New to the Lone Star State? Here's our list of everything you have to try before you can be a true blue Texan.
KATY MAGAZINE | August 2018
Legacy Stadium 1830 Katyland Dr.
1733 Katy Fort Bend Rd.
High school football is a way of life in Texas, as everyone knows; but in Katy, you are guaranteed to catch the fever. The Katy Tiger football team are 8-time state champions, and National Champions in 2015.
Renaissance Festival 21778 FM 1774
Far and away Houston's favorite festival of the year - and that's saying something. "Ren Fest" is a wonderland of reinactments, battle scenes, elaborate costumes, themed days like "Heroes and Villains", "Celtic Christmas", "Pirate Adventure", and more. TIP: Check out the website for the best days and times to take kids - some of the characters and costumes may be mature.
1601 E NASA Pkwy, Houston
One of the crowned jewels of "Space City." Space Center Houston is NASA's official visitor center and scientific learning center, delighting adults and children alike. Space Center Houston is home to astounding interactive exhibits, "Lunch with an Astronaut," educational films, field trips, and more.
Houston Breweries Multiple Locations
Starting with the family-owned and operated No Label Brewery right here in the heart of Katy, the Houston area is home to several renowned craft beer hot spots that offer tours, tastings and more. We like Saint Arnold, 8th Wonder, Karbach, and of course, the Anheuser-Busch Budweiser factory.
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd.
Katy's favorite shopping mecca blends upscale dining and retail with old-fashioned, small town charm. Take in a free movie in the courtyard, dine at one of the dozen's of well-known upscale restaurants, and shop til you drop for premier brands.
Buc-ee's 27700 Katy Fwy.
Don't knock it until you try it! You may be wondering why your Texan road-trip buddy insists on driving a few extra miles for a gas station with a Beaver in a hat. Well, aside from having the cleanest restrooms of any convenience store you've ever been to, Buc-ee's has super affordable, kitschy Beaver apparel and home decor, and rows and rows of delicious food. If you head to the one on Katy Freeway, you can clean up your ride at the World's Longest Car Wash.
8825 Kirby Dr., Houston
The largest livestock exhibition and rodeo in the world that showcases our proud Western heritage with a family carnival, live celebrity concerts, retail, an art show, BBQ cookoff, parade, bull and bronco riding, interactive wildlife expositions, and so much more. There truly is nothing like it.
555 Katy Fort Bend Rd.
Big Texas fun right down the street from Katy Mills Mall with lots of fun waterslides and attractions for all ages. Live music, great food, and cabanas for purchase make it the perfect summer hang out.
501 Crawford St, Houston
There's never been a better time to dip into the Houston sports scene, if you're new here. Still riding the euphoric high of the Astros' 2017 World Series Championship, the line up is stacked, the fans are enthusiastic, and the games are always exciting. Get yourself an Altuve, Springer, Correa, Bregman, or Verlander jersey and you'll fit right in.
The best way for newcomers to learn about Katy's rich heritage as a rice farming community is to join in the festivities of their annual Katy Rice Festival. With a nostalgic, old-fashioned charm, residents enjoy a festival parade, live music, lots of great food, carnival rides, and vendors.
Houston is one of the most culturally diverse cities on the planet, and it's art and museums reflect that. Comprising the most visually stunning arts and education scene in the state, there are a total of 19 museums that cover the spectrum from contemporary art to world history, there is always a new exhibit or brilliant piece of artwork to explore.
(Mirror, Rice University)
Snappy's Cafe & Grill 5803 Highway Blvd.
The Katy area is exploding with new and diverse dining options, but nothing gives you a sense of real Katy welcome like a hearty breakfast at Snappy's. Their rib-sticking plates, fresh coffee, and southern hospitality will make you feel right at home, and you'll enjoy small talk with everyone from small business owners to state politicians.
18898 Hwy 6., College Station
A Christmas novelty with a southern twist. Take a hayride through thousands of dazzling Christmas lights and displays, and circle back around to the town square. There, you'll find horse and carriage rides, the Country Store, hot cocoa, performances and games, and Santa ready for photos in his ten-gallon cowboy hat!
P.O. Box 1807, Brenham
The best ice cream in the world, in our humble opinion, is made right smack-dab in the middle of Texas. Tour the creamery and taste some of the famous flavors. A perfect pastime for young families.
601 Webster Ave., Magnolia
The ultimate girls shopping, dining, and socializing dream. Made famous by the resourceful and creative couple Chip and Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Market welcomes visitors to come and stay a while with acres of family fun games near the silos, a restaurant, and of course, beautiful home decor and furniture.
Austin/ Hill Country
Comal County, Texas
Open daily, the Caverns offer families a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the natural beauty of Texas hill country. Explore huge underground caverns with rare and stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Zipline across hill country, witness the Bracken Bat Flight, mine for gems and fossils, and tons more.
Congress Ave., Austin
Let's be clear - the music, food, and arts scene combined with the natural beauty and the attraction of the State Capitol for history buffs makes visiting the city of Austin, Texas will take well more than one day. You simply cannot take in all that "Texas' Weirdest City" has to offer before night fall. One thing you need to experience though, is the nightly flight of the Mexican free-tail bats from mid-March through early November from Congress Bridge overlooking Lady Bird Lake.
Learn the Texas Two-Step at Gruene Hall 1281 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels The oldest dance hall in Texas has hosted some of music's most famous live performers. If you pass through New Braunfels, Texas on your travels, make it a point to visit and learn the Texas Two Step.
Float the River Texas has no shortage of natural beauty and outdoorsy fun, but one of the Lone Star State's favorite warm-weather past times is to lay back and relax and float down one of several clean, beautiful rivers. Check out our favorite floats here.
Schlitterbahn Multiple Locations
Texans are proud of Schlitterbahn, a seriously fun family waterpark and resort with a funny name. The park has locations in Galveston, South Padre Island, Corpus Christi, and New Braunfels. We recommend you try the original New Braunfels location for the best experience - it boasts 51 brilliant attractions all centered around the spring-fed river that runs through the heart of Texas Hill Country.
234 RR 1050, Concan
Camping, hiking, and exploring Garner State Park has become a generations-old family tradition for numerous Texas families. The Frio River glitters and winds it's way through the park's campsites, cabins, and recreational facilities. Rental a paddle boat, kayaks, and inner tubes for floating.
300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio
Here, at the Alamo, Texas history legends Travis, Bowie, Crockett, Esparza, and approximately 400 Texians fought and died in the pivotal battle for Texas' independence from Mexico in 1836. A monument to Texas courage, grit, and pride, visitors can tour the well-preserved former Spanish mission and battle ground and see live demonstrations year-round, and for free.
Gillespie County, Texas
"Out in Luckenbach, Texas ain't nobody feelin' no pain," croons country music legend, Waylon Jennings. This postage stamp-sized, unincorporated town hidden just minutes away from the shops and hotels of hill country's Fredericksburg has become a Texas travel mecca for natives and newcomers alike. Order a beer and gather round for impromptu acoustic jam sessions, great conversation, and good, old-fashioned Texas hospitality.
Two weekends, eight stages, and some of the most famous musical acts in the world with headliners like Paul McCartney, Metallica, The Deftones, and more. EDITOR'S NOTE: The festival has a family-friendly entrance and special kiddie festival that may be more appropriate than the more mature adult version.
Fredericksburg Fun Fredericksburg, Texas
When you're through sipping fantastic wine and relaxing on scenic porches, take a hike on Enchanted Rock. Aptly named for it's magical views of the breathtaking terrain, Enchanted Rock is also an International Dark Skies destination. Mystical starlight views come to life when the sun goes down.
Six Flags, Fiesta Texas 17000 IH-10 W., San Antonio
Dozens of thrilling roller coasters, water slides, and attractions for families. The entertainment options are endless. They have coasters for adrenaline junkies, family rides, and kid-friendly fun too.
Dallas/ Fort Worth
Dallas Arboretum 8525 Garland Road, Dallas
Simply put, a botanical fantasy land that promotes the art, enjoyment, and knowledge of horticulture. Visitors from all over the world pass through the doors to discover and explore 66 acres. The arboretum is also home to their research center and life science laboratory.
John F. Kennedy Memorial 411 Elm St., Dallas
Dedicated on June 4, 1970, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza honors the 35th President of the United States, who was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1961. The memorial is designed as an open tomb and is an architectural masterpiece.
Kemah Boardwalk 215 Kipp Ave., Kemah
Open daily, the Kemah Boardwalk offers families hours of fun with waterfront restaurants, amusements, charming retail stores, festivals and seaside shows every day.
1 Hope Blvd., Galveston
The characteristic trio of glass pyramids can be seen from miles away, and each contains it's own unique entertainment and education attractions. The Rainforest Exhibit gives visitors a close-up glimpse of rare and endangered plants and animals like Giant River Otters and Saki Monkeys. Enter another world in the 1.5-million-gallon Aquarium Pyramid that is teeming with sharks, rays, and even penguins. The third pyramid is a 3D visual theater with films featuring different animals, ecosystems, and even family-friendly Hollywood films.
San Jacinto Battleground and Monument 3523 Independence Pkwy, La Porte
Remember the Alamo? Well, so did the Texian troops who surprised the Mexican army that was stationed here in 1836 with overwhelming force, shouting "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember Goliad", and officially won Texas' independence from Mexico, becoming a brand new nation. Walk the path of the soldiers, explore the magnificent Battleship Texas Naval Site, and travel up to the tip top of the 560-foot obelisk, giving you a breathtaking view of the Houston ship channel and the historic complex.