Best of Texas: 10 Experiences You Simply Can't Miss

In the state where everything is bigger, we've narrowed it down to the best of the best. Plan a trip to Texas and make sure to explore these top spots.

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Photo By: Chris Zebo

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Photo By: Travel Texas

Photo By: Travel Texas

Photo By: Travel Texas

Photo By: Travel Texas

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Seek Out the National Parks

Take in the stunning beauty and vastness of Texas' national parks, from the journey of the Rio Grande River around Big Bend National Park to the fossil reef of the Guadalupe Mountains. Experience the deserts, canyons, mountains and waterways across the state. With seven different geographical regions, you'll never stop looking for a new landscape to explore.

Walk Around Downtown

Embrace the local spirit. Head downtown and wander around the shops and eateries that make each Texas city its own little place to discover.

Take a Seat and Sip Awhile

Texas is the fifth largest wine-producing state with over 350 wineries stretched across its expansive borders. Get a taste of every region by exploring over 15 wine trails. When you're ready for a different drink, check out their craft beer scene with over 80 microbreweries that each have their own distinct blend.

Listen to the Music

Texas can boast quite a few music legends (Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin and Buddy Holly, for starters). The live music scene is a constant presence in Texas with dance halls, bars, concert venues and of course, festivals filling the air with the sounds of harmony. No matter what kind of music you love, you'll find it here.

Food of the South

Whether it's their world-famous BBQ or chili, fresh-from-the-coast seafood or the original Tex-Mex cuisine, food is a down-home artform in The Lone Star State. Search out hole-in-the-wall eats, celebrity chef's restaurants and downtown food joints. Your taste buds won't soon forget their trip to Texas.

Soak Up the Rays

With over 600 miles of coastline and being home to the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world, Texas knows its way around the water. Grab your bathing suit and sunscreen and head to the beach for a little fun in the sun.

Head Outdoors

Whether you love paddling a canoe on pristine lakes, hiking a mountain trail or camping in the great outdoors, Texas' state parks (there's more than 90 of them!) are designed for anyone who loves being in nature. Discover the state's wildlife, take a bike ride with your family, gaze up at the stars or relax while fishing — the possibilities are endless.

Stepping Into the Past

Texas' history is rich and notable. With sites like the Alamo, landmarks of the Wild West and sacred burial grounds, Texas has more than 13,000 State Historical Markers. History buffs and novices alike will find new aspects of Texas' and America's story to learn.

Ranch Life

You simply can't go to Texas without seeing a cattle drive, right? Whether you take in the ones done for entertainment at the Fort Worth Stockyards or head out to visit a working ranch, you'll learn the depth that Texas' famous livestock industry has on the state.

Visit Noteworthy Cities

Although Texas may conjure visions of cowboys and the great frontier, they boast diverse cities that rival even the most cosmopolitan of places. Make reservations at a five-star restaurant, hit up awe-inspiring art museums, take in gorgeous skylines with soaring architecture and don't forget the shopping. Dallas, itself, has more shopping centers per capita than any other U.S. city.