Happy New Year! Ready to knock out another set of New Year’s Resolutions?
I know the feeling. We like creating goals for the blank slate that is a new calendar year, but we often forget to complete them by the end of January.
Instead of stressing out about yet another year’s worth of resolutions filled with budgets, exercise, and general cutting back – stuff you probably won’t accomplish – let’s flip the script by thinking of fun and exciting things to do! Celebrate the New Year by choosing to explore new and exciting things all across the Lone Star State with our four-part Texas To-Do List.
1) Attend a Rodeo
If you’ve never attended a rodeo in Texas, then this is your year! I even recommend to friends visiting from out of state that they should have visiting a rodeo on their list of things to do while in Texas.
While many towns throughout Texas have rodeos, it’s the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that tops my list of rodeos. It’s two weeks filled with cowboy competitions like bull-riding, bronco riding, cattle roping, and more. There are live concerts at the end of every day with big headliners from the worlds of country, pop, R&B, and rock. In addition to the rodeo, there is a huge carnival with tons of food vendors, rides, and carnival games, as well as livestock shows. It’s a near-perfect encapsulation of Texas!
2) Visit Waco Mammoth National Monument
In 1978, a mysterious bone was found and brought to Baylor University for examination. They determined the bone to be the Columbian Mammoth. Archaeologists proceeded to excavate from 1978 to 1997, and over that time, the fossil remains of 22 Columbian mammoths were located. On this site, a formal dig was created, but it was many years before the Waco Mammoth National Monument arrived at its current incarnation.
Before 2009, the park was closed to the public and only open to those involved in excavating. From 2009 to 2015, the public could view the excavation site only via a protected shelter. In 2015, acting upon efforts from former US Representative Chet Edwards and current US Representative Bill Flores (both serving the 17th Congressional District), President Barack Obama designated the site to be a National Monument. Visitors can now take a guided walking tour to view the remains of six of the mammoths in a climate-controlled Dig Shelter.
This park is such a wonderful example of science and history in action.
3) Stroll Through the Fort Worth Water Gardens
Whether you live in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex or you’re looking for a fun road trip, we highly recommend the Fort Worth Water Gardens. This water oasis is located near the Fort Worth Convention Center, but it makes you feel miles away from civilization. Visitors can view the spectacular design of the Water Gardens, but also view a variety of additional water features as they stroll through the park.
4) Creep Around the Ghost Town in Terlingua
Nothing says exciting like visiting an old historic ghost town. Located only 12 miles away from the Big Bend National Park, Terlingua was once a thriving mining town. The Chisos Mining Company was started in the early 1900’s, which brought many people to this small town. However, the flooding of the mine combined with a drop in mining prices led to the end of the mining town in 1947.
Now, it’s known as Texas’s most famous ghost town. In addition to absorbing the abandoned and spectral feel of the mine proper, there are dining options, a hotel, art gallery, and Trading Company to visit while you are there.
There’s just so much to explore in Texas, but we hope our four sites make your to-do list!