Texas is one of the best places to visit if you are looking for fun and affordable things to do. You can participate in countless activities at state parks, beaches, rivers, lakes, and more. The state also has shopping centers, beautiful parks, historical sites, natural sites, and museums. It is also known for its live music scene, restaurants, and bars. There is something for everyone in Texas.
Here are some great options to consider if you are looking for cheap things to do in Texas.
For some quick tips on how to find the best bargains on a Texas road trip, check out the slides below:
- 1 Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs, Texas
- 2 Cathedral of Junk
- 3 Fort Worth Water Gardens
- 4 Enchanted Rock
- 5 Japanese Tea Garden
- 6 Swim in Barton Springs Pool
- 7 Climb Mount Bonnell
- 8 Explore the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center
- 9 Paddle Lady Bird Lake
- 10 Space Center, Houston
- 11 San Antonio Riverwalk
- 12 Goatman’s Bridge
- 13 Old Tunnel Bat Colony
- 14 In summary
Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs, Texas
This natural spring is fed by an underground river and has been formed in the bedrock of limestone. You will find a variety of lush flora around the pool and the abundant freshwater has allowed a diverse population of vegetation and trees to emerge around it. The first thing that will capture your attention here is the deep overhang carved into the wall of the pool. This cavern provides a rocky exploration site to visitors.
You will come across waterfalls falling routinely from the lip of the overhang and falling down in the water below. Popular for its rich ecosystem, this refreshing location is a preferred choice of swimmers looking for some summer adventures.
Cathedral of Junk
This unique structure has been made entirely from people’s castaways. It has been made from 60 tons of discarded items, the majority of which are bicycles. The construction of this cathedral commenced in 1989 and is still evolving. This place is open often, but we recommend you make a phone call before your visit to double-check the hours.
Fort Worth Water Gardens
This modernist landscape has been designed by architect Philip Johnson and features futuristic angles and vortex-like pools. This park spreads over a 4-acre site where you can find a quiet meditation pool surrounded by trees with waterfalls cascading down the walls. The aeration pool nearby sprays about 871 gallons of water per minute and creates an illusion of a water bridge connecting one side of the walkway to the other.
There is a mountain in the middle of the park with terraced concrete rising up in a modernist peak. The prime attraction is the Active Pool where gallons of water cascade down in a series of platforms and steps into a vortex. If you are looking for cool, cheap things to do in Texas, then you can’t go wrong with the Fort Worth Water Gardens.
This enormous pink granite batholith has been believed to possess the spiritual powers of the Tonkawa Indians. Shaped like a massive dome, this igneous rock intrusion is composed of pink granite. It rises 425 feet above the ground and sprawls over 640-acres. This rock has been a part of human history for over 11,000 years and is closely associated with several legends. As per Tonkawa tradition, a group of braves from the tribe fought to the death defending their tribe on top of Enchanted Rock. It is said that their spirits haunt the rock and there are rumors about phantom campfires appearing atop the dome at night. Regardless of the truth to these legends, countless artifacts dating back 11,000 years have been found here.
This Enchanted Rock makes creaking noises when a cool night follows a warm day. This is due to the contraction of the outer surface of the rock. Some believe that the rock sparkles at night occasionally. The rock consists of a cave that is about 1500 feet long. Admission is free for anyone who wants to explore and is not afraid of tight spaces and spiders. Camping is allowed at convenient sites and you can partake in stargazing, wildlife watching, rock climbing, hiking, and more here.
Japanese Tea Garden
This gorgeous garden with its stone bridges and winding paths is a prime attraction in Texas. There are numerous stone trails here meandering through the grounds and leading explorers to quaint stone bridges. Previously a rock quarry, this land was transformed into a garden with a lily pond during the early 20th century. A Japanese family became the caretakers and helped transform the old quarry into a picturesque paradise with a large pagoda, stone bridges, and wandering paths.
The local administration took complete control over the garden after a few years of vandalism and neglect, spending around one million dollars on restoration and repairs. The garden today offers a glimpse of Asian garden design and architecture. You can spot hummingbirds, butterflies, turtles, and koi in this garden.
Swim in Barton Springs Pool
This three-acre pool can be found within Zilker Park and is an exceedingly popular place to visit during the summer. The water is pristine, with a temperature of about 68-70 degrees all year round. It has been a popular hangout in Austin for years for its refreshingly cool water and lush surroundings.
Climb Mount Bonnell
This mount is popular for its rolling hills and rocky limestone cliffs. Plenty of vantage points line the peaks from where you can appreciate the scenic beauty of the surroundings. You can reach the summit by taking the limestone steps. Here, you can enjoy the stunning view of the Austin skyline and the Colorado River from 785 feet above the sea level.
Explore the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center
This botanical garden has been dedicated to the native plants of Austin. It has lined pathways through multiple gardens including an arboretum. You will come across some fascinating displays and stunning art structures in the wildflower center. If you need a pick-me-up, you can stop by at the café to relax or have some lunch.
Paddle Lady Bird Lake
If you are eager to explore the scenic beauty of Texas, then you need to consider walking downtown Austin. There are many canoes, paddleboards, and kayak rental sites near the Lady Bird Lake where you can rent a kayak and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. You will be charged a nominal fee to explore the surroundings to your heart’s content. Keep your eyes open if you want to spot turtles and fishes swimming in the pristine waters. There are dozens of trails bordering the lake. You can take them if you are up for exploring the beauty of Lady Bird Lake.
Space Center, Houston
If you are traveling with your kids, then this place must top your list of cheap things to do in Texas. It attracts both children and adults alike who have a thing for space exploration. This center is dedicated to the history of space exploration and fosters a love for math, engineering, technology, and science. It has a massive collection of moon rocks and other space artifacts, fun shows, theater experiences, and other attractions. You can also spot a Saturn V rocket and explore the real NASA Mission Control while at this space center.
San Antonio Riverwalk
This is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Texas. The river channel was originally developed to protect the city from floods. However, today it has turned into a great place in the state for shopping, art, and some good food. Dozens of businesses have developed along the 2.5-mile walkway. The Riverwalk also hosts some special events such as drink and food festivals, artisan shows, parades, and more. Open 365 days a year, the Riverwalk provides an enjoyable opportunity for exploration, landing it as a can’t-miss option on the list of cheap things to do in Texas.
This registered historic landmark is also referred to as the Old Alton Bridge. This bridge became popular after a local ghost story spread far and wide. Over the decades, numerous ghost sightings have been reported in the area. Some locals even claimed seeing glowing eyes on the bridge staring at them while some claimed to hear splashing in the creek below followed by laughter. If you are up for some thrilling adventure and want to explore the pristine surroundings near this foot walk bridge, then you can consider visiting this bridge while in Texas.
Old Tunnel Bat Colony
This deserted railroad tunnel has become home to over three million Mexican free-tail bats. You can spot thousands of bats pouring out of the tunnel in droves each night from May until October, when the bat colony begins their migration back to Mexico. The admission fee required to explore this tunnel also includes a tour guide. This tunnel was carved in a failed attempt to bring a railroad to Fredericksburg. However, it has become a popular place for viewing bat colonies.
Texas is a popular state and attracts numerous visitors every year for its scenic and interesting attractions. If you own a property in a prime spot, then the best thing you can do is turn it into a vacation rental. You can list your property on Rentaltrader.com. This can be done with a simple signup process. Also, if you are a traveler, you can choose between numerous properties listed on the Rental Trader to book the best one of your choice anytime.
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