12 of the Best Summer Vacation Destinations in Texas

Summer fun is just a few fast-paced months away, and now is a great time to start making plans for a terrific getaway!  Here’s my 12 must-do Summer Family Getaways!  Now all you have to do in pack your bags and wait for the last day of school!

garner state park

1. Garner State Park, Concan
If you haven’t been to Garner State Park, it is mandatory! The cold water of the Rio Frio River will keep you comfortable on the hottest summer day! Tube the river, kayak or even rent a paddle boat from the park! Hike to the top of Old Baldy, and don’t miss the Saturday Night Dance every Saturday during the summer! The park also has a miniature golf course, campsites as well as cabins. Make your reservations EARLY!

houston children's museum

2.  Houston Museum District

The Children’s Museum of Houston is a MUST if you have kids!  It’s AMAZING! Named the #2 Children’s Museum in the nation, second to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum! Plan to spend an entire day! Located in the Museum District, spend the weekend also touring the Houston Zoo, Houston Museum of Natural History, and Hermann Park! You’ll love the fried green tomatoes and fried chicken.  After dark, head over to watch the bats as they emerge from the Waugh Street Bridge over Buffalo Bayou!

schlitterbahn new braunfels.jpg

3. New Braunfels

Another MUST do in Texas is Schlitterbahn! The Resort gives you access to the park an hour before opening, and an hour after closing, plus activities after dark! The hardest choice will be which park to do first! Not really, do the original! Head down to Prince Solms Park to tube through the Comal River’s famed Tube Chute, or use a Tube Shuttle to enjoy the Guadalupe River.  New Braunfels is also home to some world class German food, like Naegelin’s Bakery, the oldest bakery in Texas, so it’s a good thing that cold water will make you hungry!

fort worth livestock exchange


4. Fort Worth Stockyards

Grab yourself a room at one of the historic hotels in the Stockyards, such as the Stockyards Hotel, Miss Mollys or the Hyatt Place.  Spend a day horseback riding along the Trinity River, or taking a carriage ride through the Stockyards after dark.  You’ll find plenty of great restaurants, like Joe T. Garcia’s. Lonesome Dove and the Horseshoe Hill Café, and fun attractions such as the Cowtown Maze, daily longhorn cattle drive, Stockyards Rodeo and Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show!  Don’t miss a historic ghost tour or catch a new release at the Coyote Drive In, just down the street!

bastrop river

5. Bastrop
The Lost Pines Region of Texas, Bastrop is known for their pine forest, which seem out of place. Downtown Bastrop offers cute shops and restaurants, like Maxine’s, and a Riverwalk with more shops and a linear park along the Colorado River. South of Austin, their motto, “Just Downriver from Weird”, expresses their casual attitude. Rent a kayak or paddleboard from Bastrop River Company, or head over to Bastrop State Park to hike, swim or bike ride in the park, and stay in one of their historic cabins.  North Shore Park has a terrific inflatable waterpark on Lake Bastrop!  Book your weekend stay at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa.

krause springs

6. Krause Springs, Spicewood

One of our favorite getaways is Krause Springs in Spicewood, West of Austin! Camp or bring your RV to enjoy their spring-fed waters! Take a drive to Cypress Valley Tours to go zip-lining.  If camping isn’t your thing, check out Marble Falls and nearby Horseshoe Bend Resort on Lake Buchanan! It’s the perfect starting point to explore Longhorn Caverns, hike the Devil’s Backbone at Ink’s Lake State Park, see the wildflowers at Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area.

woodlands resort

7.  The Woodlands

You’ll love the Woodlands Resort, a fun resort with a waterpark, just North of Houston in the Pineywoods! The Resort offers 2 golf courses, a tennis center, and bike trails. In town, you can rent canoes or kayaks to enjoy the Woodlands Waterways, and take a quick drive over to Spring to go shopping.

hotel galvez window

8. Galveston

This island city offers so much, even if you aren’t heading to the beach!  Great shopping and dining along the historic Strand, tons of history, amazing attractions like Moody Gardens, the Pleasure Pier and Schlitterbahn,  and incredible outdoor activities such as bike riding, kayaking in the bay, deep-sea fishing and so much more!  The historic Hotel Galvez on the Galveston Seawall is always a winner!

magnolia market

9. Waco

Spend a weekend in Waco! Go shopping at the Magnolia Market, the Findery and Spice Village. Enjoy hiking in Cameron Park, paddleboarding on the Brazos River, Cameron Park Zoo, and visit Mayborn Museum on the Baylor Campus. Spend the night at the Hotel Indigo.

tyler state park

10. Tyler

The East Texas town is big on things to do for a weekend filled with fun!  Tyler offers great things to do, such as Discovery Science Museum, Caldwell Zoo, hiking at Tyler State Park and Tiger Creek Wildlife Sanctuary!  Jellystone Park Whispering Pines has so many things to do you’ll never want to leave the park!  Swimming pool, catch and release fishing, tennis, basketball, mining for gems, Hey Hey Hey rides and so much more, with RV and tent camping and cabins!

north beach

11.  North Beach, Corpus Christi

With the damage to Port Aransas and Rockport this past fall from Hurricane Harvey, it’s a great time to check out the fun on North Beach in Corpus Christi!  With the U.S.S. Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium in walking distance, it’s a fun little water-front neighborhood!  We love the funky Hotel Deville and Fajitaville!

hotel emma12. The Pearl District in San Antonio

Located on the San Antonio Riverwalk, the Pearl District offers fun activities and incredible restaurants, shopping and much more!  The Hotel Emma overlooks the river, and you’re just a short walk down the river to either the San Antonio Museum of Art or Brackenridge Park, home of the San Antonio Zoo, Witte Museum and Japanese Gardens.