Planning a trip to Texas? The larger than life state is more than just the big cities and cowboy culture that often come to mind when thinking of the Lone Star State. From rolling hills to amazing resorts to magical wonders you won’t see in other parts of the US, Texas is a dream vacation full of unique activities. Check out our list of the top seven unique things to do in Texas while you plan your trip, and be sure to check out the 5 best resorts in Texas to find the perfect spot to rest your head.
1. Marfa, TX
The surprisingly artsy town in the middle of the Texas desert has become a top tourist destination for those travelling through the southwestern portion of the state. The small town, with a population of 2,000, is home to structures and art that seem to look out of place in the remote town. In the centre of the town is its landmark Prada Marfa, a singular Prada storefront. Also, don’t miss the Chinati Foundation art displays through town and in the old army base.
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While in town, stay in a safari tent or in a yurt instead of a hotel to make your experience that much more unique.
2. The Alamo, San Antonio, TX
Remember to visit the Alamo. The historic mission in San Antonio is most famous as the site of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo. To visit the Alamo today, head to the site between 9 am and 5:30 pm during the off-peak season — September to May — or between 9 am and 7 pm during peak season — from May to September. Take the full guided tour to learn the site’s history, admire the 18th-century architecture, or stop by one of the musical performances known to happen by the mission.
3. Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, TX
One of Texas’s most unique features is the Cadillac Ranch. The spot began as an art installation by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez, and Doug Michels in 1974. The sculptures consist of vibrantly painted and decked-out different Cadillacs models in a row, in the desert. The cars stick straight up into the air, with the front half buried in the ground, and visitors are encouraged to bring along a can of spray paint and add their own art to the Cadillacs’ skeletons.
4. The Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas, TX
Calling all Kennedy fans! You can’t miss out on the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, dedicated to the 35th president of the USA, John F. Kennedy. The museum is open Mondays from 12 to 6 pm, and Tuesdays through to Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm. The Sixth Floor Museum features exhibits on the state of the US in the early 1960s, the presidency of JFK, and his assassination in Dallas. The museum also holds special exhibits, including ones on photos of the Kennedy family, and ones on “Rebel Spirits: Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.” outlining their lives and work for civil rights.
5. Cathedral of Junk, Austin, TX
The tall and chaotic structure in the south of Austin, Texas is a roadside wonder and a unique experience for any traveller or Texan alike. The structure was built using just about any object you can imagine, giving it its name as the “Cathedral of Junk.” The living sculpture sits in the backyard of the original artist, Vince Hannemann. When visiting, be sure to call ahead of time to schedule your visit. While the cathedral is free, there is a recommended donation of $10, which goes toward general upkeep. Step inside the giant structure and climb the stairs to the second and third floors to get the best views and admire all the different pieces that went into its creation.
6. Jacob’s Well, Woodcreek, TX
Cool down with a swim in the intriguingly blue Jacob’s Well. The natural swimming hole is a seemingly endless hole that can be quite dangerous if you’re not careful. There have been several recorded accidents and deaths of divers exploring the depths, so it’s highly recommended you not venture down into Jacob’s Well, but rather rest in the water’s edge and dangle your feet down into the well. To swim at Jacob’s Well, you’ll need to reserve in advance with Hays County and entry is only allowed during the day.
7. Enchanted Rock, Fredericksburg, TX
Hike up and camp out on this pink granite rock in central Texas. The Enchanted Rock is a popular outdoor destination for adventure travellers everywhere. Located in the Texas Hill Country, Enchanted Rock is super accessible, and can even be done in a day trip if you prefer. With an elevation of 425 feet, the mountain is relatively easy to hike up and is a great option for some family fun. The park opens at 8 am, however, it’s known to close early on weekends due to large volumes of visitors, so be sure to arrive early and beat the crowds. Children 12 and under enter free. For anyone 13 and over, the park entrance is only $7, making it very budget-friendly.
Written by Rebecca Pittore
Rebecca is a recent DC college grad who left the city of eternal brunch for the city of eternal spring to become a content writer at AllTheRooms, the world’s first vacation rental search engine in Medellin, Colombia. Likes include puppies, hiking, books, and fighting injustice. Dislikes include spiders.