Best Texas Attraction (2017)


Texas is like a whole other country. It impresses with its sheer diversity of attractions – everything from pristine beaches, deep canyons and scenic swimming holes to stockyards, botanical gardens and one of the nation's best free museums. What's on your must-see list in the Lone Star State?

  • San Antonio River Walk

    San Antonio River Walk
    San Antonio

    In terms of total visitors, the San Antonio River Walk is the most popular tourist attraction in Texas. The 3 miles of stone pathways along the San Antonio River winds through the heart of downtown, providing easy access to restaurants, bars, shops, hotels and other attractions, like Market Square, Tower of Americas and Mission San Jose.
    Photo courtesy of Bob Howen / Visit San Antonio

  • Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island National Seashore
    Corpus Christi

    Padre Island National Seashore protects one of the world's largest undeveloped stretches of barrier island – 70 miles of coastline, tidal flats and dunes where Kemp's ridley sea turtles and some 380 bird species call home. Visitors enjoy a wide range of recreational opportunities, including kayaking, birding, camping, swimming and windsurfing.
    Photo courtesy of NPS Photo

  • Gruene Hall

    Gruene Hall
    New Braunfels

    Built in 1878, Gruene Hall is considered the oldest running dance hall in Texas, and the Central Texas birthplace to many famous songwriters and musicians, including George Strait, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen. On a weekend night, it's one of the best spots in the San Antonio area to pull on a pair of boots, grab a partner and dance the night away.
    Photo courtesy of Eileen Blass, USA TODAY

  • Moody Gardens

    Moody Gardens

    Moody Gardens got its start in the 1980s as a hippotherapy program for people with head injuries. Today, it's a family-centric entertainment complex complete with an aquarium, tropical rainforest habitat, 3D and 4D theaters, paddlewheel boat and interactive museum. During the summer months, visitors can catch some rays on a sandy beach.
    Photo courtesy of Kenny Braun / Travel Texas

  • Space Center Houston

    Space Center Houston

    At Space Center Houston, aspiring astronauts and curious visitors alike can chat with real astronomers, snap a selfie with the Saturn V rocket, climb into a simulated Orion capsule and watch as Mission Control assists astronauts living in the International Space Station. The Living in Space exhibit gives insight into the day-to-day complications of living in zero-gravity.
    Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston

  • The Alamo & San Antonio Missions

    The Alamo & San Antonio Missions
    San Antonio

    The San Antonio Missions, including The Alamo and the four missions within San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, were granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2015, making them the first and only UNESCO site in the state of Texas.
    Photo courtesy of Visit San Antonio

  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park

    Palo Duro Canyon State Park

    Nicknamed the "Grand Canyon of Texas," Palo Duro Canyon State Park sits in the heart of the Texas Panhandle. Visitors to the park enjoy 30 miles of recreational trails, including 1,500 acres set aside for horseback riding. The park offers cultural appeal as well; during the summer months, the Pioneer Amphitheater puts on Texas, An Outdoor Musical Drama Tuesdays through Sundays.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Kimbell Art Museum

    Kimbell Art Museum
    Fort Worth

    Housed in a 1972 masterpiece by famed architect Louis Kahn, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth showcases a small collection – fewer than 350 pieces – of exceptional quality representing the period from antiquity to the 20th century. Highlights include works by Michelangelo, El Greco, Cézanne and Matisse, and many consider the building itself to be a work of art.
    Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • Fort Worth Stockyards

    Fort Worth Stockyards
    Fort Worth

    The stockyards of Fort Worth once bustled with cattle, and saloons lined the streets, offering respite to herders and passersby. Now called the Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District, the old barns and pens house shops, museums and restaurants, helping to preserve the town's colorful heritage. Visitors can watch a rodeo or cattle drive, throw back a pint at the Longhorn Saloon or two step at the world's largest honky tonk. 
    Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • The Sixth Floor Museum

    The Sixth Floor Museum

    The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas's Dealey Plaza is housed across two floors of the old Texas School Book Depository warehouse. It was from this sixth floor window that came the bullet which killed President John F. Kennedy, and the museum not only chronicles the assassination and how it changed history, but the legacy of the man and the President.
    Photo courtesy of


We asked our readers the same question, and for the past four weeks, they've been voting daily for their favorites. 

The top 10 winners in the category Best Texas Attraction are as follows:

  1. San Antonio River Walk - San Antonio
  2. Padre Island National Seashore - Corpus Christi
  3. Gruene Hall - New Braunfels
  4. Moody Gardens - Galveston
  5. Space Center Houston - Houston
  6. The Alamo & San Antonio Missions - San Antonio
  7. Palo Duro Canyon State Park - Canyon
  8. Kimbell Art Museum - Fort Worth
  9. Fort Worth Stockyards - Fort Worth
  10. The Sixth Floor Museum - Dallas

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Ilene Jacobs, Lydia Schrandt and David & Rebekah Schroeder (From Texas to Beyond) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in Texas.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions!

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AlertThe Experts

Ilene Jacobs

Ilene Jacobs

Ilene Jacobs

Lydia Schrandt

Lydia Schrandt

Lydia Schrandt

David & Rebekah Schroeder

David & Rebekah Schroeder

David & Rebekah Schroeder