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Fun Things to Do in Texas

This post about things to do in Texas has been sponsored but all opinions expressed here are my own.  I received a complimentary stay at the Austin Hyatt in exchange for my review.

When I graduated from college at 22 I followed my heart and my brand new job down to Texas.  Having been born and raised in New England, it was a bit of a culture shock to say the least.  I was raised on pot roast and baked beans and all of a sudden I am eating alligator on a stick and fried jalapenos.  The multicultural mishmash of Houston was an eye opener, to say the least.  Over the course of 7 years I learned to not only appreciate, but completely adore almost everything about Texas.  Ok, I was NOT a fan of the heat and humidity but the unique people, exotic foods, and amazing history and culture of the area have me missing it, even 15 years after moving to Georgia.  My husband and I tried to travel occasionally while we were down there and found a few really enjoyable things to do in Texas that I wanted to share with you.  We went back together as a family a few years ago and I got the chance to go again when I attended BlogHer Food this past summer.  If you are looking for things to do in Texas, here are a few of our favorite activities!

Fun Things to Do in Texas

fun things to do in texas with kids

Photo Courtesy of Morguefile

Houston

My husband and I lived right near the Houston medical center so we spent a lot of time exploring the museums, parks, and the Houston zoo.  When we returned a few years ago with our children, the first place we took them was to the Cockrell Butterfly Center, which is part of the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  It was an amazing experience for my children who got a first hand look at the life cycle and habit of many different kids of butterflies.

things to do in texas collage

Of course, there are plenty of other things to do in Texas right in the heart of Houston and another favorite was always the Houston Zoo.  My husband was a volunteer in the Bird exhibits for a couple of years so we spent a LOT of time there!  They often have FREE zoo days so if you are watching your pennies keep your eye on their schedule.  These free days are usually days that the kids have off from school so it can be a bit crazy but if you are patient and willing to stand in line you can save yourself a fair amount of money.  The Houston Zoo has plenty of exhibits but my kids favorite was the meerkats.  Those little buggers are cute!

houston zoo things to do in texas

Brazos Bend State Park

Brazos Bend State Park is not too far outside the city limits of Houston.  You are looking at about a 40 minute drive or so and once you get out of the city traffic the ride is fairly smooth.  What is amazing about this park is that it is a natural wildlife refuge without boundaries between you and the wildlife.  Yes, it is a tad bit intimidating but the dirt roads are wide and as long as you stay alert you are pretty safe.  And if you come across a gator who has decided to CROSS the road…LET IT!  They do not want anything to do with people whatsoever but be respectful.  They are  incredibly powerful creatures.  The Spanish moss hanging on the trees and the call of numerous birds makes the atmosphere truly amazing.  Make sure you bring some good walking shoes and plenty of water.  A pair of binoculars and a bird identification book were always in our backpacks as well.  If you go when the weather is warm you will see tons of gators and no, there are no fences between you and them.  I’m thinking these guys look a little hungry!
fun things to do in texas with kids

San Antonio

My husband and I loved visiting San Antonio whenever we got the chance.  The Riverwalk   is a food lovers paradise and you can eat, relax, have fun and find a hotel without leaving a 1 square mile radius.  The Riverwalk is actual a public park lined with dozens of businesses and has an incredibly rich history.  If you are looking for an incredibly historic area to visit check out The Alamo.  It began as a Spanish Mission in 1718 and played a crucial role in the settlement of Texas and the entire Southwest.

things to do in texas the alamo

Photo Courtesy of Morguefile

Austin

Austin is an amazing blend of hip nightlife, awesome eateries, and even some amazing natural areas and camping spots.  If you choose to go camping, keep in mind that the January average low is 37 degrees. July average is a high of 95 degrees. It rains most frequently in May and the humidity is moderate all year.  Plan your gear accordingly!  I personally love fall camping and the first freeze in Austin tends to be in November.  If you prefer the city to the country you can have that,  too!  Live music is very popular and once the sun goes down you will find a wide array of bands playing at pubs,  in parks or in the coffee houses.   The variety of restaurants in Austin is phenomenal and you can sample a different flavor every night for your entire stay and never have the same thing twice.

Hyatt-Regency-Austin-Guest-Room-2-DEF

Photo Provided by Sponsor

If you are heading to Austin and want to check out the night life the easiest thing to do is to stay right in the heart of the city.  When I went to BlogHer Food over the summer I stayed at the Hyatt Regency and the staff was friendly, the room clean and spacious and the location perfect for exploring all that downtown Austin has to offer.    The rooms have a clean, contemporary feel to them and had a nice selection of amenities.  Depending on your needs you can choose a standard room or a slightly more spacious suite.

hotels in austin

The rooms at the Hyatt Regency open into a central atrium that gives the hotel an open, spacious feel.  The hotel is right on the water and even though it was raining for part of our stay I still enjoyed standing out on the covered patio and taking in the view.  There is a riverboat that docks right nearby if you are in the mood for exploring Lady Bird Lake.   If you want to get a bit of exercise during your stay there is a a 24 hour StayFitTM fitness center and a pool.

If you are traveling to Texas and plan on staying in the Austin area either for business or pleasure I highly recommend you look into staying at The Hyatt Regency.  It is in the heart of downtown Austin and getting to and from the restaurants and attractions is quick and easy.

Have you ever traveled to The Lone Star State?

What are some of YOUR favorite things to do in Texas?

This post about things to do in Texas has been sponsored but all opinions expressed here are my own.  I received a complimentary stay at the Austin Hyatt in exchange for my review.

About Diane

Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can't quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke!

Comments

  1. Great stuff – I too love to take my girls to butterfly houses, but I’m always afraid if where I’ll step, or that I’ll have a big yawn that draws in a wayward monarch. I love how you describe the stuff with the gators as “pretty safe.”

    That’s good enough for me.

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