Texas Top 10 Attractions

6: Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Barbara Brannon

The golden age of America's space program is on full display at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Visitors can take in the majesty of a range of spacecrafts and equipment that helped the United States to pull ahead in the famous Space Race. One of these is the Mercury 9 capsule, which was the final craft in the Mercury program that introduced manned spaceflight, and other crafts from the Gemini and Apollo programs can also be found. There's even a restored Saturn V rocket, which was used to propel astronauts out of the atmosphere for decades before the Space Shuttle eventually took over.

Address: 1601 Nasa Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058

7: Schlitterbahn Waterpark, New Braunfels

Schlitterbahn Waterpark, New Braunfels

It gets awfully warm in Texas, so a trip to a waterpark may be just what the doctor ordered. The Schlitterbahn Waterpark invites guests to cool down in a variety of ways: whether by waterslide, floating on an innertube, riding a water coaster, or diving in a wave pool, there's something for everyone with varying degrees of thrill available. The accompanying resort gives you a luxurious place to relax in between trips to the water park's wide array of attractions.

Address: 400 N Liberty Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130

8: Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Adam Baker

Big Bend National Park is located along the south-western border of Texas with the Rio Grande River forming an international border between the U.S. and Mexico. Here you will notice dramatic contrasts with dry hot summers at the lower elevations and occasionally, freezing temperatures, in the winter. Along the 118 mile southern river border, you will find the spectacular canyons of Boquillas, Mariscal and Santa Elena. Visit the park to explore one of the many scenic drives or they enjoy a day hike or a backcountry backpacking adventure. From bird watching to fishing, horseback riding or river trips, Big Bend National Park has something for everyone to enjoy. There are 5 visitors' centers located within the park. The visitors' centers offer informative interactive exhibits, maps, river passes, restrooms, groceries, water faucets, bookstores, post office and an extraordinary amount of information regarding park geology, history and culture. Not every visitors' center has the same amenities, so it's important to do your research before heading to Big Bend National Park.

Address: Big Bend National Park, TX
Website: www.nps.gov

9: Moody Gardens and Aquarium, Galveston Island

Moody Gardens and Aquarium, Galveston Island
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Erin M

One look at the corpse flower in this Galveston garden will tell you that you're in for something special. The gardens are separated into three distinct pyramids: the Aquarium Pyramid, which features penguins, sharks, and seals; the Rainforest Pyramid, which highlights the diverse flora and fauna of the rainforest ecosystem while also educating on the importance of rainforest conservation; and the Discovery Pyramid, which hosts a rotating lineup of traveling exhibits. In addition, visitors can cool down in the Palm Beach water park or chase thrills through the sky with the Moody Gardens zip line and ropes course.

Address: 1 Hope Blvd, Galveston, TX 77554

10: Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District

Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Alex Butterfield

In 1976, the Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in addition to 46 contributing buildings and another structure. Today, the Stockyards give a cultural nod to the area's rich cattle history with numerous venues for entertainment, shopping and dining. When visiting the Fort Worth Stockyards you will have an opportunity to step into the West and get a glimpse of the culture that has made this area so popular. From wooden corrals and brick walkways to the Stockyards championship rodeo and twice daily cattle drives, you'll be able to embrace the history of the Texas livestock industry. You'll find a number of excellent dining options, ranging from fast food to Tex Mex, steakhouses, BBQ and more. After a bite to eat, you can take in some action at Billy Bob's Texas with its huge dance floor, indoor rodeo arena, arcade and general store. Other attractions in the area include Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show, the Cowtown Opry, the Stockyards Saloon or let the kids try their luck with a mechanical bull, located right across the road from the Stockyards Station.

Address: 131 E Exchange Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76106

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