Texans don’t have to travel very far to find their perfect vacation — a myriad of good times and good eats await across their home state. Texas is as unique as the people who live here — and as the Marriott Bonvoy Hotels, where you can find your home base while you traverse the Lone Star State.

For the History Buff

Steeped in Mexican and Southwestern influence, the history of San Antonio is all around, wherever you look — from the Market Square to the San Fernando Cathedral, founded in 1731. Designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, this city also celebrates its culinary heritage with restaurants offering originality and bold flavor. Some eateries also serve a taste of history! Start your day at The Guenther House, the restored former home of C.H. Guenther, founder of Pioneer Flour Mills. Tuck into biscuits and gravy, or waffles and pancakes, then tour the Art Nouveau and Victorian-styled home and museum.

Locals and visitors alike gather at the heart of downtown San Antonio to view the San Fernando Cathedral light show.

Spend the morning promenading along the downtown River Walk, the scenic path that follows the San Antonio River. Along the way, you’ll find several museums including the McNay Art Museum. This outstanding collection of 19th- and 20th-century art from such artists as Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Georgia O’Keeffe, is housed in the former home of founder Marion Koogler McNay and was the first modern art museum in the state. Also located on the river is the San Antonio Museum of Art, which is housed in a former brewery and holds 5,000 years of artwork.

After you stop at the Alamo, make time for the five other exquisite Spanish colonial missions that have stood here since the 1700s. Each of the missions is unique, but don’t miss the colorful murals and frescos at Mission Concepción and the Baroque rose window at Mission San José. End your day with a cocktail at Esquire Tavern, which opened in 1933 and boasts the longest wooden bar in Texas.

Bridging Downtown and trendy Southtown neighborhood, the newly opened Plaza San Antonio Hotel & Spa, Autograph Collection, is a lush garden oasis rooted in history. Book the Arciniega Suite to be transported back in time, with modern amenities.  

For the Adventure Seeker

While Austin is the capital of Texas, it’s also earned its reputation as the “live music capital of the world.” You’re sure to find your favorite song playing in at least one of the more than 250 live music venues around town. And if you’re looking for an authentic Texas honky-tonk experience (and maybe a few “boot scoot” dance lessons?), check out the Broken Spoke, where travelers and locals alike have been eating chicken-fried steak and two-steppin’ since 1964.

Speaking of good eats — get “a taste of Austin” and sample some of the best barbecue in the state here. Line up for smoked meat at Franklin’s, Terry Black’s, Interstellar, and Micklethwait Craft Meats to meet other ‘cue enthusiasts and find out what the fuss is about.

Beat the heat while sightseeing by boat on Ladybird Lake and Lake Austin, bordered by the popular Ann and Roy Butler hiking trail.  

There’s no better way to cool down than with a dip at Barton Springs Pool, Austin’s very own natural wonder. This spring-fed pool offers bathers year-round temperatures of 68–70 degrees Fahrenheit. Breathtaking city views can be had at the nearby Zilker Botanical Garden. Prepare to enter a quiet, meditative zone when you visit this special Austin oasis.

Later, rent a boat, a kayak, a canoe, or a stand-up paddle board and get out onto Lady Bird Lake for one of the most unique sights in Texas. You’ll have the best view in the city of more than 1.5 million Mexican Free-Tailed bats as they leave their home under the Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk in search of a meal, from March through October.

Stay and play at the new Downright Austin, a Renaissance Hotel, for a bold and inviting experience in the Live Music Capital. Soak in the sun at its resort-style outdoor pool or walk to Austin’s vibrant downtown nightlife.

For the Urban Cowboy

You could spend days wandering downtown Dallas, marveling at 20 blocks of world-class museums and the thriving arts scene. Special experiences include grabbing a bite at the historic El Fenix restaurant, opened by the Martinez family in 1916, which serves up tasty Tex-Mex and Mexican specialties revered by locals. Dallas is also renowned as the birthplace of the frozen margarita. While the original machine from Mariano’s in East Dallas is now in the Smithsonian, you can sample this unique drink on the Margarita Mile, a free self-guided tour of the city’s best sips!

Shopping options are never-ending in this fashionable city. Drop into the Neiman Marcus flagship store at 1618 Main Street, where the high-end retailer has sold luxury goods since 1907. For an outdoor, tree-lined shopping experience, stroll the streets of Highland Park Village which features such chic stores as Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Hermes, and Harry Winston, along with casual and upscale restaurants in its Mediterranean Spanish-style enclave.

Grab your girlfriends and head to Dallas for a summer getaway filled with culture, shopping, and of course — some of the Lone Star State’s best tacos and margaritas.

One of the oldest neighborhoods in Dallas, Deep Ellum dates back to 1873. Home to artists and musicians since the 1920s, today you’ll find galleries on every street along with colorful murals decorating the walls of the district. Beer drinking has become an art form here too, home to Deep Ellum Brewing Company, the largest independent brewery in North Texas. The area is also known for good eats, like the flavorful tacos at Revolver Taco Lounge.

If you’re looking for a truly local experience, Dallas residents flock to the Farmer’s Market every weekend. Local farmers have gathered downtown since 1941 to sell fresh cheese and eggs, free-range meats, seasonal produce, artisanal pantry staples, and handmade arts and crafts. It’s free entertainment at its finest!

Dip your feet in the pool while sipping a libation with a view at Vincent’s, a sky-level terrace bar inspired by Vincent van Gough at JW Dallas Marriott at the Arts District, a new luxury hotel. 

Nearby, Fort Worth is “Where the West Begins,” a former cowboy hangout and center for the nation’s cattle industry back in the 1860s. Now, a visit to the city requires a stop at the Stockyards National Historic District to experience its Western roots. Here, twice daily, you can watch real cowboys in authentic gear enact a cattle drive featuring iconic Texas longhorns. Afterward, find out why the West is fun (and fashionable!) with a visit to the M.L. Leddy’s, who has been selling hand-made boots, saddles, and clothing since the 1920s.

Explore acres of urban art in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

For the Enthusiastic Explorer

As the nation’s fourth-largest city, Houston has a lot of everything. It’s a sports city, a fashion and culinary hub, a mecca for the arts, a medical juggernaut, an energy giant, as well as host to several fantastic shopping centers such as The Galleria, the largest shopping destination in the state. Urban green spaces like Buffalo Bayou Park and Discovery Green sprawl between the skyscrapers, containing outdoor wonders perfect for explorers both young and old — so bring the whole family!

Houston, aka “Space City,” is a popular choice for families due to its kid-centric Houston Museum District with plenty of STEAM activities and variety of parks such as Buffalo Bayou Park and Discovery Green in the heart of Houston.

Also known as “Space City,” because of its affiliation with NASA and its Johnson Space Center, the jewel in Houston’s crown is its 445-acre urban Hermann Park, built in 1914. The Houston Zoo is here, as well as Miller Outdoor Theatre, and the must-visit Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS). The more than 100-year-old institution offers an impressive paleontology hall, an exquisite mineral and gem collection, and the mind-blowing Wiess Energy Hall (complete with a working replica of an offshore drilling rig floor). While you’re there, don’t miss a mesmerizing astronomy show in the Burke Baker Planetarium, one of the first 8K planetariums in the United States. Start with the Foucault pendulum and see if you can feel the earth rotating.

Also nearby, on the Rice University campus, enjoy a free meditative experience at James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace. One of the American artist’s largest pieces, this beautiful LED light show uses light, space, and sky to engage viewers with perception and natural wonder each day at sunrise and sunset.

Add a lap around the Texas-shaped Lazy River to your summer bucket list at the Marriott Marquis Houston. Its incredible Altitude Rooftop & Pool provide year-round activities such as yoga, cabana rentals, and Texas Winter Lights.

If your idea of a great day exploring includes beachcombing, seashells galore await you just 50 miles away in Galveston. A little farther out, nearby Texas Coast destinations like Corpus Christi and South Padre Island also provide perfect beaches for sunbathing, swimming, and surfing.

Padre Island is as relaxed as it gets. With pristine white sand beaches and cotton candy skies, Corpus Christi and its surrounding area are worthy of exploring for a phenomenal sunrise and beach days to unwind.

For the Cultured Adventurist

El Paso is one of the most culturally rich cities in the country. Early 20th-century architecture blends seamlessly with Spanish Missions built in the late 1690s to create a dreamy oasis, perfect for travelers looking for meaningful experiences — from hiking to discovering local cuisine, museums and art galleries, bars, and more. 

Don’t miss Franklin Mountains State Park, the largest urban park in the United States. Home to ringtail cats and coyotes, you’ll enjoy hiking and biking trails, along with rock climbing for the extra adventurous. Take the El Paso Mission Trail on a nine-mile journey encompassing the Socorro Mission, Ysleta Mission, and the San Elizario Presidio Chapel built in 1789.

Take a road trip to West Texas to experience the soul of downtown El Paso at Hotel Paso Del Norte, Autograph Collection. The hotel’s iconic stained glass ceiling has beautifully loomed over gatherings for over a century.

Back in town, spend a morning at the El Paso Museum of History, then walk downtown to the famous Palace Theatre, heading west to Kern Place, a historic neighborhood near The University of Texas at El Paso. It’s the perfect place to find live entertainment, chic dining, and lively bars. Can’t-miss eateries include Chico’s Tacos and its soaked rolled tacos served in a paper boat; the smoked local beef and pork at the famous Rosa’s Cantina; and sipping a bold “Texas-sized” margarita at Carlos and Mickey’s, one of El Paso’s premier Mexican restaurants.

With more than 60 Bonvoy Hotels in and around these Texas cities, Marriott provides a home away from home when you’re exploring these Lone Star State treasures. Learn more and book your stay at ExperienceMarriott.com/Texas.