Things to Do in Texas
Located in the center of HemisFair Park, this 750-foot tall tower offers one of the best aerial views of San Antonio in the city as well as a variety of experiences. First there is the Flags Over Texas Observation Deck, which allows you a bird’s-eye view of iconic sites -- either through the telescope or by using photographs on the deck floor that show you where to find specific buildings and landmarks. Additionally, you can learn about over 300 years of Texas history through a mural exhibit on the walls. Included in your admission ticket is also a 4D Theater Ride, “Skies Over Texas.” The interactive ride takes you on a sensory journey through the state to watch NASA astronauts train at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, attend a local football game, view horses running in the wild and visit some of San Antonio’s most important attractions.
Built in 1968 to host the 1968 Worlds Fair as well as commemorate San Antonio’s 250th birthday, the event was the southwestern United States’ first official world fair. The event was so monumental that over 30 nations took part in the festivities. Today, the 15-acre HemisFair Park is a place where people come to ride bikes, bring their children to the playground, enjoy the native flower gardens and listen to the relaxing sounds of fountains and cascading waterfalls.
In HemisFair Park, you’ll also find a variety of attractions, for example, the Tower of the Americas, which is surrounded by beautiful man-made waterfalls. If you take the elevator to the top you can enjoy aerial views from the observation deck or the rotating restaurant, as well as a 4D Theater Ride that takes you on a sensory journey through Texas. Additionally, the Mexican Cultural Institute resides in the park, and is free to enter and enjoy the artwork, artifacts and exhibits.
This mission was originally established in 1716 as Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de los Hainais in East Texas with the purpose of converting local Native Americas to Christianity. It was moved to San Antonio in 1731, and today stands as the best preserved of the Texas missions. An interesting fact about these missions is they were not churches but Indian towns with the church as the focus where Native Americans learned to become Spanish citizens -- a process that required becoming Catholic.
Visiting the site today, you’ll get a clear sense of what mission life was like hundreds of years ago. It’s also interesting to take in the stone building with its Spanish Colonial architecture. Notice the intricate Renaissance details, colorful Moorish designs, Romanesque attributes and gothic arches. On the grounds, you can still see the quarry from which the Native Americans collected the stone to build the mission.
Stuffed critters, a shooting gallery and museums of Americana and the Texas Rangers make having a drink at the Buckhorn Saloon a memorable experience.
From cattle to fish, birds and game, the Buckhorn Museum is a taxidermist’s dream, stuffed with more than 520 species from around the globe. Look out for the huge black marlin, ’78 Point Buck’ and prehistoric Irish elk complete with antlers.
The collection housed in the adjoining Ranger Museum includes weapons, badges, photos, a Bonnie & Clyde exhibit and ‘Ranger Town’, re-creating early-20th-century San Antonio. Drop in for lunch at the cafe, or choose a locally brewed ale at 130-year-old saloon bar.
The 2nd Street District is a new area of Austin that includes a range of trendy retail stores, cool coffee shops, restaurants, wine bars, and urban living spaces. The motto for the area is “Where Texas Warmth Meets Austin Cool.”
There are approximately 50 specialty shops, services, and dining establishments within the district, which is spread out over about six city blocks. Most shops are locally owned and operated, so it's best to walk the area and look at all the unique offerings available, which helps support the local Austin economy. The 2nd Street District also has a few recognizable brands like Swatch and Ann Taylor.
If you’re visiting Austin in August, consider checking out the now annual White Linen Night, which features a separate-admission block party with fare from local restaurants and wineries, as well as an after-party.
More Things to Do in Texas
Brackenridge Park is a park and recreation area located near the San Antonio River in San Antonio, TX. There are many activities visitors can enjoy, such as fishing, boating, hiking, running, bird watching, golf on the oldest municipal golf course in Texas, and other sports. Some people come for picnics in the park or gatherings with friends and family. You can also take a train ride on a 3.5-mile miniature railway. Adjacent to the park, you'll find the San Antonio Zoo which has the third largest collection of animals in North America. Another popular attraction is the Japanese Tea Garden, a garden with flowers on display all year round, stone bridges, shaded walkways, a 60-foot waterfall, and a few ponds.
The Brackenridge Park Conservancy was created to preserve the park's natural, historic, educational and recreational resources. The Mabel Jingu Enkoji Fund supports the Japanese Tea Garden and provides cultural programming.
As they say, “everything’s bigger in Texas,” and the skyscrapers here are no exception to the rule. Houston has some of the best skyscraper architecture in the world, and the Chase Tower is a proud addition to that list. Standing 75 stories tall and topping out at just over 1000 feet, the Chase Tower is just under three-and-a-half football fields tall and boasts a unique five-sided design with expansive 85-foot wide glass running up its western face. This audacious height makes the Chase Tower the tallest building in Houston, and correspondingly makes for incredible photo opportunities from the ground or high atop the tower itself.
Guests can ascend to the Sky Lounge on the 60th floor and roam about at their leisure. The Sky Lounge boasts panoramic views of downtown Houston, and from here you can point out every major building in Houston – making a visit to the Chase Tower one of the best free things to do in the downtown Houston area.
Things to do near Texas
- Things to do in San Antonio
- Things to do in Austin
- Things to do in Dallas
- Things to do in Houston
- Things to do in Galveston
- Things to do in South Padre Island
- Things to do in Louisiana
- Things to do in New Mexico
- Things to do in Missouri
- Things to do in Monterrey
- Things to do in New Orleans
- Things to do in Branson
- Things to do in Guanajuato
- Things to do in Sinaloa
- Things to do in Central Mexico