The second largest of the 50 states and the second most populated, Texas has diverse geographical regions with prairies, mountains, forests, coasts, swamps, desert, unique tourist attractions and friendly inhabitants. With an area of 268,820 square miles (696,200 km2) and a population of 26.1, Texas has many tourist attractions. The largest city is Houston and Austin is the state capital. Here are the best 5 places to visit in Texas, the Lone Star State:

1. Austin
Austin is the fourth-largest city, the capital of Texas and the third largest state capital in the United States. It is the cultural and economic center of the metropolitan area Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos and the third fastest growing city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. Known for its unique culture and incredible live music, Austin is one of the places to visit in Texas that you will never forget. Some of the most popular attractions are the University, Capitol building, Austin City Limits and the AMOA Arthouse.

2. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Located in the West Texas Guadalupe Mountains, the National Park is home of a unique wildflower display. It covers a surface of 86,367 acres (349.51 km2), with trails for horse-riding and hiking. The Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in Texas with an altitude of 8,749 feet (2,667m). Near the Pine Springs Visitor Center rest the ruins of an an old stagecoach. Another attraction is the small museum of Frijole Ranch House. The most astonishing view if the park can be admired from the Guadalupe Peak Trail that crosses Douglas-fir and pinyon pine forests.

3. Reunion Tower
The 561 ft (171 m) observation tower is the landmark of Dallas and the 15th tallest building in the city. Designed by Welton Becket & Associates firm, the tower has a 68-second elevator ride to the top through a glass shaft. On the first level there is an observation deck and the second level houses a revolving restaurant that offers a 360-degree view of Dallas.

4. The Alamo
Originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo was a Roman Catholic mission and the place where the Battle of the Alamo took place in 1936. Built by the Spanish Empire in the 18th century, it was used for the education of local Native Americans and later it was converted into a fortress. Now it is a museum located in the Alamo Plaza District that houses many artifacts and one of the most popular tourist sites in the state.

5. Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Located in the Texas Panhandle near Amarillo, Texas, Palo Duro Canyon houses a breathtaking State Park and one of the most incredible places to visit in Texas. The 29,182 acres park opened in 1934 in the northern portion of the canyon. Because of the abundance of juniper trees and mesquite it received the name Palo Duro, Spanish for “hard wood”. Visitors can enjoys many activities in the park like hiking, horseback riding, bird watching and mountain biking.

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