Drive about an hour north of Houston
to find Lake Livingston State Park—which, with about 90,000 acres of surface water, is one of the state's largest. In addition to expected pursuits like swimming and boating, the lake is celebrated for its fishing (particularly for white bass stock) and, under the authority of Texas Parks & Wildlife, operates a tackle loaner program for visitors who want to give fishing a try but don’t have the background or the equipment. There are also opportunities to try and enjoy other nature pursuits. The lake’s parklands are also prime spots for birding, nature walks, and hiking; if you want something more active, the varied terrain provides challenging for mountain bikers. In fact, there is so much to do here, you may want to camp for a few days—whether by pitching a tent, or reserving a screen shelter cabin.