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5 Top-Rated Texas Tourist Attractions You’ve Got to Visit Now

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With an abundance of natural and cultural attractions, Texas is a world-class destination. As far as being a tourist goes, many here in the Lone Star State simply take Texas-sized road trips to scratch their traveling itch. That’s because it’s the second largest state in America. Geographically, that means a landscape diversity that’s practically incomparable. From the flat expanse of the plains to the beauty of the Hill Country to stunning coastal scenery, Texas is a sight for sore eyes. Not only that, but its world-class cities are destinations in and of themselves. Our cities are filled with tourist attractions, galleries, museums, and prime sporting events and shows! Here are five top-rated Texas tourist attractions you need to get to this year:

1. Padre Island National Seashore 

5 Top-Rated Texas Tourist Attractions You've Got to Visit Now

Photo: National Park Service

Padre Island is located just a quick drive south of Corpus Christi. This undeveloped barrier island stretches 70 miles and is an integral Texas conservation area. Made up of grassland, sand dune, and beach habitats, Padre Island National Seashore entails more than 130K acres and is home to a variety of migratory birds as well as rare sea turtles. Start your tour of the island at the Malaquite Visitor Center. With a wealth of information and assistance for visitors with mobility issues (including specially designed beach wheelchairs), it’s a great way to ensure everyone can enjoy all that Padre Island National Seashore has to offer. It belongs on every list of the top-rated Texas tourist attractions.

2. Fort Worth Stockyards

5 Top-Rated Texas Tourist Attractions You've Got to Visit Now

Photo: Wikimedia/By Mark Fisher

One of the largest draws to the area, the Stockyards National Historic District is a Fort Worth tourist offering unlike any other. Taking its name from one of the industries that helped to put Texas on the map, the Fort Worth Stockyards were founded in 1866. Now the last of its kind, this historic place has been transformed into one of the top-rated Texas tourist attractions, consisting of great accommodations, cattle drives, rodeos, western-themed shopping, and so much more.

3. Natural Bridge Caverns

5 Top-Rated Texas Tourist Attractions You've Got to Visit Now

Photo: Wikimedia

Situated in the Texas Hill Country, the remarkable Natural Bridge Caverns are just part of an immense underground network consisting of over 10K diverse stalactite formations. It’s the largest of its type of tourist attraction in America. Natural Bridge Caverns takes its name from the 60-foot limestone bridge that spans its entrance. It boasts some truly amazing features as well as a variety of activities, including themed tours and a climbing adventure in the trees on the property, using platforms, zip lines, and ropeways.

4. The Alamo

5 Top-Rated Texas Tourist Attractions You've Got to Visit Now

Photo: Wikimedia/Nuggehalli2015

Famous for its role in the Texas War of Independence, the Alamo is part of a mission that was established in 1718. Constructed in 1744, it was turned into a fort by 1836, in which, against overwhelming odds, a small force of defenders barricaded themselves. Their defeat after a fight to the death at the hands of the Mexican army served to rally the state. Today, the Alamo is one of the top-rated Texas tourist attractions, which is visited by more than 2.5 million people each year. It’s a landmark which is emotionally moving, and its restoration commemorates those fallen Texans who gave their lives there.

5. Space Center Houston

5 Top-Rated Texas Tourist Attractions You've Got to Visit Now

Photo: NASA

Space Center Houston is not only one of the top-rated Texas tourist attractions, but it’s also the visitor’s center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. It’s an impressive location from which to gain insight into America’s space program, including models, exhibits, artifacts, and films. Visitors also have the opportunity to dress up as an astronaut and even meet one at scheduled appearances! Other highlights include seeing real rockets and experiencing a space simulator.