Take Your Pick
Amarillo, TX
Hangin' out at the Cadillac Ranch
Cadillac Ranch - Just west of the city limit sign of Amarillo is the world famous Cadillac Ranch. This pop art work is made up of ever changing multi-colored Cadillacs (1949-1963) buried nose first in the ground at the angle of the Cheops Pyramids. Stanley Marsh, the creator, artist, and eccentric helium millionaire put them there as a monument to the "golden age" of American Automobiles. This is a great place to spend a few minutes and think about the goofy things humans do in their spare time. Remember to bring a can of spray paint.
Amarillo, TX
Can You Eat a 72 oz Steak in 60 Minutes?
Big Texan Steak Ranch - Think you can eat a 72 ounce steak (4 1/2 lbs if you are wondering), a baked potato, salad, dinner roll and shrimp cocktail in under an hour? If you can, the Big Texan Steak Ranch will give it to you free of charge!!! Over 42,000 people have tried and about 8000 have succeeded in this big bellied feat. Even if your appetite is a little smaller, this Amarillo landmark is a great place to catch a meal and listen to a little fiddle playing. Plus, if you are a sleepy after dinner, you can mosey on over to the Big Texan Motel for a little shut-eye.
Arlington, TX
A Big Screen in a Big Stadium
Cowboys Stadium - The 1.2 billion dollar Cowboys Stadium is the largest domed stadium in the world and home to America's team, the Dallas Cowboys. Completed in 2009 and nicknamed "Jerry's World" after Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the stadium hosted the 2011 Super Bowl. The most impressive feature of the stadium is the 160 foot long and 72 foot wide high-resolution screen that hangs from the rafters and extends from one 20 yard line to the other. Tours of the stadium wind through the luxury boxes and stadium seating, to the players and cheerleader's locker rooms, and finally to the silver star in the middle of the field.
Austin, TX
Keep Austin Weird and Batty
Bat Bridge on Congress Ave - In 1980 the Congress Ave Bridge was reconstructed with thousands of under-bridge crevices, perfect for 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats. This is the largest urban bat colony in North America and they are fun to watch emerge at dusk. The bats were at first detested, but are now loved, not only for bringing tourists to the area, but also for consuming over 3000 lbs of insects each night. The spectacle occurs from March to November. While there, you might as well walk down to 6th Street and see why Austin is the "Live Music Capital of the World". Be prepared for anything, they don't say "Keep Austin Weird" for nothin'.
Austin, TX
The Lone Star Capitol Building
State Capital Building - Yes, the Capital Building in Austin is taller than the US Capital in Washington DC. What did you expect? It's Texas. Built between 1882 and 1888 the building has a slight pink hue to it because it was constructed with pink granite from nearby quarries. The enormous building is comprised of over 500 rooms, covers nearly nine acres, and stands 14 feet taller than the US Capital. On the floor beneath the dome are the seals of six nations who have called this area of Texas home, Spain, Mexico, France, the Confederacy and the Republic of Texas.
Austin, TX
Including the Humor of LBJ
LBJ Library and Museum - The LBJ Library and Museum is dedicated to our 36th President, Lyndon Baines Johnson. The museum chronicles his life and Presidency with 650,000 photos, 45 million pages of historical documents, one million feet of film, and 5000 hours of recordings. One of the best exhibits is called the "Humor of LBJ". Here you will find a life-size moving and talking figure of LBJ, decked out in a cowboy hat and holding a lasso, telling jokes. It's like meeting Lyndon on the farm. Another great thing is that the Museum Store has the best collection of Presidential Campaign buttons for sale this monkey has ever seen.
Big Bend National Park, TX
Sock Monkeys in Big Bend
Big Bend National Park - Big Bend National Park is named for the giant curve in the Rio Grande that separates Texas from Mexico. The park is a one million acres public playground comprised of beautiful mountains, waterfalls, extinct volcanoes and river vistas. While there you can be enjoy hiking, kayaking, horse back riding, or driving in your air conditioned car. Javelinas (little piggies), sock monkeys, coyotes and roadrunners, roam freely throughout the park, so drive slowly.
Canyon, TX
At the End of the Lighthouse Trail
Palo Duro Canyon - Also known as the "The Grand Canyon of Texas", Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the USA. Formed over 100 million years ago, Palo Duro is over 100 miles long and up to 2 miles wide. Beautiful red and yellow sandstone dotted with dark green mesquite trees make this gorge a beautiful place to hike, camp, or take a scenic drive. During the summer months you can enjoy, the musical drama "Texas" where they prove lightening can strike the same place twice. And if you are up for a really big challenge, every October they host the Palo Duro Trail Run, a tough 50 mile ultra trail race.
College Station, TX
Taking Charge at the Bush Museum
George H W Bush Library and Museum - The George H W Bush Library and Museum is a 21,000 square foot facility dedicated to our 41st President, George Herbert Walker Bush. In the museum are over 3,000 gifts from foreign heads of state, 90,000 artifacts including the "first dog" Millie's dog house, and a 1944 TBM Avenger. The Avenger is the type of aircraft the young Navy pilot flew in WWII. George H W Bush is a highly decorated soldier earning the Distinguished Flying Cross among others. Outside the Library and Museum is a sculpture of horses leaping over the Berlin Wall. It was during Bush's Presidency, on Nov 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down.
Corpus Christi, TX
The Less Wild Side of Padre
Padre Island - Situated along the southern Texas Gulf Coast, Padre Island is 113 miles of glistening sand dunes, natural grasslands, and diverse wildlife. For seventy miles of the island is the Padre Island National Seashore, the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world. Wildlife such as turtles and nearly 400 species of birds call this area home. The other forty three miles of the island are for fun. Each year for a few weeks in March, South Padre Island is filled with the craziness of Spring Breakers. They come for the miles of shore-lined hotels located on the best beaches in Texas.
Corpus Christi, TX
Climb Aboard an Aircraft Carrier
U.S.S Lexington (The Blue Ghost) - In service from 1943 to 1991, the U.S.S Lexington which is now docked in Corpus Christi Bay, is the longest serving aircraft carrier in Navy history. This WWII carrier is truly enormous. The ship weighs over 33,000, stands 160 feet tall, and is 910 feet long. All the tours of the ship are self-guided and included the flight deck, foc'sle (upper deck), gallery deck, engine room and sick bay, and hanger deck. Don't miss the Mega Theater and definitely try your paws at the Flight Simulator.
Dallas, TX
The Grassy Knoll
Texas School Book Depository - On November 11, 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President John F Kennedy from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository. The Depository, Elm Street, and the grassy knoll look just as they did that fateful day the President's motorcade passed by. The 6th floor of the Depository is now the Sixth Floor Museum with films (including the Zapruder), photographs and documents relating to the assassination. At almost any time of the day or night you will find people walking around the area. You will also find dozens of conspiracy theorists with "proof" Lee Harvey Oswald didn't act alone.
Dallas, TX
Big Tex at the Texas State Fair
Texas State Fair - The Texas State Fair is the largest state fair in the country, attracting more than 3 million corny dog eaters annually. Enjoy the dizzying heights of the Texas Star Ferris Wheel, the enormous Big Tex greeting the cheerful crowds, a fantastic auto show, pig races, and anything and everything deep-fried. I'm also a sucker for all those carnival games. But like all the rest, what brings this little sock monkey back year after year, are the Fletcher brand corny dogs (with Jalapenos of course).
Deer Park, TX
San Jacinto Monument
San Jacinto Museum of History and Monument - To commemorate the decisive win in the Battle of San Jacinto, fought on this very spot, a 570 foot obelisk topped with a 220 ton star was constructed. The structure is the tallest monument tower in the world topping the Washington Monument by 15 feet. The museum in the base of the tower details the history of Texas and this historic battle. One of the highlights of the museum is the film "Texas Forever!!" narrated by Charlton Heston. After viewing the film, head to the top of the tower to take in the battlefield and the surrounding areas. Of course you will see the Battleship Texas across the street, so that should be your next stop.
El Paso, TX
Great Rock Climbing Here
Franklin Mountains State Park - Franklin Mountains State Park is the largest park in the world located within the limits of a city. This 24,000 acre park inside the city of El Paso includes a diversity of wildlife, desert plants and part of a mountain range. This is a great place to hike, bike, picnic, rock climb, sightsee and escape the rigors of the big city. A ranger-led tour is highly recommended.
Fort Davis, TX
Observatory's Telescope Park
McDonald Observatory - The McDonald Observatory is a research facility operated by the University of Texas at Austin and is open to the public both night and day for tours and star parties. The observatory is located on top of Mount Locke near Fort Davis and contains some of the largest telescopes in the world. Inside the visitor center are exhibits on the heavens, but the most of the fun happens outside at night. Nightly star parties let visitors look through an assortment of telescopes located in their "Telescope Park" which give up-close views of our moon, constellations, stars, planets, and nearby galaxies.
Fort Worth, TX
Got My Spurs On
Fort Worth Stock Yards - Formerly the hub of the cattle industry and currently a historic district, the Fort Worth Stock Yards are a great place get in touch with Texas. You can visit museums, shops, and enjoy one of the daily longhorn cattle drives. Located in the Stock Yards is the world's largest honky-tonk, Billy Bob's Texas. A three acre indoor country and blues entertainment center with bars, restaurants, two-steppin' dance floors, and even an indoor rodeo arena. This is "deep in the heart of Texas".
Fredericksburg, TX
Attractions of Fredericksburg
Nimitz National Museum of the Pacific War - The Nimitz National Museum is a six acre site dedicated to telling the story of the Pacific Theater of WWII. The museum does an excellent job; though story boards and WWII displays, of conveying the dedication and hardship of winning the war. While visiting the museum, don't miss the great German food and ubiquitous bluebonnets the area is famous for. This area was settled by German immigrants and is known for its authentic German cuisine. Fredericksburg is also in the heart of bluebonnet country, these little gems pop up from late March to early May. Many people stop their cars on the side of the highway to take pictures and pick a handful of these beautiful flowers.
Fredericksburg, TX
Waylon and Willie and the Boys
Dance Hall, Beer Joint and General Store - Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson made Luckenbach famous with their 1977 chart-topping song "Luckenbach Texas". Waylon and Willie as well as thousands of other have played here. In fact, bands play here daily and dances are held here monthly, but don't expect a large town. Luckenbach is made up of only two buildings, a Post Office/General Store and a Dance Hall. Because the town is so small their motto is "Everybody's somebody in Luckenbach". Even Socko.
Galveston, TX
Galveston oh Galveston
Moody Gardens - One of the highlight of Galveston Island is the world famous Moody Gardens, with its three enormous glass pyramids. The largest of the three, at over 120 feet tall, is the "Aquarium Pyramid" home to sharks, eels and thousands of fish. The second largest is the "Rainforest Pyramid" hosting your jungle favorites from sloths to toucans, in a dense tropical environment. And the third is the "Discovery Pyramid" with dozens of interactive science exhibits for entertainment and education. After a few hours at the Gardens, head to the Seawall for a day at beach or to the Strand for some shopping and great food.
Groom, TX
Cross Ministries
Large Cross - As you head down I-40, about 25 miles from Groom, you will just start to see something white on the horizon. That white something is a 190 foot tall, 2 1/2 million pound, free standing cross. Erected in 1995 by the Cross Ministries, this Bible Belt landmark attracts nearly 300,000 visitors and is seen by more than ten million passer-bys annually. At the base of the Cross are bronze sculptures of Jesus' journey to the Cross and the Cross Gift Shop.
Houston, TX
Houston We Have a Problem
Houston Space Center - The Houston Space Center is the official visitor's center of NASA's Lyndon B Johnson Space Center. The Space Center contains capsules, a lunar rover, moon rocks, flight simulators (that are almost impossible to land) and a tour of the Johnson Space Center. The tour takes you to the home of the Mission Control Center that today guides the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. This is also the Mission Control that guided Apollo 13 to a safe landing in 1970 and why every monkey in the world says, "Houston we have a problem", when they drop a banana on the floor.
Huntsville, TX
Me and Big Sam Houston
Sam Houston Statue - Just off of I-45 near Huntsville is a 67 foot tall, 60 ton statue of Texas hero, Sam Houston (1793-1763). Sam Houston was President of Texas, a Texas U.S. Senator, Governor of Texas and Commander in Chief of the Texas Army. He commanded the troops that defeated Santa Anna's Army in the Battle of San Jacinto, liberating the Republic of Texas from Mexico. Houston spent his final years in Huntsville and is buried in the Huntsville's Oakwood Cemetery. And yes as a matter of fact, the city of Houston is named after him.
Kemah, TX
The Jersey Shore of Texas
Kemah Boardwalk - The Kemah Boardwalk feels like the Jersey Shore of Texas and it's just 20 miles from downtown Houston, but it feels like 2,000. From the boardwalk you can watch sailboats come in and out of the marina, catch a meal at one of the many restaurants (my personal favorite is the Aquarium - which has great food and floor-to-ceiling fish tanks), and ride dozens of amusement park rides. One of the best views of Galveston Bay can be seen from the Boardwalk Tower or if you want to sacrifice height for speed, catch the Boardwalk Bullet (a 96' tall wooden rollercoaster).
Kerrville, TX
Easter Island Head Near Stonehenge II
Stonehenge II and Easter Island Heads - One day Kerrville resident Doug Hill tipped a large limestone slab on end in his good friend Al Shepperd's yard. That was enough inspiration for Al to hire Doug to design and build Stonehenge II. After the design was complete the nine month project began. The structure is made up of concrete-covered wire mesh over steel rebar on top of concrete footings. It is about 2/3 the size of the original Stonehenge in England, but just as fun. A couple of years after Stonehenge II was finished, the two Easter Island heads were added to complete the project.
Kilgore, TX
Boomtown USA
East Texas Oil Museum - When you think of Texas, you think of oil, and Kilgore was home of the largest oil field in the contiguous US. Over six billion barrels of oil were pumped out the ground starting in the 1930s. One area of Kilgore is called the "World's Richest Acre". The East Texas Oil Museum takes you back to the days when the town went from 500 hundred residents to 10,000 in 24 hours, all looking to get rich. The museum has a movie theater, an Elevator Ride to the Center of the Earth which is very realistic and a full-scale city section called "Boomtown USA".
Lubbock, TX
The West Texas Walk of Fame
Buddy Holly - Lubbock's favorite son, Charles Hardin Holley, was born in Lubbock on September 7, 1936. His songs, "That'll be the Day", "Peggy Sue" and "Maybe Baby" skyrocketed to the top of the charts. He was a pioneer in music and is considered one of the most influential forces in early rock and roll. Although his stardom lasted only about a year and a half, new recording were released almost 10 years after his death in 1959. Then in 1971 Don McLean released the song "The Day the Music Died" as a tribute to Buddy Holly. While in Lubbock don't forget about Lubbock's second favorite son, Mac Davis. He was born here too.
Marfa, TX
The Ghost Lights of Marfa
Marfa Lights - The Marfa Lights or "Ghost Lights", as they are sometimes called, were discovered in 1883 by early settlers. The lights are unexplained balls of white, blue, yellow or red light hovering above the ground, dancing high in the air, and then disappearing and reappearing in the night sky near Marfa. At times they look like airplanes they ars so bright, but then they just die out. I've personally witnessed these mysterious lights with my own little sock monkey eyes and I must say, they are real and I have no explanation. The popularity of these mystery lights has prompted the Texas Department of Transportation to create a viewing area. So come see for yourself.
Mingus, TX
A Town Up in Smoke
Ghost Town - Thurber, Texas was once the largest town between Fort Worth and El Paso, boasting more than 10,000 residents. Founded in 1888, the town was entirely owned by the Texas and Pacific Coal Company. That ownership included the coal mine, company store, saloon, streets and pretty much anything else you can think of. The town also produced Thurber Bricks, which were used to pave streets all over Texas, and was the headquarters of the Texas Pacific Oil Company. Today Thurber is a certified ghost town with only five residents, a 100+ year old chimney stack and a graveyard. It does have a nice restaurant located in the old company store and an informative Industrial History Museum.
New Braunfels, TX
Live Music in Texas
Gruene Hall - Green Hall is the oldest, continuously operating dance hall in Texas, with plenty of live music to kick up your heals to. George Strait and Lyle Lovett started their careers here and with the lineup of talent playing the hall today, there are sure to be more. The entire town of Gruene is on the National Register of Historic Places which includes a bed and breakfast, a restaurant, and a few dozen shops. You will find plenty of antiques and knick-knacks to take with you after your day of doing the Cotton Eye Joe. And for you movie buffs, the dance hall scene in John Travolta's film "Michael" was shot in Gruene Hall.
Parker, TX
Who Shot JR?
Southfork Ranch - In 1978 the first episode of "Dallas" aired on TV and the Ewings held our attention for 13 exciting and dream filled years. You can tour the 41 acre Southfork Ranch where the outside shots were filmed. You will find it still looks the same as it did in the 70s and 80s, just a lot smaller. The gigantic house, the long driveway, and even the pool Bobbie swam laps in; all seem tiny in real life. But, it is still a fun trip down memory lane. The big question is, do you remember "Who shot JR"? Oh, remember to pick up a Southfork Country Candle at the gift shop, they smell fantastic.
Plano, TX
The Gorgeous Marilyn Monroach
Cockroach Hall of Fame - Inside Michael Bohdan's Pest Shop is a small museum dedicated to one of the most dreaded insects in America, the cockroach. The Cockroach Hall of Fame features shoebox-sized dioramas which include that piano playing roach - Liberoachi, and a windsurfing roach in "Life's a Beach". Stand-alone roaches like Marilyn Monroach, Roach Liberty and Roach Perot are fun parodies on pop culture. While there be sure to check out the live Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches - these creepy-crawlers are nearly 3 inches and really do hiss.
Salt Flat, TX
Guadalupe Mountains
Guadalupe Mountains National Park - The Guadalupe Mountains are the remains of a huge ancient fossilized reef. The reef formed 250 million years ago from billions of algae skeletons, sponges and other sea life on the fringe of a once shallow ocean. Today the park is primarily for hikers, boasting over 80 miles of trails. While hiking you can easily find exposed fossils, but if you are really lucky, youll find "Geronimo's Gold Mine". Apache Chief Geronimo said one of the largest gold mines in the world is in these mountains.
San Antonio, TX
The Best of Texas
River Walk - The River Walk, or if you are a Spanish speaking sock monkey, "Paseo del Rio" is not only San Antonio's best attraction, it is one of the best attraction in Texas. The River Walk is located beneath street level, on the banks of the San Antonio River, and in the middle of downtown San Antonio. It's lined with restaurants and bars serving some of the best Tex-Mex food you'll ever taste. Enjoy the area on a river cruise or saunter along the walkways and over nearly a dozen bridges. It does get crowded, but always seems to retain a quaint feel to it. Then once a year in January they drain the river for a good cleaning, but instead of closing the area off, they throw a Mud Festival. Genius!!!
San Antonio, TX
Remember the Alamo!!!
The Alamo - Originally called the Mission San Antonio Valero, the Alamo was built in 1724 and used as a school and mission for Native Americans who converted to Christianity. In 1835 the Texas Revolution began and the Texians forced the occupying Mexican troops out of San Antonio. Then in February 1836, determined to reclaim Texas for Mexico, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and his army of 5,000 soldiers attacked the Alamo. Inside the mission were only 200 men, but they held off the Mexican Army for 13 days. In the end, nearly every Texian soldier was either killed in battle or executed after surrendering. Some famous names include, James Bowie, William Travis, and David Crockett. The battle cry "Remember the Alamo" was later used to rally soldiers at the Battle of San Jacinto.
San Antonio, TX
Built for the 1968 World's Fair
Tower of the Americas - For a gorgeous panoramic view of San Antonio, head to the Tower of the Americas. Built for the 1968 World's Fair, the Tower of the Americas is a 750 foot observation tower and revolving restaurant. Located in the base of the tower is the 4D Ride entitled "Skies Over Texas". During the ride you are whisked around the state in full 3D plus you feel the wind, smell the trees and get a little wet. The Tower is located in Hemisfair Park and is within walking distance of The Alamo, but if walking isn't your thing, you can flag down a bicycle cart and take a guided tour.
Valentine, TX
I'm too Sexy for My Prada, Too Sexy Yeah
Prada Marfa - The Prada Marfa store opened on October 1, 2005. Well, sort of. Even though the store is filled with designer bags and one-of-a-kind shoes, it doesn't have a cashier or even a working door. So buying something is kind of tricky. Created as a work of art by Berlin artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, the only thing you can do here is window shop. A few words of warning - you better get there soon. This store is a bio-degradable work of art that will slowly disappear into the Texas desert.
Waco, TX
I'm a Pepper, You're a Pepper
Dr Pepper Museum - As a monkey who drinks a lot of Diet Dr Pepper, I had to include the Dr Pepper Museum. Dr Pepper was created in 1885 by Charles Alderton, a full-time pharmacist and part-time soda creator. After finding a flavor he liked, he began letting customers enjoy the soda too. The flavor caught on and is now the oldest major brand of soft drink in the United States. The museum tour takes you through 3 different floors where you can view over 20,000 soda related artifacts. In the Museum Store you can pick up some original pure cane sugar Dr Pepper (most sodas are made with high fructose corn syrup) which is made in Dublin, Texas.