Watching the presidential debates the other day, I heard one of the candidates say there should be a test for every American before they graduate high school to prove they know our nation's history, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. I got to thinking, I believe this should also apply to everyone claiming to be a real, genuine Texan.

I believe that once you see and experience a place like Texas, you will take great pride in it. Therefore, I believe we all should experience these 10 scenic sites in Texas in order to understand how vast and great the Lone Star State is.

I recommend taking some long weekends to visit and learn about our amazing state parks and other inspiring areas in Texas, like:

Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park

Gorman Falls Colorado Bend State Park
Photo by: Facebook/TPWD/
  • Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park is located in the Hill Country of Texas, nestled in San Saba County. This is not an old park. It was purchased in 1984, then opened to the public three years later. It is aptly representative of the Hill Country, with its rolling hills, lots of springs, creeks, and caves, and some scary sinkholes.

Rockport Beach Park at Rockport

Rockport Beach Rockport Texas Waterfront
Photo by:
  • Rockport was officially incorporated as a town in 1870. Its name came from the rock ledge that runs along the shore. Rockport came about as a business town where ranchers raised and slaughtered cattle for shipment out of the city's wharf on the steamship line.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Photo by: Facebook/TPWD/ Mountains National Park

Caddo Lake State Park in East Texas

Caddo Lake State Park
Photo By: Caddo Lake State Park/Canva
  • In 1819, the Adams-Onis Treaty was signed, establishing the border between Spanish Texas and Louisiana. In 1821, after 11 years of fighting, the Spanish territory of Mexico won its independence. This included the area known today as Caddo Lake State Park.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Photo by: Texas Parks and Wildlife/Canva
  • Palo Duro Canyon is located in the Texas panhandle near Amarillo and Canyon. This is the second-largest canyon in the United States. It is 120 miles long and has an average width of six miles. Its depth is around 800 ft. The formation above is known as the Lighthouse.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Photo by: Facebook/TPWD/ Rock State Natural Area
  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is part of the Texas State Parks system. In 1936, the area was established as a Texas Historic Landmark. In 1971, Enchanted Rock was designated as a National Natural Landmark. In 2017, Enchanted Rock was rated as the best campsite in the United States.

Mount Bonnell in Austin

Mount Bonnell aka Covert Park in Austin Texas
  • Mount Bonnell, aka Covert Park, has been a popular tourist destination since the 1850s. It is believed to be the highest point in Austin. The mount provides a view of the city, Lake Austin, and the surrounding area. It became a Texas Historic Landmark in 1969.

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park Balanced Rock
Photo by: Facebook/TPWD/ Bend National Park
  • Big Bend National Park protects the greatest area of the Chihuahuan Desert. It got its name from the bend in the Rio Grande River. The park protects over 1,200 species of plants, 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of mammals. Park activities include scenic drives, programs by park rangers, and stargazing.

Lost Maples State Natural Area

Lost Maple State Natural Area
Photo by: Facebook/TPWD/ Maple State Natural Area
  • Lost Maples State Natural Area is a 2,906-acre area of hills and canyons on the upper Sabinal River in the Edwards Plateau of Texas. It is designated a Natural Area, rather than a State Park, which means primary focus is the maintenance and protection of the property's natural state. Accordingly, access and recreational activities may be limited by the TPWD.

Longhorn Cavern State Park

Longhorn Cavern State Park
Photo by: Facebook/TPWD/ Cavern State Park
  • Longhorn Cavern State Park is in Burnet County. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department acquired it in 1932 from a private owner. It was dedicated as a state park in 1932. In 1971, the cavern was dedicated as a National Natural Landmark. The cavern is a limestone cave formed by the underground river that receded thousands of years ago. Before the cave became a tourist attraction, it was used by Native Americans, Confederate soldiers, and outlaws.

Find some time to go become a real, true Texan by learning the history about these amazing places that exist in the Lone Star State. I'll see you there.

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