Texas is a massive state full of plenty to see and do during the summer months. You don’t even have to leave the state to enjoy a beach getaway or a cultural city experience. No matter if you want to enjoy your summer by the water, in the mountains or in the middle of a new city, there is a destination on this list that is sure to make your summer unforgettable. Have a great summer getaway by visiting these 8 best summer vacation destinations in Texas.

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Galveston Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

Galveston (Hotel Prices & Photos)

If you’re looking for a classic beach getaway, then a visit to Galveston is a must. Galveston beach is a popular summer destination among Texans, especially those in Houston, since Galveston is only about an hour drive from downtown. Galveston offers more than just the beach too, however beach fun is why many people flock here. Enjoy great shopping along the Strand, escape the heat by visiting Moody Gardens or try the thrilling water rides at Schlitterbahn Waterpark. There are plenty of hotels, resorts, and rental properties here that cater to the influx of summer tourism.

Garner State Park Garner State Park
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Garner State Park

Garner State Park (Hotel Prices & Photos)

Spend time camping and tubing down the Frio River when you visit Garner State Park this summer. Garner State Park, located in Concan, Texas, is a popular summer destination among Texans. Although there are plenty of hiking and wildlife watching opportunities in the park, the main draw here is truly the Frio River, where the state park has 10 acres of river frontage. Many people kayak, tube, fish and even snorkel here. Garner State Park is so popular during the summer that the park hosts live music concerts on the weekend. This Texas summer destination is definitely a family-friendly spot.

Corpus Christi Bob Hall Pier
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Bob Hall Pier

Corpus Christi (Hotel Prices & Photos)

If you’re looking for more of a quiet beach scene than Galveston, then Corpus Christi is more your vibe. Tourism grows here during the summer and for good reason. Corpus Christi, or simply referred to as “Corpus” by Texans, has beautiful Gulf Coast beaches that are perfect for sunbathing, surfing, and windsurfing. If you’ve grown tired of the beach scene, the town of Corpus Christi offers a number of attractions, such as the Texas State Aquarium, the South Texas Botanical Garden, and the U.S.S Lexington.

San Antonio San Antonio Riverwalk
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San Antonio Riverwalk

San Antonio (Hotel Prices & Photos)

Escape to central Texas this summer by vacationing in San Antonio. With a unique city vibe full of history and culture, this Texas city makes for a great summer getaway. Stroll the Riverwalk to enjoy a great meal, explore the Alamo to learn about Texas history or even enjoy a thrilling roller coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. San Antonio is a great summer vacation for foodies, since the area is packed with incredible restaurants from hole-in-the-wall Mexican joints to classy cuisine found along the Riverwalk.

South Padre Island South Padre Island
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South Padre Island

South Padre Island (Hotel Prices & Photos)

South Padre Island may be known as a spring break destination but it shouldn’t be dismissed as a great summer travel spot as well. This Gulf Coast town is home to the most beautiful beaches in the Lone Star State. If you’re hoping for beach time this summer, then South Padre Island should be your destination of choice. With miles of white sand, plenty of shops to occupy your non-beach days, and even a Schlitterbahn Waterpark location, South Padre Island transcends from its spring break reputation into a popular spot during the summer months too.

Austin Riding a Bike in Downtown Austin
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Riding a Bike in Downtown Austin

Austin (Hotel Prices & Photos)

Texas’ capital city has plenty to see and do during the summer months. Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, music lovers will find plenty of live music acts in Austin when they visit during June, July and August. Big headliners always hit up ATX during their summer tours, while local acts can be seen for free anywhere from coffee shops, local music venues and even the airport. Visit the Texas State Capitol, view the bat colony under the South Congress Bridge at dusk, shop the electric boutiques along South Congress Avenue and enjoy a wide variety of food truck cuisine during your summer stay in Austin. If you’re looking to escape the heat, take a dip in the Barton Creek Greenbelt or Barton Springs Pool.

New Braunfels

New Braunfels (Hotel Prices & Photos)

New Braunfels is a Hill Country destination that has grown into a popular summer getaway due to the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers and the up-and-coming craft beer scene here. Beat the Texas heat by floating in the cool waters of the Comal or Guadalupe Rivers. New Braunfels has strong German roots, so enjoy a bratwurst and a German beer during your summer stay here. If dancing and live music is your thing, then don’t miss out on a visit to the historic Gruene Hall, which is only 10 minutes outside of New Braunfels.

Big Bend National Park South Rim at Big Bend National Park
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South Rim at Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park (Hotel Prices & Photos)

Last but not least is Big Bend National Park. Although this park is located in west Texas, a desert environment, don’t let the heat scare you away. Take a hike during the early mornings or evenings to catch views of wildlife and avoid the desert heat during the day. This area is also known for its dark night skies, so stargazing is a must when you visit during the summer. Take a scenic drive or raft the Rio Grande to find a cool escape in this desert oasis.