Known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," Austin boasts more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the nation. It has witnessed the early careers of several famous musicians, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Janis Joplin and the Dixie Chicks. Despite significant growth in recent years, Austin maintains a quirky, laid-back atmosphere that you won't find in other Texan cities. Outsiders tend to see the city as a home base for wacky characters, but Austinites revel in their eccentricity and proudly flaunt the city's motto, "Keep Austin Weird."
Everything you associate with Texas can be found in Dallas – Fort Worth. This is where you come to see the Dallas Cowboys play and the Fort Worth cowboys rope – where big hats, big hair and big horns are the norm. But stereotypes are just the tip of the DFW iceberg: The Metroplex is a hotbed of history, art, sports and family-centric exploits. The problem is that all of these enticements can be found in both cities, so determining where to allocate your time can get tricky.
Galveston, Texas, is a barrier island on the Texas Gulf Coast, about 50 miles southeast of Houston. This proximity to a city of about 2.3 million makes it a popular (and crowded) spot among Houstonians looking for a sea breeze to cut the heat of summer. It also contains a bustling port for cruisers traveling to Mexico or the Caribbean. But there's more to Galveston than its beaches and convenient cruise port. Galveston has quite a bit to offer visitors – from its Victorian architecture that hosts interesting shops on The Strand to its lineup of museums and its array of seafood-inspired dining establishments.
Give this Texas city a chance. Yes, Houston's history is sticky with oil, and its contemporary landscape climbs with skyscrapers belonging to Citgo, Shell and many, many more. But what you might not know is that Houston has grassy parks, eclectic galleries, a burgeoning art scene and Tex-Mex restaurants that all vie for attention downtown. And outside of Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston is one of the greatest places in Texas to shop: Ever heard of the Galleria? There are also plenty of nice hotels to lay your head and a variety of fun things for the kiddies to see, such as the zoo and the children's museum. Those with a keen interest in space can learn all about NASA's program at Space Center Houston and science nerds can check out the comprehensive Museum of Natural Science. So, yes, it's a huge sprawling city of more than 2 million, but with pleasant weather pretty much year-round, an abundance of entertaining festivals and plenty of things to do, you should give it a chance.
Davy Crockett may have perished at the Alamo, but San Antonio clings to the Texan pride shown by the "King of the Wild Frontier" and his compatriots in 1836. This modern city's history especially rears its noble head throughout downtown. In addition to the Alamo, you'll find several other famous missions, all of which are now a part of the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. And amongst the gleaming skyscrapers, the austere San Fernando Cathedral still stands as a testament to the city's religious past. But, don't be fooled: You don't need a hankering for history to enjoy this city. With theme parks, top-notch museums, professional sports teams and the famous River Walk, you might have too much to do to "Remember the Alamo."
Every March, like clockwork, students would cram into cars and head to South Padre Island for spring break fun in the sun and 24-hour beach bashes. Times have changed, and while some of today's college kids still plan beach trips to South Padre, the area has seen a rebirth of sorts as a popular family vacation destination. That's because South Padre, or SPI, delivers with wide sandy beaches, sparkling blue water and a mixture of funky hotels and bars that emphasize character.
Best Places to Visit in the USA