- SEAWORLD – SeaWorld Theme Park – Texas Animal Attractions | SeaWorld San Antonio
Good For: FAMILY, GROUPS Recommended By: Glen
Glen suggests taking the family or a group of friends and enjoy the sea’s hidden creatures at SeaWorld. Enjoy a variety of activities for all ages ranging from concerts and parades to rides like the Texas Stingray for thrill-seekers or Super Grover’s Box Car Derby for kid-friendly fun. There is also a wide selection of shows to see like Orca Encounter or Ocean Discovery where you can see dolphins, whales and other sea-friends put on a fun show for your littles. Enjoy hands-on encounters by booking specialty animal experiences like Dolphin Swim or the Ultimate Animal Experience. For more bespoke experiences that can be exclusively enjoyed when the park is closed to the public, try the All-Swim Program or the Animal Adventure Tour.
- THE ALAMO – Visit the Alamo | The Alamo
Good For: FAMILY, GROUPS Recommended By: Aldridge
Breathe in Texas history at The Alamo. Aldridge recommends spending the day taking in all that the Alamo has to offer with guided tours or musket firing. Watch a movie in the Arbor or book their Young Texans Tour specially made for your kiddos. Make it special and book a private or after-hours tour just for you and your group. After finishing at the Alamo, head two blocks over to River Walk for a plethora of activity options ranging from shopping, specialty boutiques, and mouth-watering Mexican cuisine at some of the best restaurants the area has to offer with seating overlooking the river. Finish of the day with either a cruise along the river on an open-boat tour or be daring and take the nighttime Alamo Ghost Hunt Walking Tour that sees different places rumored to be haunted.
- SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – Things to Do in South Padre Island, Texas (sopadre.com)
Good For: FAMILY, GROUPS, COUPLES Recommended By: Steve
Steve’s preference? As a family man, he recommends South Padre. South Padre Island is its own little getaway escape with so many different things to do! There are various excursions like dolphin watching and fishing for the active visitors. Thrill seekers can visit SCHLITTERBAHN WATERPARK to surf man-made waves or go parasailing, surfing, kiteboarding and wakeboarding over the clear waters. Kids can enjoy Beach Park at Isla Blanca or sandcastle lessons with Andy Hancock or hunt for treasure on the Black Dragon Pirate Ship cruise. Ladies can enjoy relaxing spa treatments or indulge in shopping with the girls. Ocean view rooms make the destination idyllic for couples with countless dining options along with a romantic visit to Port Isabel Lighthouse for a complete view of the island. Groups can end their day with a cold brew at Padre Island Brewing Company. The options on the island are endless and are sure to satisfy the need to escape with this beach oasis right here in Texas.
- GAYLORD TEXAN RESORT – Grapevine Hotels Texas | Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center (marriott.com)
Good For: FAMILY, COUPLES Recommended By: Lori
Located on the lush shores of Lake Grapevine, Lori says Gaylord Texan Resort is a great stay! This resort gives you countless reasons to never leave. Starting with the expansive 10-acre Paradise Springs Water Park for families ranging to the 4.5-acre Atriums, there’s something for everyone. Indulge in any of the 4 award-wining restaurants. Treat your significant other to a relaxing and detoxifying treatment in the world-class Relâche Spa. Want to do more? The hotel is ideally located near LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, Cowboys Golf Club, Historic Downtown Grapevine, and water sports on Lake Grapevine are just a stone throw away.
- CANYON LAKE – Canyon Lake – Bing – Travel
Good For: FAMILY, COUPLES, GROUPS Recommended By: Savanna
Try a unique group stay experience like Savanna! Relax and out your feet up to the serene views of Canyon Lake. Spend the day in the water sailing, water skiing, kayaking, fishing or even scuba diving. Take your littles for a tubing adventure on The Guadalupe River. Go for a special helicopter tour to enjoy the scenery from above or try parasailing. Enjoy wine tastings, shopping, and lunch at the famous Gristmill restaurant known for its stunning tiered patio along the Guadalupe River. Or, rent a Air Bnb for the weekend and take a boat to GRUENE HALL, for dinner and live music.
- MARGARITAVILLE LAKE RESORT – Things to Do in Lake Conroe | Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe | Houston (margaritavilleresorts.com)
Good For: FAMILY, COUPLES, GROUPS Recommended By: Tayler
This Texan oasis will make any vacationers dreams come true with its views alone, says Tayler. The waterfront paradise brings island and lake vibes together, transporting you straight to the tropics with luxurious suites and waterfront cottages. With 6 dining outlets to choose from, there’s no reason to leave! Let the tension go with an exquisite spa treatment at St. Somewhere Spa or enjoy activities on the lake with some water sports. Golfers have a world-class course at their feet to tee off at and kids will love the on-site water park. Be sure to book early in this sought-after lake resort as their rooms book up fast.
- FREDERICKSBURG – Fredericksburg TX | Texas Hill Country (visitfredericksburgtx.com)
Good For: COUPLES, GROUPS Recommended By: Brandon
For the outdoor and cultural enthusiasts like Brandon, Fredericksburg is one not to miss! Activities ranging from outdoor attractions like The Enchanted Rock State Natural Area for hiking, picnics, or camping, to cultural explorations like museums, wineries and breweries, Fredericksburg offers a multitude of options for groups or couples. Visit before the end of August to enjoy their famous and lush peaches before heading out to discover one of the 50+ wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms located in Fredericksburg’s Gillespie County. Take a horseback sunset ride with your partner before ending the night at one of the many live music events or two-step your way to LUCKENBACH TEXAS!
- CINNAMON SHORE – Port Aransas Vacation Rentals | Cinnamon Shore
Good For: FAMILY, COUPLES, GROUPS Recommended By: Jen
Make lifetime memories with your favorite people at Cinnamon Shore. Jen visits often! Advance your kiddos’ sandcastle-making skills with lessons from The Sand Castle Guy before indulging in S’mores at the beach bonfire or a movie on the lawn. Guys, take your little dudes or a group of friends and head out to sea for offshore fishing or even bay fishing. Ladies, try your balance with Paddleboard Yoga before soaking in the sun on the white sand beach. End the day with gastronomical explosions at Lisabella’s for coastal cuisine or Dylan’s Coal Oven Pizzeria for a New York slice. Or gather the group and dive into a shrimp boil right on the beach!
- SUMMIT RESORT at CANYON LAKE – Cabins Canyon Lake | Guadalupe River Cabins | Summit Vacation Resort (summitresorttexas.com)
Good For: LADIES, GROUPS, COUPLES Recommended By: Jen
Jen also recommends taking ‘glamping’ to the next level by renting one of Summit Resort’s 30 log cabins by the Guadalupe River, just 4 miles from Canyon Lake. River front cabins come with a kitchenette, refrigerator, a full bathroom and room for 4 to dine. Bonus? AC is included for those hot Texas summer nights. There are also larger cabins that can accommodate up to 8 people. Enjoy nature with life’s little luxuries for a weekend.
- ROCKPORT – Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce – Welcome to Rockport-Fulton! The Charm of the Texas Coast
Good For: FAMILY, COUPLES Recommended By: Marchelle
Relax with your littles at Rockport! Marchelle and others at Patten Title say it’s a great place! Rent a boat, hire a fishing guide and catch your own dinner. Bring your sea-prizes to any of the local restaurants who will cook your fresh caught fish just how you like it. Don’t want to head out to sea? Take a stroll through the seafood markets around town and bring them down to the beach for a seafood barbeque right on the sand. Youngsters can enjoy the Pirate playground at Rockport Beach or the whole family can head to the Community Aquatic Park where the littlest visitors can splash in the whale shaped zero-depth entry pool with slides, sprays and a bathhouse and the grown-ups can get a workout in in the 8-lane, 25-yard pool and diving area. For active travelers, Little Bay offers Stand Up Paddle Boarding with board rental options while Geocaching is an exciting new ‘digital scavenger hunt’ that can be done by the whole family. End the day at any of the fine restaurant in the Coastal Bend at Fulton Harbor.
- VALLEY MILLS – Valley Mills, Texas Leisure and Entertainment Directory. Things to Do In Valley Mills (citywideinformation.com)
Good For: FAMILY, GROUPS Recommended By: Marchelle
Marchelle also recommends a visit to Valley Mills. Pay a visit to Cameron Park Zoo, a horseback ride at Hearts of Texas Equestrian Academy, or take the whole family to the county fair for games, snacks and fun. Golfers can take a tee-time at Golf Ranch or visit the infamous JDH Iron Designs location. Watch metal workers create beautiful, unique pieces of art from bare metal Pick up a piece for yourself on your way out from their show room.
- EL PASO BOUTIQUE HOTELS – THE 10 BEST Hotels in El Paso, TX for 2021 – Tripadvisor
Good For: GROUPS, COUPLES Recommended By: Kelly
El Paso alone is a great destination to spend some time in and explore. Kelly highly recommends staying in one of the boutique hotels in the area for a superb experience. For an uber-modern stay, try the Stanton House El Paso. The décor and clean lines alone will clear any mind and transport you to a contemporary modern escape in the heart of El Paso, priding itself on its guests being both spectators of art and art itself. We also recommend staying at the Hotel Indigo El Paso Downtown. The mid-century architecture meets contemporary design in central El Paso gives not only bright pops of color with its fun artistic décor, but also gorgeous views of El Paso from its rooftop.
- FRIO RIVER – Frio River (visituvaldecounty.com)
Good For: FAMILY, GROUPS, COUPLES Recommended By: Lani
Lani says dip your toes into Frio River! The spring water river is shallow and crystal clear – making it ideal for fishing, canoeing, kayaking or tubing. For overnight stays, rent an RV and park it at El Rods – the newly renovated RV park right on Frio River. With 2 private access points to the river, you can swiftly run into Frio. Kiddos can safely swim in the near flat, shallow area of the El Rods shoreline or fish in the small pond. For adventurers, Rock Island offers deeper areas of the river allowing for dives and plunges.
- TYLER – Home | Things To Do in Tyler, TX | Visit Tyler
Good For: FAMILY, GROUPS, LADIES, COUPLES Recommended By: Heather
Tyler has so much to offer for all its visitors and Heather can agree! Known as the Rose Capital of America, a trip to Tyler couldn’t be complete without an immersion in the city’s floral experiences including a visit to the world-famous Rose Garden and a tea or coffee infused with Rose flavors from The Foundry Coffee House or Café 1948. For family visitors, a visit to Caldwell Zoo or a drive-thru safari at Cherokee Trace are both fun-tastic options! The Children’s Park features life-size bronze statues of children playing, a children’s story amphitheater, and a butterfly garden and would be great for an early play date. For aquatic fun, the family can head to Splash Kingdom Family Waterpark, or for indoor waterpark entertainment, Waterpark at Villages Resort. There are also endless entertainment options for the adults too! Thrillers can try the New York, Texas Zipline on the longest Zipline that is more than 940 ft. long and over 100ft. above the ground. In addition to the plethora of stay and dining options, Liberty Hall theater offers live music, comedy and revivals of classic films for the East Texas region.
- LONGVIEW – Visit Longview TX | Official Website (visitlongviewtexas.com)
Good For: GROUPS Recommended By: Heather
Another great recommendation from Heather for Adventurers! Look no further than Longview for a summer trip with your crew. Not only is there one but TWO ziplining options to try out! Zip line on the 750-foot-long trail over gators (!!) at Gators and Friends Zipline Adventure or challenge your friends to a round through the Texas Tough Water Obstacle Course at the Thomas Falls Zipline Challenge Course. Duel across the water on 600-foot zip lines, slide down the 100-foot-long waterfall and see who can make it to the finish line first! Adrenaline car junkie? Head to G-Force’s indoor 1/8th mile racetrack. Prefer to keep your head in the clouds? Try out a Hot Air Balloon ride with Balloon Adventures USA or throw it down at Lumberjacks Axe Throwing. Cool off with the Thirsty Pine Tour – a curated collection of the best of East Texas’ craft brews. Finish the night carving into surprising off-menu meats at Bodacious Bar-B-Q, one the best barbeque joints in Texas (named by Texas Monthly).
- GARNER STATE PARK CABINS – Garner State Park Lodging — Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Good For: FAMILY, GROUPS Recommended By: Letitia
For quaint glamping, Letitia recommends renting a Cabin at Garner State Park on the Frio River. Cabins allow for up to 6 people per cabin and features include kitchen and bathroom, central air-conditioning and the option of a fireplace. In addition to enjoying miles of Frio River, summer nights allow for youngsters to gather at the park’s concession building for jukebox dancing, a park tradition since the 1940’s. But arrive early as parking fills up quickly and can close as early as 8:30 pm.
- HYATT REGENCY LOST PINES RESORT – Family Resort Near Austin | Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa
Good For: FAMILY, COUPLES Recommended By: Letitia
Letitia also recommends a stay at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort. The resort sits on 405 acres lining the Lower Colorado River and is also home to the award winning 18-hole Wolfdancer Golf Club course for early morning tee times. Rejuvenate your soul with an invigorating treatment at Spa Django, or dive into one of the two outdoor pools and let the youngsters hang out at the arcade/game room. Kiddos ages 5 and up can also practice aim and learn how to use bow-and throw tomahawks with Tomahawk & Archery lessons taught by one of the property’s guides. End an evening in any one of the five restaurants or relax under the stars and take in some live music with Live at Lost Pines.
- SAN MARCOS – San Marcos Attractions, Dining, Events and Hotels | San Marcos, Texas | San Marcos Texas Convention and Visitor Bureau (toursanmarcos.com)
Good For: FAMILY, COUPLES, GROUPS Recommended By: Letitia
Travel savvy Letitia also backs spending a few days in San Marcos. Escape the heat with a dip in the San Marcos River. Enjoy tubing, kayaking or take a Glow Tour with Paddle SMTX when the sun sets with LED illuminated paddle boards. Loving what lives below? Discover the Meadows Center Glass-Bottom-Boat Tour of Spring Lake. The glass panel gives you a view to the bottom of the lake to see flora and fauna as well as the lakes famous springs! For nature seekers, hikes are abundant, but you can also explore the earthquake-formed cave at Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park where you can also see the Anti-Gravity House and the Wildlife Petting Park. Mom and Dad, put the kids to bed and head out on the town to take in the city’s lively nightlife with live music, breweries, and hidden hangouts. Oh, and did we mention the shopping? Ladies, you know what to do!
- JW MARRIOTT HILL COUNTRY RESORT – JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa: San Antonio Luxury Hotels
Good For: FAMILY, COUPLES, GROUPS Recommended By: Randy
This majestic property has it all and Randy can vouch for it! 600-acres of oak-covered hills, the JW Marriott Hill Country is idyllic for a summer stay. Not only is the location nearby to some of Texas’ most sought-after attractions like wineries, SeaWorld, Shops at La Cantera, Natural Bridge Caverns and Six Flags Fiesta Texas, but the resort in and of itself is a destination! Home to the thrilling River Bluff Water Experience water park, attractions include a 1,100-foot lazy river, adult only, activity, kids only and sand beach pools, whirlpool spas, saunas and more. Did we mention the two, 275 foot long, 35-foot high Acequia Tube Slides or The Canyon Oak Twister and Hill Country Plunge body slides that slide you from 60 feet in the air? Thrill-seekers, rejoice! The waterpark encapsulates days’ worth of fun. Not a theme park fanatic? Not to worry. The resort also has a divine spa, a PGA tour-approved golf course that hosts the Valero Texas Open and offers hotel players the same treatment and exclusive amenities reserved for PGA Tour professionals, as well as a variety of gastronomically delicious fare with 7 restaurants including modern Texas cuisine at Cibolo Moon or upscale steak dinners at 18 Oaks.
- LAKE TRAVIS – com – If it’s on the Lake..It’s Here !
Good For: GROUPS Recommended By: Tayler
If there was any item on this list to be expected, Lake Travis is it! “The ‘crown jewel’ of central Texas highland lakes, this is THE most visited freshwater recreational vacation destination in Texas” so its no wonder Tayler has recommended this as a must-see. Sure, there are plenty of lakeside parks to see along the massive lake but let’s be real…you’re going for the water! Boat rentals are plenty and the best way to enjoy this option. There are also rental options for houseboats, party barges, ski / wakeboard / wake surf boats, pontoon boats, jet skis and wave runners, sailboats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, as well as flyboarding. The lake will leave you wanting for nothing. There are 2 ziplining operators and 4 waterparks to choose from including Waterloo Adventures which sits right on the water. Like boat rentals, restaurant options are endless, and some come with a divine view and direct boat access. Noteworthy are The OASIS, the largest outdoor restaurant in Texas sitting on a 450-foot-high cliff with breathtaking sunset views and live music on 3 stages, and Beachside Billy’s Restaurant & Waterpark at Volente Beach Resort, a boat accessible destination specializing in steaks and fresh seafood along with mouthwatering burgers on the lake. If you want to take a bite of all the lake has to offer, try Lake Travis’ Ultimate On-The-Water Pub Crawl for great food, drinks and live music on water.
- SCHLITTERBAHN AT GALVESTON ISLAND OR NEW BRAUNFELS – Waterparks in Texas | Schlitterbahn New Braunfels & Galveston
Good For: FAMILY, GROUPS Recommended By: Tayler
Last, but definitely not least, are two thrilling waterpark options recommended by Tayler. Schlitterbahn has locations at Galveston Island or New Braunfels, and we can certainly back both! For one-day fun, head to Galveston Island where the rides are there to thrill! Don’t worry, there are plenty of rides for littles too as well as rivers and wave pools for chilling entertainment. The Galveston Island location hosts “the largest collection of heart-pounding, fast, tall, and thrilling attractions in the Schlitterbahn family of water parks,” so there’s something for everyone. For an overnight stay, visit the New Braunfels resort with seven different lodging experiences ranging from newly renovated vacation homes to hotel rooms and cottages. In addition to thriller rides and several water playgrounds for the kiddos, the resort also offers heated pools, movie nights, hiking, fishing as well as barbeque pits and picnic areas. Nearby are additional local attractions to make the most of your stay including river trips with water activities like tubing and kayaking, horseback riding, winery tours, scuba diving or even sky diving for the adventurers.