Play our fun Texas Bucket List Bingo! We have assembled our top 25 Texas experiences you do not want to miss. So we are going to call the center-piece, Eat Real Texas BBQ, and jump right in.
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#1 Eat Real Texas BBQ
Our first Texas Bucket List Bingo pick is Eat Real Texas BBQ. Texas has the most incredible barbecue, tender pit-smoked meats, that make your mouth water. Texas immigrants and cowboys are given credit for our Texas-style barbecue. BBQ originally thought of as poor man’s food was typically prepared from leftover meats and smoked to preserve it. German immigrants are given credit for starting this trend which was quickly picked up by trail drive camp cooks or ‘Cookies’.
Texas BBQ is typically prepared with a dry rub and the barbecue sauce is served on the side. Slow-smoked over indirect or direct heat to almost fall of the bone doneness over various types of wood, it is superb. The most popular woods for slow-smoking BBQ in Texas are mesquite, pecan, hickory, and oak. Where you get your Texas BBQ is totally up to you. However this is a bucket list and Lockhart, Texas is The Barbecue Capital of Texas. The big four BBQ joints in Lockhart are Chisholm Trail, Black’s, Smitty’s, and Kreuz.
#2 Visit a Venue on 6th Street
The most famous street in Austin, Texas is historic 6th Street. This street has it all, live music venues, bars, restaurants, hotels, and more. On any given night Austin has over one hundred live music venues and 6th Street is the epicenter of it all. On the weekends only pedestrian foot traffic is allowed. Be sure to check out parking before going as some take only cash.
6th street is an unforgettable experience. If you are looking for a fun bar scene nightlife, awesome restaurants, or live music (no matter what your choice of music is), they always have something for you there. Regardless of what your personal fun style is 6th Street has it. If a day trip is more your style then in addition to the bar scene and restaurants there are boutiques, bakeries, retail shops, and art galleries.
#3 Visit the Texas State Capital Building
Texas Bucket List Bingo number 3 is the Texas State Capitol Building located in downtown Austin at 1100 Congress Avenue at the Congress and 11th Street intersection. The capitol building is situated on 22 acres and consists of sprawling park-like grassy areas with sidewalks, fountains, statues, monuments, and night lighting. Dogs are allowed on the grounds, but not inside the buildings.
Constructed of locally sourced granite the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Take a free guided tour of the capitol building if you like or just take the public entrance and pick up a tour pamphlet for a self-guided tour. Once inside the building, you can expect to be there for 30 to 40 minutes.
#4 Road Trip Down the Bluebonnet Trail
There are several Texas trail areas to consider during the spring wildflower season which is typically around mid-March through late April. The first is the “Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail” with 40 miles of mapped driving trails and a yearly festival in Ennis, Texas. The trail map which is published each year can be found at Texas Hill Country Trail.
In addition to Ennis, there is the Hill Country Trail Region which comes alive every spring with fields of bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, and black-eyed Susan among many others. Depending on field seed dispersal, rainfall, and other environmental conditions this can include pretty much all of the Hill Country Region during bluebonnet season. Burnett County Texas and the Highland Lakes area are one of my favorites to visit during wildflower season. For a map of the Hill Country Trail Region go here.
#5 Visit Galveston Island, Texas
Our 5th Bucket List Bingo Pick is Galveston Island. Galveston Island is 32 miles long, and 2 1/2 miles wide, chock full of history, charm, and beauty. In addition to the pristine beaches, Galveston has unique museums and many attractions such as Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark and the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier amusement park.
Take a tour of the historical district to view the Victorian architecture of a foregone era. You can enjoy the outdoors year-round for fishing, hiking, biking, kayaking, surfing, and golfing. Galveston also hosts an array of yearly festivals and events. Enjoy the fresh seafood at one of the many island restaurants. The island has a multitude of nature preserves, wetlands, and sanctuaries. Visit Galveston Island State Park on the island’s west end and explore or take a tour. Find out more here.
Bingo! You Win the First Round of Texas Bucket List Bingo.
#6 Cadillac Ranch
Texas Bucket List Bingo number #6 is Cadillac Ranch on Route 66 just west of Amarillo, Texas. Stanley Marsh 3, philanthropist and businessman sponsored this art installation and sculpture consisting of ten vintage Cadillacs buried nose down in the ground in 1974. More popular than ever, you can park on the shoulder of the frontage road, enter through the unlocked gate, and tour the exhibit. The cars are completely repainted periodically and you are welcome to bring your own spray paint to make your mark and take advantage of the photo op while it lasts. Tourists are plentiful and so are spray paints Y’all.
While you are there, mosey on down the iconic route 66 mother road, 15.4 miles due east to the Big Texan Steak Ranch, world-famous for the free 72 oz steak challenge. The steak is free to anyone who can eat the entire meal in one hour or less which consists of a 72 oz sirloin steak, salad, bread roll with butter, baked potato, and shrimp cocktail. Good luck, and just in case you don’t make it, be sure to have enough pocket change to cover the meal!
#7 Fort Worth Stockyard
The Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District not only hosts rodeos but also concerts, a twice-daily cattle herd, competitions, and other events throughout the year. With top-notch restaurants, shops, and fashion boutiques you can get anything from a prime rib to vintage records. Cattle drives headed up the Chisholm Trail would stop in Fort Worth before crossing the river into Indian territory to rest and stock up on supplies. Upon the arrival of the railroad in 1886, Fort Worth became a major shipping point for cattle.
In 1893 a wealthy investor bought the existing Union Stockyards and changed the name to the Fort Worth Stockyards Company. In 1976 the North Fort Worth Historical Society was founded and helped establish the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. With the addition of hundreds of shopping, dining, and entertainment venues the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state of Texas. Find more information regarding the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District here.
#8 Gruene Hall, Texas Bucket List Bingo
Gruene Hall is said to be the oldest continually run dance hall in Texas. Built-in 1878 it is located at Historic Gruene (pronounced “green”) in New Braunfels, Texas. This 6,000-square-foot honky-tonk hasn’t changed much since the day it was built. It has hosted greats as well as up-and-comers, in the music field. Some of those greats got their start at Gruene Hall.
You can always count on having a top-notch time at Gruene Hall, dancing and listening to some of the best musicians in Texas and beyond. One of the best shows I have personally seen there – one of many I might add – was the great Jerry Lee Lewis. As I recall he was just taking a break from touring and wanted a place to play.
Gruene Historic District, where Gruene Hall is located, also offers shopping in the small quaint township as well as dining, wine tasting, antiques, fly fishing, or just hanging out on the banks of the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers.
#9 Eat Real Tex Mex Food
Say what? Yes, eating Tex Mex Cuisine is still on some people’s bucket list and if you haven’t been to Texas to eat it then maybe it’s still on your bucket list too. Once upon a time settlers came to Texas and discovered Mexican food. As fate would have it some of them tried to make it in their own homes. In order to adapt the settlers incorporated things like beef and wheat flour which are not common to Mexico.
As the trend caught on restauranteurs began to add things like cheddar cheese, cumin, and black beans along with wheat flour and beef. So was born the beef enchilada as well as other Americanized – Mexican cuisine that came to be known as Tex Mex. Chili is not a Mexican dish but it is definitely Texican, and quite possibly, Texas Chili qualifies as the ultimate Tex Mex Cusine champion. And yes, pretty much anything spicy topped with ranch dressing qualifies as Tex Mex.
My personal home cooking favorite is Frito’s (also invented in Texas) topped with Texas Chili, chopped green onions, cheddar sprinkled on top, and finally the CRÈME de la CRÈME, a squirt or two of secret ranch sauce.
Bingo! You Win Again. You are almost a Texas Bucket List Bingo Champion.
#10 State Fair of Texas
From its humble beginnings on October 26, 1886, with 14,000 attendees the Texas State Fair has become one of the largest and longest-running state fairs in the nation with upwards of 3,000,000 attendees in recent years. Big Tex, a 52-foot cowboy was first introduced to the fair in 1952. Over time he has changed somewhat getting a little bigger and taller with various changes in wardrobe. He still remains the iconic symbol of the fair and greets visitors with “Howdy Folks”.
The corn dog another iconic State Fair of Texas hit was invented by Carl and Neil Fletcher who were former vaudeville comedians. In 1938 they were given the opportunity to operate a food booth at the fair and decided a battered hot dog might be a hit. The Fletchers experimented with various cooking methods and found that frying the hot dogs in a cornmeal batter resulted in less cooking time. They put it on a stick and began selling them for fifteen cents each. They tried several names and finally decided on Fletcher’s Corny Dogs. Fletcher’s Corny Dogs soon became a big hit and they are still made by descendants of Carl and Neil.
#11 Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits was created in 1974 and moved from its original location in 2011 to the Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater with a seating capacity of 2,750. The television pilot was shot on October 17, 1974, starring Willie Nelson. It is currently produced by PBS affiliate Austin PBS, previously KLRU.
They do not sell tickets for the taping events. They have is ‘lottery’ process that begins about a week before the taping with an online entry form. A random drawing is performed and if selected you then receive a ‘space available pass’. The pass does not guarantee admission, however. Pass holders will be admitted until the venue hits seating capacity, for detail go here, For taping schedules and information go here.
#12 Attend SXSW Festival
South By Southwest is a 10-day, yearly festival that takes place in Austin, TX during the month of March. Began in 1987 it has grown from the original 700 attendees to upwards of 200,000 making it hard to find lodging. This highly popular event features music events, and film events to celebrate emerging talents. In addition to the interactive media and conferences, you will find vendors with handmade items, and other goods as well as food and drinks. The festival draws artists, musicians, and industry professionals from around the world. Find the most current festival information here.
#13 Kolaches at Czech Shop’s
Kolaches are not just a pig in a blanket y’all. Czech immigrants began arriving in Texas during the 19th century bringing with them the art of kolache making. Made from pastry dough and other delightful ingredients they are a mouthwatering treasure of taste. There are unlimited varieties and if you have not had a local kolache from one of our Texas Czech kolache shops then you are in for a treat. Go all out and get the assorted box with fruit, cheese, egg, sausage, and even brisket. Doesn’t really matter where you go just try them, they are so good they should be illegal.
The town of West, Texas has three to stop at if you are traveling that way, The Czech Stop, The Village Bakery, and Slovacek’s. Of course, many cities and towns have great Texas Kolaches just ask any local. You might want to check out Weikel’s Bakery in La Grange and Original Country Baker in Schulenburg. They can be a little difficult to find outside of the state of Texas but of course, we have the best, so check them out. You will not be disappointed.
Bingo! You win again. This time let’s go for Texas Bucket List Bingo Blackout.
#14 Visit Padre Island
Padre Island is the longest barrier island on the Texas gulf coast. It is 113 miles long and up to 3 miles wide. It is commonly referred to as north and south padre. Beautiful white sands and clear waters make this a very attractive area. Boca Chico beach on South Padre is a popular destination.
A variety of birds inhabit the island and it is also a primary stop for migratory birds. With almost 600 varieties of plants and wildflowers, it is perfect for nature walks. The deepest part of the Gulf of Mexico lies off the central part of the island. You can drive most areas of Padre depending on current conditions. Some areas may require a four-wheel-drive vehicle to access.
#15 Space Center Houston
Our next Texas Bingo Bucket List Pick is the Space Center Houston. Space Center Houston is the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center. It is located at 1601 NASA Parkway in Houston, Texas. Take the popular Tram Tour to get a behind-the-scenes look at human space exploration. Houston Space Center offers attractions for everyone and has upwards of 200,000 visitors per year. See the original mission control room, the space shuttle, and plane, as well as the Texas Longhorns near the Saturn Museum. There is so much to see so plan on an entire day for the museums. If you take the Tram tours get timed tickets to reduce your wait time. Find out more here.
#16 Go to a Texas Rodeo
Historically the Spanish Conquistadors arrived with horses in 1519 and cattle soon followed. Rodeos have been a part of Texas culture since the 1800s. Rodeo is a sport that highlights cowboy and cowgirl skills. Common rodeo events include barrel racing, calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc and bareback riding, bronc riding, and bull riding.
Mesquite, Texas is the official “Rodeo Capital of Texas” and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the largest rodeo in Texas. Some of the most popular rodeos in Texas also include Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo which is one of the oldest, established in 1896. Other popular Texas rodeos are, the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, San Antonio Stock Show, and Rodeo Austin.
From small-town competitions to professional championship rodeos, the state of Texas has it covered. Parades and other festivities including fairs are often paired with a rodeo. Rodeos and stock shows are not just for ranchers and cowboys so put on your best western duds and go rodeoing in the Lone Star State.
#17 San Antonio River Walk
The River Walk or Paseo del Rio is the largest urban ecosystem in the nation. The San Antonio River Walk is in the heart of San Antonio, Texas below street level with access to a multitude of attractions. Spend the day just walking the River Walk or shopping, dining, and exploring all it has to offer.
It is also home to yearly festivals and events. The San Antonio River that flows through the river walk is a natural river fed by Edwards Aquifer springs. Gondolas decorated with flowers are still common during Fiesta San Antonio (originally called fiesta de San Jacinto). For more information go here.
#18 WurstFest Fredricksburg.
The yearly festival is held in New Braunfels, Texas located 32 miles north of San Antonio and 48 miles south of Austin, Texas. This is an event you should not miss. and even if you attend only once, you are in for a real treat. Wurstfest Festival was created in 1961 to celebrate New Braunfels’ local sausage industry. The festival which honors local foods grew quickly from its humble beginnings to become a ten-day annual Texas-sized celebration.
The celebration of German culture includes an array of foods prepared by regional and national chefs which includes bratwurst, bierwurst (a German-cooked, smoked Brühwurst), and bockwurst sausages among others. Enjoy potato pancakes, Bavarian pastries, spaetzle, and other delicacies. Join in the festivities which include music, dancing, carnival rides, and games. Moreover, you can enjoy the Texan, German and domestic beers along with the great food and festivities. You know what they say – location, location, location sandwiched between San Antonio and Austin in the Texas Hill Country there is absolutely no excuse not to go! For more information go here.
#19 Eat at Whataburger
Whataburger is a Texas-based hamburger chain restaurant. The first Whataburger was located in Corpus Christi and the headquarters is currently located in San Antonio, Texas. Whataburger was founded by Harmon Dobson with a dream to make a better burger and a portable building in 1950. It is said his goal was to make a burger that tasted so good when you took a bite, you would say Whataburger.
“Whataburger” quickly became a registered trademark with a cult-like following. After remaining a family-owned business for over sixty years with a worth of billions Whataburger sold its majority stakes to an investment company. Its mainstay remains true to its founder’s vision of producing a burger that takes two hands to hold, made of pure beef, and served on a toasted five-inch bun that tastes so good it makes you say “Whataburger”!
More Texas Bucket List Bingo Picks! You are almost a Champion.
# 20 Six Flags Over Texas
The first of the Six Flags Over Texas chains is a 212-acre theme park located at 2201 E Road to Six Flags St in Arlington, Texas. With a variety of thrilling rides, foods, events, live shows, and shopping the amusement park quickly became a hit. The original park was opened in 1961 with six themed areas in the park, based on the six flags over Texas. Six Flags now has 10 themed areas total as of this writing.
The phrase “Six Flags over Texas” refers to the Six flags that have flown over Texas starting with Spain in 1519. Including Spain, a total of six flags have flown over some or all of the territory that has come to be known as the great state of Texas. These flags include Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America. Find more on Six Flags Over Texas here.
#21 Float the River
There are many great places to “float the river “ in Texas. So what exactly is floating the river? Floating on tubes in the river which carry you, probably of a group of your friends, and several coolers down the river with the current. The most popular Texas rivers for floating the river are the Guadalupe River, the Blanco River, the Comal River, the Pedernales River, and the San Marcus River. Other Texas rivers such as the Llano, the Medina, the Trinity, and the Frio are sometimes less crowded but exciting just the same.
Be sure to take sunscreen, water shoes (could be rocky), blanket, towels, plastic bags for wet clothing, a water bottle, a tube unless you are renting one, sunglasses with strap, cap, or visor, and zip lock bags for smaller items. You might want to bring a waterproof camera, bug spray, tubes with rope tying portals, and headrests for comfort. You might also want to bring another waterproof bag that can be attached to your person or wrist for cell phone, wallet, keys, etc if needed. A tee-shirt and shorts or pants might be needed to prevent over-exposure to the sun.
#22 Visit the Alamo
The Alamo, an 18th-century Franciscan mission, is located on Alamo Plaza in downtown San Antonio at 300 Alamo Plaza. The mission was the site of the historic 1836 battle by a small group of Texians, as they were known at the time, that fought to keep Texas independent from Mexico. The resistance by the Texians was defeated but the Alamo became a symbol of the heroic battle. The band of Texians shouted, “Remember the Alamo” which later was used in the Mexican-American War. Read more on Texas Pride here.
A visit to the Alamo is free or you can take a guided tour for a small fee. Plan on taking one to two hours to see everything. A timed entry pass is suggested. You can take photos but flash is not allowed. No dogs are allowed inside the Alamo. Find more visit the Alamo information here.
#23 Hiking Enchanted Rock
One of the Texas State Parks, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, a truly enchanted area is 18 miles north of Fredericksburg, Texas. It is also a designated International Dark Sky Park for glorious star gazing. The massive pink granite dome has drawn visitors for thousands of years and is surrounded by rock formations and its fair share of magical legends. See Enchanted Rock and learn more here.
The granite dome can be seen for many miles. It is the largest pink granite isolated rock formation in the United States. Known by the geological term monadnock, meaning isolated rock hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain. There is evidence of human visitors dating back at least 11,000 years. Folklore attributes magical and spiritual powers to the rock as reflected by its name.
#24 Big Bend National Park
This national park was named after the nearby large bend in the Rio Grande, Río Bravo River. Located in far west Texas you will travel up to two hours or more to get there from the nearest airport in Midland, Texas. The National park covers an area of 801,163 acres and has over 1200 species of plants. Its abundant wildlife includes Mexican black bear, cougar, coyote, kangaroo rat, greater roadrunner, golden eagle, gray fox, collared peccary, deer, javelina, and black-tailed jackrabbit among others.
Big Bend National Park has the Chihuahuan Desert shrubland, grassland along with deep river gorges, canyons, forest, and mountains. As a designated International Dark Sky Park the vast starry skies set the stage for 2,000 sparkling stars you can see with the naked eye on a clear night.
There are 150 miles of hiking trails throughout the park. You can fish, bicycle, drive, backpack, or ride a horse to see the sights. With more than 100 miles of scenic paved, winding roads, you could just sit back and enjoy the ride. A collection of improved dirt roads are also available dependent on weather conditions. Find out more here.
#25 Swim Hamilton Pool
Our last Texas Bucket List Bingo Pick is Hamilton Pool. The Hamilton Pool Preserve is 45 miles west of Austin, on highway 71 at 24300 Hamilton Pool Rd. in Dripping Springs, TX. The natural pool was designated a preserve by the Travis County Commissioner’s Court in 1990. This historic swimming hole is surrounded by large slabs of limestone and fed by a natural creek that spills over a 50-foot waterfall flowing into the pool. The Preserve is also home to a variety of native birds, animals, and plants.
You can see a variety of fish and turtles in the clear water of the pool. Entrance fees are required and no glass bottles or alcohol is allowed. Admission is allowed by reservation only from March 1 through October 31 each year. The Preserve has a playground, restrooms, picnic tables, and hiking trails. No pets are allowed and it is day use only. Be prepared for cold water temperatures. There are no lifeguards and you swim at your own risk. Make sure to bring adequate life jackets for your children’s safety. Find more information here.
Congratulations! You are now a Texas Bucket List Bingo Blackout Champion.
In Conclusion, Texas Bucket List Bingo
Texas bucket list bingo includes 25 you should do in Texas before you die! From world-famous barbecue to some of the most influential music cities in the world, Texas is full of unique experiences. If you’re looking for an epic adventure with plenty of fun, play Texas Bucket list Bingo’s 25 things you should do in Texas before you die.
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Texas bucket list bingo includes 25 you should do in Texas before you die! From world-famous barbecue to some of the most influential music cities in the world, Texas is full of unique experiences. If you’re looking for an epic adventure with plenty of fun, here are 25 things you should do in Texas before you die.
Hamilton Pool is a natural pool located in the Hill Country of Texas, southwest of Austin. It is an underground river fed by a 50-foot waterfall and surrounded by steep limestone walls. The clear blue waters of the pool make it a great destination for swimming and relaxing.
Enchanted Rock is an enormous pink granite dome located in the Texas Hill Country near Fredericksburg. It stands 425 feet high and covers 640 acres, making it the second-largest granite monolith in the United States. The rock has a long history with Native Americans who believed it was home to powerful spirits, and today is a popular spot for hikers, climbers, and nature lovers.
Big Bend National Park is a rugged and beautiful landscape located in west Texas near the US-Mexico border. The park boasts incredible mountains, canyons, deserts, rivers, abundant wildlife, a diverse range of plants and cacti, and brilliant star-filled night skies. Visitors to Big Bend can enjoy everything from challenging hikes and river trips to bird watching and camping beneath the stars.
The Alamo is a former mission located in San Antonio, Texas that has long been held in reverence as the site of a crucial battle for Texas’ independence from Mexico. It is now a shrine dedicated to those who defended it and an important place of historical study.
Wurstfest is an annual 10–day festival held in Fredericksburg, Texas. It celebrates German heritage with traditional music, dance, and food from Germany that’s sure to please the whole family. There are also carnival rides, games, beer gardens, and more for a true Oktoberfest experience.
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