Texas is home to cowboys and southern hospitality - but there is so much more than that in the Lone Star State. Visitors to Texas will discover that a variety of exciting experiences and vacations options await them. From outdoor adventure in the mountains and rugged landscapes of West Texas - Big Bend National Park, the best of birding and nature tourism along 1,000 km of pristine gulf coast, teeing off at more than 750 spectacular golf courses to taking in the cowboy life at more than 100 dude ranches, Texas vacation options are endless.
Wine Country: Vintage Texas | #TexasToDo Films from Texas Tourism on Vimeo.
Adventure in Texas also extends to the cuisine scene. From mouth watering barbecue and spicy southwestern to succulent seafood fresh from the Gulf Coast, Texas is a culinary adventure. Texas is the fifth largest wine producing state in the U.S. and visiting some of the more than 180 wineries throughout the state is a must .The state also has more than 80 microbreweries, each one distinct from the next, so tap into the state’s awesome brews.
Texas is an ideal destination for multi day, long stay vacations and even weekend getaways. When the Canadian cold weather has the snow flying, take off for the tropics of Texas. At the top of the Texas Gulf Coast, experience the exciting cosmopolitan city of Houston. And less than a one hour drive away – discover the relaxed coastal charm of Galveston Island.
Discover all that is Texas at www.TravelTex.com and watch fascinating themed videos from the perspective of local Texans at www.TravelTex.com/texastodo/films#/.
Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S - and big with attitude and appeal. It is home to popular attractions such as the Space Center, 18 world-renowned museums, more than 10,000 dining options, a vibrant arts scene and exciting nightlife. From the quirky Beer Can House (spawned from the bright idea that beer cans would make good house siding, a folk art legend was born) to the National Museum of Funeral History, to the spectacular Menil Collection (one of the world’s finest private art collections) - Houston’s museums and arts scene is varied and world-class, and the fifth largest in the US.
Houston is hip and trendy – its chic boutique hotels such as Hotel Za Za, Hotel Icon and Hotel Sorella offer comfort and contemporary design. Houston is also a shopping mecca - the Uptown/Galleria area is well known for its trifecta of stellar shopping, fine dining and great hotels – more than 700 retail choices are within just two miles and you will find every brand name you could wish for. Shopping is tax free for Canadians (refunds are processed at the airport)! In contrast to the city’s modern side, eclectic “Montrose” and “The Heights” offer visitors quaint historic areas with charming bistros, diners, art galleries and boutiques.
A fun way to explore the neighbourhood of Montrose is the “Montrose Dine Around” walking tour - combining a cultural, historical, and architectural tour with a progressive meal, held at four critically acclaimed local restaurants. Other culinary tours on offer in Houston include a walking tour of downtown culinary delights and a “Where the chefs eat” tour.
Space Center Houston is a “must see’ – it’s exciting to be behind the gates of NASA, the site of so many dramatic events in Man’s quest to reach the stars. NASA’s official visitors center is a multi-sensory experience for adults and children alike. Living in Space (an insider’s look at the space shuttle), Blast Off and the NASA Tram Tour with a glimpse of Mission Control are just a few of the ways to experience great moments in space exploration. Kids have their own space-theme play area.
Space Center Houston will open a new international landmark Independence Plaza on Jan. 23, 2016. The eight-story-tall multiple-exhibit complex features a shuttle replica mounted on top of the first shuttle carrier aircraft, the NASA 905. The jumbo-sized complex will give visitors a rare glimpse into the historic shuttle era and the NASA breakthroughs and technological advances gained from the shuttle program. In the shuttle they will see the flight deck, mid-deck, payload bay and exhibits. The airplane will have multiple exhibits in seven different areas that explore innovation, science and technology. Visitors will see inside the plane’s cockpit and learn how the plane was retrofitted to carry the shuttle.
The Kemah Boardwalk is home to fabulous waterfront restaurants, amusements, charming retail stores, festivals and seaside shows every day. There are rides from the gentle Carousel to the white knuckle Boardwalk Bullet! Ride the train and Ferris wheel and plunge 140 feet on the Drop Zone. Kemah Boardwalk appeals to all kids – young and old!
A great way to see the sights of Houston is to purchase a Houston CityPASS. You will save almost 50 percent on admission to the city’s five must-see attractions, and skip most ticket lines too. The CityPASS booklet, which is thinner than an iPod and sized to fit in a pocket, is loaded with a carefully selected collection of the city’s most sought-after sites:
If after that wide range of activities you get a hankering for a touch of old fashioned Western Culture – time your visit in March to coincide with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Plenty of cowboys and cowgirls here, livestock and horses plus a fabulous concert line up that includes – of course – plenty of Country Music together with several popular music genres.
There are fifty kilometres of beaches on Galveston Island, where restored mansions rise to greet the seaside sun. Galveston is a delightful historic beach town - known as the “Belle” of the Texas Gulf Coast - and it entices vacationers with its seaside location and gracious charm.
A romantic island tucked deep within the heart of south Texas, Galveston Island is a popular year-round destination, blending temperate weather and rich history – including one of the largest well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the US.
You'll never run out of things to do here! The island is also home to a wide variety of family attractions, museums, restaurants, downtown shopping, top resort hotels, and outdoor adventure activities by land or sea. These include kayaking, diving, deep-sea fishing, birding, golfing, beach volleyball and more. And there are also festivals galore in Galveston – from Mardi Gras to the Shrimp Festival.
Much of Galveston’s appeal is tied to its well preserved history. Popular historical attractions on the island include the 1892 Victorian mansion Bishop’s Palace, the 1895 Moody Mansion and The Downtown Historic Strand Seaport District.
The Strand is lined with Victorian buildings that house quaint boutiques, shops, restaurants and attractions. A couple of blocks over, Postoffice Street is home to art galleries, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues such as The Grand 1894 Opera House.
Galveston has a surprising array of interesting museums. The Galveston Railroad Museum has a large collection of lavishly restored trains. The Offshore Drilling Rig Museum is a museum, educational attraction, and working drilling rig all rolled into one. The Texas Seaport Museum tells the story of Galveston's history as a port with a rich legacy of seaborne commerce and immigration. Galveston was the “Ellis Island of the West”! Plus you can visit the beautifully restored 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA. And, at the Lone Star Flight Museum, visitors can see and even fly in rare historic aircraft from World War II.
Galveston’s newest major attraction brings the glory of the island’s famous history into the present with world-class amusements at the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier. The new pier stands in the same location a pleasure pier stood in Galveston during the 1940s. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, the Pleasure Pier features thrill rides for adults and kids, midway games, shopping, live music and a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant.
On the West End of the island, visitors to Galveston will find a cluster of family and adventure attractions all within walking distance of each other. The first, Moody Gardens, is a 245-acre resort complex known for its large glass pyramid buildings. One of the most visited places in Texas, Moody Gardens has an Aquarium Pyramid and a tropical Rainforest Pyramid that houses more than 1,000 species of plants and free roaming animals from rainforests around the world. Moody Gardens also has 3-D, 4-D and Ridefilm theaters, a golf course, a kid’s water park, and historic paddlewheel boat cruises.
Right next door, Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark is open year round with an outdoor and indoor park.