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A woman at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Houston, TX. Right: The Alsatian Steinbach Haus in Castroville, TX.

A woman at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Houston, TX. Right: The Alsatian Steinbach Haus in Castroville, TX.

These days traveling by plane to anywhere seems like a nightmare as recent flights all over the world, including Texas, have been delayed or canceled.

Fortunately for Texans, you don't need to spend money on an expensive plane ticket or hop on an international flight to find unique surroundings to explore.

Actually, there are quite a few places around the Lone Star State that you can visit, and they just might have you believing you're in another country. Here are seven of them that we suggest you visit.

Monahans Sandhills State Park

Price: $4

Address: Exit 86, 2500 I-20, Monahans, TX 79756

Why you need to go: This state park in West Texas has giant sand dunes that look like the state's very own version of the Rub’ al Khali.

Website

Spanish Governor's Palace

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Price: $5

Address: 105 Plaza De Armas, San Antonio, TX 78205

Why you need to go: This historic Texas landmark has stood in San Antonio since the early 18th century. It looks like a romantic palace you could find somewhere in Spain long ago.

Website

La Sal Del Rey

Price: Free

Address: TX-186, Edinburg, TX 78542

Why you need to go: It's like the Dead Sea, but off the side of a random road on the south Texas coast. There's huge chunks of salt crystals that form on the beach and you can take them home!

Website

Alsatian Steinbach Haus

Price: Free

Address: 203 US-90, Castroville, TX 78009

Why you need to go: This house was actually built in Walbach, France back in the mid-1600s. In 1998, the Alsatian Texas town of Castroville purchased it and brought it to its current position where it was restored.

Pro tip: visit in the spring and you'll see stunning red poppies bloom around the house.

Website

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Houston

Price: Free

Address: 1150 Brand Ln, Stafford, TX 77477

Why you need to go: It's a Hindu temple right outside of Houston that you can visit for Mandir worship or a walk around the ornate grounds.

Website

Caddo Lake

Price: $4

Address: 245 Park Rd 2, Karnack, TX 75661

Why you need to go: You can visit one of the only natural lakes in the state and it's filled with towering cypress trees that you can kayak through.

On cool mornings the fog hangs over the water and it looks something like a magical rainforest.

Website

Adriatica Village

Price: Free

Address: 6602 Mediterranean Dr, McKinney, TX 75070

Why you need to go: It's an all-encompassing shopping, dining, and event center set beside a huge body of water. However, you'll definitely get the quaint village vibe right away as it's actually modeled after a fishing village you'd find in Croatia.

Website

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

This article has been updated since it was originally published on June 20, 2019.

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