Traveling in Texas

Trip Planning

Traveling in Texas

Jeff Crider shares his top Texan destinations including what to see, where to stay, and what to eat.

There is so much to see in Texas it’s difficult to know where to begin. But the task becomes a little easier for RV enthusiasts if they focus their attention on a specific region of the Lone Star State.

Whether you’re interested in scenic wonders, history, outdoor recreation, rodeos, or unique culinary and cultural festivals, you’re bound to find neat things to experience and explore as you travel across the state.

To kickstart your summer travel planning, has highlighted some of the more unique and interesting attractions in different regions of Texas along with campgrounds and RV parks that can be used as base camps for your next Texas adventure. To make things even more interesting, we’ve included recommendations on a few famous restaurants along the way.

West Texas


Palo Duro Canyon State Park 

This park, roughly 25 miles southeast of Amarillo, is easily the most scenic natural feature in the Texas Panhandle. It features a rugged 800-foot deep, 110-mile-long chasm that is the largest canyon in the United States after the Grand Canyon.

Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon

Situated on the campus of Texas A & M University, this 285,000 square-foot museum is dedicated to the history of the West Texas Panhandle area. It is the largest history museum in Texas with over 2 million artifacts.

Marfa Mystery Lights in Marfa, Texas

This town is noted for having the mysterious Marfa Mystery Lights. First reported in 1883, the mysterious nighttime phenomenon has been attributed to everything from the spirits of Apache ancestors to ball lightning and UFOs. 


National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration in Lubbock 

This annual event, slated for Sept. 9 - 11, features Western entertainers, storytelling, poetry as well as film and movie seminars, horse handling demonstrations, a horse themed parade, a youth Wild West Day and a national championship chuck wagon cook-off. The event also includes Native American presentations and exhibits of Western artwork and merchandise. 

Tri-State Festival & Rodeo in Amarillo 

This annual event, set for Sept. 16-24, includes activities for all ages, including carnival rides, games and activities, a parade, live music, and thrilling rodeo action. 

Culinary Delights: 

The Big Texan Steak Ranch

Located in Amarillo, this restaurant is famous for its 72-ounce steaks, which it will serve free of charge. There’s just one catch: You must eat it with all the trimmings in less than an hour. Located along historic Route 66, now I-40, the Big Texan Steak Ranch has a huge menu ranging from steaks, burgers, and chicken to “Mountain Oysters.” 

Potential Base Camps: 

Fort Amarillo RV Park in Amarillo

This RV park is a popular location for visitors who want to see the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum as well as Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Park amenities include a 4,500-square foot dog park, tennis courts, an indoor heated swimming pool, and Lizzie Mae’s Mercantile, the park’s unique gift store, which features everything from Texas-themed souvenirs to Christmas ornaments to specialty food items, unique baking mixes and condiments to unusual lamps, throw pillows and one-of-a-kind home decor items.

The Greater Dallas / Fort Worth Area 


The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza 

This museum, located on the 6th floor of the former Texas School Book Depository building, chronicles the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in November 1963. The museum’s collections include more than 90,000 items related to the assassination of President Kennedy and its local and global aftermath, the legacy of the Kennedy presidency, and the turbulent culture of the 1960s.

Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area  

This natural preserve 30 miles north of Dallas features 2,600 acres of wilderness for hiking, kayaking, birding and other outdoor activities.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth

This is the only museum in the world that honors and celebrates the women of the West and from around the world who have displayed extraordinary courage and pioneering spirit in their trailblazing efforts. The museum is also working to recognize black, indigenous, and other women of color, past and present, whose stories have been underrepresented in the history of the West. The museum houses more than 4,000 artifacts and information about more than 750 remarkable women.


National Polka Festival in Ennis 

This May 27-29 event, 35 miles south of Dallas, celebrates Czech heritage with polka music and dancing, traditional costumes, Czech food, a parade, and family fun. 

GrapeFest in Grapevine

This annual event, scheduled for Sept. 15-18, includes grape stomp competitions as well as the “People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic,” the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation.  

Culinary Delights:

Joe T. Garcia’s
 in Fort Worth

This family-owned Mexican restaurant has been in operation since 1935.

Potential Base Camps:

Loyd Park in Grand Prairie  

Loyd Park is a 791-acre area located in the middle of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex on the west shore of Joe Pool Lake. The park features campsites and lakefront cabins.

North Texas Jellystone Park in Burleson 

The campground features RV and tent sites as well as a variety of park model RVs and other rental accommodations. Adventuresome guests at this campground can slide down 65-foot-tall waterslides, including two 350-foot-long tubular waterslides. The slides are located at Pirate’s Cove, a popular 26,000-square-foot water play park with interactive water features and a lazy river that is right next door to the campground. Activities include arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, face painting, jumping pillows, gem mining as well as plentiful interactions with the bears. 

The Vineyards Campground & Cabins in Grapevine

Located on the shores of 850-acre Grapevine Lake, this 52-acre wooded campground features RV and tent sites as well as park model RV rentals. 

Texas Hill Country


River Tubing and Fishing

The Guadalupe, Frio and San Marcos Rivers all run through the Texas Hill Country, offering opportunities for scenic river tubing and fishing.

The Alamo

The Alamo is one of many historical sites in San Antonio that are definitely worth visiting. The Alamo, of course, was the site of a 13-day battle in 1836 between Mexican forces and a small number of American rebels fighting for Texan independence from Mexico. 

The Spanish Governors’ Palace in San Antonio

Considered to be the most beautiful historical building in San Antonio, the governors’ palace was the residence of Spanish governors.


Stonewall Peach Jamboree and Rodeo in Stonewall

This annual event, scheduled for June 16-18, includes peach judging, crowning of the Peach Queen, a parade, peach eating and peach pit spitting contests, a baking competition, live music and a rodeo.

Culinary Delights:

Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls

A Texas landmark established in 1929, this restaurant specializes in traditional American dishes from chicken fried steak to pot roast. 

Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar in New Braunfels

Established in 1977, this restaurant specializes in fish, succulent chicken, thick steaks, and big juicy burgers, plus a complementary array of salads, appetizers, and veggies. This restaurant is a favorite hangout for country music stars, celebrities, and politicians, many of whom are listed on the restaurant’s website. 

Mi Tierra Café and Panadería in San Antonio 

This famous Mexican restaurant has been owned and operated by the same family since 1941.

Potential Base Camps:

Hidden Valley RV Park in Von Ormy

This park outside San Antonio has RV sites as well as rental units.

Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Kerrville

This campground has frontage along the Guadalupe River. Amenities include a water zone with three waterslides that are 196-, 242- and 334-feet in length, and a water play area with its own two water slides, a hydro storm and interactive play features. Other attractions include disc golf, gem mining, volleyball, gaga ball, horseshoes, pedal carts, an outdoor playground, and fishing along the banks of the Guadalupe River. The park also has a cartoon cafe with menu items including burgers, chicken wings and tacos. 

Johnson Creek RV Resort in Ingram

Built amid a pecan orchard on a scenic bluff overlooking Johnson Creek, this 50-acre park has a Western-themed chapel that looks like it was built in the late 1800s, complete with wood floors and pews. The park also has a Western-themed rally hall and saloon, which is used for special events. 

Pecan Park Riverside RV Park in San Marcos

Bordering the San Marcos River, this park features big-rig friendly RV sites, shaded RV sites, an indoor swimming pool and hot tub and fenced dog parks.

San Antonio / Alamo KOA in San Antonio

This campground features RV and tent sites and rental accommodations, including park model RVs. 

Sunset Point RV Resort in Marble Falls 

This luxury RV resort has RV sites and park model RV rentals along Lake LBJ.

Texas Gulf Coast 


South Padre Island Sandcastle Trail

South Padre Island is home to a collection of castles called the Sandcastle Trail. Roughly 30 sand sculptures are located throughout the Island, sculpted by professional sand artists from the local area and around the world.

South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Corpus Christi

The 182-acre garden features a 2,600 square-foot screen butterfly house as well as orchid and bromeliad conservatories. The nature center includes native habitat and natural wetlands that are home to a variety of wildlife.

U.S.S. Lexington Museum in Corpus Christi

Commissioned in 1943, the U.S.S. Lexington is one of the most famous World War II era aircraft carriers. Her planes destroyed 372 enemy aircraft in the air, and 475 more on the ground.


Shrimporee in Aransas Pass

This annual event, scheduled for June 10-12 at Johnson Community Park, includes live entertainment, dancing, and plenty of shrimp as well as a parade, a Miss Shrimporee Pageant and a Country Western dance competition. 

Potential Base Camps: 

BCS Village 21 RV Park in Bryan

This big rig friendly park is located near Texas A & M University, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, the Blue Bell Creamery, Lake Bryan and the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, among other attractions.

Hatch RV Park in Corpus Christi

This RV park with mature trees has been owned and operated by members of the Hatch family since 1933 and located on property that has been in the Hatch family since 1871.

South Padre Island KOA 

This campground includes RV and tent sites as well as park model RVs and other rental accommodations. 

East Texas


NASA Space Center Houston

The ultimate destination for space enthusiasts is this educational and museum complex, which offers exhibits, tours, as well as interactions with NASA astronauts.

Sam Houston Memorial Museum in Huntsville

This museum is dedicated to the Tennessee-born lawyer, soldier and politician who led Texas troops in their victory over Mexican forces in the Battle of San Jacinto, securing Texas’s independence from Mexico.


Cajun Catfish Festival in Conroe

This annual event, scheduled for Oct. 14-16, includes Cajun and Texas music on three stages all weekend, plus a unique variety of food including catfish, boudain, gator, jambalaya and crawfish pie. The event also includes arts and crafts vendors and a kid-zone area with activities for children and a special performance stage for local dance teams.

Great Texas Balloon Race in Longview

This event, set for June 17-19, includes a 5K run, evening balloon glow events and live music. 

Potential Base Camps: 

Lake Conroe / North Houston KOA in Montgomery

This park has RV sites and rental accommodations. Amenities include a swimming pool, hot tub, and playground.

Rayford Crossing RV Resort in Spring

This resort features spacious RV sites and a large resort-style swimming pool, bathrooms with granite countertops and a fully equipped exercise room.

Jet Stream RV Resort at NASA in Houston 

This park offers RV sites.

Space Center RV Park in League City

This park offers RV sites. 

Stella Mare RV Resort in Galveston

This resort features spacious RV sites and rental accommodations with ocean views. Amenities include a swimming pool with in-pool lounge chairs and a poolside hot tub with ocean views.

Sunset Shores RV Park in Willis

This forested RV park has RV sites along Lake Conroe.

Jeff Crider


Jeff Crider, President and CEO of Crider Public Relations, has been involved in covering the campground industry for over 25 years. Jeff has worked as a freelance writer for publications such as RV Business, Motor Home Magazine, Trailer Life, Highways and other Affinity Group Inc. publications since 1995. He has also successfully pitched many of the nation's top tier media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Financial Times, Reuters, The Associated Press and National Public Radio. In addition to writing, Jeff is also a talented photographer and humanitarian.