Texas Traveler: Discovering the Heart of the Lone Star State

Say hello to Lake Travis

Lake Travis, located near Austin, is often celebrated as one of Texas’ most impressive lakes. This reservoir on the Colorado River is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, making it a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. It boasts over 271 miles of shoreline, dotted with numerous parks, boat ramps, and marinas. Lake Travis is not just about water activities; its surrounding area is filled with a variety of dining and entertainment options, including lakeside restaurants and live music venues. The lake’s unique combination of natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and proximity to the vibrant city of Austin makes it a top contender for the title of Texas’ best lake.


Best time to visit
Best places to visit

Top 3 Facts about Texas


Cattle and Oil

Texas is a leading producer of both cattle and oil. The state’s ranches contribute significantly to the nation’s beef production, and Texas has been a major player in the oil industry since the early 20th century.


King Ranch

The King Ranch in Texas is larger than the state of Rhode Island. It’s one of the largest ranches in the world and a testament to Texas’s reputation for huge cattle ranches.


Economic Powerhouse

Texas has one of the largest economies in the world, driven by industries such as energy, technology, healthcare, and agriculture. If Texas were its own country, it would rank among the top economies globally.


Must See Attractions

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Inner Space Cavern

Nature & Parks

The cave is an underground wonder that offers visitors the chance to explore an ancient subterranean world adorned with spectacular formations, including stalactites and stalagmites, dating back thousands of years.

Fort Worth Botanic Garden

Nature & Parks

The oldest botanic garden in Texas offers a stunning display of native and exotic plants across 110 acres, featuring themed gardens like the fragrant Rose Garden and the tranquil Japanese Garden.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Nature & Parks

Known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” with its dramatic geological formations, colorful layers of rock, and a rich variety of wildlife, making it a paradise for hikers, campers, and nature enthusiasts.

Where to Sleep

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Lakes to Enjoy

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1. Lady Bird Lake

3 Miles

A centerpiece in Austin’s outdoor activities, this lake offers excellent kayaking, paddleboarding, and scenic views of downtown..

2. Lake Travis

20 Miles

Famous for its clear waters and recreational activities, Lake Travis is a hub for boating, fishing, swimming, and even zip-lining.

3. Canyon Lake

65 Miles

Known as the “Water Recreation Capital of Texas,” this lake is perfect for water sports, fishing, and boasts beautiful scenery.

4. Lake Conroe

152 Miles

A popular retreat for Houstonians, this lake is great for fishing, boating, and has a lively shoreline with restaurants.

5. Possum Kingdom Lake

248 Miles

Known for its deep blue waters and dramatic cliffs, this lake is ideal for water sports and hiking.

6. Sam Rayburn Reservoir

280 Miles

The largest lake wholly in Texas, known for its largemouth bass fishing and tranquil waters..

7. Lake Texoma

283 Miles

One of the largest reservoirs in the country, Lake Texoma is renowned for its excellent striper fishing and a variety of water sports.

8. Caddo Lake

320 Miles

With its enchanting cypress trees and Spanish moss, Caddo Lake offers a mystical and serene boating and fishing experience.

Annual Events and Festivals

Tuesday, February 27 – Sunday, March 17, 2024

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo stands as a quintessential Texan spectacle, capturing the essence of the state’s rich agricultural heritage and cowboy culture. Held annually at NRG Stadium, this sprawling event combines a world-class rodeo, one of the largest in the world, with a livestock show, carnival, and nightly musical performances. Drawing crowds in the millions, the rodeo showcases thrilling rodeo competitions, including bull riding, barrel racing, and bronc riding, attracting top-notch talent from around the globe.

Get tickets
Friday, April 19 – Sunday, April 21, 2024

Port Aransas SandFest

Port Aransas SandFest, held annually in the charming coastal town of Port Aransas, stands as a testament to the incredible artistry that can be achieved with the most transient of mediums: sand. This lively festival, typically taking place in April, attracts skilled sand sculptors from around the world who converge on the sun-soaked shores to create intricate and awe-inspiring works of art. The event is a mesmerizing spectacle, where the beach transforms into an open-air gallery showcasing massive, temporary sculptures that range from whimsical figures to intricate architectural marvels.

Get tickets
September 2024

Marfa Lights Festival

The Marfa Lights Festival is a unique and enchanting event held annually in the small, artsy town of Marfa in West Texas, typically during the Labor Day weekend in September. Celebrating the mysterious phenomenon known as the “Marfa Lights,” which are unexplained glowing orbs that appear in the desert outside of town, the festival is a blend of curiosity, culture, and community spirit. Over the years, these lights have sparked a mix of scientific and supernatural theories, adding an air of mystery to the festival. The event features a vibrant array of activities, including live music, a parade, food and artisan vendors, and street dances, transforming the town into a lively hub of entertainment and communal gathering.

Top Hiking Trails

Guadalupe Peak Trail

Guadalupe Peak Trailhead, Salt Flat, TeXas 79847

Guadalupe Peak Trail, often revered as a “hiker’s paradise,” is located in Guadalupe Mountains National Park in West Texas and presents one of the most rewarding hiking experiences in the state. As the trail meanders to the highest point in Texas, Guadalupe Peak, at an elevation of 8,751 feet, it offers a challenging yet exhilarating journey spanning approximately 8.5 miles round trip. The ascent, with its roughly 3,000 feet of elevation gain, is strenuous but rewards hikers with views. Along the path, one is treated to a diverse array of scenery, from rugged desert landscape to dense forests of pinyon pine, Douglas fir, and ponderosa pine.

Visit their website for more information

The Window Trail

Store To Trailhead, Big Bend National Park, TeXas 79834

This 5.6 mile round trip trail is renowned for its dramatic conclusion at “The Window,” a V-shaped gap in the mountains that frames a stunning panoramic view of the Chihuahuan Desert below. The trail begins at the Chisos Basin trailhead, leading hikers through a variety of ecosystems, from shady, forested sections to exposed slopes. As the path descends, it offers glimpses of the vast desert landscape that stretches into Mexico. The trail culminates at The Window, where visitors are rewarded with a scene, especially during sunrise or sunset when the sunlight bathes the desert in warm hues.

Visit their website for more information

Crockett Gardens Falls Trail

1065 Eagle Point Dr, Georgetown, TX 78628

This trail segment, approximately 6 miles round trip from the Cedar Breaks Park trailhead, is a moderately challenging hike, featuring diverse landscapes that include dense woodlands, rocky outcrops, and picturesque lake views. The trail’s destination, Crockett Gardens Falls, is a hidden oasis where a small, spring-fed waterfall cascades over a fern-draped limestone cliff into a serene pool below. The site is also historically significant, as it houses the remnants of an 1850s homestead, complete with a restored garden originally established by the Crockett family, which adds a touch of Texas history to the scenic natural beauty.

Visit their website for more information

Best Golf Courses

BlackHorse Golf Club

12205 Fry Road, Cypress, TeXas 77433

BlackHorse Golf Club, located in Cypress, Texas, near Houston, is a premier golf destination that offers an exceptional golfing experience for players of all skill levels. Comprising two 18 hole championship courses, each designed by the renowned team of Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy, BlackHorse provides a diverse and memorable golfing experience. The North Course is known for its challenging layout, featuring natural wetlands, lush forestry, and a series of lakes that demand strategic play and precision. In contrast, the South Course presents a more traditional parkland style, with its fairways meandering through a landscape of mature oak trees and tranquil waters, culminating in a spectacular island green.

Visit their website for more information

Tempest Golf Club

568 E Wilkins Rd, Gladewater, TeXas 75647

Tempest Golf Club, situated in the heart of the Texas Hill Country near Gladewater, is a golfing haven that seamlessly blends natural beauty with an exceptional golfing experience. Designed by acclaimed architect Jeffrey D. Blume, this 18 hole championship course offers a challenging yet enjoyable layout that caters to golfers of all skill levels. The course winds through rolling terrain, incorporating native grasses, stands of oak and pine trees, and strategically placed bunkers and water hazards that add both visual appeal and tactical complexity to the game.

Visit their website for more information

Memorial Park Golf Course and Driving Range

1001 E Memorial Loop Dr, Houston, TeXas 77007

Originally opened in 1923 and redesigned in 2020 by renowned golf architect Tom Doak, this 18 hole course stretches over 7,300 yards, offering a world-class golfing experience in an urban park setting. Known for its expansive, tree lined fairways and strategically placed bunkers, the course presents a stimulating challenge for golfers of all skill levels. The layout is characterized by its variety, with each hole offering a different challenge, demanding thoughtful strategy and skillful play.

Visit their website for more information

Water Sports

Sky’s The Limit Parasailing


Parasailing in Texas provides an exhilarating adventure that combines aerial views with the thrill of being suspended high above the sparkling waters. Whether along the Gulf Coast or on the many scenic lakes throughout the state, parasailing operators offer an unforgettable experience for thrill seekers. Along the Gulf of Mexico, parasailing provides a unique perspective of the coastline, with panoramic views of the sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Sky’s The Limit Parasailing offers parasailing guides and a great time on the water.

Visit their website for more information

Texas Surf Camps

Surfing & Windsurfing

Surfing in Texas may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but the state’s expansive coastline along the Gulf of Mexico provides ample opportunities for wave enthusiasts. One notable company that caters to those eager to ride the Texas surf is “Texas Surf Camps.” Operating in areas like Galveston, they offer a fantastic platform for beginners to learn the art of surfing. With experienced and certified instructors, Texas Surf Camps provides comprehensive lessons that cover the basics of paddling, balance, and catching waves. The warm Gulf waters and manageable waves make it an ideal environment for novice surfers to build confidence and skills.

Visit their website for more information

Paddle Zen


Paddleboarding in Texas has gained popularity as a tranquil and enjoyable water activity, and one Paddle Zen caters to this growing interest. Operating in various locations along the Texas coast, including destinations like Corpus Christi and South Padre Island, Paddle Zen offers paddleboard rentals for enthusiasts of all skill levels. With a diverse fleet of high-quality paddleboards, the company allows individuals to explore the serene coastal waters at their own pace.

Visit their website for more information

Resorts to Discover

Horseshoe Bay Resort

Recreational, Family friendly
200 Hi Circle N, Horseshoe Bay, Texas 78657

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort And Spa

Couples, Spa
9800 Hyatt Resort Dr, San Antonio, Texas 78251

The San Luis Resort

Family friendly
5222 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, Texas 77551

Tips on Vacationing in Texas

Explore Urban and Rural

Experience the best of both worlds by exploring the vibrant cities like Austin, Houston, and Dallas, but also venture into rural areas to enjoy the scenic landscapes and cowboy culture.

Texan Cuisine

Indulge in Texan cuisine, especially barbecue and Tex-Mex. Each region has its own specialties, so don’t miss out on trying local dishes.

Outdoor Adventures

Take advantage of the diverse outdoor activities. Whether it’s hiking in Big Bend National Park, enjoying water sports on the Gulf Coast, or stargazing in West Texas, there’s something for every outdoor enthusiast.

Texan Hospitality

Texans are known for their hospitality. Don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with locals—they might offer valuable recommendations for hidden gems and local favorites.

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Jet Skiing

Texas, also known as the Lone Star State, is filled with diverse landscapes, rich history, and unique attractions that draw in a multitude of travelers each year. 

Vacation rentals in Texas offer a fantastic alternative to traditional hotel stays, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the comforts of home. From the bustling cities of Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin to the relaxing beaches in South Padre Island, Texas, it provides a variety of vacation experiences for every type of traveler.

Key Takeaways

– Texas vacation rentals provide diverse options in locations, accommodations, and budgets for travelers.
– Staying at a vacation rental offers a more immersive experience in cities like Austin or beach destinations like South Padre Island.
– Texas offers a variety of experiences, from outdoor adventures to rich culture in its major cities.

Staying at a Vacation Home in Texas

Your trip to the Lone Star State will be one to remember by staying in one of Texas’s many vacation rentals. You’ll have the perfect base to explore the gorgeous landscapes, encounter diverse wildlife, and indulge in local food.

The rolling hills of Texas welcome you for wonderful daytime activities like hiking or biking trails. Visit the Barton Creek Greenbelt for a scenic hike, or go to the Guadalupe Mountains and Big Bend National Park for breathtaking views and challenging trails.

For water lovers, spend your days relaxing near the springs, caverns, and lakes Texas offers. Visit Kingsland or Canyon Lake for a refreshing dip, and take advantage of the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the desert springs found in Big Bend.

Looking for a coastal getaway? Port Aransas is the place for you. With beachfront rentals offered by platforms like Vacasa, you can unwind, soak in the sun, or try your hand at various water sports during your vacation.

How about immersing yourself in Texas’ rich Western heritage? Head to Bandera for the quintessential cowboy experience, or perhaps New Braunfels to dive into the region’s German roots.

Retreat to a cozy vacation rental at the end of a fun-filled day. With options ranging from rustic cabins to luxurious estates, you’ll find the perfect place to suit your style and budget. For last-minute deals, Airbnb and Vrbo are great platforms to consider.

Top Vacation Rentals Near Austin

Luxurious Rentals
So, you’re looking for a luxurious vacation rental near Austin? There are plenty of high-end options available to make your stay unforgettable. For instance, you can find a lavish penthouse for an average price of about $391 per night. These upscale rentals often include amenities like a fully-equipped kitchen, stunning views, and high-speed Wi-Fi. Remember to take advantage of the resort-style pools and outdoor entertainment spaces!

Cabin Rentals
Looking for a cozy escape? Cabin rentals near Austin provide a unique and comfortable experience. Surrounded by gorgeous Texas Hill Country, you can enjoy breathtaking views and nature-filled activities. These cabins generally have a fully stocked kitchen, Wi-Fi, and various indoor and outdoor amenities. Prices can vary, so it’s best to explore different listings to find the perfect fit for your budget and preferences.

For a more urban vacation experience, consider renting a condo in the heart of downtown Austin. Condos offer a unique blend of city living with access to all the top attractions and entertainment. You can find condos at around $78 per night, with units featuring comfy bedrooms, updated kitchens, and essential amenities like Wi-Fi. If you’re searching for pet-friendly options or additional features like waterfront views, you’ll be sure to find a rental that fits your needs.

Incredible Vacations in Fredericksburg

Hill Country Rentals

Are you planning a getaway to the beautiful Texas Hill Country? Fredericksburg, TX, is the perfect destination! With its charming atmosphere, fantastic wineries, delicious dining options, and stunning nature, you are guaranteed to have a memorable vacation. A popular choice for lodging in Fredericksburg is vacation homes that will make you feel right at home with the authentic feel of Hill Country living.

Cozi Vacation Rentals, Fredericksburg Escapes, and Absolute Charm offer luxurious and elegantly appointed vacation homes in the area. Some properties have hot tubs, outdoor showers, beautiful views, and more, ensuring a relaxing stay for you and your loved ones.

While in the area, enjoy the nearby wineries, nature trails, and local culture to enjoy your Fredericksburg experience fully. 

Now, let’s talk about food—a big part of any Texas vacation! You’ll quickly discover that Texas has a serious love affair with Tex-Mex cuisine and BBQ. Do your taste buds a favor, and don’t leave without trying some mouthwatering local dishes.

Fredericksburg Cabins

For those looking for a more intimate and secluded vacation, Fredericksburg offers cozy cabins to make your romantic getaway or family bonding time extra special. These Hill Country cabins often provide photo-worthy views and quick access to hiking trails, allowing you to reconnect with nature while enjoying modern comforts.

Here’s a list of features you may find in your Fredericksburg cabin rental:

– Fireplace
– Hot tub
– Air conditioning
– Fully equipped kitchen
– Complimentary Wi-Fi
– Outdoor seating area

Some Fredericksburg cabin rentals also offer luxurious amenities such as private pools, outdoor bars, and on-site dining so that you can customize your stay according to your preferences. Whether you want to spend your days hiking, wine tasting, or simply relaxing in your secluded cabin, there’s no better place to unwind than in Fredericksburg, TX.

South Padre Island Getaways

Beachfront Homes

Imagine waking up to the sun rising over the horizon with waves lapping up on the beach. You can make this dream a reality at South Padre Island by renting a beautiful beachfront home. These properties provide the perfect backdrop for your vacation, as you’ll be just steps away from the sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Many of these beachfront houses offer 3 bedrooms or more, making them ideal for families or groups of friends. Plus, if you’re into fishing, you’ll be thrilled that South Padre Island is renowned for its fantastic sports fishing opportunities. With a beachfront home, you can quickly head out for a day on the boat and come back with an impressive catch to cook up for dinner.

Family-Friendly Rentals

South Padre Island is a preferred destination for families, and you’ll find plenty of family-friendly house rentals to accommodate your needs. These homes are in safe neighborhoods, close to all the amenities South Padre offers, including shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

Family-friendly rentals include:

– Fully-equipped kitchens for preparing meals
– Spacious living areas for quality family time
– Comfortable bedrooms for a good night’s sleep
– Access to entertainment such as Wi-Fi, cable TV, and board games

In addition to the comfort of your rental home, South Padre Island offers numerous family-friendly activities to keep you entertained throughout your vacation. You can take a boat tour to see dolphins swimming in their natural habitat, splash around at the water park, or enjoy a relaxing day together on the beach.

Texas Gulf Coast Escapes

Texas Gulf Coast is an excellent option with beautiful beaches, scenic views, and a diverse range of rental properties. It’s no wonder this coastal region is a popular choice for vacationers.


Galveston is an island city near Houston, offering various vacation rental options. Known for its stunning Victorian architecture and captivating coastal views, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to capture that perfect Insta-worthy shot. Whether you prefer beachfront cottages or luxury condos overlooking the Gulf, you will surely find your ideal rental property in this charming city.

The weather in Galveston is typically warm and sunny, making it a perfect destination for beach lovers.  Considering the location, here are some features of Galveston vacation rentals:

– Proximity to Houston, making it convenient for travel
– A variety of vacation homes to suit your budget and preferences
– Beachfront properties for those who want to stay close to the ocean

Corpus Christi

For vacationers seeking the ocean’s calm and serenity, Corpus Christi is another excellent option that’s located on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Choose from cozy beach houses with great views of the gulf to luxurious condos; there’s something for everyone in Corpus Christi.

The area is known for its beautiful weather throughout the year, though the best times to visit are spring and fall when it’s not uncomfortably hot. You’ll also get a chance to enjoy various seafood restaurants and try Corpus Christi’s famous seafood tacos.

Here’s what you can expect from rentals in Corpus Christi:

– Amazing ocean views, perfect for relaxation
– Convenient access to nearby cities and beaches
– Properties to meet any budgets

Exploring Dallas and San Antonio

When planning a vacation to Central Texas, two cities worth exploring are Dallas and San Antonio. Dallas’ must-see museums are The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Sixth Floor Museum, the Texas Discovery Gardens, and the Crow Museum of Asian Art. San Antonio is home to frequented museums such as Hopscotch, the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Witte Museum, and the Guinness World Records Museum. These museums are perfect for families with young, inquiring minds or solo travelers.


If you’re looking for a place to stay in the heart of the warehouse district of Dallas, consider a one-bedroom, self-contained vacation rental. This sleek and minimalist home features walnut floors, wood ceilings, large windows, and steel beams, embodying the city’s feel. This vacation rental is conveniently located within the music, art scene, dining options, and clubs.

For those who want to experience the authentic taste of Texas, celebrate your vacation in a Dallas house rental. From duplexes to upscale villas, you’ll find many options that cater to your preferences.

San Antonio

Experience an authentic Texan culture by staying at vacation rentals in San Antonio. 

San Antonio has several landmarks worth visiting, such as the Alamo and several museums near the University of Texas. While in town, remember to indulge in Texan culture and make lasting memories.

One unique option in San Antonio is vacation homes. These rentals offer many amenities perfect for families, friends, or solo travelers, ensuring comfort during your stay. Some of these amenities include high chairs for kids, kitchens, and even access to boat rentals.

Booking a Vacation in the Lone Star State

Whether you’re looking for a beachfront property, a cozy cabin, or a unique tiny home, Texas has diverse vacation rentals for the perfect vacation home for your Lone Star State getaway.

Step 1: Choose a booking platform

First, decide which online platform you want to use to book your vacation rental. Several popular options exist, such as Lake, Airbnb, Rent By Owner™, and Vrbo. Each website offers various properties and amenities, so pick the one that aligns with your preferences and budget.

Step 2: Narrow down your search

Once you’ve chosen a platform, it’s time to search for properties that meet your criteria. You can filter the listings by location, accommodation type, price, and amenities. For example, if you’re looking for a pet-friendly cabin near a lake, tailor your search to these requirements.

Step 3: Read reviews and check availability

Now that you’ve curated a list of potential vacation homes, you must read online reviews and testimonials from previous guests. This will give you valuable insight into the rental experience and help you make an informed decision. Also, ensure your chosen property is available for your desired travel dates.

Step 4: Complete the booking process

After pinpointing your ideal vacation rental, it’s time to finalize the booking. Online vacation rental platforms offer a straightforward booking process where you can choose the duration of your stay, the number of guests, and the preferred payment method, be it Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or PayPal.

Here is a quick summary of the steps for booking a Lone Star vacation rental:

– Choose a booking platform (e.g., Lake, Airbnb, Rent By Owner™, Vrbo)
– Narrow down your search with specific criteria
– Read reviews and check availability
– Complete the booking process

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to an unforgettable vacation in the heart of Texas.

Frequently Asked Questions about Texas

Pack weather-appropriate clothing, especially if you plan to explore different regions. Comfortable shoes are essential for walking and outdoor activities. Sunscreen, a hat, and a reusable water bottle are recommended, especially during hot months.

Texas is famous for its barbecue, Tex-Mex cuisine, and hearty comfort food. Try dishes like brisket, tacos, chili, and Texan-style barbecue. Don’t forget to savor some authentic Mexican cuisine, as Texas shares a border with Mexico.

You can choose from several luxury vacation rental websites when planning your stay in Texas. Some popular options are Lake, Rent By Owner™ and Airbnb. These websites offer luxurious properties, such as resorts and beachfront homes, allowing you to find the perfect accommodation.

Searching for a local vacation rental management company is likely your best bet. Look for companies with good reviews and customer testimonials. You can also consult vacation rental websites, such as Lake, Airbnb, or Vrbo, which often have a list of their partnered management companies. Additionally, asking for recommendations from friends or family who have used vacation rental management services may be helpful.

When looking for large group vacation rentals in Texas, you can start by browsing major vacation rental websites such as Lake, Airbnb, Vrbo, and Rent By Owner™. Use filters like ‘guest capacity’ or ‘number of bedrooms’ to narrow your search to listings that accommodate your group size. You can also contact local vacation rental management companies, who might have suitable options in their portfolio.

Texas has numerous waterfront rental destinations to choose from. Some popular options include Port Isabel and Lake Granbury, featured on Texas Waterfront Vacations. Additionally, you can find oceanfront vacation rentals along the Gulf Coast at destinations like Galveston, South Padre Island, and Corpus Christi.

Booking a last-minute vacation home in Texas is possible through websites like Lake, Airbnb, Vrbo, and Rent By Owner™. Many hosts and property owners update their availability frequently, and these platforms often have instant booking options for convenience. Remember that your options might be more limited during peak travel seasons, so booking as early as possible is always a good idea.

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