5 Texas City Reviews by a Houston Local

What do you think of when you hear Texas? Images of vast desert land might come to mind, or perhaps sprawled cities with their suburbs. Either way, the second most populated state and second largest by land area is a unique place. And it’s well worth a visit! 

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, I’ve had the chance to explore this state throughout my life. Texas holds 3 out of the top 10 most populated cities in the country. There must be something special to have so many people live here. Let’s take a deeper look into the top cities and what they’re each known for!


Starting with my hometown, Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the country. Many people think of the city’s history with space exploration, prominence in the energy industry, the massive medical center, and the heat with humidity. While all of these things are true, Houston is so much more than that. With a remarkably diverse food scene, large green spaces of parks, and interesting museums and musical centers, there are many local spots of this sprawling area to explore.

Houston is the most ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the country. It may be a surprise to many, and this fact leads the city to have incredible food from nearly any cuisine you could desire. Whether you want dumplings in Chinatown, Indian food in Hillcroft, or many delicious eats (and coffee!) in Montrose, there’s something for everyone.

If you happen to be in the city in March, attending the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a must! One of the biggest rodeos in the world, there’s a lot you can do here, ranging from the live performances to the carnival food and games. This event is so unique to Texas, and especially Houston, so be sure to add it on your travel list if you plan a visit in the spring.

This is just a glimpse into activities in Houston, so be sure to explore more when you plan your trip! 


Next up is Austin, TX, known for delicious food (big food truck culture here), great live music venues, and generally weird yet cool vibes. The state capital offers a nice mix of outdoorsy activities along with urban fun. This rapidly growing city is close to the Texas Hill Country, so if you’re looking for beautiful hikes, state parks, and wineries, you won’t have to drive too far!

An ideal weekend trip to Austin would encompass breakfast tacos to start the day followed by time spent outdoors. This could involve hiking the Barton Creek Greenbelt where you can take a quick swim (if there’s water in the swimming hole), biking around town, hanging out at Zilker Park, or kayaking and paddleboarding Lady Bird Lake. Catch some more delicious eats at food trucks or beer gardens before heading to Mount Bonnell for a beautiful sunset. 

Start the next day at local Austin coffee shops before heading out for a mural tour and a shopping spree in South Congress and the West Sixth District. Check out a winery on the outskirts of the city, or opt for dining with one of the many happy hour deals. Picnics are always an option with plenty of green spaces and good weather. 

And of course, I can’t talk about Austin without mentioning live music. Depending on the time of year, enjoy outdoor performances or attend a music festival (like Austin City Limits) to get the full experience of this city! 

Check out Wild Bum’s Austin travel guides here.


With a striking night skyline and numerous surrounding suburbs, Dallas actually has some cool things to do among its urban spaces and museums. Home of the Dallas Cowboys and site of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the city offers a look into history while presenting itself as a modern metropolis. 

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is one of the most visited tourist spots with an exhibition area using historic photographs and artifacts to display the events leading to the assassination of President JFK. Dallas has other museums, as well as its zoo and aquarium, like many other large cities. While every metropolis has its share of good food and drinks, Dallas has the Margarita Mile, a collection of the best margaritas in town which is sure to be a grand time.

For some urban green spaces, check out The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden right beside White Rock Lake. A perfect spot for boating, bird-watching, and picnicking, this park is situated nicely in the city. Some other cools parks include Klyde Warren Park, Trammel Crow Park, and Lakeside Park to get a breath of fresh air while situated close to skyscrapers.

While you sometimes have to dig in order to find things to do in certain cities, like Dallas, there’s always an event or activity ready for you!

Check out Wild Bum’s Dallas travel guides here.

San Antonio

When some people hear San Antonio, they think of the Alamo, San Antonio River Walk, and family fun attractions. All of those are reasons why people visit this large city, but these are just a few of the many cool things to see and do in this historical region. 

Downtown San Antonio is a must for everyone. The iconic River Walk is lively with people dining at restaurants, walking along the pathway, or enjoying the views from a riverboat. Whether you want to shop, eat, drink, or simply walk around, this is a spot to see. From there, the Alamo is a short walk and another iconic destination. Virtual and in-person tours allow you to learn about the role of the 1836 battle to Texas history and the importance to the formation of the city.

A trip to San Antonio is not complete without some Mexican food and margaritas. While walking around downtown, explore the culinary scene and relax for some drinks at the Yanaguana Garden. Continue the day by spending time in parks, such as Confluence Park with its bike paths by the river, or go to one of the many golf courses in the city if you’re into that. 

For family fun, Sclitterbahn and Six Flags Fiesta Texas provide thrills for all ages so that everyone can have a great time. For more outdoorsy options, San Antonio is similar to Austin in that it’s only 1-2 hours from Hill Country, making it easy to explore state parks, wineries, and river activities (like tubing!).

Check out the Getaway to San Antonio guide for more detail on exploring this city!

El Paso

The desert border town at the intersection of three states (two in the U.S., one in Mexico). El Paso has some unique things to offer compared to the other large cities in Texas. As one would expect, there’s amazing Mexican food, alongside Tex-Mex cuisine. The city also holds unique museums, historical attractions, and outdoor activities. 

For the travellers interested in history, El Paso has a number of options to visit. This includes Hueco Tanks and Magoffin Home State Historic Sites. The Chamizal National Memorial is an interesting place to learn about the settlement of a 100-year boundary dispute between the U.S. and Mexico. In addition to the El Paso Museum of History. In all, this city contains educational and fascinating museums to plan for your trip.

To pair with the indoor activities, El Paso offers opportunities to hike, bike, and appreciate the natural beauty. Franklin Mountains State Park is only 15 minutes outside the city and provides numerous trails to explore the desert landscape. The Thousand Steps Trail is a great option for those willing to make the climb. For a spectacular view of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, visit the Scenic Drive Overlook. It’s located a few miles from the border. While you’re there, walk through the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) campus nearby. It offers beautiful architecture that is derived from Bhutanese monasteries. 

This is just a taste of the sights in the border town of El Paso. There’s always more to explore!


Texas is a state with both ends of the spectrum – sparsely populated desert land as well as urban metropolitan areas. When planning a trip to Texas and visiting the big cities, remember each one offers unique sights and sounds! Between the delicious Tex-Mex, Hill Country hikes, and big city activities, there’s something for any traveller. Whatever the itinerary, a visit to the Lone Star State will be special and provide memories for years to come!

About the Author

Priya Kane loves learning about the world around her in the form of travel. Born and raised in Houston, TX, she has taken many road trips with family and friends. Priya began more international travel in 2018. With a deep interest in food and culture, Priya always has an itch for her next adventure.

Priya Kane

Priya Kane