10 Places to Visit on Your Texas Road Trip from Austin

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texas road trip

Are you ready for an unforgettable road trip across the great state of Texas? Buckle up because we’re about to embark on an adventure like no other. Texas has everything from vibrant cities to rugged landscapes and everything in between. 

In this road trip guide, we’ll cover some of the Lone Star State’s top destinations, with a special highlight on the sun-kissed shores of Babe’s Beach in Galveston. So, gas up your car put on your favorite country tunes, and let’s hit the road!

1. Austin: Where Live Music Echoes

live music in austin

Our adventure begins in Austin, a city renowned worldwide as the Live Music Capital of the World. You’ll immerse yourself in an electrifying atmosphere with live music performances on every street corner. 

Take a leisurely stroll through the sprawling Zilker Park, a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The park is home to the iconic Barton Springs Pool, an oasis of natural spring waters perfect for a rejuvenating swim, especially during scorching summer days.

2. San Antonio: A Tapestry of History and Modernity

Next up is San Antonio, a city that effortlessly weaves its rich history into a modern tapestry. The Alamo, a pivotal site in Texas history, is a poignant reminder of the state’s fight for independence. Walking along the captivating River Walk, you’ll be enchanted by its meandering paths adorned with charming boutiques, restaurants, and cafés.

Don’t miss the chance to hop on a boat tour, where you’ll witness the city from a unique aquatic perspective. Hop aboard a riverboat tour to appreciate the charm of this urban oasis from a different perspective.

3. Fort Worth: Embracing the Wild West

Heading northward, we arrive in Fort Worth, a city that proudly embraces its Wild West heritage. The Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District is a living testament to the city’s cowboy culture. Witness the thrilling cattle drives, where cowboys and cowgirls steer herds of longhorns down the streets, capturing the essence of Texas’s frontier spirit.

Step into one of the traditional Western-style saloons to experience a taste of cowboy life firsthand. To complete the cowboy experience, catch the world-famous Stockyards Championship Rodeo, showcasing exhilarating rodeo events like bull riding and barrel racing.

4. Dallas: Where Culture and Innovation Collide

Our Texas road trip takes us to Dallas, a city that harmoniously blends cultural landmarks with cutting-edge innovation. Delve into history at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, dedicated to the legacy of President John F. Kennedy.

Art enthusiasts will be captivated by the Dallas Museum of Art, home to a diverse collection from various eras and cultures. For architecture lovers, the Dallas Arts District showcases stunning modern designs amidst a vibrant cultural scene.

5. Big Bend National Park: A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Big Bend National Park

Venturing westward, we find ourselves amidst the awe-inspiring beauty of Big Bend National Park, a natural wonder that highlights the untamed ruggedness of Texas. Encompassing vast canyons, tranquil rivers, and majestic mountains, this park is an adventurer’s paradise. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the myriad of trails, each offering breathtaking vistas and an intimate connection with nature.

As the sun rises and sets over this wilderness, you’ll be left awestruck by the mesmerizing landscape. Photographers will relish capturing stunning sunrises and sunsets, casting their warm glow on the Chisos Mountains.

6. El Paso: Embracing Borderland Culture

Continuing west, we find ourselves in El Paso, a city steeped in Texan and Mexican cultures, offering a unique blend of traditions and flavors. The El Paso Mission Trail takes us on a historical journey, where we can visit three stunning Spanish missions – Ysleta Mission, Socorro Mission, and San Elizario Chapel.

Each historic landmark showcases distinct architectural styles and reflects the region’s Spanish colonial history. Delight your taste buds with mouthwatering Tex-Mex cuisine, a fusion of Texas and Mexican flavors.

7. Hill Country and San Marcos: An Enchanting Escape

Heading back east, we reach Hill Country, a picturesque region adorned with rolling hills, quaint towns, and crystal-clear rivers. Fredericksburg, with its German heritage, is a charming town known for its wineries and local craftsmanship.

Wimberley, nestled amidst lush nature, offers the serene Blue Hole Regional Park, where you can cool off in the pristine waters of the San Marcos River. The region’s beauty will leave you enchanted and yearning for more.

8. Houston: Space, Science, and History Collide

Our road trip now leads us to Houston, a city where space exploration, scientific discoveries, and historical landmarks intertwine. The Space Center Houston is a must-visit destination, where you can embark on a journey through NASA’s space missions and even meet real-life astronauts. 

Delve into the vibrant Museum District, offering diverse exhibits, from art galleries to science museums. Houston’s thriving culinary scene ensures you’ll savor some of the best Texan cuisine to refuel for the next leg of our journey.

9. Galveston’s Babe’s Beach: A Tropical Haven

Galveston's Babe's Beach

Finally, we reach our sun-kissed destination, Babe’s Beach Galveston, known for its beautiful beaches. Sink your toes into the soft, warm sand as gentle waves caress the shore. Babe’s Beach is a slice of paradise, inviting you to relax, unwind, and soak in the breathtaking Gulf Coast scenery.

Apart from beach bliss, Galveston also offers attractions like the historic Pleasure Pier, home to thrilling rides and delectable treats, and the enchanting Moody Gardens, a sprawling complex with gardens, aquariums, and rainforest pyramids.

10. Back to Austin: A Journey Full of Memories

As our Texas road trip concludes, we head back to Austin with our hearts full of cherished memories. The journey has allowed us to uncover the diverse beauty and rich heritage of the Lone Star State, leaving us with a profound appreciation for this remarkable part of the world.

In conclusion, the mesmerizing journey across the Lone Star State has been embraced with warm hospitality, leaving us with cherished memories of vibrant cities, majestic national parks, and the tranquil allure of Galveston’s Babe’s Beach. Texas has been thoroughly experienced, and its diverse beauty has been appreciated, ensuring that an unforgettable adventure has been embarked upon.

About the Author

Jeremy Scott Foster

Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today.
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