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Texas:
A Quick Tour

Visit these outdoor destinations to enjoy the grand diversity of the state’s landscapes and habitats.

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A map of the travel regions of Texas

  • The Texas Department of Transportation operates 12 travel information centers for the convenience of the traveling public. See Travel Information.

    CityLocationPhone Number
    AmarilloI-40806-335-1441
    AnthonyI-10915-886-3468
    AustinCapitol Visitor Center512-463-8586
    DenisonUS 69/75903-463-2860
    GainesvilleI-35940-665-2301
    LangtryUS 90/Loop 25432-291-3340
    LaredoI-35 at US 83956-417-4728
    OrangeI-10409-883-9416
    TexarkanaI-30903-794-2114
    Valley (Harlingen)US 77 at US 83956-428-4477
    WaskomI-20903-687-2547
    Wichita FallsI-44/US 287, Exit 1C940-723-7931
  • These examples of mileage across the state will help determine distances:
    CitiesDistance
    El Paso to Orange834 miles
    Amarillo to Brownsville765 miles
    San Antonio to South Padre Island286 miles
    Fort Worth to San Antonio262 miles
    Dallas to Houston238 miles
    El Paso to Big Bend329 miles
    Houston to San Antonio197 miles
    Dallas to Texarkana178 miles
    Amarillo to Lubbock119 miles
    Austin to San Antonio79 miles
    Dallas to Fort Worth30 miles

South Texas Plains

Mission Trail

San Antonio The Alamo and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are linked via about 10 miles of hike-and-bike trail along the San Antonio River.

Peaceful Oasis

McAllen Quinta Mazatlan is one of nine World Birding Center locations in the Rio Grande Valley. Revel in the trilling of birds and follow the Forest Sculpture Trail to learn more about the animals of South Texas.

State Saga

GOLIAD Explore the grounds and museum of Presidio La Bahia, a Spanish military compound that appears as it did in 1836 during the Texas Revolution.

Structure Story

Roma With many 19th-century buildings, the Roma Historic District, a national historic landmark, preserves architecture that reflects building techniques of the Lower Rio Grande.

Gulf Coast

Sand and Surf

Corpus Christi The 70 miles of undeveloped beach and habitat at Padre Island National Seashore provide spacious opportunities for camping, fishing, beachcombing, canoeing and kayaking, birding, and windsurfing.

Rare Bird

ROCKPORT-FULTON Whooping cranes winter at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The best viewing times are generally from December through February.

Peaceful Place

Houston Find tranquility by strolling through Hermann Park’s Japanese Garden with its teahouse and winding paths.

Sprawling Spread

KINGSVILLE Captain Richard King’s legacy of ranching and conservation lives on at the state’s largest ranch, King Ranch, which offers daily ranch and nature tours.

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Piney Woods

SPLASH OF NATURE

KARNACK Paddling can be one of the best ways to explore the bayous, sloughs, and ponds of Caddo Lake with its distinctive bald cypress trees draped in Spanish moss.

SIGNIFICANT SANCTUARY

KOUNTZE Big Thicket National Preserve is treasured for its biodiversity and preservation of habitat that once covered more than 2 million acres.

TEXAS HERO

HUNTSVILLE A 67-foot-tall concrete and steel statue of Sam Houston, the first and third president of the Republic of Texas, presents a commanding presence along Interstate 45.

FOREST FEATURE

CLEVELAND The 129-mile primitive Lone Star Hiking Trail roams through the Sam Houston National Forest. Spring and fall are the best times to visit.

PRAIRIES AND LAKES

LOVELY LANDSCAPE

Dallas The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden has 66 acres of spectacular and colorful display gardens, along with amazing displays during its seasonal festivals.

DINOSAUR DOMAIN

Glen Rose Long ago, dinosaurs left their footprints in the bed of the Paluxy River at Dinosaur Valley State Park, a National Natural Landmark.

Texas’ Birthplace

WASHINGTON Sightsee and bird at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site, where history was made in 1936 when the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed there.

COWTOWN HISTORY

Fort Worth The former cattle shipping point known as the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District is home to historic buildings, restaurants, shops, and saloons.

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Hill Country

WILD ABOUT FLOWERS

AUSTIN The 284-acre Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s mix of cultivated gardens, arboretum, managed natural areas, and wildlands serves to conserve native plants.

GOING BATTY

ROCKSPRINGS From late spring to fall, one of the state’s largest colonies of Mexican free-tailed bats make their home at Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark.

PRESERVED FORT

MENARD Restored structures and ruins at Fort McKavett State Historic Site help convey stories of infantrymen, Buffalo Soldiers, women, and children who lived in early West Texas.

Mystical Mound

FREDERICKSBURG Driving along Ranch-to-Market Road 965, it’s hard to miss the giant granite dome rising from the ground at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area that makes you want to stop and climb it.

Big Bend Country

NEW HEIGHTS

PINE SPRINGS Guadalupe Mountains National Park is home to four of Texas’ highest peaks (with an opportunity to climb to the state’s highest point), along with canyons, desert, spectacular night skies, and the world’s most extensive Permian fossil reef.

Dark Skies

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK With more than 800,000 acres, the park is well known for hiking, rafting, and nature viewing, but its designation as an International Dark Sky Park also makes it one of the state’s best places to see the Milky Way.

Scenic Sights

FORT DAVIS A 75-mile route through the Davis Mountains provides two uninterupted hours of majestic scenery and wildlife if you can resist the temptation to stop at Fort Davis National Historic Site, Davis Mountains State Park, and the McDonald Observatory.

STONE STORIES

LANGTRY Pictographs at various locations within Seminole Canyon State Park near Comstock present clues to the lives of early canyon dwellers.

Panhandle Plains

MOTHER ROAD

INTERSTATE 40 Follow remnants of Route 66 from the U-Drop Inn in Shamrock to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo and west to Adrian for a stop at the route’s midway point—1,139 miles to Los Angeles and Chicago.

SCENIC WONDER

CANYON The nation’s second-largest canyon, Palo Duro Canyon, is marked by colorful geologic layers. In spots, the layers have eroded, forming hoodoos, of which one of the most well known is the Lighthouse formation in Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

STORYBOOK CAPITAL

Abilene The city is home to what may be the nation’s largest collection of storybook sculptures, including Seuss characters in Everman Park and other popular children’s book characters located around downtown.

BLOOMING MASTERPIECE

Mineral Wells Max and Billie Clark’s private garden became Clark Gardens Botanical Park, which showcases native Texas and Texas-adaptable plants.