Top 10 Places to Visit in Texas by Bike

Top 10 Places to Visit in Texas by Bike

Welcome to Texas! Hop on bikes and let’s go on a our Texan ride!

1. Big Bend National Park

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Here, at the end of the road, hundreds of bird species take refuge in a solitary mountain range surrounded by weather-beaten desert. Tenacious cactus bloom in sublime southwestern sun, and diversity of species is the best in the country.

This magical place is Big Bend.

Big Bend offers many opportunities for bicycle travel and sport. Scenic paved highways with low traffic are ideal for skinny tire road bikes with lots of gears. The extensive back road system in Big Bend National Park offers great mountain bike access. Lajitas Resort and the adjacent Big Bend Ranch State Park offer over 100 miles of designated single track mountain bike trail.

Desert Sports offers guided mountain bike trips, bike rentals, repair and a variety of accessories and last minute necessities for bicycle activities. 

2. San Antonio River

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Experience the iconic River Walk known as “American Venice,” and a surrounding city full sights, sounds, flavors and culture.

The beauty of the San Antonio River Walk Hike & Bike Path is matched only by its utility. The 30-mile trail winds along both sides of the river, connecting parks, schools, workplaces, shopping, restaurants, and everything a visitor needs.

The River Walk winds and loops under bridges as two parallel sidewalks lined with restaurants and shops, connecting the major tourist draws from the Shops at Rivercenter, to the Arneson River Theatre, to Marriage Island, to La Villita, to HemisFair Park, to the Tower Life Building, to the San Antonio Museum of Art, to the Pearl and the city's five Spanish colonial missions, which have been named a World Heritage Site, including the Alamo. A highlight of the journey can be found at its southern end, as the trail winds through San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. This unique attraction provides the opportunity to learn about several Spanish frontier missions, including Mission Espada, the oldest mission in Texas dating back to 1690.

During the annual springtime Fiesta San Antonio, the River Parade features flowery floats that float down the river.

Hop on the bike and take a ride!

3. Guadalupe Mountains National Park

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Mountains and canyons, desert and dunes, night skies and spectacular vistas within a place unlike any other!

Guadalupe Mountains National Park protects the world's most extensive Permian fossil reef, the four highest peaks in Texas, an environmentally diverse collection of flora and fauna, and the stories of lives shaped through conflict, cooperation and survival.

Over 80 miles of hiking trails offer easy nature walks through desert flora; more moderate hikes follow canyons and reach riparian oases, and strenuous all day hikes can take you into high country forest or to the "Top of Texas".

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is open year-round and offers a variety of outdoor activities including backpacking, camping, and hiking.

While most trails and both of the park's campgrounds are available for use anytime, park facilities have posted hours, and several park locations are designated as day-use only.

4. Padre Island National Seashore

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Padre Island National Seashore separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre, one of a few hyper saline lagoons in the world. 

The park protects 70 miles of coastline, dunes, prairies, and wind tidal flats teeming with life.  It is a safe nesting ground for the Kemp’s riddle sea turtle and a haven for over 380 bird species.  It also has a rich history, including the Spanish shipwrecks of 1554. Padre Island National Seashore offers countless opportunities to discover and enjoy the amazing recreation and resources of the park.

Bicycling is a popular activity in the park, but there are no bicycles for rent in the park. While riding on the beach is allowed, the park has no riding trails. Perfect oportunity to shine on your elegant cruiser saddle.

There are no bike lanes along the highway leading to the park or over the JFK Causeway from Corpus Christi, so please be sure that your bicycle is as visible as possible with lights and/or reflectors, reflective tape or other reflective materials.

The fee for biking or walking into the park is $5.00, and the annual pass is $20.00.

5. Natural Bridge Caverns

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Incredible underground chambers filled with spectacular formations on a family-friendly guided tour along paved, lighted walkways.

Natural Bridge Caverns is Texas’ Largest, and one of the premier show caves in the world. With the Discovery Tour, you’ll see massive, otherworldly formations formed by single drops of water and the slow passage of time. Or, you can explore the Hidden Passages Tour, where shadows dance over delicate formations and mystery awaits in every shadow.

Take to the skies high above Texas, as you ascend the Canopy Challenge, or for a true test, try tackling one of our adventure tours. Experience a sense of discovery finding your way through our AMAZEn’ Ranch Roundup, a 5,000 square foot outdoor maze. And if you want some good old-fashioned fun, look no further than the Mining Company, where you mine and pan for gems, fossils and other treasures.

6. Texas State Capitol

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Completed in 1888 in Downtown Austin, contains the offices and chambers of the Texas Legislature and the Office of the Governor.

Designed in 1881 by architect Elijah E. Myers, it was constructed from 1882 to 1888 under the direction of civil engineer Reuben Lindsay Walker. A $75 million underground extension was completed in 1993.

Tours take visitors to key areas of the Capitol and offer information on the building, Texas history, and the legislature. Capitol Tours are free.

All tours leave from inside the South Foyer outside the tour guides office in the Capitol.

Tours generally depart every 30 to 45 minutes and last for approximately 30 minutes. 

7. Mission San Jose 

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In 1720, Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús founded what became the best known of the Texas Missions, San José y San Miguel de Aguayo.

Viewed as a model of Mission organization, Mission San José was a major social center.

The unique architecture of its church and the richness of its fields and pastures led visitors to comment on its beauty.

The size of the complex bears witness to San José’s reputation as the “Queen of the Missions”. Many buildings on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, borrow architectural elements from those found at Mission San José.

8. Dolphin Research and Sea Life Nature Center

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Fun and educational exhibits put your family face to face with remarkable sea creatures like octopus, eels, sting-rays, and seahorses! The touch tanks let the little (and big) ones discover in hand living starfish.

They offer, of course, a package tour of a visit through the nature center and a tour on their boat to meet the dolphins in the wild.  The fee is 25.00 per person, regardless of age

This special trip takes only six people (or less), and you can arrange a private tour for your family as well. If you want a private tour for your family, the fee is 150.00 for an hour and a half and includes a visit through the nature center. a half.

9. Lady Bird Lake

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In the heart of Austin is the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake, a lush, urban path that meanders along the water’s edge and passes by skyscrapers, neighborhoods, ball fields and cultural attractions.

Follow The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, which runs for 10 miles (16 kilometers) around the lake and is mostly flat.

Rent a bike, by the hour or for a whole day, from half a dozen different bike shops around the city and enjoy the ride! 

10. McDonald Observatory

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McDonald Observatory, observatory founded in 1939 by the University of Texas, on the legacy of the Texas financier William J. McDonald, on Mount Locke near Fort Davis, Texas.

The observatory includes the original 208-cm (82-inch) reflector, for many years the world’s second largest telescope.  a 272-cm (107-inch) reflector, dedicated in 1968; two smaller reflectors; and the 920-cm (362-inch) Hobby-Eberly Telescope, a telescope that only moves in azimuth.

McDonald Observatory welcomes the public at the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center. Approximately 60,000 visitors per year attend star parties and exhibits, and continuing education programs for teachers. The visitors center hosts a variety of tours, exhibitions, and public programs to educate the public on science and astronomy.