We all have an adventurer inside of us just waiting to emerge – even those of us who would choose a night on the couch watching Netflix over a camping trip any day. Even if we hate the outdoors (but is that even possible in Texas?!), there’s a little part of us that dreams about skydiving or parasailing. If you’re a student or have children, Spring Break is right around the corner – what better time to find your inner explorer and start checking things off your bucket list? Here are 16 of the best adventures to take in Texas. What are you waiting for?
1. Jacob's Well (Wimberley)
Plunging into a 200-foot well from the top of a cliff is pretty much the definition of adventure if you ask me. Are you brave enough?
2. Big Bend (Big Bend National Park)
It's no Mount Everest, but it comes pretty close for a relatively flat state like Texas. There are many trails to traverse, but this is the most popular one because of "The Window," which is the view shown here.
3. Natural Bridge Caverns (San Antonio)
Put on a hardhat and be a spelunker for a day! There are at least 7 other caverns in Texas, but Natural Bridge is the most spectacular in my opinion. The trails are long, some of the chambers are nearly as big as football fields, and stalactites and stalagmites line the floor and ceiling as far as the eye can see. Plus, if you're REALLY brave, there's an adventure tour that involves rappelling, squeezing through tiny, narrow passageways, and exploring hidden parts of the caverns that aren't accessible on the normal tours.
4. Hamilton Pool (Dripping Springs)
This beautiful grotto is the perfect adventure for the whole family. The anticipation you'll feel on the hike up to the water will be well worth it when this scene unfolds before your eyes.
5. Gorman Falls (Bend)
If you want to feel like you've stepped into the story of Tarzan, Gorman Falls is a must-do this summer. The sight of the water cascading down the towering rocks will take your breath away.
6. Palo Duro Canyon (Canyon)
Embody the spirit of a desert nomad as you hike through the second largest canyon in the entire country. The stunning red rock will have you swearing you're in Arizona, but this beautiful natural wonder is right here in Texas.
7. Kayaking on the Guadalupe (New Braunfels)
If you aren't quite ready for whitewater rafting on the Colorado River, you can start slow with the milder Guadalupe. It's still an incredible adventure with plenty of rapids and mini-waterfalls, and I guarantee your heart will never stop pounding as you sail through the swift current.
8. Pedernales Falls State Park (Johnson City)
Calling all amateur rock climbers! Pedernales Falls is one of my favorite places in Texas. If you're an active person, this is your heaven. You can actually go down right by the water and climb over hundreds of rocks spanning the entire length of the river. The rocks literally extend back as far as the eye can see - it's absolutely incredible. It reminds me of a prehistoric site where dinosaurs used to roam. Seriously, it's amazing.
9. Balcones Canyonlands Natural Wildlife Refuge (Marble Falls)
The hikes here are some of the most strenuous I've ever embarked on, but the view when you get to the top is just breathtaking. And it's so quiet you could hear a pin drop - literally. There are so many rare and beautiful animals on the trails, too!
10. Devil's Sinkhole (Rocksprings)
Descending into the unknown is the ultimate adventure. Take a trip to Rocksprings to find out what lies within this 300-foot deep mysterious abyss - if you dare. (Spoiler alert: one of the things you might find has wings, comes out at night, and sleeps upside-down. And this particular colony is the largest in Texas!)
11. Caddo Lake (East Texas)
Some people say East Texas is boring because it's flat and swampy, but that doesn't mean it isn't beautiful in its own respects. Taking a day to kayak on the serene Caddo Lake (the only natural lake in Texas, by the way) will be an unforgettable experience for the whole family.
12. Enchanted Rock (Fredericksburg)
What's more adventurous than exploring nature with mysterious folklore? Native Americans claimed to have heard the rock groaning at night and witnessed bright fires at the top. Take a hike to admire the beautiful scenery during the day, and then stick around to see if their claims hold any truth...if you're brave enough, that is.
13. Garner State Park (Concan)
There's no shortage of activities to partake in at Garner State Park. From hiking and biking the 11 miles of scenic trails, swimming or tubing the Frio river, camping, and fishing, everyone can have their fun here. Also, on summer nights, they hold an old fashioned jukebox dance! How's that for nostalgia?
14. Franklin Mountains State Park (El Paso)
The Franklin Mountains are the largest mountain range in Texas with a peak elevation of 7,192 feet. Talk about an adventure! (Just don't look down and you'll be fine and dandy.)
Have you explored any of these natural wonders? What are some other fun, exciting adventures to take in Texas?