12 best Texas cities for tourists

A big state that covers a wide amount of land, Texas comprises everything from deserts and beaches to luscious wine regions, mountains, and canyons with its cities being equally as captivating and diversified. Over the course of its history, Texas has been ruled by six different nations while nevertheless managing to keep its own character and independent attitude throughout. You will undoubtedly encounter Texans’ legendary warmth and welcoming disposition wherever you go.

Each of the best cities in Texas has something new and exciting to offer, such as Austin’s spectacular live music performances, Galveston’s beaches, and Fredericksburg’s German heritage. Texas really does have so much to show and while traveling around this massive state you’ll come across a wealth of different peoples, places, cultures, and cities.

Lying just across the Rio Grande from its Mexican sister city Nuevo Laredo, Laredo in the States makes for a fascinating visit as the city is almost entirely Hispanic and Latino which makes it unique in comparison with the other cities in Texas.

Laredo’s Downtown is full of gorgeous ancient Spanish Colonial architecture and also has a number of beautiful buildings on exhibit such as the delightful Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.

One of Laredo’s most fascinating attractions is the Republic of the Rio Grande Capitol Building Museum, which explores the history of the short-lived republic that existed in and around Laredo for less than a year.

Lying on the border with Mexico, McAllen acts as a capital to the local region and is an increasingly attractive place both to live and visit as retirees move in and Mexican consumers visit its enormous malls.

While it may not have much in the way of sights, there are absolutely loads of restaurants, bars, and shops on offer as well as a lively entertainment and nightlife scene.

Bordered by the arid Chihuahuan Desert on one side and the green Rio Grande Valley on the other, McAllen is blessed with pleasant weather and many people utilize it as a base from which to explore the attractive region.

Acting as an agricultural and economic hub to the region, Lubbock is located in the Great Plains and its laidback vibe masks a lively and dynamic city that loves to have a good time.

Home to Texas Tech University and consequently a youthful population, there is lots of great nightlife on offer and one of the best places to go out is the Buddy Holly Center, which is named after Lubbock’s most famous son and hosts loads of performances and live music shows.

Scattered across town are a variety of theaters, museums, and galleries for locals and visitors alike, while Lubbock also puts on a number of outstanding local festivals with the National Cowboy Symposium being the highlight of the year.

Due to its cowboy history, Fort Worth is sometimes referred to as “Cowtown” despite its proximity to Dallas and its Wild West atmosphere.

You can learn more about the local history and culture by visiting the several cowboy and cowgirl museums spread across the city. You can even go to see a rodeo or cattle drive if you feel like it.

If cowboy culture isn’t your thing, head to the fantastic Kimbell Art Museum, where Picasso and Goya paintings are on display, or take a stroll through one of the city’s many parks.

Try and visit during the Sundance Square Parade of Lights festival which takes place in November and features loads of marching bands, floats, and colourful costumed characters.

Lying on the border with Mexico, El Paso is the Westernmost city in Texas and as it is located in the desert, it has over 320 days of sunshine a year.

El Paso’s population is very hospitable and friendly, and it is equally likely to hear Spanish as English on its streets, despite the city’s growing popularity as a place to live and visit.

Due to its proximity to the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez, the region is known as the Borderlands and the Centennial Museum – one of the El Paso’s top tourist attractions – offers up an interesting look at the life, culture, and customs in the area.

Surrounded by desolate yet beautiful desert landscapes, there are loads of great outdoor activities to be had that vary from rock climbing and hiking, to cycling and horseback riding.

With a multitude of gorgeous beaches for you to enjoy, it is no surprise that Corpus Christi is known as the ‘Sparkling City by the Sea’ and it certainly lives up to its moniker.

Founded on the Texas coastline in 1839 as a sleepy trading post, the city is now home to some delightful attractions such as its aquarium teeming with marine life and the USS Lexington museum which offers up a fascinating look at life aboard an aircraft carrier.

Corpus Christi’s main attraction is its beautiful beachfront, and many of the city’s restaurants serve delectable seafood dishes. This is because Corpus Christi is a laid-back city blessed with great weather.

Fredericksburg, which was founded in 1846 by German settlers, retains a German flavor due to its beautiful architecture and historic sites, as well as the frequent Oktoberfest celebrations held there.

The town boasts numerous cozy cafes, B&Bs, and German beer gardens and restaurants, in addition to its quaint and picturesque aspect.

Despite the fact that Fredericksburg has become increasingly touristy in recent years, it is still well worth a visit and is a fantastic base from which to explore the gorgeous Hill Country that surrounds it.

Lying just off of Texas’ Gulf Coast, Galveston is a beautiful place that delightfully combines Southern charm with lovely beaches and loads of stunning nineteenth century architecture.

Located on Galveston Island, the resort city is very popular with Houstonians who flock there during the weekend and summers to enjoy the warm weather and laidback way of life, while most cruise ships heading to Texas stop by in its large port.

Galveston is one of the most attractive cities in the state and is well worth a visit due to its abundance of gorgeous historic structures, scenic piers, and beachfront promenades.

Lying in the most populated part of the state, Dallas is a terrific city to live in as well as visit and each of its neighborhoods has its own special character and feel about them.

Uptown, for example, is filled with upscale restaurants, boutique shops, and trendy cocktail bars, whereas Downtown is home to many of the city’s tourist attractions, including the brilliant Museum of Art, which boasts one of the largest art collections in the United States.

With so much on offer, you may be touring Dallas’ diverse Arts District one minute, be shopping at one of its large malls the next, and then rocket off to watch the Dallas Cowboys play in the NFL.

Texas’ state capital is a pleasant, friendly, and down-to-earth community that touts itself as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ since it has a vast range of music venues for you to pick from as well as two internationally famous music festivals.

Its plethora of bars, restaurants, cafes, and clubs put on live shows throughout the week and alongside the lively performances, Austin is also gaining a reputation for its delicious food scene.

A very liberal city that is home to the huge University of Texas, Austin’s eccentricity shines through in everything it does and you’ll often see people wearing ‘Keep Austin Weird’ t-shirts as you walk around town.

Home to a youthful and active population, there are tons of fantastic outdoor activities for visitors to try their hand at and in the city’s more than 300 parks you can go kayaking, swimming, cycling, and hiking.

San Antonio, the second largest city in the state, is a very popular tourist destination because it offers so much to see and do and truly has everything a city could offer.

One of the joys of any visit is meandering along the scenic River Walk that snakes its way through Downtown and its banks teem with bustling cafés, bars, and restaurants.

In addition, San Antonio is famous as the site where Texas battled for independence from Mexico in 1836, in the Alamo. There are still many beautiful Spanish-era missions to be found in the city and its large Latino population means that there are an intoxicating mix of cultures for you to explore.

While its interesting history certainly attracts many visitors, just as many come for its wealth of amusement parks, shopping malls, and fun nightlife.

Home to a broad, multinational population, vast Houston is one of the largest and most lively cities in the States and as such it has many different aspects to it.

Its multitude of neighborhoods vary between chic and upmarket to laidback and down-to-earth and in Houston you really will find bars, restaurants, and shopping outlets that cater to all walks of life.

To gain a greater understanding of this city built from oil wealth, explore the lively arts and culture scene in the huge Theater District before heading to Chinatown and Mahatma Gandhi District to sample some of Houston’s fantastic cuisine and nightlife.

With the NASA Space Center, a multitude of parks, and multiple professional sports teams also on offer; Texas’ best metropolis has it all.

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