Texas

Things to do in Texas

Those wondering what to do in Texas should head out west. Right outside of Big Bend National Park is the small artsy town of Marfa. It is there that you will find the enchanting Marfa Lights. In order to catch a glimpse, head about eight miles east of Marfa on Highway 90/67 where you will find the viewing area. Don’t be fooled into thinking that these are simply a car’s headlights off in the distance—sightings of these strange lights began as early as 1883, well before man’s use of the automobile.

For a close encounter with Texas wildlife, visit the Padre Island National Seashore south of Corpus Christi. The island is one of the best things to do in Texas. The winds that sweep across the shore are perfect for flying kites, and if you’re lucky, you could catch a glimpse of the endangered Kemp Ridley sea turtle. During late summer, visitors can even take part in a turtle release.

If you’re looking for things to do in Texas’ capital city of Austin, look no further than downtown. The eclectic city is known as the live music capital of the state. Venues such as Stubb’s and the Mohawk offer shows almost nightly.

Callahan’s General Store is a throwback to a time when shopping options were more limited for Texans.

The Houston outpost of the Austin music-and-dance club had a rocking opening in 2000, and the tin-ceilinged joint hasn't quieted down since. Expect to see local and touring bands that are as good as those that play the Austin location, which enjoys a coast-to-coast reputation.

This coffee shop, which now distributes coffee to grocery stores throughout the state, was founded in Austin in 1990 with its “world headquarters” now on trendy South Congress Avenue.

Ideal for a quick dinner, creative cocktails, and some of Houston’s best people-watching, this stylish bar is part of the multi-concept RDG + Bar Annie restaurant owned by celebrated chef Robert Del Grande.

Established in 1981 and housed in what was once the Lone Star Brewery Complex, the San Antonio Museum of Art boasts one of the largest collections of ancient Mediterranean art in the southern United States, as well as one of the nation’s finest Asian collections.

With the city skyline in the background, Houston’s skateboarders show off their skills inside this 30,000-square-foot complex. Designed by Grindline Skateparks, the state-of-the-art facility is the first of its kind in the region.

Walking around the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum at the University of Texas is a touching experience. For there, among the Disneyfied kitsch (a life-size, moving doll of LBJ telling corny jokes), is a record of achievements that puts today’s politicians to shame.

In 1992, Robert Ozarow moved from New York to Dallas to work for an investment bank, but two years later he launched Empire Baking Company with his wife Meadors Moore.

The Tuscan-influenced tasting room at this Hill Country winery feels more like Italy than Texas with its stone walls, high ceiling, and exposed beams. Stan and Lisa Duchman founded it in 2004 with the intention of wedding their favorite Italian grapes with Texan-grown varieties.

Straddling the Texas/New Mexico border, the remote Guadalupe Mountains National Park is rife with desert fauna. Stop by the park visitor center for an overview of this rugged, 86,416-acre reserve with 80 miles of hiking trails.

This outfitter aims to provide life-changing experiences through environmental conservation and social philanthropy. This community- and conservation-minded outfitter has led tours through Africa, India, and South America for more than 50 years. T+L Trip pick Primates of Africa.

About 30 miles northwest of Houston, Matt Family Orchard has 40 acres planted with blueberries, blackberries, figs, Asian pears, and persimmons, all of which are available for picking.