Texas has a rich history and diverse culture. It is known for its many attractions that attract visitors from all over the world. From its bustling cities to its natural wonders, the state has multiple things to do in Texas. For those planning a trip here, you might wonder, “What is the number one attraction in Texas?” There are a lot of destinations that have become iconic symbols of Texas and are must-visits for everyone traveling to this beautiful state.

1- San Antonio Riverwalk

The San Antonio Riverwalk is the answer if you inquire about the number one attraction in Texas. It’s also known as Paseo del Rio, a picturesque network of walkways along the San Antonio River in downtown San Antonio, Texas. This popular tourist attraction features shops, restaurants, bars, and hotels, all nestled along the riverbanks.

Visitors can stroll along the winding walkways, enjoying the beautiful scenery and the lively atmosphere. They can also take a boat tour to learn about the city’s rich history and enjoy the scenic views from the water.

San Antonio Riverwalk
San Antonio Riverwalk

Moreover, the Riverwalk is home to many festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Fiesta San Antonio, which draws crowds worldwide. Also, visit the nearby historical sites, such as the Alamo, the oldest church in Texas, and the Spanish Governor’s Palace.

2- USS Lexington, Corpus Christi

The next to the number one attraction in Texas is USS Lexington. It is a decommissioned aircraft carrier now serving as a museum and popular attraction in Corpus Christi, Texas. Today, visitors to the Museum can explore the ship and learn about its history through various exhibits and interactive displays.

Moreover, important highlights include the ship’s massive flight deck, which offers stunning views of Corpus Christi Bay, and the on-board theatre, which shows a documentary about the ship’s history. In addition to its historical significance, it is also an engineering marvel, with a complex system of engines, boilers, and other machinery that powered its flight operations. 

Besides this, one can say that the USS Lexington is a must-visit attraction for history buffs, military enthusiasts, and anyone interested in learning more about this iconic American warship.

USS Lexington, Corpus Christi
USS Lexington, Corpus Christi

3- Moody Gardens, Galveston

Moody Gardens is a popular attraction located in Galveston, Texas. Spanning over 240 acres, it is a unique destination offering various entertainment options for visitors of all ages. The gardens are named after the Moody family, who have been prominent in the Galveston community for over a century.

One of the main attractions at this place is the Aquarium Pyramid, which features a vast array of marine life from around the world. Visitors can also explore the Rainforest Pyramid, home to over 1,000 exotic plants and animal species. The Discovery Museum is another popular spot, featuring interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for children.

In addition to these attractions, this place also offers a golf course, a zip line course, and a 3D theatre. Several restaurants and shops are also on the property, making it an excellent spot for a day trip or weekend getaway. Overall, it is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Galveston or the surrounding areas in Texas.

Moody Gardens, Galveston
Moody Gardens, Galveston

4- Padre Island National Seashore

Padre Island National Seashore is a popular attraction located on the barrier island of Padre Island in South Texas. It is the world’s longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island. It is a natural wonder that attracts visitors from all over the world.

The park offers miles of pristine beaches, dunes, and grasslands, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, birdwatching, and fishing. The seashore is also a famous nesting ground for several species of sea turtles. Visitors can observe their nesting activities during the turtle nesting season.

Besides this, the seashore is home to various plant and animal species, including some rare and endangered ones, making it a popular spot for nature enthusiasts. The park also features several historical sites, including the remains of a Spanish shipwreck, which provide a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural history.

Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island National Seashore

5- Schlitterbahn Waterpark, New Braunfels

Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels, Texas, is one of the most popular waterparks in the state. The park features over 40 rides and attractions, including the world’s longest water coaster and the first surfing ride. Schlitterbahn is also known for its unique river system, which allows visitors to float around the park and access different attractions by water.

One of the park’s most iconic attractions is the “Master Blaster,” a water coaster that takes riders up and down steep drops and through tight turns. Another popular ride is the “Black Knight,” a thrilling water slide that features an entirely dark tunnel with flashing lights. In addition to the water rides, the park offers a vast range of food and beverage options and plenty of shaded areas for guests to relax and recharge.

Overall, it is an exciting and fun-filled attraction that draws visitors from all over Texas and beyond. Its unique rides and river system make it a must-visit destination for a thrilling water park experience.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark, New Braunfels
Schlitterbahn Waterpark, New Braunfels

6- Kemah Boardwalk, Kemah

Kemah Boardwalk is a popular waterfront attraction located in Kemah, Texas, along the shores of Galveston Bay. It features a lively and vibrant atmosphere with various activities and entertainment options, making it a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike. Visitors can enjoy amusement park rides, games, and various restaurants and shops at this place.

The boardwalk also hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year, including concerts, fireworks shows, and food and wine festivals. For thrill-seekers, Kemah Boardwalk offers exciting rides. One of them is the Boardwalk Bullet, a wooden roller coaster that reaches speeds of up to 51 miles per hour. Visitors can also stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy the stunning views of the bay.

7- Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is a premier attraction in Texas that spans 66 acres of lush gardens and picturesque landscapes. This horticultural gem has been recognized as one of the most beautiful and well-manicured gardens in the United States.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Visitors to the Dallas Arboretum can stroll through themed gardens, such as the sunken or fragrant gardens, and enjoy seasonal displays that change throughout the year. The Arboretum also features various fountains, waterfalls, and ponds that add to the serenity of the environment.

The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is an interactive area that offers hands-on experiences for children and teaches them about science, nature, and ecology. The Arboretum also hosts various events and concerts throughout the year, including the popular Dallas Blooms festival, which showcases over 500,000 blooming flowers.

8- The Menil Collection, Houston

The Menil Collection is known for its unique architectural design. It features white walls and a series of bungalows and gardens that create a peaceful and intimate atmosphere for visitors. The Museum’s collection includes works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and many more.

The Menil Collection, Houston
The Menil Collection, Houston

In addition to its permanent collection, The Menil Collection hosts rotating exhibitions that showcase contemporary and historical art from around the world. The Museum also has a research library containing over 40,000 art history, criticism, and theory volumes. Overall, it is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in art and culture. Its exceptional collection and serene setting make it an unforgettable experience in the heart of Texas.

9- Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a breathtaking natural wonder located in the state of Texas, USA. The park is known for its spectacular mountain range, which boasts the highest peak in Texas, Guadalupe Peak, at 8,749 feet.

The park offers a wide range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts, including hiking, backpacking, camping, and birdwatching. Hikers can explore over 80 miles of trails that offer stunning views of canyons, pine forests, and unique geological formations. Visitors can also witness the diverse wildlife that inhabits the park, including mule deer, elk, and the elusive mountain lion.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Another popular attraction in the park is the iconic McKittrick Canyon. This stunning oasis is home to various rare plant species and a vibrant display of autumn colors. The park also offers the opportunity to explore historic sites, such as the Frijole Ranch, which offers a glimpse into the lives of early settlers in the region.


Texas is a state that boasts a diverse range of attractions. Though San Antonio is the number one attraction in Texas, there is something for everyone, from the urban metropolis to the historical landmarks. The state also features natural attractions such as Big Bend National Park and the Gulf Coast beaches. Visitors can enjoy various activities, including hiking, swimming, and attending cultural events. Texas is a destination worth exploring with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning scenery.

FAQs about What is the Number One Attraction in Texas

What is Texas best known for?

Texas is best known for its cowboy culture, oil industry, barbecue, Tex-Mex cuisine, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the Alamo, the state fair, and the second-largest US state.

What is the prettiest city in Texas?

Texas has many beautiful cities, but some of the prettiest include San Antonio with its River Walk, Austin with its vibrant culture and outdoor spaces, and Fort Worth with its western charm.

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