Anyone who's been in Texas long enough knows that there's plenty to do and see. When you've been somewhere long enough, though, you can easily forget just how interesting it really is. You may not want to make a stop at that touristy landmark, or eat at that restaurant everyone loves, simply because you've been hearing about it for your whole life.
We get it, but we're also here to remind you that Texas is more than just those things and that you should get out and see all the amazing places your state has to offer!
Since summer is here, we've done all the hard work for you. This is the ultimate Texas bucket list for the summer of 2018. All you have to do is make plans, get outside, and enjoy it:
Conquer the Bowling Alley Burger at Swift's Attic
Nobody in their right mind would pass up a burger, especially when it looks this good. The Bowling Alley Burger at Swift's has been named one of the best in Austin, and we can see why.
Spend a weekend camping at Enchanted Rock
For a lot of people, camping is a major defining part of summer. It's a chance for you to get together with friends and family, relax a bit, and enjoy the great outdoors. Here in Texas, Enchanted Rock is one of the best options. Not only will you have an amazing view, but legend has it that the rock is haunted, and anyone who stays the night becomes "invisible."
Go for a float down the Comal River
With the weather being this hot, you're going to want to spend some time by the water to cool down. Why not grab a floatie and spend the day making your way down the Comal River? The float is shorter than most, and still has a bit of an urban feel so that you don't feel totally disconnected from the world.
Have a beach day on South Padre Island
South Padre Island
Texas may not be California, but there's definitely still some spots that will transport you to a tropical oasis. South Padre Island, for example, is an amazing place to spend the day soaking up the sun with friends and family.
Try the wood-fire roasted oysters at Gilhooley's
We've heard nothing but good things about these oysters, so if you have yet to try them we recommend you hop on the bandwagon ASAP. People from all over the Gulf Coast come to San Leon in order to try these amazing, grilled-to-perfection oysters.
Take a hike through Big Bend National Park
No matter what level of hiking experience you've got, there's a trail in Big Bend just calling your name. The park spans over 800,000 acres and is home to an abundance of gorgeous nature and wildlife for you to spend the day admiring.
Go cliff jumping at Jacob's Well
If you're feeling extra adventurous, why not make a dive into the depths of Jacob's Well? The well itself reaches over 140 feet deep, so only experienced cave divers are permitted to go all the way down. People with less experience are still permitted to do some cliff jumping or relax in the water.
Pay a visit to the beautiful Rothko Chapel
The Rothko Chapel in Houston is widely considered one of the holiest spots on the planet. It was named one of the world's "500 Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations," and is a great place to do some meditation and reflection.
Indulge in some serious BBQ at Lockhart Smokehouse
I know I would never say no to BBQ, but especially not BBQ in Texas. Lockhart Smokehouse is known not only as one of the best spots in Dallas but as one of the best spots in all of Texas! They're a lot more old school here, serving up juicy meat with delicious brisket boasting a peppery bark.
Watch the bats at Congress Avenue Bridge
Hopefully, you're not scared of these cute little creatures. Over 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats make their home here, and at dusk, you can see them all take off across the night sky. As it turns out, the summer is the best time to see them in their glory.
Take a kayak out on Caddo Lake
If you want to relax and take in some beautiful views, Caddo Lake is calling your name. It's the only natural lake you'll find in the state and is full of gorgeous bayous and wetlands for you to admire.
Go on a bike ride through the Palo Duro Canyon
It may not be the Grand Canyon, but it's pretty damn close. The Palo Duro Canyon is an astounding sight, spanning over 120 miles. It's the second largest canyon in the country but is visited by only a fraction of the tourists meaning that you can enjoy a bike ride or go stargazing in peace.
Treat yourself to something sweet at Blue Bell Ice Cream
Blue Bell is a fan favorite for many Texans, and we can see why. You're currently not able to tour the production site at Blue Bell but you can visit the store, grab a sweet treat, and pick up some cool info at the visitor's center in Brenham.
Go two-stepping with your boo at Gruene Hall
Are you really from Texas if you don't know how to two-step? At Gruene Hall, you and yours can dance the night away to live music or old favorites. Gruene Hall is the oldest continually run dance hall in the state, so not only is it fun, but there's also a ton of history there.
Visit the breathtaking Hamilton Pool Preserve
This spot is easily one of the coolest that Texas has to offer. The swimming hole is completely natural and was created when the dome of an underground river caved in. It's also home to a seriously amazing 50-foot waterfall!
Spend a day at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo
Even if you're not into the rodeo events, it can still be fun to head out and watch the animals and do some window shopping! There's usually delicious food, friendly faces, and it gives you the excuse to pull out your cowboy boots for the day.
Explore the Caverns of Sonora
If you're in the mood to explore caverns that look like they've come straight out of a sci-fi movie, then you'll want to hit up Sonora. The cave was carved into limestone about 1.5 million years ago, and it now boasts one of the heaviest crystal formations in the world.
Go stargazing at the McDonald Observatory
Whether you're going solo, taking a date, or bringing along your closest friends, stargazing is always a lot of fun. It can be super humbling to just look at the stars and remember how small we are compared to the galaxy that exists around us!
Try the insane buns at Milk & Cream
Even just looking at these has us hungry. Milk & Cream is home to some insane flavor combinations, like the Cookie Monster, Cotton Candy, and Lucky Charms shown below! They definitely win the award for most creative ice cream sandwich.
Spend a day exploring the hipster city of Marfa
Marfa is known for being particularly unique and is home to many cool things including a Prada art installation, plenty of boutiques and shops to visit, as well as a unique and memorable dining experience.
Cool off by the beautiful Gorman Falls
Texas Hill Country
Hiking may not be your thing, but the views you'll come across on your way to Gorman Falls are totally worth it. After your hike, you can explore the rest of the beauty that Colorado Bend State Park has to offer.
Get out of this world at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Many of us grew up dreaming about outer space. Hell, some of us even still want to go there! A visit to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center may not take you off the planet, but it will give you an idea of what it's really like to be an astronaut.
Stop for a drink at Spoetzl Brewery
Spoetzl Brewery is the oldest brewery you'll find in Texas, but it's still the favorite of many. Whether you drink or not, it's still interesting to pop by for a tour and see how the drink that's won the heart of so many Texans is made.
Visit the Texas State Capitol
If you find yourself in Austin, why not take the time to make a pit stop at the State Capitol? You can head inside for a free guided tour of what happens behind the scenes, or simply step outside and snap a few pictures.
Conquer the Texan King at The Big Texan Steak House
The Big Texan Steakhouse offers one of the craziest food challenges we've seen to date. If you can conquer this 72 oz steak, a baked potato, a shrimp cocktail, salad, and a bread roll in under one hour, your meal will be totally free. Props to whoever can handle all that food, tbh.
Explore Texas Wine Country
California doesn't have a monopoly on wine. It turns out Texas is actually home to some top-notch wineries where you can tour and taste to your heart's desire. If you feel like splurging, you can even book a limo tour to get the full, boujee experience.
Spend the day boating on Lake Conroe
A day on the water can be exactly what you need, especially in the Texas heat. Lake Conroe is just one of many options you have, but it's definitely a favorite for many people. Put on your bathing suit, apply some SPF, and get ready for a day full of fun and relaxation.
Treat yourself to a Dublin Dr. Pepper
Dublin Dr. Pepper is a classic drink made by Texans and loved by Texans. It's made with Imperial Cane Sugar, which gives it it's unique but delicious taste. It wouldn't be a summer in Texas if you didn't have one.
Spend a day participating in the San Antonio River Walk
The San Antonio River Walk is perhaps the best way to get to know the city. Walk, shop, or cruise along the river with your friends or family and get ready to come across some amazing boutiques and restaurants. Hop on a cruise boat for a guided tour to learn everything you've ever wanted to know about San Antonio.
Go for a bike ride in Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend is one of the most remote parks in the country, but it's also one of the most beautiful. Take your bike out for a spin, conquer a hiking trail, or bring out your camera to snap some super unique photos.
Take a drive down the Bluebonnet Trail
If you want to take in a seriously beautiful sight, just go for a drive down the Bluebonnet Trail in Ennis. The gorgeous flowers will overwhelm you in the best way possible and make for some amazing photo ops.
Visit the animals at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Never pass up a chance to hang out with some animals. The Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is home to over 1,100 animals and takes up 1,800 acres of space. You can come here for a day visit, or camp out for the night!
Indulge in some Tex Mex food from Henry's Puffy Tacos
If you're in Texas, and not eating Tex Mex food, you're doing it wrong. The puffy taco shells found here enhance the already amazing food. We're willing to bet you'll be back for seconds...and thirds.
Visit the Kimbell Art Museum
A day at the museum can teach you a lot, especially if you go in with an open mind. Texas is full of unique galleries to browse, but we highly recommend the Kimbell Art Museum. It's home to a variety of constantly rotating exhibitions, as well as an extensive research library.
Check out the beautiful Tyler Rose Garden
I'm the type of person whose mood is instantly boosted when I see something beautiful, and I think the Tyler Rose Garden fits that description exactly. The garden is the largest municipal rose garden in the country, so it's definitely something you should check out at least once.
Watch the sunset from Scenic Drive
This is a great date idea or a great way to relax after a long day with friends. Make a trip down to Scenic Drive, and overlook the gorgeous views of the lit up city of El Paso. It's best watched at dawn or dusk, but it's still beautiful at any point in the day.
Visit the Wat Buddharatanaram Temple
Whether you practice Buddhism or not, it's not hard to admit that Buddhist temples are some of the most beautiful, tranquil, and relaxing spots. The Buddharatanaram Temple in Fort Worth is a great spot to go get a tour, or even just a basic intro to meditating.
Cheer on your favorites at a Dallas Cowboys Game
Everyone assumes that all Texans love football, and while that may not be entirely true, there are a lot of Texans that do enjoy a good game. If you've never gone before, you should make an effort to check out at least one game. If not to cheer on your team, then at least for the food.
Check out the Texas Prison Museum
Ever wanted to know what it's really like behind bars? The Texas Prison Museum can give you a pretty good idea. Spend time in a cell, see an electric chair up close and personal, and learn plenty of interesting facts about the state's prison system.
Go peach picking in Marburger Orchard
Nothing beats a ripe, juicy peach on a hot summer day. Sure, you could go to the store and buy one. Or, you could head out to Marburger Orchard and pick some of your own. They've also got strawberries and blackberries available.
Take a dip in the Krause Springs
Texas is full of low-key spots for cooling off on a hot day, and Krause Springs is one of them. It's home to about 32 springs, some of which come with rope swings and cliffs for jumping and adventuring.
Go floating down the City Tube Chute
The 20 foot damn in the city of New Braunfels is actually home to a massive water slide, and we recommend that you check it out ASAP. At the end of your ride, you'll find yourself in a swimming hole where you can splash around and cool down.
Grab a massive drink from Squeeze Ritas & Tequilas
Once you try a massive margarita from Squeeze Ritas, nothing else will satisfy. Apart from amazing drinks, they've also got a great selection of food that will fulfill all your cravings.
Visit the massive San Jacinto Monument
The San Jacinto Monument is 498 feet high, so you can only imagine how scenic and breathtaking the view from the top is. Head all the way up, and don't forget your camera so you can document the amazing experience.
Grab a sweet treat from Hypnotic Donuts & Biscuits
They say everything's bigger in Texas, and by the look of those cinnamon rolls, they're not wrong. Hypnotic Donuts is home to some of the best pastries in the state, and they even offer dairy-free options!
Check out the rock art of Lower Pecos Canyonlands
These infamous canyonlands are home to some astounding art, both natural and man-made. There are over 2,000 archaeological sites in the region to be explored, including roughly 300 pictographs.
Go scuba diving in the Flower Garden Banks
Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. The Flower Garden Banks is a sanctuary designed to protect the northern-most coral reefs. Thanks to this amazing organization, you can also explore the reefs yourself, and swim alongside some amazing sea life.
Cool off with a shake from Chill
Milkshakes are never a bad idea, especially when they look this good. The milkshake pictured below is Grasshopper flavored, but that's just one of the many amazing options you'll be dying to try!
Take a ride on the Wyler Aerial Tramway
Take a ride on the big yellow gondolas, and find yourself admiring the view of a lifetime. On a clear day, you can see 7,000 square miles all around you, looking down on Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico.
Get your sugar fix at Churro Co.
If you've got a sweet tooth like me, this picture is calling your name. Churro Co is a food truck that can be found in Austin, and just as the name suggests, their specialty is Churros. Try the Campfire Churro, or get Old Fashioned. Either way, you won't be disappointed.