Top five best Texas vacation spots

When traveling to the great state of Texas, you can expect to find plenty of phenomenal vacation spots. Second in size only to Alaska, Texas boasts more than 268, 000 square miles ‘”which means there is plenty to see and do for vacationers traveling with family to the Lone Star State.

Planning a vacation can be a daunting task ‘”especially when trekking to a state packed with so many nationally recognized travel spots. For hotels visit Luxury Resort Guide and check out their latest hotel deals. If you’re traveling to Texas, who better to get travel tips from than a native? After living here for more than thirty years and seeing sites from Amarillo down to Laredo, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the top five best Texas vacation spots.

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

One place you don’t want to miss when you visit Texas is Big Bend National Park. Big Bend was named for the astonishing curve of the Rio Grande River that cuts through Southwest Texas. With more than 800,000 acres of sprawling parkland, Big Bend National Park is a beautiful natural region perfect for camping and connecting with nature. The park offers hiking, camping, horseback riding, bicycling, jeep touring and countless sightseeing opportunities. Rustic vacationing meets the perfect educational opportunity at Big Bend where visitors can enjoy breath-taking views and become educated about geology. Go to www.visitbigbend.com and find out more about this must-see Texas locale, which is open all year.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort

Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort

If you’re planning a vacation for the whole family, the Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort in New Braunfels is a must-visit. With more than three miles of tubing adventures, seven children’s water playgrounds, seventeen water slides on more than sixty-five acres of fun, Schlitterbahn promises a full day of fun ‘”maybe even two or three. One of the coolest things about this New Braunfels water park is that it is set on the Guadelupe River, which means visitors enjoy natural freshwater rather than chlorine. Also, you can bring your own picnic lunch and enjoy time at the park without breaking the bank on refreshments.

Schlitterbahn is a seasonal operation, so make sure you visit www.schlitterbahn.com to find out when the park is open. If you go to Schlitterbahn, you can enjoy fun accommodations like cabins right on the river. You may even want to stay an extra day, grab some tubes and float with the family down the Guadalupe.

Another one of the best Texas vacation spots is Sea World, located just an hour and a half from Schlitterbahn in San Antonio. SeaWorld is the perfect blend of marine education and entertainment. SeaWorld has an incredible variety of shows, rides, animal exhibits and adventure camps for kids.

Sea lions, penguins, dolphins, alligators, killer and beluga whales are just a few of the many types of marine life you’ll get to see up close at Sea World in addition to exotic birds and other interesting animals. Shamu, of course, is SeaWorld’s biggest attraction. The interactive show is involves drenching audience members with Shamu’s splash. To plan your trip to Sea World San Antonio, visit www.seaworldparks.com/seaworld-sanantonio. Keep in mind, this is another vacation spot that doesn’t operate year round so check with the park when planning your trip.

Sea World San Antonio

Sea World San Antonio

Conveniently, another one of the best places to see in Texas is situated right next door to Sea World ‘”Six Flags Fiesta Texas, one of the greatest theme parks in the entire country. Fiesta Texas is a state-of-the-art amusement park with dozens of thrilling roller coasters and plenty of entertainment the whole family can enjoy together.

Fiesta Texas also offers incredible entertainment like live music concerts and shows by some of America’s favorite characters like Bugs Bunny. This 200-acre theme park, located in a limestone quarry surrounded by dramatic 10-story cliffs, promises a full day of fun and the kind of excitement travelers are seeking when they come to Texas. Again, visit www.sixflags.com/fiestaTexas for seasonal information.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

And last but not least, when you come to Texas, you must check out the Gladys Porter Zoo. Located at southernmost tip of Texas, in the Mexican-border city of Brownsville, Gladys Porter has been named one of America’s best and most popular zoos, a vacation spot visited by almost a half a million guests every year. Touring the zoo’s 26-acres will allow you to observe over 1,600 animals in lush habitats designed to promote education, conservation and research. The Gladys Porter Zoo also offers a botanical park, dedicated to the preservation of nature with almost 300 different species of plants. After leaving the zoo, you can always cross over the border for a day visit to Mexico. Take a virtual tour online at www.gpz.org and remember, you can visit the zoo all year.

Gladys Porter Zoo

Flamingo at Gladys Porter Zoo