15 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!

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1. Arlington Watch the Texas Rangers in their new stadium, enjoy the Six Flags theme park and Hurricane Harbor Waterpark, take a tour of AT&T stadium, and you’re convenient to all the activities in Dallas and Fort Worth!

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! Also in the Museum District is the Health Museum and the Houston Museum of Natural History, and of course, Hermann Park!  After dark, head over to watch the bats as they emerge from the Waugh Street Bridge over Buffalo Bayou!

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3. Galveston

This island city offers so much, even if you aren’t heading to the beach!  Great shopping and dining along the historic Strand, and tons of history! There is something for the entire family at the amazing attractions like Moody Gardens, the Pleasure Pier and Schlitterbahn Waterpark,  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!

4. San Antonio

San Antonio is Texas most visited city, with so much to do! The famed San Antonio Riverwalk, a visit to the Alamo, incredible theme parks, shopping, world-class museums such as the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Witte Museum, Japanese Gardens and the San Antonio Zoo, all in a great location close to several nature preserves and those amazing Texas rivers!

garner state park

5. 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!

6. South Padre Island

Enjoy the big waves and white sand dunes of South Padre! There are great hotels and plenty of beach houses to rent on this fun, beach island! Ride horses on the beach, rent jet skis or head over to the mainland for a fun pirate ship ride or dolphin tour at Port Isabel!

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7. 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

8. 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!

9. Port Aransas

One of the cutest beach towns in the state, Port A is known for their family-friendly beaches and fun, laid back atmosphere! Rent a golf cart to cruise around town, take a dolphin tour, or ride the ferry out to San Jose Island for a day of beach combing!

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10. 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.  Book your weekend stay at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa.

11. Kemah/Clear Lake Area

Explore the sights and sounds of the Kemah Boardwalk, with rides and games, shops and great restaurants, or take a boat tour out in Galveston Bay! Space Center Houston offers a full day of space exploration! You’ll find terrific hotels or vacation rentals on the bay.

12.  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.

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13. 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

14. 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!

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15.  Corpus Christi

Check out all there is to do in Corpus Christi!  Tour the U.S.S. Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium, catch a Corpus Christi Hooks game or watch the stars from the beach on North Padre Island! Turtle hatchling releases are scheduled during the Summer!

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16. Grapevine Just minutes from DFW Airport, enjoy the beautiful main street in Grapevine’s Historic District! Ride the historic train! Grapevine has three great resorts, Great Wolf Lodge, the Gaylord Texan, and the new Vin!

17. Frisco Take a tour of the Star, see the Frisco Rough Riders AA Baseball team game or FC Dallas Soccer at Toyota Stadium!

Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun! 


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