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Family-Friendly Texas

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Whether you’re raising a crew of cowboys or a pair of city slickers, there are plenty of Lone Star State destinations that appeal to the 12 and under set. Little hipsters will feel at home in Austin, where some of the coolest restaurants have massive outdoor playgrounds. In the Hill Country, you’ll find wildlife camps where buffalo (and more) roam. And in small towns like Jefferson, you can tour the East Texas bayou. Tell the kiddos to pack their cowboy boots and hit the road.
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2901 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704, USA
The Texas Capital is loaded with entertainment for kids. Along with the capitol building and state history museum, there are natural swimming holes, activity centers filled with trampolines—and don’t forget those famous bats. There’s also Barton...
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501 State Park Rd 52, Stonewall, TX 78671, USA
Fredericksburg and the Hill Country is best known for its romantic B&Bs and independent boutiques, but it’s also a great destination for adventure-craving families. Hike or climb Enchanted Rock, a pink granite boulder known for its unbeatable Hill...
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701 Main St, Kerrville, TX 78028, USA
This town of 23,000 is home to the Lone Star State’s best summer camps, and is also kid-friendly year round. Overnight at the Y.O. Ranch which has 190 guestrooms and 13 cabins on a 40,000 acre farm where a lot more than the buffalo roam; you can...
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1880 I-35BL, New Braunfels, TX 78130, USA
New Braunfels is located on the Guadalupe and Comal rivers, and there’s arguably no better way than to spend a hot summer Saturday than floating on the water. Families can rent inner tubes from companies such as Comal Tubes, and pack a cooler—we...
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2800 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209, USA
Already one of the best cities in Texas to visit with kids, San Antonio became even more family friendly with the opening of a top-notch children’s museum in 2015. Little ones will love exploring the exhibits at the awe-inspiring DoSeum,...
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720 Indiana Ave, Wichita Falls, TX 76301, USA
Start your weekend with a trip to Wichita Falls. The oil and gas story is also on full display at the Museum of North Texas History, as well as exhibits on the city’s cowboy roots. (Don’t miss the collection of 500-plus cowboy hats.) If you’re...
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3900-2 Mercedes Road, San Angelo, TX 76901, USA
Start your visit off in San Angelo State Park where 50 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails weave through wildflowers and cacti. En route, keep an eye out for bison and longhorn herds, as well as American Indian rock art and fossilized...
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3901 St Park Rd 33, Caddo, TX 76429, USA
PK Lake—as it’s known among locals—is well loved for its 300 miles of scenic coastline, limestone cliffs, and quiet inlets. It’s long been a popular family getaway spot for city folk for its lake activities such as fishing, waterskiing, and even...
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Palo Duro, which cuts through Texas’ high plains, is the second largest canyon in the U.S. (We’ll let you guess which canyon takes home the gold medal.) It’s over 100 miles long and can be over 1,000 feet deep, and while travelers can happily hike...
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305 E Austin St, Jefferson, TX 75657, USA
Jefferson was once a major river port en route to New Orleans. Today, you can relive city history on a tour by boat, horse and carriage, or on foot after dark. Take the Historic Jefferson Ghost Walk on Friday and Saturday nights, where resident...
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14968 TX-105, Montgomery, TX 77356, USA
This town in East Texas is best known for its 22,000-acre eponymous body of water. It may be manmade—all but one lake in Texas is—but it’s still attracted professional fishermen from all over the United States. If you’re not a regular angler, you...
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2505 Lake Woodlands Dr, The Woodlands, TX 77380, USA
The Woodlands is just a half hour outside of Houston, so many people think of it as a suburb—but thanks to smart urban planning, it’s a distinct community with a lake, well-designed green spaces, and miles of hike and bike trails. It’s also a...
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707 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051, USA
This historic town of 50,000, named for the mustang grapes that were found in abundance throughout the area, was founded in 1843, and still maintains historic charm thanks to a bustling Main Street and gazebo-anchored parks. Thomas the Tank Engine...
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300 S 5th St, Waco, TX 76701, USA
While it’s much smaller than Dallas or Houston, Waco has held its own as a historic Lone Star State city throughout the years. It’s greatest claim to fame is perhaps that Dr. Pepper was invented in the city’s Morrison's Old Corner Drug Store, an...
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1000 Ballpark Way, Arlington, TX 76011, USA
Home to the Cowboys and the Rangers, Arlington is the sports Mecca of the Lone Star State. And just like everything else in Texas, the stadiums are big: take the AT&T Stadium not only home to the Cowboys but also a collection of site-specific...
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1629 Park Rd 59, Glen Rose, TX 76043, USA
The small Texas town of Granbury, known for its Victorian architecture and charming courthouse square, is a great jumping off point to explore one of Texas’ prehistoric sites, Dinosaur Valley State Park. It was the first place in the world...
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1600 Gendy St, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA
While Fort Worth is a large and dynamic city, it fully embraces its cowboy roots, and this only-in-Texas training starts at a young age. At the Cattle Raisers Museum little tikes can read up on the history of the cattle industry, from its open...
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208 S Commerce St, Lockhart, TX 78644, USA
If you’re raising a crew of barbecue lovers, a trip to Lockhart won’t disappoint. Here, you’ll find some of the best smoke meat restaurants in Texas, all with their own time-tested traditions and secret family recipes. Smitty’s Market has a large...
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414 Smith St, Gonzales, TX 78629, USA
Home to the Lone Star State’s famous “Come and Take It” cannon, this small town is rich in Texas history. Kids can play home on the range at the Pioneer Village and Living History Center where actors in period costumes give tours of the small...