35 Texas Bucket List Ideas to Try in the Lone Star State

11 min read
A city skyline with green trees in front of it under a blue sky with clouds
San Antonio is one of the beautiful cities to explore when in Texas

Texas is one of the most well-known states in the United States and features many amazing towns and cities. When visiting Texas, you'll find numerous exciting activities to try and unique attractions to see.

Due to the number of famous Texas landmarks and attractions, it can be challenging to decide exactly what to do in the Lone Star State. Luckily, this Texas bucket list is here to help by outlining the top 35 things to do when visiting.

From Dallas and Austin to San Antonio and Fort Worth, there are incredible things to do in all Texan cities!

  • 35 Texas things to do

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Bucket List for Texas - 35 Things to Do

  1. Go on a San Antonio Riverwalk cruise
  2. Hike in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  3. Visit the iconic Sixth Floor Museum
  4. Tackle scenic trails at Big Bend National Park
  5. Tour the Texas State Capitol
  6. Learn about NASA and space travel at Space Center Houston
  7. Discover amazing artworks at the Dallas Museum of Art
  8. Spend a day at the beach at Padre Island National Seashore
  9. Experience the Texas State Fair
  10. Wander around the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
  11. Follow the Lady Bird Lake trail
  12. View vast canyons at Palo Duro Canyon State Park
  13. Dance and eat at a Texas Honky Tonk at Fort Worth Stockyards
  14. Pretend to be in the TV show Dallas!
  15. Enjoy an exciting day at Six Flags Over Texas
  16. Admire the foliage at Lost Maples State Natural Area
  17. Parasail over South Padre Island
  18. See dinosaurs at the Houston Museum of Natural Science
  19. Get out on the water on a dolphin watching cruise
  20. Luxuritate on a Brazos River cruise
  21. Hear spooky tales on a San Antonio ghost tour
  22. Watch a magic show at The Magician’s Agency
  23. Bike around Austin
  24. Sightsee in Dallas
  25. Eat your way through a San Antonio food tour
  26. Take a Dallas Cowboys stadium tour
  27. Cheer a Texas sports team
  28. Snap a picture with the Greetings From Austin mural
  29. Book a wine tasting experience
  30. Appreciate 360 degree views from Reunion Tower
  31. Kayak on the Rio Grande
  32. Pedal around Fort Worth on a bike bar!
  33. Explore the amazing Natural Bridge Caverns
  34. Attempt to escape a thrilling Mafia adventure escape room
  35. Take a cultural visit to the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

Show all

Texas Bucket List Map

A map of Texas. Use the map to explore all the things to do.

A river with a bridge on one side and trees and colorful patio umbrellas on the other
Going on a San Antonio Riverwalk cruise is a scenic way to see the city

Go on a San Antonio Riverwalk cruise

The San Antonio Riverwalk is a pedestrian street running alongside the San Antonio River. When in the city, walking this scenic trail is a popular free activity.

A fun way to do so is by walking along the path and then hopping on a San Antonio Riverwalk cruise. Onboard, you get to sail along the water while taking in incredible vistas.

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A trip to Guadalupe Mountains National Park has to be on your Texas bucket list
Visiting Guadalupe Mountains National Park must be on your Texas bucket list

Hike in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe National Park is one of the best national parks on the West Coast. It features dunes, mountains, and desert landscapes.

The park is a great outdoor attraction to hike around, with hiking trails for all levels available. You may also spot wildlife like foxes, porcupines, and deer.

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An orange-brick building with lots of windows and a street in front of it
The Sixth Floor Museum is a fascinating historical landmark in Dallas

Visit the iconic Sixth Floor Museum

One of the most renowned Texas bucket list locations is the Texas School Book Depository. It's from this location that JFK was shot in 1963. Today, the depository is a museum called the Sixth Floor Museum.

At the museum, you can learn more about the life of JFK and the events that led to his death. If interested in learning more about this historic event, going on a JFK assassination tour is recommended.

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A sign that says "Big Bend National Park" within greenery and a sandy path
A great hiking spot in Texas is Big Bend National Park

Tackle scenic trails at Big Bend National Park

An attraction in Texas that outdoor enthusiasts must visit is Big Bend National Park. In the 800,100 acre park, you can hike, bike, and drive along a range of scenic trails. Along with taking in spectacular views, you can spot animals, including lizards, black bears, and bobcats.

A State Capitol building with a rotunda roof and greenery in front of it
The Texas State Capitol in Austin is the seat of government for Texas

Tour the Texas State Capitol

The Texas State Capitol is one of the most famous landmarks in the state. Located in Austin, the Capitol is the seat of government for Texas.

Those that want to visit, can take a free 30-minute tour of the building. If you opt to do this, you’ll also learn more about the history of the State Capitol and its political significance.

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A blue sign that says "Space Center Houston" with grass and greenery around it
You can learn a lot about space travel at Space Center Houston

Learn about NASA and space travel at Space Center Houston

One of the bucket list things to do in Texas that’s ideal for all ages is going to Space Center Houston. When at the museum, you can interact with fascinating exhibits on space travel and exploration and get a look at the life of those working for NASA.

Discover amazing artworks at the Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art was founded in 1903 and, to this day, features an array of works by famous artists. Collections cover a range of styles, with artworks from American and international creators. Renowned artists with pieces on show include Renoir, Monet, and Metcalf.

A group of pelicans on the sand surrounded by water and green land behind
You can spot wildlife and try fun activities on Padre Island National Seashore

Spend a day at the beach at Padre Island National Seashore

You don’t always associate Texas with beaches, but the Padre Island National Seashore offers Texans beautiful white sand beaches to visit. The seashore features 70 magnificent miles of beaches, sand dunes, and ocean.

There’s also lots to do on the seashore! From relaxing on the beach to enjoying watersports and even camping.

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The entrance to a fair with a "State Fair of Texas" sign and red flags
There is a lot to see and do at the renowned Texas State Fair

Experience the Texas State Fair

One of the most unique bucket list ideas in Texas is going on a trip to the Texas State Fair. Held in Dallas, the fair has been a popular annual event since 1886.

At the fair, you can ride a Ferris Wheel, eat carnival foods, listen to live music, and much more. There’s also a parade in downtown Dallas before the fair begins.

An archway made of trees with a path through it and greenery at the end
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden features world-class gardens

Wander around the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Another great Dallas attraction is the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. This beautiful collection of gardens covers 66 acres and includes floral displays, water features, greenery, sculptures, and more.

The gardens have also been named one of the best botanical gardens in the world by various publications.

A path running alongside a river with skyscrapers on the other side
Biking or walking along the Lady Bird Lake trail is a must when in Austin

Follow the Lady Bird Lake trail

Located in Austin, Lady Bird Lake is a large reservoir that covers over 400 acres. When visiting Austin, following the Lady Bird Lake biking trail is a great outdoor activity to enjoy.

The trail takes you past the river and through lush green parks, with city views also visible. You're guaranteed to see wildlife too. Alligator sightings have even been reported in the past!

Orange rock mountains with greenery and yellow grass in around them
Palo Duro Canyon is the second-biggest canyon in the US

View vast canyons at Palo Duro Canyon State Park

One more of the numerous outdoor bucket list places in Texas to visit is Palo Duro Canyon. The canyon system is found near the cities of Amarillo and Canyon.

Notably, Palo Duro Canyon is the second-largest canyon in the United States, stretching for 120 miles and reaching widths of 20 miles. At the canyon, you can partake in a range of activities from hiking or mountain biking to bird watching.

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A sign that says "Fort Worth Stockyards" over a street with cars and buildings
You can find numerous unique bars and restaurants at Fort Worth Stockyards

Dance and eat at a Texas Honky Tonk at Fort Worth Stockyards

Fort Worth Stockyards features a multitude of bars and restaurants, and one of the most fun is Billy Bob’s Texas Honky Tonk. If interested in visiting this Southern-style bar, booking a Billy Bob’s dinner deal is recommended.

With this package, you get to enjoy dinner at the bar, watch people ride the famous mechanical bull, dance, and play arcade games. Photos of you and your other guests are included too.

Pretend to be in the TV show Dallas!

Did you love the TV series Dallas? If so, you have to go to the show’s Southfork Ranch when in Texas. On the three-hour tour, you can explore the ranch, see props, and learn more about the show’s production.

A rollercoaster with bushes and sandy land in the distance
Going to Six Flags Texas is a fun activity for children and adults alike

Enjoy an exciting day at Six Flags Over Texas

For those that love amusement parks, one of the bucket list activities in Texas you have to try is going to Six Flags Over Texas. This renowned theme-park was the first-ever Six Flags location.

At the park, you can go on an array of rides and roller coasters. Other fun activities include watching live shows, shopping at themed stores, and dining at various eateries.

Orange trees, a pond and rocks under a blue sky with clouds
Lost Maples State Natural Area features orange and red maple trees

Admire the foliage at Lost Maples State Natural Area

Lost Maples State Natural Area is another breathtaking outdoor area in Texas. The natural area, located in the Edwards Plateau region, features hills and canyons and beautiful flora and fauna.

A popular activity here is viewing the spectacular colored foliage of the maple trees. The sea of orange and red is a stunning sight to see!

A sandy beach and the ocean under a blue sky
Heading to the beaches of South Padre Island to parasail is an exciting thing to do

Parasail over South Padre Island

When in South Padre Island, you can find an array of outdoor activities to enjoy. A memorable one to try is parasailing over South Padre.

This thrilling activity is ideal for all levels, including beginners. Once in the air, you can take in the breathtaking coastal views.

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Dinosaur skeletons in a museum under yellow lighting
The largest dinosaur hall in North America is found in Houston

See dinosaurs at the Houston Museum of Natural Science

Another of the bucket list things to do in Texas that’s perfect for kids and adults alike is going to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The museum houses various exhibits on science, including the largest dinosaur hall in North America!

Visiting the Museum of Natural Science is sure to teach you something new and is a great rainy day activity.

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A boat on the water under a blue sky
You can spot dolphins when out on the water in South Padre Island

Get out on the water on a dolphin watching cruise

The waters of Texas’ South Padre Island are home to many sea creatures, including bottle-nose dolphins. An ideal way to spot these marine mammals in their natural habitat is on a dolphin watching eco-cruise.

Once abroad, the boat will sail out to an area known to inhabit dolphins, and you can expect to see pods of 10 to 14 animals. You'll also spot the US Coast Guard station.

Bridges stretching over green waters with land and trees on either side
You'll pass the Waco Suspension Bridge when on a Brazos River cruise

Luxuritate on a Brazos River cruise

A cool outdoor activity near Waco, Texas, is going on a Brazos River cruise. This luxury cruise will take you past various landmarks, including the Waco Suspension Bridge and McLane Stadium.

Your captain will also offer background on everything you see. There’s even an onboard photographer to take high-quality images for you.

An old fashioned building at night with puddles with reflections in them in front
The Alamo is one of the places to see on a San Antonio ghost tour

Hear spooky tales on a San Antonio ghost tour

If you’re interested in the paranormal, one of the bucket list activities in Texas that you can’t miss is a San Antonio ghost tour.

During this eerie nighttime experience, your guide will take you to the most haunted places in the city. At each stop, you'll learn of the spooky events that occurred there and of paranormal sightings reported.

Watch a magic show at The Magician’s Agency

Seeing a magic show is always a fun activity! A great show to see in Texas is San Antonio’s magic and illusions performance at The Magician’s Agency Theatre. While at the family-friendly show, you get the chance to view an array of amazing tricks and stunts while enjoying free popcorn and soda.

A path with grass on either side and a city skyline in the distance
Biking around Austin is a great way to sightsee

Bike around Austin

A unique way to see all the sights of Austin is on a bike tour. This experience will take you to various landmarks, including the Texas State Capitol and the Texas State Cemetery.

Best of all, this experience also includes brewery stops! Along with seeing the best landmarks, you get the opportunity to visit some of Austin’s top craft breweries.

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A city skyline under a blue sky
When in Texas, a trip to Dallas has to be on your bucket list

Sightsee in Dallas

Dallas is packed full of things to see and do, therefore, one of the can’t miss bucket list ideas in Texas is sightseeing in Dallas. Top attractions to see include the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza, Dallas City Hall, and the Dallas Arts District.

Buildings with green trees, a bridge, and a river in next to them
The perfect way to get to know San Antonio is on a food tour

Eat your way through a San Antonio food tour

San Antonio has an array of outstanding eateries, and a great way to try them is on a San Antonio food tour. You’ll get to visit a range of restaurants serving cuisine from Tex-Mex and Cuban to Creole and Southern comfort food dishes.

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A football stadium with flags next to it and concrete in front of it
Sports-lovers will enjoy exploring AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys

Take a Dallas Cowboys stadium tour

The Dallas Cowboys NFL team is one of Texas’ most-loved teams. If you’re a sports enthusiast, taking a tour of the Cowboys’ stadium is one of the memorable bucket list things to do in Texas.

This experience allows you to explore AT&T Stadium, one of the most expensive sports venues to be built. You'll also learn more about the Cowboys franchise.

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A baseball field with a game going on and people watching from the stands
Be sure to catch a game in Texas, such as a Texas Rangers MLB game

Cheer a Texas sports team

Texas has many professional sports teams to watch, including the Dallas Cowboys. Along with seeing the Cowboys play, you can watch the Dallas Stars NHL team, the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA, and the Texas Rangers MLB team.

Texas also has three MLS teams, Austin FC, FC Dallas, and Houston Dynamo FC, along with semi-professional and collegiate sports teams.

Snap a picture with the Greetings From Austin mural

Found just outside downtown Austin, the Greetings From Austin mural is a popular tourist attraction. The colorful mural mimics an old-fashioned postcard and includes images of famous places in the city, plus the words “Greetings From Austin.”

When in the area, taking some pictures with the mural is a great keepsake reminder of your trip!

Green grass and green trees with a metal windmill under a blue sky with clouds
Texas Hill Country is a scenic region with numerous wineries

Book a wine tasting experience

If you’re after a day-trip idea, one of the bucket list things to do in Texas to going to some wineries. The Texas Hill Country is located near Austin and features many great wineries.

On a Hill Country wine tour, you get the chance to visit two outstanding wineries. At each location, you can taste samples and buy some bottles.

A tower with a round observation deck on the top and a Texas flag next to it
The views from the Reunion Tower observation deck are breathtaking

Appreciate 360 degree views from Reunion Tower

The Dallas Reunion Tower is a 561-foot observation tower with a viewing deck that offers amazing vistas. The Reunion Tower observation deck is located 470-feet up the tower and can be accessed during the day, at sunset, and in the evening.

A river running through grassland with mountains in the background
Kayaking on the Rio Grande through caverns and canyons is a great experience

Kayak on the Rio Grande

Heading into the Chihuahuan Desert to kayak on the Rio Grande is a highly memorable activity to enjoy. Once in the desert, you’ll learn a bit about the surrounding flora and fauna before getting in the water. You can then kayak through canyons and appreciate the desert scenery.

A city skyline with a river and green grass in front of it
One of the most unique ways to see Fort Worth is on a bike bar tour

Pedal around Fort Worth on a bike bar!

Biking around Fort Worth is a great thing to do, but biking around on a pedal bar is even better! On a pedal saloon tour, you’ll ride past Fort Worth’s landmarks and stop at some amazing bars along the way. This is one of the bucket list things to do in Texas that all types of travelers will love!

Limestone rocks and structures hanging from the ceiling of a cave
One of the coolest attractions in Texas is Natural Bridge Caverns

Explore the amazing Natural Bridge Caverns

The Natural Bridge Caverns are an outstanding landmark in San Antonio. The caverns are the largest known caverns in the state.

During your visit, you’ll head underground to explore the vast caverns, with one cave being as large as a football field! Having enjoyed the caves, you can also try ziplining and tackle rope courses here.

Attempt to escape a thrilling Mafia adventure escape room

A thrilling group activity in Fort Worth is trying to escape a Mafia adventure escape room. In this escape game, you’re in the pursuit of outlaws Bonnie and Clyde. Your team will race against the clock to find the clues to hunt down the couple and win the game.

An old-fashioned mission with two towers and palm trees next to it
Mission Concepción is one of the landmarks in San Antonio Missions Park

Take a cultural visit to the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

The San Antonio Missions National Historic Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in San Antonio. This North American landmark comprises four 18th century Spanish Frontier Missions.

To get the most from a visit, taking a San Antonio Missions tour is highly recommended. This activity takes you around the historical park and to the Alamo, Mission Concepción, Mission San José, and San Fernando Cathedral.

In Summary

Texas is a great place to visit in the US. The state features a range of attractions that will appeal to all types of travelers. This guide of bucket list things to do in Texas should make planning a memorable trip to the Lone Star State both fun and easy!

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!


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