unforgettable experience. Visitors worldwide are often taken aback by the vast landscape, which spans wild terrain and urban developments that command attention. To savor the south, one must visit Texas – a place rich in culture, tradition, charm, and captivating scenery.
The list of places below makes a complete circle around the lone star state, stopping along some of the most attractive cities, preserves, and wonders of nature. Let’s explore the American south!
Big Bend National Park
Due to its remote location, Big Bend National Park is one of the least-visited nature attractions. Nevertheless, the area provides a colorful terrain filled with steep rock formations, unique greenery, and beautiful rivers. This enormous park offers miles of scenic drives, but hiking is far better. For those who are adventurous enough to experience the Wild West, options include the Window View Trail, floating down the river, or taking upon the challenging Chimneys Trail.
Padre Island National Seashore
While hiking enthusiasts might enjoy the heart of Texas, the beach is a much safer option for the average tourist. Of the state cost, there lies Padre Island, a small patch of pristine nature that extends parallel to the mainland.
The area is an essential bird-watching spot in Texas. Still, it also features some of the most breathtaking beaches in the entire south. For those who prefer a beach vacation with family fun, this is one of the best locations on the list.
San Antonio’s Riverwalk
San Antonio is a lively modern metropolis with endless shopping, dining, culture, and entertainment venues. It is a growing city with developing communities full of single-family homes and an urban landscape that is unforgettable. However, if you are short on time and want to experience the best this city offers, check the River Walk. This attraction stretches for several miles along the San Antonio River. It offers an abundance of charming restaurants, outdoor patios, and pedestrian walkways. Visitors can stroll along the river coast to explore the area back to back or board one of the many cruise boats.
The Alamo is one of the most important historic locations in the south. It is a global cultural icon, where visitors can enjoy exhibits, unique architecture, and educational tours of historical events or life in the 1830s.
The Alamo is to Texas what Washington D.C. is to America, so it is no wonder that thousands of visitors take field trips to this location throughout the year.
Space Center Houston
Space Center Houston is one of the most important destinations for science enthusiasts in the entire south. Located just 30 minutes from Houston, this iconic landmark is home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center and Mission Control. Here, visitors can learn about space exploration and upcoming missions. Tours feature exhibits with some iconic artifacts, such as rocks from the moon and Mars.
Texas State Capitol
Standing 308 feet tall, the Texan State Capitol is an impressive sight to behold and one of the finest state legislatures in the country. It sits within a 22- acre park, where visitors can enjoy guided tours or have a beautiful day out in the open. The building interior is also available and will take you back in time for a history lesson.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
With more than 80 miles of trails, visitors can enjoy this national park and discover spectacular woodland canyons, rich flora, and beautiful springs. The area is ideal for hiking, mountain biking, and alpinism, as the park includes four of the highest peaks in Texas. However, it is vital to be cautious since the area is also home to abundant wildlife.
This small city provides an authentic taste of Texas. Visitors can attend the Amarillo Livestock Auction, dine at the Big Texan Steak Ranch, and explore classic western art that is unique to this area. The place hosts stunning southern architecture and many museums, heritage centers, and historic ranches.
For those who would instead enjoy a classic vacation spot with stunning beaches and luxury hotels, Galveston cannot disappoint. This place is packed full of premium restaurants, shopping venues, and six cruise ship ports that attract many visitors throughout the year.
Grapevine is a small city between Dallas and Fort Worth, with plenty of restored buildings and old southern architecture. Visitors can enjoy Grapevine Lake, the attractive main Street with dozens of dining venues and retail, as well as the nearby art galleries, artisan workshops, and premium wineries.
This location is the largest coastal city in the state, with an impressive list of water parks, beaches, hotels, aquariums, retail, dining venues, and botanical gardens. Visitors can also explore the SS Lexington aviation museum, the oldest remaining aircraft carrier that saw action during WW2.
San Marcos is a lovely university city located in central Texas. It is well known for its colorful offering of pristine nature, urban developments, and retail. The city is home to the biggest outlet center in the country, and visitors can enjoy numerous parks, cultural and dining venues, and outdoor activities along the San Marcos River.
Suppose you want to experience Mexican cuisine and culture without having time to go on a Mexican vacation. In that case, El Paso is the closest that one can get. It is located right across the Rio Grande from the Mexican city of Chihuahua. The El Paso mission trail will take visitors through the rich and colorful history of the region. Still, the city itself will offer beautiful venues for Mexican cuisine and cultural exploration.
Natural Bridge Caverns
The Natural Bridge Caverns are part of a vast underground network of more than 10,000 stalactite formations. The area is just a short drive from San Antonio and includes numerous attractions below and above ground. With guided tours below, and adventure parks above, this location is a must-see for all nature enthusiasts.
As one of the top botanical gardens in the nation, Dallas Arboretum spans 66 acres, covering a variety of flora. The location is a true oasis of calm and vibrant color, with many smaller gardens within its perimeter. Each season offers different attractions as the garden changes its colors and characteristics. The on-site Café on the Green provides unforgettable scenery for visitors who want to enjoy the view.