There’s not long to go before the Super Bowl 2017 kicks off and enthusiastic revellers descend upon Houston for the big event. But if you’re travelling all the way to Texas for it, it’d be a shame to limit yourself to just one city. The state’s myriad cultures and a differing climate depending on where you go means there’s a great deal to see while you’re in the area.
Booking.com used its internal data to find the top-rated destinations for a selection of popular incentives to travel. The following places in Texas were ranked as the best for each category by global travellers.*
Culture – Austin
Head to Austin for its strong art and and music scene
Austin really stands out from the rest of Texas. Its sizable population of young creatives lends it a discernible bohemian, liberal attitude. Leading music festival SXSW having laid its roots here in the 80 and the city’s musical spirit has gone from strength to strength since, with live music in Austin each night of the week. Street performers of every genre line the historic Sixth Street thanks to almost year-round Texan sunshine. You can also expect good food in modish eateries, independent stores selling artisanal wares and a generous dose of southern charisma.
Atmosphere – Grapevine
Grapevine will charm you with its retro vibe
A historic town with a real retro feel, Grapevine was named after the vines that were found in the area. The 19th-century buildings of downtown Main Street now house cheerful cafés, restaurants, local shops, art galleries and, of course, wineries. Interspersed with leafy parks and walking paths. But it’s the small-town charm that won over Booking.com travellers.
Adventure – New Braunfels
Try tubing down the river or paddle boating in New Braunfels
If you’re a fan of active, outdoors-ey holidays, New Braunfels wins hands down. Both the Comal and Guadalupe cold-spring rivers running through the city, so quite a few of the activities available are water-based – tubing in the summer, paddle boating and a water park. You can also explore the beauty of the Texan Hill Country, following trails through wildflower fields and bushy forests full of caves and craggy boulders.
Relaxation – Seabrook
Seabrook is unruffled, seaside calm
In the middle of Bay Area Houston, Seabrook is everything you could want a relaxing holiday destination to be. An unruffled, seaside vibe prevails, noticeable as you wander the Kemah boardwalk for arcade games, amusement rides, restaurants and a spot of shopping. Next, hop on a boat around the bay, going from marina to marina wildlife-spotting. The surrounding area contains habitats for many animals and bird-watching is a popular pastime.
City walks – San Antonio
America's most scenic river walk, San Antonio
The San Antonio River Walk is celebrated as a one of the most romantic and attractive walkways in America, let alone Texas. Primary-colour parasols and fairy lights line the path and cypress trees lean over the water. You can enjoy the scene from one of the many restaurants along the water’s edge or on a blissful warm evening’s boat ride accompanied with a cool breeze. The trail takes in arched stone bridges and winds through the city centre, where you’ll find a number of other walking routes to take you around San Antonio.
Nature – Terlingua
The Big Bend National Park
Terlingua is a springboard to the Big Bend National Park, Texas. Full of awesome examples of the power of nature, this place is a paradise of towering gorges, ochre canyons, rock turrets formed from wind erosion, waterfalls, rapids, lucid pools and sweeping desert that glows purple in the setting sun.
Culturally diverse food – El Paso
Try a mix of ethnic cuisine in El Paso
Straddling the border of Mexico and America, El Paso’s cuisine is a combination of the two with several other international flavours thrown in. Meaning smokey southern barbecues, spicy enchiladas and burritos are rustled up with authentic flair while you’ll also find good value Greek and Mediterranean restaurants.
*Booking.com’s data analysts looked at certain endorsements for Texas from global travellers. The cities listed scored most highly for each endorsement.