What better place to visit than Texas for when your family is in need of quality time in the great outdoors. As a fellow native of the Lone Star State, it’s no surprise that Texas is on my family’s list of top family destinations. I know firsthand that there is no shortage of activities and excursions for travelers to experience in Texas. And that’s why I’m sharing with you some of the best outdoor adventures in Texas that you can enjoy with your entire family.
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Best Outdoor Adventures in Texas
When you think of Texas, you probably think about cowboys, country music and football. You think of its sheer size, and that it is the largest of the 48 continental United States. What you may not think about is its natural beauty. With a total area of 268,581 square miles, Texas offers a natural habitat to many types of species and also boasts some impressive natural landmarks as well. Take a look:
Natural Bridge Caverns
Located not far from San Antonio in New Braunfels, this maze of passages and caves is the perfect attraction for families to experience some of the unique nature that Texas has to offer. You and your kids are sure to love your lantern-lit tour of the caverns, complete with mining for fossils and gems, a zipline course, and even a spot to watch thousands of bats fly out from a cave.
The Mayan Dude Ranch
A family trip to Texas isn’t complete without a classic dude ranch experience. Spread across 330 acres, the Mayan Dude Ranch offers horseback rides, saloon dancing, and swims in the Medina River. Families can enjoy many kid-friendly activities, like lasso lessons, as well as a variety of friendly animals for kids to interact with.
Big Bend National Park
There’s no shortage of parks and natural areas in Texas for families to explore. Located in the southwest part of the state along the border of Mexico, Big Bend National Park is known for its desert wildlife, canyons, and limestone cliffs. Some locals even consider Big Bend to be three parks, with each element of mountains, rivers, and desert comprising a separate park.
Inside the park, visitors often like to hike through the desert, although park officials warn of the dangers for those that do not take proper precautions, such as adequate water supply. If you’re interested in a hike, the park has many trails that are perfectly suitable for kids, like the Window View, the Basin Loop trails, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail, and more. Other visitors may prefer to sight-see along the Rio Grande or travel down the river to spot nearby wildlife and majestic mountain views.
Visitors should take note that the Rio Grande serves as a natural boundary between the United States and Mexico and should understand potential political or social pressures associated with the border. Another popular activity is overnight camping in the park. The vast size of the park allows a true wilderness feel for campers as they sprawl out under the Texas starlit sky.
On the way out to Big Bend National Park, you can stop in Marfa.
Mom hack: Want to know how to repair damaged hair after a long day outside? Between the intense sun and the dry air, your hair is going to need all the extra love and care it can get during your visit to Texas. And just because you’re traveling with your kids, it doesn’t mean your hair has to be left to fend for itself in the great outdoors. Read more for tips on how to repair damaged hair after a day of outdoor adventures.
Wyler Aerial Tramway
Experience Texas from a different vantage point with an aerial tramway in El Paso. The Wyler Aerial Tramway spans over 2,500 feet and invites guests to experience incredible canyon views during a four-minute ride. This is an incredible activity to observe different wildlife and rock formations while getting a thrill from 240 feet up in the air.
When you and the kids are ready to cool down from all your outdoor adventures, you may want to pay a visit to Padre Island. This stretch of land along the southern coast of Texas is home to Padre Island National Seashore, where you’ll find protected beaches that shelter sea turtles. With nature trails, gorgeous beaches, fishing, boating, and so much more, Padre Island is a fantastic destination for family beach time.
Barton Springs in Austin, Texas is a natural spring-fed pool you can swim in for a low cost, just a few dollars. The whole area is quite lovely. Do not worry if there is a long line to get in, it moves rather quickly.
Discover Cascade Caverns in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. About 14 miles northwest of San Antonio, Cascade Caverns offers an underground geological marvel that the entire family will enjoy.
Whilst inside the caverns, guests may come across rare Texas animals that live inside the underground habitat. They will also marvel at the 90-foot waterfall as it gracefully filters into the “cathedral room.” Guided tours leave every half hour from the cavern entrance and last approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
Guests should come prepared for 68 degree weather in the caverns year round and have their cameras ready for a multitude of photo opportunities.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Visitors to Dinosaur Valley State Park will find a remarkable collection of preserved fossils and dinosaur tracks. The tracks were discovered in the late 1930s by paleontologists.
The tracks, which were initially made in a river bed, have since turned to stone. Children and adults from all over flock to Dinosaur Valley State Park for the chance to see visible evidence that dinosaurs existed. Visitors can explore the park by foot or bicycle, as many trails and fields are available for guest use.
Although the park focuses on creatures from millions of years ago, visitors will also find modern wildlife as well. Located about an hour outside of Dallas, Dinosaur Valley State Park offers visitors a unique opportunity to link the land’s past and present.
So there you have it: Outdoor adventures to do with the entire family in Texas. One of the cool things about these attractions is that they are also perfect if you’re looking for safe socially distanced outdoor activities – and who isn’t these days! Enjoy all that this incredible destination has to offer for fun, adventure, and unforgettable family memories.