Texas has been at the forefront of so many important historical and cultural moments in American history that its numerous attractions should be near the top of your road-trip bucket list. The Lone Star state is vast — its borders encompass 10 different kinds of ecoregions from rolling plains and craggy canyons to piney woods, across which there are landmarks of historical, cultural, culinary and natural significance. So cross time off your calendar and get ready for adventure.
Before you go, swing by one of the many AT&T stores in Texas to optimize your filming options and/or pick up protective gear for your mobile phone so you can light up social media with your memories. Since Texans like to do things big, make sure you brush up on your panorama-shot skills, and wear comfortable shoes, because all these landmarks involve walking.
Built by Catholic missionaries in 1718, the Alamo was later converted to a military garrison by the Spanish and became the focal point for multiple battles for independence. In 1836, the most famous one became the final resting place for iconic names in American history, such as Colonel James Bowie and Davy Crockett. Located in the heart of San Antonio and mere steps from the Riverwalk, the Alamo is surrounded by a wealth of other landmarks and attractions within walking distance.
As Texas was a contested territory in many battles among the US, Texas and Mexico, there are additional military-history sites of note throughout the state, including numerous forts and even the decommissioned dreadnought USS Texas, the second ship ever built by the US Navy.
These days, Galveston might be most famous as a major cruise ship port and economic powerhouse in the oil and gas industry, but there is still a small slice of Americana from the Victorian era well-preserved in The Strand Historic District. If you plan to cruise out of this port, be sure to leave a few extra days to explore historic Galveston or even take a short trip to Houston for even more opportunities.
Texans are proud of their heritage, and one of the most famous ways they celebrate is at the annual State Fair of Texas. The fairgrounds contain a famous landmark, the 55-foot statue of “Big Tex” — his face was created from a compilation of famous faces including Will Rogers and rancher Doc Simmons.
The state fair is held in Dallas in late September, right after another major nearby cultural staple, Addison’s Oktoberfest, an authentic re-creation of the one in Munich. This event has made top international destination lists so plan your trip to hit up both events, if possible.
Texas is home to a diverse array of landscapes and several stunning state and national parks, but among wildlife habitats and lush wilderness, you might also stumble upon dinosaur tracks at the Dinosaur Valley State Park. Though some tracts of footprints have been placed in museums, depending on the water levels at the time of your visit, others may still be visible. This park is on the northern edge of Fredericksburg Wine Country and not far from Austin, so there are a variety of other stops to add to your road trip along the way.
While Texas is well-known for its oil wealth, the thriving cattle industry supported the economy for generations. The Stockyards at Fort Worth are now contained within a National Historic District and offer several excellent restaurants serving up the finest quality steak, along with museums, train rides, and other attractions.
While it’s difficult to single out just a few attractions in a state so vast, another landmark worth mentioning in this category is The Big Texan. This 1950s culinary marvel is located on historic Route 66 in Amarillo and is world famous for the 72-ounce Steak Contest.
Visit a few different things on your way around Texas this year. From the history to the food, Texas does everything big so you are sure to have a great time at any of these stops!