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Everything’s Bigger in Texas – The Six Things to See in Austin

Everything’s Bigger in Texas – The Six Things to See in Austin

Austin is known as the state capital of Texas. While most are familiar with it as a college town, it’s really among the state’s most exciting destinations.

Austin has a long and rich history. It’s played a key role in the world of music, politics, and the armed forces, among others. And all of these are even evident to this day. Of course, there’s also a lot to be said about its abundance of flora and fauna.

But don’t mistake this city to be outdated and not worth checking out. This city will prove you wrong. And you’ll be glad it did. 

With that said, here are six things to see in Austin.

Things to See

1. Texas State Capitol

Texans aren’t joking when they say that everything is bigger in Texas. The Texas State Capitol building is proof enough – it was once the tallest building of its kind in the USA.

There are taller and bigger capitol buildings in other states today, but the one in Austin is still a sight to behold. In fact, the architecture is gorgeous enough to rival the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

Don’t be mistaken. The interior is as impressive as the exterior, as it has rooms and hallways that are huge and beautifully decorated.

Tours of the State Capitol run two to three times every hour. The tour guides are experts on the building and even the history of the Lone Star State in general. If you want to take your time, you can book a self-guided tour instead.

This architectural marvel should be on everyone’s list of things to see in Austin.

2. Austin Nature & Science Center

If you’re looking for things to do in East Austin, you can visit the Austin Nature & Science Center. Here, you can enjoy some quiet time and a relaxing walk in the park. Your children will also have a chance to learn about local animals and plants.

There are several forest trails at your disposal. One, in particular, runs through signs of 40+ species of trees characteristic to the local area. You’ll find info on each along the way, making your walk invigorating and educational at the same time.

Do your kids love dinosaurs? If so, they’ll have a grand time here. The center’s Dino Pit is not a classic dinosaur exhibition. Instead of just looking at the artifacts on display, your kids will get a chance to dig up a variety of fossils.

The best thing about the center is that the admission is free. However, check the opening times before paying a visit because it may be modified due to the COVID-19 situation.

3. Austin Aquarium

If you need more things to do in Austin with Kids, the Austin Aquarium is your best bet. It’s open from 10AM to 8PM, with most people spending about two hours on average on each visit.

The aquarium offers a wide range of interactive experiences. You and the young ones will find numerous species of fish and marine animals. Aside from that, there are also mammals, birds, and reptiles for you to check out.

Your kids can also get up close to stingrays, sharks, and even lemurs for an additional fee. They can feed the animals, pet them, and also play with some of them.

If your children would like to know more about what goes on behind the scenes, you can take one of the “morning round” tours. They’ll be able to observe how the workers prepare the terrariums and water tanks for the public.

4. iFly Indoor Skydiving

Want to try skydiving but can’t quite summon enough courage for it? 

iFly Indoor Skydiving has a solution. You can get all the adrenaline of a regular jump without jumping off an airplane. 

But, how does it work?

At iFly, you will enter a vertical wind tunnel where the wind will lift you up. And it will feel real because the wind might blow as fast as 175 miles per hour. If you’re a beginner, a flight instructor will guide you through the experience. You’ll even get a certificate to take home.

The standard package includes two flights, and you also get all the safety gear on the spot. Each session lasts about 75 minutes and the tunnel can take up to six people at a time.

Indoor skydiving is one of the best things to do in North Austin, and it’s something you should try out.

5. Moody Theater

Running out of things to do in downtown Austin? You might want to give the Moody Theater a shot. It’s the city’s premier place for live music shows. In fact, your favorite bands must have performed there at one point or another.

The Moody Theater is also where they film Austin City Limits (ACL) Live, the oldest music series in the United States. That means you’ll be visiting one of the most famous live music venues in the country. The locals even like to call it the live music capital of the United States and the world.

The theater has a total of 2,700 seats split into three sections or levels. You can access the lower level without a reservation, but the other two require it. Note that ticket prices can vary a lot.

6. Texas Military Forces Museum

If you want to know more about the military history of Texas, head on over to the Texas Military Forces Museum. And like everything else in Texas, it’s huge. You might want to put on a pair of comfortable walking shoes when paying a visit.

There are three galleries in this museum.

The first and second galleries focus on the 19th century. It’s where you will see plenty of items and learn about the history of the Texas Militia, among other things. These galleries also cover the Texas Revolution and the Mexican-American War.

The third gallery covers everything from the end of World War One to today. You will see here numerous weapons, battle dioramas, and military equipment during that period.

Everything Is Bigger in Texas

Texas is the largest of the contiguous United States and among its cities, Austin is known as the most beautiful.

While the State Capitol dominates the downtown and is on top of the list for most first-time visitors, its other attractions are also worth seeing.

Don’t miss out on some wonderful music at the Moody Theater. Learn more about history at the Texas Military Forces Museum. Pay a visit to the city’s aquarium and Nature and Science Center for a relaxing experience. And if you’re looking for adventure, there’s indoor skydiving for you to try out.

Everyone will find something to enjoy here.

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Best Cities

What to Do in San Antonio with Kids

Kid-friendly San Antonio Trip

What to Do in San Antonio with Kids

It’s a place of mini-adventures, historical sights, and great weather that’s perfect for the family. Are you ready to make your San Antonio bucket list?

Some people have their preconceptions about traveling to Texas. But in San Antonio, you have so much more to see and explore besides ranches.

The entire city is one giant entertainment center for visitors of all ages. Whether it’s indoor or outdoor activities you’re after, San Antonio has them in spades.

Get Your SeaWorld Tickets

SeaWorld San Antonio is by far the most popular attraction for kids. This marine animal theme park is on the west side of the city and sits on 250 acres. 

Packing tons of entertainment, the park has rides, an oceanarium, animal interaction, and plenty of live shows and presentations.

Notable rides in the park include the Texas Stingray, the longest and fastest Texan wooden roller coaster that opened in 2020. Meanwhile, the Orca Encounter is the park’s primary seasonal show.

Visit the Alamo

If you run out of things to do in San Antonio with kids, consider a trip to the Alamo. 

Your youngest ones may not find it too enlightening, but it’s still a site of historical significance. And to cater to kids, the Alamo also has people that dress in period attire and explain why it’s such an important part of Texas history. 

Try to book a ticket in advance as it’s a much busier place than you think.

Explore the Bridge Caverns

If you want to see what lies beneath San Antonio, hit the Natural Bridge Caverns. It’s a vast cavern system 180 feet below the surface with spectacular natural formations.

You can book a guided tour to learn more about the area and ensure you don’t get lost. If you want more excitement, you can go to Twisted Trails after leaving the caverns. It’s a zip line and ropes course – arguably the biggest of its kind in the world.

Visit the San Antonio Aquarium

A visit to the aquarium is among the most fun things to do in San Antonio. It’s a great way to look at or interact with underwater creatures. In fact, feeding the octopus is among the most popular activities here.

The indoor location also makes it a perfect place to hit if you experience bad weather. It may even be preferable for those who aren’t comfortable being out on the water. 

Although it’s an aquarium, you can interact with some reptiles, mammals, and even a few birds.

Explore the Zoo

Interacting with animals is one of the best things to do in San Antonio with kids. The local zoo spans 35 acres and hosts 750 animal species. So you can spend the better part of a day at the zoo without getting bored.

There’s always something new to see here and a lot of animal interaction to do. Kids can feed giraffes, check out massive hippos, and even hop on the zoo train tour. It’s a fun learning experience for animal lovers and a relaxing one, too.

Play at the Legoland Discovery

The Legoland Discovery Center is a must-visit for those traveling with young kids. It’s a massive indoor playground in downtown San Antonio.

The center offers multiple play zones for different age groups, a couple of rides, and an interactive 4D cinema. While adults may not have a lot of fun inside Legoland, its location on the Rivercenter puts it in close proximity to many restaurants, shops, and the Riverwalk.

Embrace Your Inner Child at the DoSeum

San Antonio’s DoSeum is definitely a unique attraction. 

It’s a facility designed around the idea of learning through interactive play. Here, kids can engage in various activities, check out exhibits, and learn about everything from archaeology to cooking. 

And as a bonus, adults can learn a thing or two about how to better interact with kids in this facility.

Have Fun at the Six Flags Fiesta Texas

You’ll find the Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park on anyone’s list of things to do in San Antonio with kids. After all, it has some of the best rollercoasters in the country.

What’s great is that you can order passes in advance. That should help you skip most lines and enjoy more of what the park offers. 

And in the summer, Six Flags Fiesta also opens its Water Bay park and aquatic-themed riders.

Check out the Science Exhibits at the Witte Museum

The Alamo isn’t the only site that offers a glimpse into history. 

Located in Brackenridge Park, the Witte Museum is the city’s primary cultural and science venue. Its particular emphasis on interactive science exhibits makes it a hit with kids. 

You can also check out some local art, and even learn about mythical creatures.

The museum also often shows movies about the Wild West that offers a bit of excitement And for the even younger crowds, there’s a circus to entertain them.

Experience Flying Indoors

Why not make your family trip even more memorable? 

San Antonio offers the iFly experience. It’s a unique activity for anyone over the age of three. For one hour and 15 minutes, you get an instructor who trains you about what to do in a wind tunnel. 

The facility provides all the equipment you need and everyone gets to go twice in the tunnel in one visit. It’s both exciting and good value.

Test Your Strength at the Altitude Trampoline Park

If riding roller coasters seem too extreme for you, the Altitude Trampoline Park is an interesting alternative. It’s a family-friendly facility with multiple climbing courses.

You can get your professional equipment from there, receive training from on-site instructors, and do a bunch of crazy things on a 30-feet tall course.

San Antonio – An Endless Supply of Fun

Everyone visits San Antonio for their own reasons. But there’s no denying that some attractions make it on every itinerary.

The city is truly an endless supply of fun. There’s never a dull moment between its multiple theme parks, water parks, outdoor and indoor activities. 

You’ll always find something that will entertain your toddlers as much as teens. You just have to know where to look.

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Texas

Don’t Leave San Antonio Without Trying These 10 Foods

Must-Try San Antonio Food

Don’t Leave San Antonio Without Trying These 10 Foods

Not sure if San Antonio has signature dishes? Its list of iconic foods is something most tourists don’t know about.

San Antonio has a more diverse culinary scene than most people give it credit for. And the choice of what to eat in San Antonio can overwhelm many visitors.

But if you want a unique experience for your taste buds, there are some things that should make your list. In fact, San Antonio’s signature dishes may surprise you more than you know.

1.) Texas Quail on the San Antonio River Walk

If you don’t fancy trying the Texas quail, you’ll miss out on something amazing. As small as it is, the little pancetta-wrapped and sausage stuffed bird packs a wallop of flavor.

Have the pan-roasted bird with a side of fries to keep it as authentic as possible.

2.) Puffy Tacos on the Westside

If you’re looking for fun places to eat in San Antonio, give Ray’s Drive Inn a try. 

This little eatery is actually a Westside landmark that makes San Antonio’s main signature dish – puffy tacos. Although many other venues praise their own as the best in the city, Ray’s has been on everyone’s list for a long time.

If the deep-fried taco shell doesn’t give you a true taste of San Antonio, few things will.

3.) Traditional Guacamole

Finding great guac isn’t as easy as you think. After all, not many people who have a hard time figuring out what to eat in San Antonio think about guac.

Eating guacamole can get ordinary after a while. But never with the traditional version prepared at your table and served in a molcajete.

Paloma Blanca is particularly noteworthy. One of the finest traditional Mexican cuisine venues in San Antonio, its version of guacamole will leave your mouth watering for more.

4.) A Side or Two of Sweet Potato Fries

Texans love their steaks, as do most Americans. But sometimes, a side dish can offer just as much satisfaction as a high-protein dinner.

Although not as famous as puffy tacos, sweet potato fries are a staple in San Antonio cuisine. Kitchens here even seem to care more about cooking sweet potatoes to perfection. 

Give the crispy brown fries a chance and don’t forget your serving of Sriracha mayo to elevate the flavor further.

5.) The Best Part of a Tex-Mex Breakfast

Everyone probably has their own ideas of a great Tex-Mex breakfast. But there’s something about chilaquiles verdes in San Antonio that makes it a fine addition to our list.

Simply put, it doesn’t taste the same as everywhere else. 

Give the ones at Regio Café a try if you want a powerful flavor, with just enough heat. The salsa used to soak the tortillas is divine and a great pick me up after a long night partying.

6.) Chicken on a Stick

Americans love putting anything on a stick and deep-frying it. And why not? It makes for excellent quick bites packed with flavor.

In San Antonio, one of the signature dishes is the Chicken on a Stick. You can get it from so many booth snacks, it’s impossible to leave town without trying it.

And if you want to feel like a local even more, make sure to grab a selfie on your first try. It’s what everyone else does to commemorate the moment.

7.) Pan Dulce for Your Sweet Tooth

San Antonio isn’t all about deep-fried spicy food. It also offers some sugary treats you don’t want to skip out on.

Try the pan dulce from the town’s best bakery and cafes in either Westside or Southside. You can have it as a post-meal dessert or even a full breakfast.

8.) The Iconic Big Red and Barbacoa

Okay, maybe this is a combination that can give the puffy taco a run for its money. If you don’t know what to eat in San Antonio, or what to drink, try the Barbacoa and Big Red. The locals even designed a festival for this specific combination.

You can also have it simple or rolled up in a taco. Either way, it’s a San Antonian pairing you have to try. It’s also not a bad hangover breakfast if you’re in need of fresh ideas.

This is a dish that most joints here get right, so you don’t have to scour the best restaurants in San Antonio to find the right mix.

9.) A Hearty Bowl of Fideo

Does it get any more Latino than this?

Fideo is a soup and a staple of Tex-Mex cuisine. It’s one of the best comfort foods you can order, although many consider it a side dish.

A creamy bowl of Fideo doesn’t just provide ample nourishment but also a powerful punch of flavor.

10.) The Decked Elote

San Antonio doesn’t just do corn on the cob. It takes the concept to a new level.

Corn on the cob in San Antonio comes with layers upon layers of toppings and crazy combinations. 

It’s a favorite local treat and definitely something worth trying.

Food as Iconic as the Alamo

Sure, most people go to San Antonio for spring break, to see the Alamo, or to party all night. But this major Texas city also hides some fantastic culinary treats.

Some of its signature dishes may seem odd to visitors. While others may seem downright crazy. But if there’s one thing that San Antonio gets right every time, it is its unique take on Tex-Mex cuisine.

Whether you want something sweet, deep-fried, or fresh, you won’t have a problem finding what to eat in San Antonio.

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Texas

The Moody Gardens and More – The Eight Things to See in Galveston, Texas

Island adventures are synonymous with surf, sand, and sun. But this destination offers so much more. Discover the majesty of this hidden jewel.

If you’re looking for a historic vacation spot for your next getaway, you don’t need to look far.

Nestled along the scenic Gulf of Mexico lies the beautiful island of Galveston. And it’s filled with everything you need for the perfect family vacation or romantic getaway.

Whether you want to relax at the beach, indulge in Texas-style cuisine, or visit historic sites, there are so many unique things to do in Galveston. Take a look at some of the places you can’t miss on your next visit.

1.   Moody Gardens

Galveston Moody Gardens

If you’re looking for an all-day excursion, check out Moody Gardens. The complex is so huge it can easily take the entire day to explore each of the three pyramids. But if you want to focus on just one of the attractions, there is plenty to choose from.

The Aquarium Pyramid and its marine life showcases are the main attraction. But if marine life isn’t for you, you can also check out the Rainforest Pyramid and the Discovery Pyramid. The Rainforest Pyramid features tropical flora and fauna, while the Discovery Pyramid focuses on all things science-related.

2.   Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

Galveston The Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier

If you stroll along the Galveston Seawall, you may see a giant pier jutting out into the ocean. The pier’s colorful Victorian structures and roller coasters are vivid against the backdrop of the Gulf.

The Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier is home to rides and amusements for the whole family. Thrill-seekers can go ride the coasters, like the Iron Shark and Cyclone, for hair-raising adventures. There are also carnival-type rides to captivate your younger family members.

When you tire of the rides and attractions, you can head to the midway for familiar games or take in a new kind of adventure in the 5-D theater ride.

3.   Schlitterbahn Waterpark

Galveston Schlitterbahn Waterpark

If you’re looking for an exciting way to cool off, this waterpark may be your best bet. It has everything you can ask for in a waterpark – from thrilling water coasters to relaxing wave pools.

And when you’re ready for a break, don’t forget to hit up Shipwreck Harbor! This wave pool has a swim-up bar so you can stay cool and relaxed without leaving the water.

4.   The Strand Historic District

Galveston The Strand Historic District

If you want to take a walk back in time, check out the Strand Historic District. Known simply as the Strand among the locals, this area houses a variety of restaurants, galleries, cafes, and other must-see sights.

The area is an eclectic mixture of old and modern, with Victorian-era and newer buildings in a charming tableau.

Take a walk down the street and see old-fashioned candy stores, complete with taffy-making demos. You’ll also see more upscale, contemporary restaurants in perfect harmony with the atmosphere of the district.

Do a little shopping, grab a bite to eat, and marvel at this blast from the past at this perfectly preserved little district.

5.   Bishop’s Palace

Galveston Bishop’s Palace

For something a little different, why not head down to the Bishop’s Palace? It’s not actually a palace but it is one of the most important Victorian-era mansions in the country.

Construction on this palatial home started in 1893 and took seven years to finish. And it’s not your average Victorian home. Its façade resembles a castle, and even boasts a turret and towers!

Although this was a private residence, it has since become a National Historic Landmark and museum. That means that you can visit the home and check out this historic “castle” in the middle of America.

6.   Galveston Island State Park

Galveston Galveston Island State Park

If you enjoy nature excursions, make sure to put Galveston Island State Park on your list. It’s located near the west end of the island along the Central Flyway and is a bird-watchers’ paradise. The park is a popular spot to watch bird migrations, depending on the time of year for your visit.

It’s also a popular tourist spot because of the access to Galveston beach on the ocean side of the park. On the bay side are a few observation platforms and trails, just in case the beach isn’t your thing.

7.   Galveston Railroad Museum

Galveston Galveston Railroad Museum

Full steam ahead to the Railroad Museum in Galveston. It has a large collection of steam and diesel engines that’s sure to captivate train-lovers young and old.

The museum also features a collection of passenger and freight cars and cabooses. You’ll also find other railroad paraphernalia in various showcases all over the museum.

Fancy a trip back in time?

Visit during one of the regular train shows for a chance to take a ride on one of these historic machines.

8.   The Bryan Museum

Galveston Bryan Museum

Are you ready for an interactive learning experience for the whole family?

Come to this historic building and learn the amazing story of Texas and the American West.

The Bryan Museum has an incredible collection of artifacts with touchscreen displays to help you learn more. Check out the permanent collections for a little slice of American history. Some exhibits on display include Native American history and Texas Independence.

And if art is more your thing, the Bryan Museum also has you covered. It hosts an art gallery filled with works from Texas-born artists.

But the displays don’t stop there.

You can also view pieces by artists who captured the area while traveling through it.

If you do visit the Bryan museum, you have a couple of options. You can either explore the museum showcases and art gallery on your own. Or, take a tour to learn more about the significance of the displays as well as the building itself.

It’s Time for a Little Getaway

There are so many things to see in Galveston, Texas that one visit isn’t enough.

From its charming Victorian-era mystique to exhilarating attractions, this is a spot you may want to slate for repeated visits. And that’s just perfect because Galveston is the type of spot that has something for everyone.

Pack your bags and find out why the locals refer to this unique island as “The Republic of Galveston.” Enjoy this incredible combination of Texas and the South all wrapped up in one location.

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