The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (Dallas): The events of November 22, 1963, shook the world. John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas is remembered by everyone old enough to remember, and argued over still. Visitors can tour the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, from where the Warren Commission concluded that a single sniper, Lee Harvey Oswald, felled the president. The museum also examines the life, times, and legacy of the Kennedy presidency, making it a place to revisit not only the tragic episode but also an era.
The Stockyards National Historic District (Fort Worth): Still looking the part, this area north of downtown was once the biggest and busiest cattle, horse, mule, hog, and sheep marketing center in the Southwest. Put on your boots and best Western shirt and tour the Livestock Exchange Building; Cowtown Coliseum (the world's first indoor rodeo arena); former hog and sheep pens now filled with Western shops and restaurants; and Billy Bob's Texas, the "world's largest honky-tonk." Then grab a longneck at the White Elephant saloon -- the oldest bar in Fort Worth and the site of the city's most famous gunfight in 1897 -- and check in at the historic Stockyards Hotel. Finally, check out the "longhorn cattle drive" that rumbles down Exchange Avenue daily -- or take the Vintage Train into Grapevine.
San Jacinto Monument (Houston): Here on the battlefield of San Jacinto, a small army of Texans led by General Sam Houston charged the much larger, better equipped Mexican army and dealt them a crushing blow. The victory gave Texas its independence. A monument and museum occupy the battlefield to honor and explain the history of the battle and its significance.
USS Lexington Museum on the Bay (Corpus Christi): Exploring this huge World War II-era aircraft carrier offers non-naval persons the opportunity to get an idea of what it was like to live for sometimes months in the claustrophobic conditions of such a limited area. In addition to sleeping, dining, and cooking areas, the ship provided a hospital, a rec room, and, of course, numerous necessary working areas.
The Alamo (San Antonio): It's smaller than you might expect, and it sits smack in the heart of downtown San Antonio; but the graceful mission church that's come to symbolize the state is a must-see, if only to learn what the fuss is all about.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park: It's impossible not to remember the Alamo when you're in San Antonio; more difficult to recall is that the Alamo was originally just the first of five missions established by the Franciscans along the San Antonio River. Exploring these four missions, built uncharacteristically close to each other, will give you a glimpse of the city's early Spanish and Indian history.
State Capitol (Austin): The country's largest state capitol, second only in size to the U.S. Capitol -- but 7 feet taller -- underwent a massive renovation and expansion in the 1990s, which left it more impressive than ever.
New Braunfels: Trying to decide which of the Hill Country towns is the most representative of the area's rich German heritage is tough, but the gemütlich inns, history-oriented museums, and sausage-rich restaurants -- not to mention the major celebration of Oktoberfest -- make New Braunfels a standout.
El Paso Mission Trail: Established in the 17th and 18th centuries, these three historic Spanish missions provide a link to El Paso's colonial past. They are among the oldest continually active missions in the country, and warrant a visit for their architectural and historic merit. Especially impressive is the large Presidio Chapel San Elceario, near the site of "The First Thanksgiving," said to have taken place in 1598, 23 years before the Plymouth Thanksgiving.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.