Texas is a huge part of the United States, second only to the enormous Alaska. When it comes to vacationing, avoid the old saying “Don’t Mess with Texas” — Texas is a unique vacation spot – different cities are almost like different worlds! Austin’s hipster crowd is quite different from the cowboys of Dallas, and Houston is a different world all together – a world of beefy BBQ and the Gulf of Mexico. So pack your bags and mess with Texas!
Texas has been in the hands of many cultures, and because of that it retains the influence of many cultures. From Spain to France to Mexico to the Native Americans, Texas has a lot of culture to draw from. In the 1920s, Texas was a Mexican state, but American settlers who had migrated (mostly from Southern states), wanted to be free of Mexico and so war broke out. The famous Battle at the Alamo happened during this war.
The war wasn’t won until a year later and then Texas was a republic, and not part of the Union at all. Not until 1845 was Texas brought in to the Union as a state, and even then they didn’t stay a part of the Union for long! They seceded in 1861 because of the Civil War (though there was little action because of their distance from the Coast and the Southern states between the North and the South), but Finally Texas was readmitted into the Union after the surrender at Appomatox in 1870.
Today the evidence of the many cultures shows up in the culinary delights of Texas and the Texas lifestyle. In fact, if you’re visiting Brownsville or El Paso you can see a lot of Spanish and Mexican influence in these border towns.
But delicious Mexican and Spanish cuisine can be had all over Texas. In fact, if you’re in Austin you should visit Curra’s Grill or Fonda San Miguel for some divine Mexican dishes. Dallas vacationers should visit La Calle Doce or Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano. If you’re in Houston, it’s a different kind of meal you’ll want to try there – Houston is famous for its amazing beef BBQ, and the best can be had at Goode Co. Texas Bar-B-Q or Swinging Door. Don’t miss the delicious Texas food!
If you’re staying in Austin there’s a ton to do. Amazing music shows like South By Southwest (SXSW) may be seasonal, but they’re worth visiting Austin for. The “Live Music Capital of the World” – Austin is THE place to go for music lovers. Visit 6th Street in Austin for some amazing music bars and clubs. For the partiers, Austin has a lot of great night clubs and some feature Country and Western dances for the vacationer who wants it Texas all the way.
Of course if you’re in Austin and want some more traditional things to do, there are plenty of those. With over 150 attractions in the city, you’re bound to find something right up your alley. Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum is a great stopping point for anyone who wants to learn about the history of Texas. The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is THE spot to go to see memorabilia from the former president.
For something you’ll only see in Austin, visit Congress Avenue Bridge to see over 1.5 MILLION bats roosting and flying. Sun-down is the best time to visit this unique attraction.
If it’s Dallas you’re visiting, don’t miss out on some thrills at the Dallas Zoo, in operation since 1888! Tons of Dallas residents and visitors alike also love Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park which features 5 extreme thrill rides! Of course, heart-pounding action isn’t for everyone and there are plenty of more subtle spots to visit.
For some beautiful relaxing scenery, visit Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens where visitors can stroll through 66 acres of divine gardens and lawns. Texas Discovery Gardens is only 7.5 acres but it’s filled with amazing things like an indoor tropical butterfly exhibit and a wildlife pond.
For some amazing museums and galleries, stop at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, dedicated to the art of the orient. Speaking of specialized art museums, the Museum of Biblical Art has huge murals and oil paintings of biblical scenes. Better yet – the Nasher Sculpture Center is a top spot for visitors who love sculpture. Huge names of the 20th century like Rodin, Calder, Matisse and Picasso draw visitors daily to this amazing museum.
For some history, see the spot Oswald shot the killing shots of the Kennedy assassination. The Sixth Floor Museum is a must-see for any Dallas visitor. Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park is an award-winning history museum for any history lover. It’s more of a collection of historic houses and costumed characters from the late 1800s. A very fun and interesting spot for family vacationers! Dallas visitors shouldn’t forget the Dallas Cowboys – get tickets to one of their home games if you can!
And if you’re soaking up the sun and BBQ in Houston, there are over 100 attractions to visit in the area for rainy days, or days when you’re just too full to eat another slab of BBQ. Visitors can indulge in a ball game at Minute Maid Park, or check out the Houston Zoo where new animals arrive regularly and there’s plenty to do for kids and adults alike! If you’re a huge fan of surrealist art, viewing the Menil Collection is an absolute MUST. Artists like Salvador Dali and Ernst are brought to life in a sign-free environment.
Family vacationers will love the Children’s Museum of Houston for some exhibits featuring science, history and culture, and the Galleria, which is a series of hotels, restaurants and shops that encircle a giant ice skating rink – indoors! Come prepared to walk and have a good time! Houston offers plenty of museums, parks, and of course the famous Space Center in Houston is a top attraction, too!
Of course, whether it’s BBQ beef, great music, or the Dallas Cowboys you’re looking for, Hotels.bz will see you through with a great list of budget hotels and luxury hotels with more in the middle, too!