Texas is BIG! I am slightly disappointed that I didn’t search out a BIG sign to take a picture with. On our 50 states in 50 weeks tour we were able to hit Amarillo in north Texas, Dallas, and San Antonio in south Texas. Below are our experiences in three areas of the state. Please read on for our six sights to see in Texas.
Who doesn’t love a free car show? In Amarillo, Texas, there is a big open wheat field that has ten old Cadillacs sticking out of the ground. The paint on the cars contain years and years of individual creations on their old metal. You are welcome to bring your own spray paint and paint the cars.
We didn’t realize we could paint but fortunately those coming before us left some cans around the cars. At first I didn’t want my three small girls painting, but eventually gave in. I am so glad I did! They had a blast and the smiles on their faces said it all. The paint cans were a hit, and a miss. The sisters did not come away un-spray painted. I am just thankful that eyeballs were spared of paint!
Our Tessa could barely push down the head of the spray can. Using her two pointer fingers on both hands, she would push down with all her might to get a steady stream of paint to come out and onto the cars. She would have stayed there for hours painting polka dots all over those cars.
The cars are a sight to see! The empty spray cans, not so much of a sight to see. If you happen to use the last of a can or see one laying around be courteous and maybe do a service by taking a few cans back out and throwing them in the dumpster outside the fence. At least pack out what you carried in if it is empty!
Flowers, trees and landscapes beautifully designed and tended to cover the grounds at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. The grounds cover a vast area and every inch is taken into account and cared for. Check it out on google maps. That green area is all grounds! Amazing, right?
There are many different sections to the arboretum and it is peaceful to stroll along the walks, listen to the water and view the sculptures and design of each section. There are many activities that are hosted year-round. Check out their website to find out more information.
In addition to the grounds, the arboretum has a demo kitchen with free daily tastings. The idea is to send your taste buds on an adventure with fresh food. Many of our daily foods that we eat today are processed. The day we toured the grounds, the taste kitchen was featuring recipes with kale. Cornbread and Soup were on the table. Blakely loved the cornbread and tolerated the soup and Tessa loved the soup and preferred not to eat the cornbread. I scarfed up my samples and then ate Tessa’s cornbread.
An adventure center for the kids is also available on the grounds. Unfortunately for us, it was closed the day we went (because we went in February), but we peeked through the gates to get a glimpse of all the fun we could have.
We could have spent a whole day on the grounds given the adventure center was open. We still spent half a day touring the grounds in the light rain and had good times reflecting, observing and spending time together as a family.
The Alamo is a free attraction…you should go…and learn about the history of Texans fighting for freedom from Spain. Purchase a self-guided tour to learn more about the artifacts and history. Soldiers in the main grounds take you back to the days when the residents had to fight for their lives and the lives of their families.
The long barrack is full of interesting artifacts from daily life, to battle, to medicine. Take a stroll down memory lane and imagine yourself as a mother, wife, husband, father, child residing in the fort/mission and using the displayed tools.
The first day we went, the workers were re-enacting the day the Spanish military marched to the grounds at the Alamo. The letters that were written back and forth between fortress and Spanish military were read and my girls loved listening to the battle prayer that was played in the scene.
We actually went back again, the next day, to look at the long barrack and watch the film of The Alamo.
Tower of Americas plus Park
From the top of this tower you can almost see all of Texas! Ok, maybe not all of Texas, but you sure do get a spectacular view of San Antonio. How could you not at 750 feet in the air? One of the best parts of the trip was riding the elevator up and down.
An observation tower circles around the top with pay magnifying binoculars to view the sights. The wind was very active the day we went up. The outside deck is very safe for children of all ages!
After we toured the tower and got our birds eye view of the city, we decided to experience the 4D movie. Now I don’t know if y’all have ever been to a 4D movie, but it is an experience! You should try it! It is fun. Think 3D with another element of actually feeling wind on your face. Cool, right?
There is a park just down the walk-way (maybe half a mile or less) from the Tower of the Americas that is a great place to kill a couple hours and let the kids play. In the summer they also have a splash pad with sand and changing rooms.
Natural Bridge Caverns
Experience the underworld! Quite literally! The Discovery tour is fantastic. A guide takes you underground on paved walkways. No need for jackets or lights. The caves are warm and the path is lighted the entire way. You can read our full post about our experience on our Caverns post.
A challenge course for kids and adults is also a really fun activity offered at the Caverns. Our youngest, Saylor, who is one and a half was able to do the kids challenge course. Her little harness was super cute on her!
If zip-lining is something that interests you, they have a two-zip course right off of the challenge course where you can soar through the air like a bird! It was nerve-racking to me walking up to the course because looking off the edge of the structure got my heart racing! I had a blast though and as soon as I reached the top, I knew I didn’t want to turn back.
The Riverwalk is a great place to go to get food and if it interests you, take a paid boat ride tour of the canal. We opted out of the boat tour and went in search of some authentic Tex-mex food! We fell short with our choice of restaurant but maybe we were expecting too much! Fortunately we found an awesome ice-cream shop (on the Riverwalk) on our way back to the car!
Japanese Tea Garden
The last item on our list in Texas were the Tea Gardens (of which are right by the zoo.) Just a short walk after you reach the entry arch, you walk upon this great open-wall hut. The path after the hut leads to ponds, a bridge and a waterfall.
After the waterfall, the paved asphalt walkway leads to more of the garden. Since my girls are their dad’s daughter, they saw a path that shot off the side of the path and wanted to climb to explore the path. Saylor was sleeping in the car while Colter was working so I figured why not. I can do this with my five year old and three year old. It was actually a lot of fun exploring the path behind the scenes.
Saylor eventually woke up and Colter and her finished out touring the gardens with us. This was a very peaceful place with a lot of beauty.
Our week in Texas doesn’t even start to display all that this has to offer! We all had a lot of fun, were able to see some old friends and will never forget the patriotic feel of the state. It makes me proud to be an American seeing so many American flags flying in our travels from north Texas to south Texas.