Texas is a vast state with many incredible places to visit and experience. If you’re looking for great national parks to wander through or a bustling city, you can find all of that here and more. There are beautiful deserts and quaint small towns. You’ll find great food, people, and architecture. No matter what you like to do, you can find something in Texas that piques your interest. Here are the best cities to visit in Texas. In these cities, you’ll find Texan culture showcased and get a real feel for the state. It’s also possible to take plenty of day trips from the cities and visit towns or areas around them.
If you enjoy history, San Antonio is a great city for you to visit. Many people come here to see The Alamo and other historic sites. Known as the biggest tourist city in Texas, there’s a reason so many people visit San Antonio all year long. If history isn’t where your interests lay, there are still great restaurants to try and you can spend time strolling along the city’s Riverwalk.
San Antonio is incredible, but if you’re someone who wants to go where there are less tourists, than Corpus Christi might be the city for you in Texas. Much smaller than the other cities, Corpus Christi is considered a “beach town” and has a wonderful shoreline. It’s common for sea turtles to nest here, so you might even see a fascinating wonder of nature.
Austin is the capital of Texas and located in the center of the state. While here, make sure you visit the Capitol building and Governor’s Mansion. There’s a thriving music and sports scene, as well as several lakes a short drive from the city. There’s a little bit of everything in Austin, which makes it one of the best cities to visit in Texas.
If you’re looking for another beach experience, Galveston is a great place to go. Located on an island in the Gulf Coast of Texas, you’ll be treated to blue water and great weather. You can visit the Moody Gardens, a large amusement park near the city, or spend time walking down the Historic Wharf.
Houston is the city to head to if you like barbecue. It’s the largest city in Texas, so it lacks some of the secluded feel of a few of the other cities on this list, but it still makes for a wonderful trip. There are plenty of museums to go to, such as the Downtown Aquarium or Johnson Space Center. Make sure you check out the delicious restaurants as well.
Finally, make sure you take time to visit Dallas. In my opinion, a fantastic place to live, Dallas is located in the Prairie and Lakes area of the state, so if you want to travel outside of the city, there are a lot of options to choose from. In the city, there’s an observation deck at the Reunion Tower and also a vibrant nightlife scene, with delicious food and music.
When many people think of Texas, they do not think of a place that has to worry about winter weather. However, this perception is not at all correct, particularly for Northern Texas. There are plenty of issues that can arise during the winter months, especially if winter storms occur. Snow is certainly a threat, as well as freezing temperatures or inordinate amounts of rain that lead to flooding. If you’re moving to Northern Texas or are wondering how you can better protect your home, here are some tips for getting your house ready to weather the trying winter months here in Texas.
Check out your furnace system
Before the winter months begin, take time to examine your furnace system. Most people do not regularly check their furnace and assume it’ll continue optimally running for a long time. The last scenario you want is your furnace to suddenly stop working in the winter as the temperatures rapidly drop. Make sure your furnace is clean and that all connections are secure. You might have to replace certain parts, but if you maintain regular upkeep on your furnace, you’ll avoid greater costs in the future.
Clean your gutters
This step might not be intuitive, especially right before winter, but if you live in areas of Texas that get significant rainfall or even snow, it’s vitally important. Whether it’s just rain or melting snow, there’s going to be a lot of water around your home. Make sure you give it the easiest possible route off of your home and into the ground.
Make sure everything’s insulated
A startingly majority of homes in the United States are not properly insulated, so make sure yours is. In most cases, you can easily add more insulation on top of whatever you have, you just need to buy the materials and secure it in the proper areas. Once you’re done, you’ll likely see a significant decrease in your energy costs as well. During cold months, you’ll save money, be more comfortable, and avoid overexerting your heating system.
Fix any leaks
You might have a minor leak and figure it can wait a few months to get fixed, but leaks should be taken care of as soon as possible. Whether you’re just patching the leak or fixing entire sections of your roof, take care of it before heavy winter storms. What might seem like a small leak could turn into a huge problem as snow, ice, and rain put weight on your roof and occur in large amounts.
Stock up on supplies
Once rough weather occurs, there’s a high likelihood that you may be stuck in your home, possibly without electricity. Make sure you have enough food, water, and light sources to last a few days. Also, if you have pets, stock up on food for them as well. Investing in a generator is also a good idea and so is keeping extra gas on hand for your vehicles or the generator.
Avoid driving during rough weather
If the weather is particularly bad and there’s significant amounts of snow or extensive flooding, just stay off the roads. Even if you’re confident in your driving abilities, you cannot be sure that the other people on the road are safe drivers. Be smart and wait out the rough weather indoors, which shouldn’t be a problem if you stocked up on supplies.
No one enjoys suffering from flu symptoms. An achy body, chills, fever, and a lack of energy can take a serious toll, and there’s no cure for it. The flu is dangerous, and it requires time and rest to overcome these symptoms. Unfortunately, the flu can sometimes be fatal. Even if it isn’t life-threatening for you specifically, you could spend a week or more out of work or school, which no one wants to have to deal with. The best way to deal with the flu is to prevent getting it in the first place, which is why you should practice the following tips to avoid the flu.
Schedule a flu vaccine
There’s a long-standing rumor that getting the flu shot makes people sick, but this is nothing more than a simple misconception. The flu shot doesn’t cause sickness; the reaction you may experience immediately following a flu shot is simply your body’s natural response to something foreign entering the body. This vaccine helps prime the body to fight flu germs prior to the germs attacking the immune system. It significantly decreases a person’s chance of falling victim to actual flu germs.
Make hand-washing a habit
Anytime someone touches a doorknob, a railing, a bathroom faucet, a countertop in public, or anything anywhere, the germs from that surface are transferred onto the hands of the person doing the touching. Those germs are then spread to anything that person touches, and they can easily make their way into a person’s mouth, nose, or throat with a single touch. It’s why hand-washing should become an important habit. Personal hygiene should be particularly important during a strong flu season.
Improve the immune system
People with a compromised immune system are far more likely to catch germs because their immune system is unable to appropriately fight germs. However, that’s also a problem for people who consider themselves healthy. People who don’t exercise, eat well, manage their stress, or even sleep enough are more likely to be diagnosed with the flu.
The best way to avoid the flu is to make the immune system as strong as possible, and this is done by helping the body stay strong. Exercise and healthy food help the body stay strong, and sleeping well allows the body to rest and grow stronger. You need to take care of yourself as much as possible in order to keep your immune system strong against the flu.
The flu is dangerous, and it can affect everyone in a household before even one person realizes it’s present. It can be incredibly harmful to very young children and the elderly. There’s no flu cure, which is why everyone should practice healthy habits, get a flu shot, and keep their bodies strong and able. A weak body is susceptible to illness not just limited to the flu, and no one likes being sick, especially when it’s preventable.
About Robert Peters
I’ve spent almost twenty years leading and teaching at schools throughout Texas and currently serve as assistant superintendent of the Manor Independent School District. In addition to Manor ISD, I serve on the board of directors of the Community Advancement Network and the executive board of United Way for Greater Austin, where I help young people reach their full potential through Project Graduation. I’m a native Texan, lifetime member of Omega Psi Phi, and recent graduate of the Cooperative Superintendency Program (doctor of education) at the University of Texas at Austin.
I’m a proud husband (Michelle) and father (Katelyn and Matthew) as well. I have served on a number of committees that promote excellence and have attended multiple leadership conferences like the Harvard Leadership Conference that encourage progressive change.