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Texas is a big state full of great travel destinations for families, including small-town gems and big city attractions. If you’re looking for a family vacation that everyone will enjoy, consider one of these great Texas cities for your next getaway. From the Texas coast to the Texas Hill Country, your entire family will leave pleased after visiting one of these top family vacation destinations in Texas.
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South Padre Island
This list starts off with one of the top travel destinations in Texas: South Padre Island. This beach oasis may have a bad rep since college-aged spring breakers head here every March. However, this beach town is still a great place to take the family too. Besides the miles of sandy beach here, South Padre Island is also home to Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark and South Padre Island Adventure Park, both great attraction options that will keep the entire family entertained. After a long day on the beach or at the adventure park or water park, you may want to consider taking the family to a sea turtle rescue center, Sea Turtle, Inc., for some educational fun.
Explore central Texas when you visit San Antonio. San Antonio has plenty of things to do within the city and outside the city limits too. Take the family to popular historical attractions like the Alamo or the Missions, and then end your day with dinner on the River Walk. If you’re looking for thrills, ride all the roller coasters at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. If you’re wanting to escape city life for a day, take a day trip outside of the city to explore Natural Bridge Caverns or Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, both of which are family-friendly attractions.
Big Bend National Park
If you’re wanting to take the family on a camping or backpacking trip, your next family vacation should be to Big Bend National Park. One of the only national parks in the state, Big Bend is truly a Texas gem. It’s also one of the only places in Texas where you can spot black bears, among other unique wildlife. Take a hike, go horseback riding, raft the river, or simply take a scenic drive to experience the beauty of this Texas park. Kids will enjoy the Junior Ranger programs offered here. This remote park is well worth the drive to West Texas.
Another coastal Texas city to consider for your next family vacation is Galveston. Since Galveston is only 45 minutes from Houston, it’s an ideal getaway for Houston families needing a quick getaway. The beach is the main attraction here, however, there are so many other great attractions that you shouldn’t spend all your time on the sandy shore. Schlitterbahn Galveston Island is a popular water park that both kids and adults will enjoy. If you’re looking for thrills right on the beach, spend some time on the rides at Pleasure Pier. Furthermore, Moody Gardens is not only a great place to stay but also explore, as Moody Gardens is home to aquariums, a rainforest exhibit and an IMAX theatre.
Austin, Texas is a great destination for all types of travelers, including families. If you’re visiting while the weather is hot, you’ll want to cool off at Barton Springs Pool or the Greenbelt. Other outdoor spots to explore as a family is Zilker Park, Lady Bird Lake and even Lake Travis. There is plenty of indoor fun to be had here too though. The entire family will enjoy exploring the Texas State Capitol or the children’s museum The Thinkery.
If you’re looking for outdoor fun, head to New Braunfels to float on the river or enjoy one of the largest water parks in the world. Both the Comal River and the Guadalupe River flow through the town, and both are popular rivers for tubing. Texans come from all over the state to float these cool, spring-fed rivers during the summer time. It’s a great way to spend a summer day with the family. While in New Braunfels, don’t miss out on visiting the largest Schlitterbahn water park in the state.
Corpus Christi is a Texas coastal city that boasts some of the cleanest beaches in the state. Quieter than Galveston and South Padre Island, Corpus Christi and its neighboring city of Port Aransas are both perfect destinations for Texas families wanting a beach getaway. If the entire family is tired of fun in the sun, take a break from the outdoors and visit the Texas State Aquarium for the day. This aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the Lone Star State.
Garner State Park
Located in Concan, Texas, Garner State Park draws Texas families from all over the state during the summer months. Float the Frio River, enjoy a round of golf or go horseback riding while you’re here. Garner hosts nightly dances during the summer months, which is a great way for the entire family to meet new friends.