Texas really has it all, from dinosaur parks to hike and bike trails, museums to water resorts, there’s really something for everyone.
Here are a few tips to help make your summer in Texas unforgettable.
Hit Schlitterbahn – All Of Them
It’s the hottest coolest time in Texas. Come Play! Schlitterbahn-bahn. If you grew up in Texas, there’s a good chance you just sang along.
This beloved waterpark has four locations in Texas: New Braunfels, South Padre, Galveston, and Corpus Christi. Hit them all in an epic summer splash adventure. Each location includes a wide array of attractions for children and adults of all ages, so there’s something for everyone.
Explore the Sonora Caverns
This Texas cave network is home to some of the world’s most spectacular and interesting mineral formations all situated 155 feet below ground. The complex is divided into different sections, each with its own set of tunnels, characteristics, and sights.
There are several tour options with differing levels of intensity. Basic tours include a relaxing guided walk through the Crystal Palace, but if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, there’s an exhilarating tour which includes repelling 50 feet into the “Devil’s Pit”.
Float a River
From the Frio River to the Guadalupe, to any in between, floating a river is a Texas tradition.
Hit the Guadalupe for a killer party scene, the Comal for a quick float with an urban feel, the Brazos for the scenery, and the cool spring-fed San Marcos and Frio to beat the heat. Where ever you end up, always check local regulations. Glass containers are banned at most rivers in Texas, and cans are becoming banned more and more often.
Walk with Dinosaurs
Take a peek into the past at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose and see the dinosaur footprints embedded across the park millions of years ago.
“Long ago, dinosaurs left footprints in the mud at the edge of an ancient ocean. Today, you can walk in their tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River.”
Be sure to check with the park before heading out, as the tracks in the riverbed are not always visible due to natural conditions, and trails may be closed due to weather and safety concerns.
Watch Sea Turtles Hatch
Watching tiny sea turtles burst out of the sand and race to the sea is a truly amazing experience. Two of the best places to watch sea turtles hatch are North Padre Island in Corpus Christi with the National Park Service, and South Padre Island with Sea Turtle Inc.
Like all babies, the hatchlings decide when they’re ready, so planning a trip can be a little tricky. Releases typically happen between Mid-June to August, but exact days are up in the air. For your best chance to catch a release, keep an eye on the area’s Hatchling Release program websites, or call the centers directly for up-to-date release information.
Dive into Hamilton Pool
Hamilton Pool is a gorgeous oasis hidden in the cattle grazing land west of Austin. To get there, you’ll walk a short trail through a lush, stream-fed canyon that opens up to the a gorgeous grotto created when the dome of an underground river collapsed thousands of years ago. Be sure to call ahead first, prior reservations are required to enter Hamilton Pool Preserve.
Two Step over to Gruene Hall
Texas’ oldest dance hall has a strong legacy. Built in 1878, the 6,000-square foot hall has a high-pitched tin roof and its original layout. It offers live music every day. Since 1975, Gruene Hall has hosted hundreds of celebrations. It’s a true piece of Texas history waiting to be enjoyed.
Go Bat Watching at Bracken Cave
At dusk each summer, the skies over Bracken Cave fill with bats, pouring from the entrance of an ancient sinkhole.
An estimated twenty million tiny bats take up residence in this cave between March and October, making it one of the largest colony of bats in the world. To protect the bats, access to the cave and surrounding property is strictly controlled by Bat Conservation International, who open it to the public for viewing on select summer nights by ticket reservation only.
Witness the Marfa Lights
Pack a picnic, grab a spot at a roadside park off U.S. 90, and see if you can spot the Marfa Lights, mysterious orbs of light that reportedly float off the highway.
Beyond the Lights, Marfa boasts other attractions to keep you busy during the day. Snap a picture in front of Prada Marfa, visit the local independent bookstore, view some modern art at the Chinati Foundation, and camp out at El Cosmico.
See Palo Duro Canyon
Nestled in the Texas panhandle – it’s the country’s second-largest canyon, also known as “The Grand Canyon of Texas.”
Palo Duro Canyon State Park says: “Early Spanish explorers are believed to have discovered the area and dubbed the canyon ‘Palo Duro,’ which is Spanish for ‘hardwood,’ in reference to the abundant mesquite and juniper trees.”
Take On A Food Challenge
Texas is home to a wide range of food fare, from the typical BBQ eats to amazing foodie retreats.
There are Food Challenges spanning the state from Brooklyn Heights Pizzeria in Austin to Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo. If you’ve got an appetite for adventure, Texas is home to some of the craziest, biggest, tastiest food challenges found anywhere.
See The Hueco Tanks
Take a trip into the past at Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site. Pictographs from several distinct tribes and peoples can be found all over the Hueco Tanks, some dating to as early as 6000-3000 BCE.
At Hueco Tanks, you can hike, rock climb, bird watch, study nature and history, picnic and stargaze. Visitors can take guided and self-guided tours to view rock imagery that is truly memorable.
Happy Summer Fun, Ya’ll!
Wherever your plans take you this summer, here’s to making it unforgettable!
Check out these quick tips for a safe and enjoyable summer.
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