Whether you were born in Texas or you got here as quickly as you could, you're lucky to live in the Lone Star State. Our home is full of incredible food, scenery, and experiences you can't find anywhere else in the country. Maybe that's why we all take such pride in our fierce state.
As you explore Texas and appreciate its natural wonders, be sure to check out these eight locations that are unlike any others. You'll discover a new love for our state and make some epic memories while you're at it.
1. Enchanted Rock
If you love hiking and camping, then staying the night at Enchanted Rock is basically a right of passage. The granite dome offers an incredible view of the nighttime sky, and its legendary history of "magical powers" makes it even more exciting. Be sure to reserve your camping spot in advance if you want to sleep under the stars because they fill up rapidly when the weather is nice.
2. The Fort Worth Stockyards
This DFW attraction might seem a little too touristy for a real Texan, but everyone should visit the rodeo and get their two-step on at the Stockyards at least once. Grab some great Mexican food at Joe T. Garcia's, then mosey on over to the livestock shows and Billy Bob's, which claims to be the world's largest honkey tonk.
3. Jacob's Well
Just outside of Austin lies a sparkling, mysterious blue pool. Jacob's Well is one of the most unique sites you can visit in Texas, and its frigid waters offer an amazing reprieve during the blistering summer. The swimming hole is also a popular scuba diving spot, but you should only dive into its depths if you're properly trained and led by a guide. If you're not, have fun jumping off the nearby cliffside and watching little fish dart across the hole.
4. Big Bend National Park
Every nature lover in Texas should try camping in Big Bend for at least a few nights. The national park is one of the most underrated in the country. With breathtaking features like Santa Elena Canyon, it's a wonder that people don't flock to the area all year round. There are dozens of great trails, beautiful campsites, and lots of wildlife to spot. Just be sure to arrive early on popular weekends to snag a good campsite. Also, don't go between late May and September or you'll melt in the heat.
5. Hamilton Pool
There's no better way to beat the heat than by floating in the unreal waters of Hamilton Pool Preserve. Formed inside a large limestone cavern in Dripping Springs, this popular swimming spot provides access to a 50-foot waterfall, refreshingly cool water, and cool rock formations to climb. Keep in mind that reservations are required in order to visit the pool, so book yours in advance.
6. The Alamo
This is another place all Texans must visit, even if it seems a little too obvious. The iconic ruins mark the place where the Texas Revolution took a major turn. The Alamo is the most popular tourist site in Texas, so if you're in the area, take a tour at least once and embrace a little Lone Star history.
7. The Willow City Loop
This loop, located just outside of Fredericksburg, is by far the best way to view bluebonnets during their season. The wildflowers come out in full force in this beautiful area of the state, and you can spend hours driving alongside them and stopping for pictures. Then, return to Fredericksburg for a night in a quaint little town.
8. Caddo Lake State Park
Whether you want to glimpse Bigfoot, get away from the city life, or spend the day kayaking, Caddo Lake is the place to go. This unique state park is located on the Eastern border of the state and contains plenty of campsites. Make your way out there to spend a few days without cell service amongst the wildlife and swamp-like waters. Remember to bring bug spray!
Have you been to any of these places? Which one is your favorite?