The Capitol, Austin
Everyone loves this building, even if they don’t love politics. Luckily for you, the Legislature meets in regular session for only 140 days every other year, leaving you plenty of time to explore without the crowds. Yes, the dome is fifteen feet higher than the U.S. Capitol’s, and yes, it is the largest state capitol complex in the country. What else would you expect?
1100 Congress Ave., Austin; 512-463-0063
The Alamo, San Antonio
What catches everyone off guard about the mission is its touristy location in the heart of downtown. But tune out the crowds, take off your hat, and think about the events that transpired 179 years ago—and how they still affect our culture today, for better or worse.
300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio; 210-225-1391
Big Tex, Dallas
The 55-foot-tall ambassador of the State Fair of Texas, who first appeared in 1952, once again looms large despite an electrical fire that destroyed him in 2012. Go ahead and eat a Fletcher’s Corny Dog while standing at his base. Everyone else has.
3921 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Dallas; 214-565-9931
The San Jacinto Monument, Houston
The 567.31-foot obelisk that celebrates Sam Houston’s victory over Santa Anna in 1836 is—you guessed it!—taller than the Washington Monument. (Are you noticing a trend here?) The views from the observation deck, at a modest 480 feet, will sure look good on Instagram.
One Monument Circle, La Porte; 281-479-2421
This piece is just one bit of wisdom offered in our April 2015 cover story, “Welcome to Texas!” a friendly user’s guide for our state’s most recent transplants. To read more advice, go here.