I have briefly visited Texas twice, but neither time feels like it counts. Once was in the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport for a layover and the other was while visiting Texarkana on the Texas/Arkansas border to give us the opportunity to claim we stood in both states at the same time.
Texas is a huge state, which means even when divided up into regions, these regional bucket lists get quite long! But here’s the first featuring the Gulf Coast.
- Lydia Ann Lighthouse: Lighthouses are one of our favorite things to visit!
- Lynchburg Ferry: This is a historic ferry that allows you to visit the San Jacinto Monument.
- Gator Country Adventure Park: Texas’ only Alligator theme park that provides hands on experiences.
- Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum: Come see a representation of the boomtown era.
- Texas Energy Museum: Museum that highlights the oil industry.
- Sea Center Texas: This is a small marine hatchery and aquarium.
- Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park: This battlefield site was part of the Mexican War.
- Padre Island National Seashore: One of the United States’ last natural seashores.
- Texas State Aquarium: This aquarium offers hands on experiences with sharks and stingrays.
- USS Lexington Museum on the Bay: This museum has interactive battle stations to help teach about WWII.
- Voyage: A Journey Through our Solar System: Scale model of the solar system that you can walk.
- Fort Travis Seashore Park: This fort sustained heavy damage in the hurricane of 1900.
- Galveston Island State Park: Great way to explore the beaches of Galveston.
- Moody Gardens: Home to an aquarium and rain forest pyramid.
- Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum: This facility features offshore oil and gas production.
- Texas Seaport Museum: Allows you to explore the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa.
- Downtown Aquarium: This aquarium gives you a train ride through a shark tank.
- The Health Museum: Museum that allows you to “tour” the human body. Anyone else reminded of Magic School Bus?
- NRG Park: Home to the NFL Houston Texans.
- Space Center Houston: Experience behind the scenes tours of the space center.
- Tranquility Park: Commemorates Apollo flights.
- San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site: The battle fought here secured independence from Mexico.
- Mustang Island State Park: This place boasts one of the best places to see marine life including sea turtles!
- Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site: This is the only lighthouse on the Texas Coast open to the public.
- Half Moon Reef Lighthouse: After being damaged in a hurricane it was condemned and moved to it’s current location.
- Texas Maritime Museum: Features the maritime heritage Texas.
- Zachary Taylor Park: Park nearby the island where Gen. Zachary Taylor placed the flag claiming Texas as the 28th state.
- Coastal Texas Barbecue Trail: This trail features 8 barbecue joints around the city.
- Fossati’s Delicatessen: This is the oldest deli in Texas.
- The Capitol of Texas Park: The park has 21 historical monuments the depict the time from the Battle of San Jacinto until the capitol moved to Houston.
All attractions found in the 2018 Texas Travel Guide.