15 Best Cities in Texas to Visit Now

Published By Ketki

Last Updated

Planning a trip to the Lone Star State and looking for the most visited cities in Texas?

Texas is a large and diverse state, offering everything from big-city sights to small-town charm.

The state was ruled by six different sovereign nations including Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, Confederate States, and the USA.

Each of these has left embedded a distinct culture, values, and culinary heritage in the Lone Star State’s cities.

When it comes to choosing the best cities in Texas for your next vacation, it really depends on what you’re looking for.

Austin, Texas downtown skyline views over the Colorado River
Austin, Texas downtown skyline views over the Colorado River

If you’re interested in history and culture, then San Antonio is a great choice.

The city is home to the famous Alamo, as well as a number of other historical sites.

For those who prefer a more laid-back vacation, Austin is a great option.

The city has a lively music scene and is filled with parks and green spaces.

Or, if you’re looking for a beach vacation, Corpus Christi is the place to be.

The city has miles of sandy beaches and is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts.

Dia de los Muertos celebration in San Antonio Texas
Dia de los Muertos celebration in San Antonio Texas

From celebrations like Dia de los Muertos and Mardi Gras to events like the Houston Rodeo and Austin’s SXSW music festival, something’s always happening in Texas’s top cities.

From Houston in the east to faraway Marfa and El Paso, each of the Texan cities has something unique for visitors to the Lone Star State. 

Best Cities in Texas to visit now

All of Texas cities are impressive and offer unique tourist attractions.

San Antonio is famous for its Riverwalk and Alamo while Houston has Nasa.

Dallas has the 6th Floor museum while charming Fredericksburg has European vibe and wineries.

Corpus Christi has spectacular beaches and Marfa has its artwork and mysterious lights!

Whichever region of Texas you chose to visit, you are sure to find an exciting urban region that promises unique attractions, lively food scenes, and a vibrant culture.

Here are our top favorite cities in Texas to visit on the trip of your lifetime!

Mission Concepcion is a part of the San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage Site
Mission Concepcion is a part of the San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage Site

San Antonio

Situated in the heart of the state of Texas, San Antonio is not only one of the most visited cities in Texas but in America!

With a history that dates back as far as the 1720s, the city promises an interesting fusion of the old and the new. 

The best way to experience the unique San Antonio atmosphere is by taking a stroll down the River Walk.

Alternatively, you can even take a boat tour along the San Antonio River and explore the area by water. 

The San Antonio Riverwalk looks very vibrant and pretty at night
The San Antonio Riverwalk looks very vibrant and pretty at night

Related: Ultimate Guide to the San Antonio Riverwalk

The Alamo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is essential to visit while in the city.

Here, history buffs can take a step back in time and walk through the iconic structure.

You can learn more about this Spanish Frontier Mission and the importance of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo. 

The 250-acre SeaWorld San Antonio aquarium and theme park is fun to visit for families with kids.

Visitors can see a variety of marine life as well as sit on fun and thrilling rides in the park. 

San Fernando Cathedral And Christmas Tree Main Plaza - San Antonio Texas
San Fernando Cathedral And Christmas Tree Main Plaza – San Antonio Texas

Head to the Historic Market Square, an outdoor plaza, to shop for Mexican goods and enjoy a delicious dinner with live music.

In the evening, take a stroll along the Pearl district and explore various eateries and bars. 

Enjoy your stay in San Antonio by staying in a hotel located in the downtown area or along the Riverwalk.

Best Western Plus Sunset Suites Riverwalk or Hotel Valencia is one of the most popular hotels in the area.

Texas state capitol building in Austin is a must visit attraction
Texas state capitol building in Austin is a must visit attraction

Austin

As the capital city of Texas, Austin is home to spectacular attractions and activities, a bustling downtown, as well as year-round festivals and events.

A must-see in Austin is the Texas State Capitol.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the building and learn about its history. 

With its unofficial motto of ‘Keep Austin Weird’, the city is filled with art galleries and cultural attractions.

You can spot many murals and public art throughout downtown and see the Umlauf Sculpture Garden in Zilker Park. 

Barton Springs Creek swimming pool in Austin Texas is a perfect summer travel destination
Barton Springs Creek swimming pool in Austin Texas is a perfect summer travel destination

History buffs will love the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, located near the State Capitol.

Here you can explore Texas’s history through the ages and watch a video in an Imax Theater.

Austin also has many attractions for outdoor enthusiasts.

Spend a day at the large, centrally located Zilker Metropolitan Park.

The park is home to a big lawn where concerts are held, children’s play areas, and hiking/biking trails.

Austin Texas is the live music capital of the world and hosts several outdoor music concerts and festivals
Austin Texas is the live music capital of the world and hosts several outdoor music concerts and festivals

The park is also home to the Barton Springs Pool and Lady Bird Lake, both favorites with water lovers. 

If you are looking for a fun night out, head to Austin’s Sixth Street.

It is home to many vibrant restaurants, clubs, and bars.

Try some of the traditional Texas Barbecue.

Visit either the famous Franklin Barbeque or Rudy’s for some mouth-watering ribs or brisket. 

To enjoy your stay in Austin, choose between iconic The Driskill on 6th Street or the Omni Austin in Downtown. 

We Love Houston Mural near Convention Center
We Love Houston Mural near Convention Center

Houston

Home to various museums, world-class dining experiences, and vibrant nightlife, Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest city in America. 

The first stop of your trip to Houston should be the Space Center.

With more than 400 artifacts, exhibits, and space-related memorabilia, this interactive museum is a great place for a fun family day. 

Kids also love to admire the huge collection of fossils, mineral specimens, and dinosaur skeletons at the Museum of Natural Science.

Houston Museum of Natural Science
Houston Museum of Natural Science

The Cockrell Butterfly Center located on the same campus is also cool to visit. 

For some outdoor activities, head to the Buffalo Bayou Park.

You can either bike along the park’s trails or you can just go for a walk while enjoying the beautiful views of Houston’s downtown. 

Try some Houston specialties, such as Texas brisket at Killen’s Barbecue or go to Armando’s for a fine dining experience in a sophisticated and romantic atmosphere.

Hyatt Regency Houston and Hilton Houston Post Oak by the Galleria are among the most popular hotels in the city.  

Galleria Mall is a paradise for shoppers in Houston
Galleria Mall is a paradise for shoppers in Houston

Galveston

Situated on the Gulf Coast of Texas, Galveston is Texas’s resort city that attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Visitors love Galveston’s golden sandy beaches and warm water.

The city also has pretty Victorian-style houses and many seafood shacks serving delicious food. 

Galveston has really pretty beaches
Galveston has really pretty beaches

Start your trip by enjoying a well-spent morning at Stewart Beach.

If you would like to combine the morning swim with a few outdoor activities….

….head to Galveston Island State Park, where you can also go kayaking, birdwatching, fishing, and surfing. 

Make sure to also visit the Moody Gardens, one of Galveston’s top attractions.

Learn more about different flora and fauna species, divided into three pyramids – Aquarium, Rainforest, and Discovery. 

Best things to do in Galveston Texas
Best things to do in Galveston Texas

At the end of the day, take a stroll down the East End Historic District of Galveston.

See the historic buildings and pay a visit to the stunning almost 20,000 square feet Bishop’s Palace.

This iconic Victorian landmark dates back to 1892 and is a must for history buffs.

Grab some delicious seafood dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoy the harbor views.

If you are wondering where to stay – check out Casa del Mar Beachfront Suites or Hilton Galveston Island Resort.

Both offer stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and are close to the beach.

Greetings from Galveston Mural
Greetings from Galveston Mural

Dallas

As the third-largest city in Texas, Dallas is a modern metropolis offering its visitors a combination of art and history.

Downtown Dallas is a major cultural hub and has plenty of attractions for visitors.

Start your visit to Dallas at the unique Arts District, the biggest of its kind in America.

The Old Red Museum in Dallas Texas
The Old Red Museum in Dallas Texas

The district is spread over 70 acres and is home to various facilities for visual and developing arts, as well as the popular Dallas Museum of Art. 

For a natural escape in the middle of the city, head to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.

This urban paradise has blooming flowers year-round and is located on the shores of the beautiful White Rock Lake.

Tulips at the Dallas Arboretum
Tulips at the Dallas Arboretum

The garden has play areas for kids and it is great to spend the day. 

Another essential visit is the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District.

You can watch a rodeo, attend a shootout, or visit a saloon-style bar at this ultimate Wild West location.

You can also go country dancing at Billy Bob’s, one of the largest honky-tonk bars in Texas. 

Grab some of the traditional Texas barbecue meats from the Slow Bone or the Pecan Lodge.

Tarrant County Courthouse is downtown Fort Worth
Tarrant County Courthouse is downtown Fort Worth

For an accommodation option, you can’t go wrong with The Statler Dallas, a Curio Collection Hotel by Hilton.

This is one of the most luxurious hotels in the downtown area and amazing for a relaxing stay. 

Fredericksburg

With its unique German heritage, Fredericksburg is one of the most interesting and unique towns in Texas.

Located in the central Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg is also famous for its wineries.

Public library in Fredericksburg has stunning limestone facade
Public library in Fredericksburg has stunning limestone facade

To get a feel of authentic Fredericksburg, stroll down Main Street, and admire the historic buildings that were built in the 1850s.

Most of these have now been transformed into antique shops, art galleries, cafes, restaurants, and bars. 

Visit the Pioneer Museum to understand the German heritage and see homesteads and preserved artifacts from pioneer days.

Another great museum to visit for military enthusiasts is the National Museum of the Pacific War.

Gorgeous Bluebonnet fields In The Texas Hill Country
Gorgeous Bluebonnet fields In The Texas Hill Country

Wildseed Farms, the biggest wildflower farm in America, is also located near Fredericksburg and is beautiful to visit spring to fall.

In spring, you need to drive the nearby Willow City Loop to see beautiful bluebonnets. 

If you want to indulge in a fantastic wine tasting experience, then visit any of the over 50 wineries in Gillespie County.

Texas Hill Country is famous for its wineries
Texas Hill Country is famous for its wineries

Visit Pedernales Cellars, our favorite, or the Lost Draw Cellars, for a uniquely Texan vibe. 

To get the most of your trip, stay at a charming Bed and breakfasts located in the Hill Country.

The laid back atmosphere of this picturesque town, combined with the German vibe makes Fredericksburg one of the best towns to visit this summer.

Corpus Christi

For the perfect urban beach destination, make the trip down the Texas Gulf Coast to Corpus Christi.

Situated in southern Texas, close to the border with Mexico, Corpus Christi offers miles of white sandy beaches, fantastic outdoor activities, and world-class dining experience. 

Views of Corpus Christi skyline from the bay
Views of Corpus Christi skyline from the bay

Start your visit at the iconic USS Lexington.

This former WWII Aircraft Carrier has been converted into a museum and has many interesting exhibits.

Spend the afternoon learning about the interesting marine life off the Gulf Coast at the Texas State Aquarium. 

Stroll on the Corpus Christi Downtown Seawall and enjoy the gorgeous views at sunset.

Corpus Christi Cathedral is a very charming building
Corpus Christi Cathedral is a very charming building

Go fishing at the Bob Hall Pier and visit the Selena Museum, dedicated to the iconic Tejano Music singer. 

One of the popular places for outdoor enthusiasts is the Mustang Island State Park.

You can relax and sunbathe at the beach or explore the park’s paddling trails in a kayak.

Fly a kite or go birding, the state park has it all. 

Have a relaxing evening with traditional Tex-Mex dinner at La Playa Mexican Restaurant and Cantina or Chuy’s.

Stay at the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel or the Mustang Towers for beautiful ocean views. 

Miradores del Mar or sea overlooks on the Corpus Christi seawall
Miradores del Mar or sea overlooks on the Corpus Christi seawall

Brenham

Situated in east-central Texas, the city of Brenham is located just 70 miles away from Houston.

The city has a very laid-back, relaxing vibe.

Brenham is most famous for two things: bluebonnets and Blue Bell ice-cream.

Brenham downtown buildings
Brenham downtown buildings

Visit the fields around the town ins spring to see the flowers and visit the creamery to sample ice-cream. 

The town’s Historic Downtown is known for its picturesque streets, antique shops, and historic buildings full of character.

Take a stroll to see beautiful murals and step inside the boutique stores for shopping.  

The Brenham Heritage Museum narrates the interesting story of the Brenham and the surrounding Washington County area.

Enjoy shopping and art in Brenham Texas
Enjoy shopping and art in Brenham Texas

History lovers should also visit the Giddings Stone Mansion, the town’s historic landmark.

Built-in a Greek Revival Architectural style, the house is beautiful to see. 

Brenham is also famous for its local area wineries and breweries.

To try a great local beer, visit the Brazos Valley Brewing Company and eat the signature steak at BT Longhorn Steakhouse.

Stay at the historic Ant Street Inn and enjoy your weekend getaway far away from the city’s busy life. 

Views of Downtown El Paso Texas and Juarez Mexico from Franklin Mountains
Views of Downtown El Paso Texas and Juarez Mexico from Franklin Mountains

El Paso

Located on the Rio Grande, directly across Juarez in Mexico, El Paso is the ultimate Texan gateway.

The town is heavily influenced by Mexican culture and also by Texas’ ranching traditions.

Visitors can deep dive into the Wild West culture at El Paso and enjoy delicious Tex-Mex cuisine. 

Start your visit at the Ysleta Mission, a historic landmark that represents El Paso’s history.

Historic San Elizario Chapel Along the El Paso Mission Trail
Historic San Elizario Chapel Along the El Paso Mission Trail

If you are visiting with kids, then head to the El Paso Zoo.

In the evening, take a stroll around the vibrant downtown.

Take a ride on the Wyler Aerial Tramway to see the city from above.

The town is home to one of the largest state parks in America.

Covering more than 24,000 acres, the Franklin Mountains State Park is great for hiking, biking, and enjoying the beautiful desert views of southwest Texas. 

Mexican Gold Poppies at the foot of the Franklin Mountains in El Paso
Mexican Gold Poppies at the foot of the Franklin Mountains in El Paso

A must-visit for history lovers is the El Paso Museum of History.

The museum collection spans over 400 years of history.

Art lovers must visit the El Paso Museum of Art.

For dinner, grab some Mexican food from Angus Rojo or L&J Cafe, while in El Paso.

If you are planning to stay overnight, check out the Hotel Indigo El Paso Downtown or the DoubleTree by Hilton.

Historic City Hall of Amarillo Texas
Historic City Hall of Amarillo Texas

Amarillo

Located in the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo is one of a kind city.

Its location on the historic Route 66 has significantly shaped the city’s fortunes.

Amarillo offers its visitors a vibrant downtown and yet, it is never far away from natural attractions. 

The city is the perfect base for exploring the Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

Views from the trail just near the base of Lighthouse rock at Palo Duro Canyon
Views from the trail just near the base of Lighthouse rock at Palo Duro Canyon

Often called “The Grand Canyon of Texas”, the canyon is the second largest in America.

The park has several hiking and biking trails for visitors.

The park has stunning views of layers of red, brown, and yellows colored interesting rock formations. 

The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum is dedicated to the famous horse breed and has a bit of history and cowboy culture for everyone.

Cadillac Ranch Amarillo is one of the best places to visit in Texas
Cadillac Ranch Amarillo is one of the best places to visit in Texas

Another must-visit is the Cadillac Ranch where you can see artistically decorated cars.

Finish the day, by enjoying a stunning sunset from the Ferris Wheel at the Wonderland Amusement Park. 

Woodspring Suites Amarillo is one of the best hotels located in the downtown area.

The Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery is the best place to grab some food, or even participate in the legendary 72-ounce steak-eating challenge. 

New Braunfels

Approximately 32 miles away from San Antonio, visitors can find an interesting Texas city with a small-town vibe called New Braunfels.

New Braunfels has an interesting history that dates back to the 1800s. 

Oldest dance hall in Texas in Historic Gruene
Oldest dance hall in Texas in Historic Gruene

The city has a German heritage which you can see in the well-preserved Gruene Historic District.

This area is by far the most popular in the town with its historic buildings, antique shops, and restaurants.

Gruene was once a small town of its own, however, it has now been incorporated in the New Braunfels city limits. 

The Natural Bridge Caverns is the second most popular attraction in the town that is totally worth the visit!

Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio Texas
Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio Texas

Book a tour and learn more about the massive cave formations, located 180 feet below the surface level. 

While you are in New Braunfels, make sure to indulge in some traditional German cuisine by trying the food at Alpine Haus Restaurant or Krause’s Cafe.

If you are planning on staying overnight, Gruene River Hotel and Retreat is one of the best options in the area. 

Kids can feed zebras at the Natural Bridge Caverns Widllife Safari
Kids can feed zebras at the Natural Bridge Caverns Widllife Safari

Marfa

Situated in the middle of the Trans-Pecos desert region, Marfa is one of the most charming little towns across the state of Texas.

Home to various modern and minimalist art galleries, the town is also known for its artistic vibe.

Presidio County Courthouse in Marfa Texas
Presidio County Courthouse in Marfa Texas

If you are looking for inspiration and creativity, head to The Chinati Foundation.

Visitors are often impressed by the diversity of modern artwork spread across the massive army base.

The city also has a thriving music scene. 

As the night approaches, you might want to try to see the mysterious Marfa Lights that appear out in the desert.

The lights were first noticed in the 19th century and now attract hundreds of visitors to their blue, red, and white colors.

Marfa ghost lights roadside rest stop
Marfa ghost lights roadside rest stop

The exact cause is still not known, however, it feels like an atmospheric mirage. 

You will be absolutely impressed to know that the small town located in the middle of the West Texas desert is also a foodie destination.

In the evening, sip on delicious wine at Al Campo Wine Garden or get dinner at Aster Marfa. 

If you are looking for an adventure, go glamping at one of the vintage trailers at El Cosmico Nomadic Hotel or pitch a tent in the middle of the desert.

Marfa also has a beautiful night sky and you can spot stars and galaxies far away. 

Glamping outside of Marfa Texas
Glamping outside of Marfa Texas

Arlington

If you are planning a family road trip with kids and looking for theme parks, then Arlington is your destination. 

The city is home to the massive 212 acres Six Flags Over Texas amusement park as well as the 50-acre Hurricane Harbor water park.

The parks have plenty of themed rides, attractions, pools, and slides.

The parks are excellent to spend a fun day in the summer.

If you are looking for outdoor activities, go kayaking or fishing around the beautiful Lake Arlington.

For the fans of Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League, a tour around the AT&T Stadium, which now serves as the team’s home ground, might be the perfect way to spend the afternoon. 

Grab some mouth-watering Buffalo ribs for dinner at Green Pig Bistro or try the delicious pizzaz at the Pupatella.

For those who would like to stay overnight, the Aloft Dallas Arlington Entertainment District is a suburb hotel close to all amusement parks. 

Iconic bell tower in Aggie land College Station
Iconic bell tower in Aggie land College Station

College Station

Located at the heart of Brazos Valley, College Station is home to Texas A&M University.

It is called Aggieland, due to the university’s emphasis on agriculture. 

Because of its young population, the city has many restaurants, breweries, live events, and festivals.

The city has a colorful and dynamic nightlife with lots of music and dancing and can guarantee party lovers a fun-filled evening. 

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with coleslaw and dill pickles Texas Barbecue
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with coleslaw and dill pickles Texas Barbecue

The city, however, has lots more to offer than just nightlife and restaurants.

A must visit is the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum.

It has various artifacts about the president’s life and even has a reconstruction of the Oval Office.

Visitors can also see a piece of the Berlin Wall in the museum. 

Book yourself a room at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in the downtown area or head slightly out of the city to the Abigaile’s Treehouse Bed and Breakfast for a more secluded and elegant stay.

Make sure to stop by the Grub Burger Bar and try some of the most delicious burgers in town. 

Polar Express train ride steam engine photo op near Palestine Railroad Depot

Grapevine

Grapevine, located north of Dallas, is a great city to visit for a family vacation.

The city has many kid-friendly attractions as well as cultural destinations.

Great Wolf Lodge is famous for its indoor water park while Legoland Discovery Center has games and activities for all ages. 

Take a step back in time by visiting the Historic Downtown area of Grapevine.

The charming Main Street is filled with antique shops, art galleries, restaurants, and even a historic train.

Pioneer Plaza Sculpture in Dallas Texas
Pioneer Plaza Sculpture in Dallas Texas

Take a ride on the vintage Victorian coaches from the 1920s and experience the Vintage Railroad.

Must visit for outdoor lovers is Lake Grapevine.

Here visitors can enjoy various outdoor activities such as kayaking, canoeing, hiking, or biking.

Wine lovers can tour the region’s wineries and sample local wines.

If you happen to visit in September, you can attend the largest wine festival in the SouthWest US, the annual GrapeFest. 

Christmas in Grapevine

However, the city truly comes to life during winter and is known as the Christmas Capital of Texas.

Kids can ride the Polar Express to the north pole and play in the snow at the Great Wolf Lodge.

Thousands of lights decorate the trees and the festive cheer is present everywhere.

Indulge in some Italian food on the outside patio at Zeppole Coastal Italian or grab a quick lunch bite while passing by the Main Street Bistro and Bakery.

Kayaking and swimming in the clear natural spring water of Barton Creek in Austin is a popular summer activity
Kayaking and swimming in the clear natural spring water of Barton Creek in Austin is a popular summer activity

From art and culture to culinary experiences and shopping, each of the Texan cities offer something unique for visitors.

They make perfect romantic getaways, weekend road trips, and family fun escapes for all types of travelers. 

We hope you like our post on the best cities in Texas to visit on your next trip.

Did we miss out on any amazing cities in Texas? Let us know in the comments.

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