Texas Quick Facts
Uniquely Texas: The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Must-See: the Austin Bridge bats
Most Unusual: Buckhorn Saloon and Museum in San Antonio
Highest Point: Guadalupe Peak, 8,749 feet
Food to Try: Tex-Mex chili and chicken fried steak
What to Do
1 Take a ride at Six Flags
2 Swim in the Gulf of Mexico
3 See the underwater creatures at the Texas State Aquarium
4 Take a step across the boarder
5 Go fishing on South Padre Island
6 Buy a ten-gallon hat
7 Shop at the First Monday Trade Days in Canton, the Oldest and largest flea market in America
Off the Beaten Path | Texas
In this week's Off the Beaten Path we are exploring the great state of Texas. In Texas you will find a wide range of amazing attractions. You can enjoy the cities, the unique cuisine, the theme parks, natural wonders, and many uniquely Texan attractions. The following are only a very few of the truly fabulous places and things to see and do in the Lone Star State.
Austin Bat Bridge
This quirky attraction is also know as the Congress Avenue Bats, and it's located right in Austin. The Austin Bat Bridge just happens to be the largest colony of urban bats in North America. The colony of bats is composed of over 1 million Mexican Free-Tailed bats. If you stay on the bridge during the spring and summer at sunset, you will be able to see the bats come out from under the bridge.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The wonderful Lady Bird Wildflower Center celebrates the love that Lady Bird Johnson had for native landscaping and its preservation. When you visit this delightful attraction in Austin you will enjoy the wildflower meadows, the exhibits, the observation tower and the many, many other planting areas. You too will be able to enjoy the Texas Hill Country the way that Lady Bird Johnson did.
No visit to Texas would be complete without a trip to The Alamo. The Alamo was originally built as a Spanish Mission, but we all know it as the site of the infamous battle. A visit to the Alamo will allow you to soak in the legend and the truth about The Alamo and the battle that was waged there in 1836.
San Antonio River Walk
Located on the banks of the San Antonio River, the River Walk is an amazing shopping destination. In fact, as you walk within the city along the winding banks of the beautiful river, you will be able to enjoy some of the best shopping and dining that San Antonio has to offer. The San Antonio River Walk presents a truly unique, Texan, shopping experience.
Johnson Space Center
Most of us probably dreamed about going into space at one time or another in our lives. You will be able to enjoy all of the mysteries of NASA at the Johnson Space Center, which is NASA's official visitor's center. At the Space Center you can try some of the great simulations and really experience what it's like to be in space, even landing on the moon. Of course, don't miss a tour of the NASA Control Center.
Big Bend National Park
Located in Southwestern Texas, Big Bend National Park is an amazing place to experience the natural wonders of Texas. You can see the Chihuahuan Desert and the Rio Grande River as well as other environments. Within Big Bend National Park you can take the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive or enjoy the Old Maverick Road. The Castolon Historic District has exhibits and historic adobe buildings. Of course every visitor to the Big Bend National Park should stop at Santa Elena Canyon and go for a float down the Rio Grande.
The Houston Rodeo
No trip to Texas would be complete without a true Texas Rodeo experience. If you can make it to Texas during March, you can experience the Houston Rodeo. This is the largest rodeo in the world and it lasts for twenty days. These twenty days are full of parades, livestock, BBQ and, of course, bull riding. If you aren't the bull riding type, you can take in some of the amazing concerts.
Texas | Fun and Funky Things to Do
Texas is a state full of great places to visit and explore. Many of these places have historical significance or beautiful art. Visitors will also find places that are quirky and fun, that highlight some of the more funky parts of Texas culture and history.
Forbidden Gardens, Katy
Visitors to Katy should stop at the Forbidden Gardens. These gardens are a celebration of some of the most significant historical sites in China. The gardens have a replica of the Tomb of Qin Shi Huang-di, at one-third its original size. Visitors can see replicas of all 6000 pieces of the army. There is also a one-twentieth scale replica of the Forbidden City, among other scale replicas of other important historical sites. At the Forbidden Gardens visitors have the opportunity to see and learn about ancient chinese culture and history.
Austin Bat Bridge
This quirky attraction is also know as the Congress Avenue Bats, and is located right in Austin. The Austin Bat Bridge just happens to be the largest colony of urban bats in North America. The colony of bats is composed of over 1 million Mexican Free-Tailed bats. If you stay on the bridge for sunset you will be able to see the bats come out from under the bridge throughout the spring and summer.
The Salt Palace Museum, Grand Saline
Texas travelers can learn all about the salt industry at the Salt Palace Museum in Grand Saline. The town has a long history with the salt industry, in fact the town is built on top of a large salt deposit, and has a history of salt mining. The museum features the history of salt mining as well as the history of Grand Saline. Visitors can see salt mining memorabilia, a video of salt mining, photos and other items that demonstrate the history of salt mining and the history of life in the community.
A stop in Amarillo will take visitors back to the era of the Old West, the town is surrounded by many ranches that work nearly the same today as the did in the 1800s. Visitors to Amarillo should make sure to stop for a meal at the Big Texan Steak Ranch, which is no longer located on the original Route 66, but started its history along the highway. This restaurant still offers the free 72-ounce Steak Dinner for customers who can eat it in less than an hour. As you leave Amarillo keep your eyes peeled for The Cadillac Ranch. The Cadillac Ranch was founded by Stanley Marsh, 3, the Texas millionaire as a piece of art outside of Amarillo. Visitors are welcome at this historic piece of Texas art.
ArtCar Museum, Houston
This Houston museum focuses on contemporary art, and especially emphasizes art cars. The museum also includes other fine arts from artists locally, nationally and even internationally. Visitors to the museum have the opportunity to see a large collection of very fascinating art cars. After exploring the art cars visitors can enjoy the other exhibits with other art forms.