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Planning a road trip? These are the 10 best things to see in Texas
Tourist ride a river boat along the Riverwalk, Thursday, July 17, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio's Riverwalk is one of the state's top tourist destinations. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

There are enough interesting things to see in Texas to fill anyone’s ten-gallon hat. Here are 10 of our favorites:

1. Palo Duro Canyon

PaloDuroCanyon

Paol Duro Canyon

Where: 30 miles southeast of Amarillo

Why: Palo Duro — the “Grand Canyon of Texas” — is the second-largest canyon in the United States. It is best known for hoodoos — standing columns of sedimentary rock carved out by wind and water. The Lighthouse, Capital Peak and the Spanish Skirts are among the most popular formations. (Photo: Dave Hensley / Flickr)

2. Marfa

MARFA, TX - DECEMBER 25:  The setting sun is seen over downtown on December 25, 2012 in Marfa, Texas. Situated in West Texas, this town of just over 2000 residents has become a popular tourist destination.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

MarfaWhere: 190 miles southeast of El Paso, 405 miles west of San Antonio

Why: Marfa has the cool factor of Austin and the tumbleweeds of the Old West. It rose to prominence as a home for artists, and has continued to be a thriving art community. It has also be home to movies such as “There Will Be Blood” and “No Country for Old Men.” There’s still the feel of old Texas, too, with a picturesque town square housing world-renowned eateries. (Photo: Getty Images)

3. Austin

AustinWeird

AustinWhere: Deep in the heart of Texas. (It’s the state capital).

Why: Austin’s mantra is “Keep Austin Weird,” and it has lived by that for years. Musicians and artists have called Austin home for decades. If you don’t favor the weird, though, there are plenty of other things to do, including taking in one of the biggest college football scenes in the country, line dancing and eating some of the best barbecue going. (Photo: Joey Parsons / Flickr)

4. Padre Island National Seashore

Pelicans fly over the surf after hundreds of baby Kemp's ridley turtles were safely released into the Gulf of Mexico Monday, July 26, 2010 in Padre Island National Seashore, Texas. Hundreds of endangered baby sea turtles embarked on a new life in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday with federal biologists hoping that by the time the tiny critters get as far east as the BP spill the toxic oil will largely be gone. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

PadreIslandWhere: 30 miles from downtown Corpus Christi

Why: If you want to skip the spring break atmosphere on South Padre, visit the Padre Island National Seashore on the north end of the island. (You can’t drive the length of the island without going inland). It’s a beautiful spot for nature lovers, windsurfers and wakeboarders. If you want a little more atmosphere, head over to the waterfront bars on nearby Port Aransas. (Photo: Associated Press)

5. The Alamo and the Riverwalk

Tourist ride a river boat along the Riverwalk, Thursday, July 17, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio's Riverwalk is one of the state's top tourist destinations. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SanAntonioWhere: San Antonio

Why: The most popular landmark in Texas, the Alamo, is the heart of the Lone Star State. It has recently recovered much of its history, as militaria collector Phil Collins (yes, the “Sussudio” singer) reached an agreement to give his collection back to the museum. Steps away from the Alamo is the Riverwalk, a bustling hive of some of Texas’ best restaurants and music. (Photo: Associated Press)

6. Big Bend

388939 08: Big Bend National Park May 7, 2001 where fossil neck bone remains were discovered in south Brewster County, Texas. The fossils, each weighing over 1000 pounds, were found in 1999 in the Javalina formation which was deposited about 66-74 million years ago. The fossilized remains, those of a saurapod-type dinosaur, may represent the largest dinosaur fossil ever found in Texas and a species new to science. (Photo by Bobbie DeHerrera/Newsmakers)

BigBendWhere: 290 miles southeast of El Paso, 410 miles west of San Antonio, on the Texas-Mexico border

Why: One of the most remote state parks in the country, Big Bend National Park is a mix of deep canyons, wide deserts and tree-covered mountains, fenced in by the Rio Grande. Virtually any environment can be found there during the year. It has some of the best hiking in Texas, including the Lost Mine and Window trails. If you’re lucky, there’s enough water in Santa Elena Canyon to drift down in a kayak. (Photo: Getty Images)

7. NASA

STS-134 Readied For Launch

JohnsonSpaceCenterWhere: Johnson Space Center, 28 miles southeast of downtown Houston

Why: Whether you think space is the final frontier or not, there is no better chronicle of man’s experience in space than NASA. You can touch real moon rocks, watch astronauts train for missions, and see the one of the first rockets invented by Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry. If you’ve seen “Apollo 13,” you can see the room where they first heard, “Houston, we have a problem.” (Photo: Getty Images)

8. Galveston Island

After finishing up some fishing, Texas National Guard Sgt. Peter Cantu walks back to shore along the granite jetty on the sea wall as the sun sets on the island of Galveston, Texas, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008. The city is under a 6pm to 6am curfew as the recovery effort from hurricane Ike continues. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

GalvestonWhere: 56 miles southeast of Houston

Why: One of the islands that lines the Texas Gulf Coast, Galveston is becoming a popular launch point for cruises into the Gulf of Mexico. If you aren’t cruising, there is a wide variety of things to do, including strolling the beach, exploring the historic district, and looking for dolphins, who often swim near the docks. For families, Moody Gardens is a fun place to visit. (Photo: Associated Press)

9. The Hill Country

A visitor takes photos at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

HillCountryWhere: A 25-county block stretching from Austin and San Antonio west to Del Rio.

Why: Spattered with quiet small towns that mix German and Spanish influences, the Hill Country is a place to lean back and relax, whether it is listening to live music in Gruene or floating in tubes down the Guadalupe River. There is plenty of good hiking at Enchanted Rock – the second-largest granite dome in the United States — and Garner State Park. There’s history at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg and Cowboys on Main in Bandera. (Photo: Associated Press)

10. Fort Worth Stockyards

Travel Trip Texas Super Bowl

NewFtWorthStockyardsWhere: 130 E. Exchange Ave., Fort Worth

Why: Once the last safe stop on the Chisholm Trail, the Fort Worth Stockyards now attract herds of people wanting to feel the dust in their lungs after a long day driving cattle toward Kansas railheads. Thanks to modern-day conveniences, said dust can quickly be doused in margaritas or Shiner beer at one of the Stockyards’ several saloons. For cowpokes who want to cut loose after the herd passes through town (which happens twice daily), there are rodeos twice a week and great music virtually every night. (Photo: Associated Press)

Joshua Trudell About the author:
Joshua Trudell is a freelance writer, photographer and graphic designer living in New Hampshire. Follow Joshua on Twitter and Facebook and check out his website.
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