Big Adventure Ideas in the Lone Star State

Texans aren't kidding when they tell you everything is bigger in the Lone Star State!

Everything is bigger in Texas, even your adventures!

With 260,000 square miles and 35 cities, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Texas. You could hang around the Lone Star State for months and still not experience everything there is to offer. There really is a little something for everyone here.

Trying to name everything to do here would be nearly impossible. However, I can suggest some of the biggest things to see and do.

So, if you’re ready for a big Texas adventure, here are a few ideas to add to your itinerary.

The State Capitol Building

Texas State Capitol
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They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and the Texas State Capitol Building is certainly no exception. The massive three-story structure is actually the largest capitol building in the United States. It’s even taller than the U.S. Capitol building! Completed in 1888, it also sits among 22 acres of gorgeous grounds to explore.

Check out a free guided tour of this impressive building, or pick up a pamphlet and do a self-guided tour at your own pace. You’ll learn the history of the building and the state of Texas as you walk the historic halls.

Tyler Rose Garden

Again, everything is bigger in Texas, so you can probably guess that the rose gardens aren’t any different. The Tyler Rose Garden is the largest municipal rose garden in the country! It covers 14 acres, with more than 38,000 beautiful rose bushes, as well as fountains, gazebos, and walking paths.

The best time to visit is when the roses are at peak bloom: mid to late May, and again in October. However, there are plenty of other varieties of flowers and plants to see throughout the year, too.

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center

Saturn V rocket at Lyndon B Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas
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If you have ever wanted to get an idea of what it might be like to be an astronaut, check out NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. While they won’t let you suit up and rocket into space for real, you can tour the actual Apollo Mission control center and see flown spacecraft.

There are plenty of exhibits, demonstrations, and even talks from real astronauts. And if you need even more of a connection to space travel, you can touch real moon rocks! Don’t miss seeing the Saturn V rocket, which is the tallest and most powerful rocket ever flown.

Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory

Surely you’ve heard of Blue Bell Creameries! Blue Bell is ranked as one of the best ice creams in the U.S. The company actually gets its name from the Texas Bluebell, a wildflower that is native to Texas. While Blue Bell made its start as a butter company, they started producing ice cream in 1911 and never looked back.

If you love ice cream, you can’t miss a visit to the “little creamery.” Visit Blue Bell in Brenham, Texas to see how the ice cream is made, pick up some souvenirs in the Country Store, and have a big scoop of the freshest ice cream available.

Big Bend National Park

Santa Elena Canyon and Rio Grande river at Big Bend National Park
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Big Bend National Park has become one of the most popular vacation destinations in the state of Texas, and for good reason. You’ll find 800,000 acres of amazing nature and wildlife, making it one of the largest national parks in the U.S. You’ll definitely want to plan on taking more than one day to explore this park, and luckily there is a variety of camping and other lodging options.

The park is home to the Chisos mountain range, a lot of the Chihuahuan Desert, the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, the Langford Hot Springs, and the Santa Elena Canyon. There are plenty of scenic vistas, diverse wildlife to see, historic sites, and more outdoor adventure than you can shake a stick at.

National Museum of the Pacific War

The National Museum of the Pacific War is located in Fredericksburg, Texas. Why? It was the boyhood home of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who served as commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet.

This museum is a must-see for history buffs and has been named one of the top five history museums in the U.S. You’ll find over 6 acres, 3 museums, and outdoor exhibits. It’s the only institution in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to telling the story of the Pacific and Asiatic Theaters in WWII.

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BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Madnir Temple

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a traditional Hindu temple
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This Hindu place of worship was built from Turkish limestone and Italian marble. For its construction, 33,000 individual pieces were hand-carved in India by 3,000 craftsmen, and then those pieces were shipped to Texas. The temple was then assembled on site, which took 28 months.

This impressive structure is the largest of its kind in Texas and was constructed according to guidelines outlined in ancient Hindu scriptures. The grounds include over 22 acres, and there is also a haveli (a cultural center), a reflection pond, and an Understanding Hinduism exhibition.

Palo Duro Canyon

Located in the Texas Panhandle, the Palo Duro Canyon is about 25 miles outside of downtown Amarillo. At roughly 120 miles long, Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States! 

While it only sees a fraction of the tourists that visit the Grand Canyon every year, it’s still just as breathtaking. Plus, fewer tourists means more outdoor fun without crowding. You’ll be able to enjoy hiking and stargazing in peace. There are 15,000 acres of trails to hike and bike, or you can check out the thrilling zip line across the canyon.

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