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father and son things to do in texas for dad and the boys

I've been hitting the dusty trail with my son, exploring the vast richness of Texas, from its bustling cities to its serene landscapes. We've discovered some genuinely unique spots that have not only quenched our thirst for adventure but also strengthened our bond. From the electrifying sports scene in Houston to the serene cruise options from Galveston, our journey across the Lone Star State has been nothing short of remarkable. If you're curious about the must-visit spots in Texas for a father-son duo, stick around. I promise, the tale of our road trip will leave you yearning for a similar adventure.

Texas is a a big state ... no ... like REALLY BIG ... it's the largest of the lower 48 and includes 3,233 miles of the 45,000 Interstate Highway System in just this one state! Incase you are looking for more stats, Texas has 268,597 square miles of space to explore and the state is home to pretty much any experience you could possibly want to explore. From world class museums to roll-up-your-sleaves BBQ joints, this state is a fantastic place for a father and son guys getaway road trip. 

So, let's take a virtual road trip around the state and check in on some of our favorite places to visit.Make sure to keep scrolling down for a lightning round list of some other Lone Star State favorites that I'm sure you and your son (or daughter!) will enjoy exploring together!

Explore New Worlds: Visit The Houston Space Center

Kicking off our father-son adventure in Texas, we couldn't resist the allure of the Space Center, Houston a hub of innovation showcasing a unique blend of space history, technology, and exploration. As we walked through its vast corridors, we marveled at the exhibits on display, from the original shuttle carrier to a wide array of space artifacts.

Every corner of the center offered an interactive display, transforming our visit into an educational experience. We began on a virtual Mission to Mars, a simulation that was as exhilarating as it was enlightening. My son's eyes lit up with curiosity and delight, underlining the center's capacity to inspire future astronauts.

Hands-on activities, like the Sea Safari Camp, provided an engaging insight into the marine life of the Gulf of Mexico, broadening our understanding beyond space exploration. The Houston Space Center, with its wealth of knowledge and experiences, felt like an intimate space for us, fostering a sense of belonging among space enthusiasts and curious minds alike.

This iconic destination proved to be the perfect start to our road trip, offering a unique blend of education and adventure for both, the young, and the young at heart.

Find Your Inner Cowboy At Fort Worth Stockyards

Swapping rockets for rodeos, our next stop is the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, a tribute to Texas' enduring cowboy culture and Western heritage. Here, I find myself instantly immersed in the cowboy culture, transported back to a time when cattle drives were a daily occurrence. It's normal for boys of all ages to imagine what cowboy life must be like but here it's not a fantasy ... it's a way of life.

The Stockyards offers an authentic glimpse into the past with:

  • Daily cattle drives that take you back to the old West
  • Western-themed shops filled with cowboy boots and Stetson hats
  • Saloons where you can sip on a cold beer and listen to live country music
  • The unmissable Fort Worth Stockyards Championship Rodeo
  • Landmarks like the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Stockyards Museum

When you visit here, there's a sense of belonging as you roam the streets. The sounds of the rodeo echoing in the background. I couldn't help but embrace the cowboy spirit that is so deeply woven into the fabric of Texas. My visit to the Stockyards wasn't just a stop on our road trip, it was a journey into the heart of Western heritage. A trip to Texas isn't complete without visiting the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Go Hog Wild On A Hunting Trip

From steers to swine, it's time to go hog wild in Texas and so our next step is one of the many hunting ranches in the state such as https://sandforktexashoghunting.com where you can book various packages that range from 2 nights to week-long trips of that's what you want. Most Texas hog hunting trips though are 1-3 days though some ranches will have extended programs where you can go out in search of other prey ranging from doves to bison.

While this might not be on every's list, hunting wild boar as well as javalina here is an important part of population control .  Texas, with its vast population of feral hogs, is famous for. The heart-pounding thrill of the chase coupled with the satisfaction of a successful hunt provided a unique opportunity for father-son bonding.

Amidst the rugged outdoors of Texas, we learned about conservation, as hunting helps manage the overpopulation of these hogs. Our marksmanship skills were put to the test and our respect for nature deepened. Texas offers a myriad of hunting opportunities, public hunting lands, private ranches, and even guided hunting trips.

Hog hunting is more than just an exciting activity; it's a chance for fathers and sons to connect, to share stories and advice, to learn from each other, and to build memories that last a lifetime. It's about more than just the hunt; it's about the bond that's formed during those quiet moments, waiting for the perfect shot. It's an experience I wouldn't trade for anything.

Grab Some BBQ In Lockhart - The "BBQ Capital Of Texas"

After the adrenaline rush of the hunt, we headed towards Lockhart, famously known as the 'BBQ Capital of Texas'. Our taste buds were excited for the legendary slow-smoked meats this town is renowned for. There's something about the smell of post oak smoke wafting through the air that makes you feel like you're part of something special, something distinctly Texan.

  • The family-run restaurants in Lockhart, like Kreuz Market and Smitty's Market, have been serving mouthwatering BBQ for over a century.
  • The slow-smoked brisket, ribs, and sausage are so tender, they practically melt in your mouth.
  • The post oak wood used in the barbecue pits imparts a unique smoky flavor that's impossible to replicate.
  • Lockhart's rich BBQ heritage is palpable, making every bite a connection to Texas history.
  • The genuine hospitality experienced in this small town is the cherry on top.

Lockhart is more than just a pit stop on our road trip; it's a place where we can bond over delicious food and shared stories. As a family, each bite strengthens our connection and fuels our journey across Texas. So, if you're planning a father-son road trip, make sure to put Lockhart on your itinerary. You won't regret it.

Sail Out Of Galveston On A Royal Caribbean Cruise

Galveston's charm doesn't end at its sandy beaches and historic appeal, as it also serves as the gateway for our next adventure: setting sail on a Royal Caribbean cruise. This coastal city doubles up as a convenient embarkation location for all cruising enthusiasts.

Royal Caribbean cruises from Galveston offer a fantastic opportunity to explore multiple destinations. The wide range of itineraries is truly impressive; from island-hopping in the Caribbean to discovering the hidden gems of Mexico, each journey promises a unique experience.

But the adventure doesn't merely lie in the destinations. The cruise itself is a thrilling journey. The amenities aboard these state-of-the-art ships are simply excellent. Imagine spending your days sliding down water slides, enjoying live performances, or savoring a diverse range of gastronomic delights. The cruise offers a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, making it a memorable part of our father-son road trip.

Remember The Alamo In San Antonio

On the next leg of our journey, we're heading to San Antonio to remember the Alamo, a historic landmark that's steeped in bravery, sacrifice, and the fight for Texas independence. This storied site is a living proof of the fierce determination of Texans, a place where you can feel an immediate connection to the past. It's a place that's meant to be experienced, not just seen.

  • The Alamo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is more than just a monument; it's an immersive experience in Texas history.
  • Walking through its hallowed grounds, you can almost hear the echoes of the battle cries, the clamor of swords, the boom of cannons.
  • Standing in the shadow of its iconic façade inspires awe, prompting reflection on the courage and sacrifice of those who fought for Texas independence.
  • Exploring the beautifully maintained gardens surrounding the Alamo, you're transported back to a pivotal moment in time.
  • Participating in the guided tours, you gain a deeper understanding of this historic landmark and its enduring significance.

Remembering the Alamo in San Antonio is not just a stop on a father-son road trip; it's a shared journey into the heart of Texas.

Graphiti Is Encouraged At Cadillac Ranch

Driving further west, we reach Amarillo, where the vibrant colors of Cadillac Ranch beckon, an open invitation for visitors to leave their own artistic mark on this eclectic roadside attraction. This public art installation, featuring ten half-buried Cadillacs covered in graffiti, is a symbol of American pop culture that has stood the test of time since its creation in 1974 by the art group Ant Farm.

The unique positioning of the cars, mirroring the angle of the Great Pyramid of Giza, adds an intriguing geometric element to the landscape, turning it into an interactive canvas. Here, you're not just a viewer, you're an artist, encouraged to bring your own spray paint and add to the kaleidoscope of colors that adorn these classic automobiles.

Every visit to Cadillac Ranch is a new experience, as the graffiti-covered cars transform with each stroke of spray paint from visitors around the world. It's an ongoing, ever-evolving tribute to creativity, collaboration, and community. This isn't just a roadside attraction, it's a chance to contribute to an evolving piece of art, making your journey through Texas not just a trip, but a memorable adventure.

Drill Baby Drill At The East Texas Oil Museum

Exploring the rich history of the East Texas oil industry, our next stop is the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore, a captivating tribute to the oil boom that greatly shaped the state's economy. This immersive experience transported us back in time, to an era where the determination and innovation of ordinary men and women forever changed the face of East Texas.

At this museum, you sense a feeling of belonging, a kinship with those courageous souls who ventured into the unknown. It's a veritable treasure trove of historical depth with:

  • Engaging exhibits on the discovery of oil and the drilling techniques used back then.
  • A life-sized replica of an oil derrick, complete with vintage equipment.
  • Interactive displays that offer a hands-on understanding of the oil boom.
  • Multimedia presentations, illuminating the impact of the oil industry on the region.
  • Stories of the people who worked in the oil fields, their lives woven into the fabric of East Texas history.

In the heart of East Texas, the oil industry's legacy lives on, and at the East Texas Oil Museum, you're not just a visitor - you're part of the story.

More Awesome Father / Son Place

We couldn't possibly put every place you should visit above, so here's a quick lightning round of even more places that fathers and sons will enjoy visiting when they explore Texas.

  1. Big Bend National Park - Hike, camp, and stargaze in one of the most remote national parks, known for its breathtaking desert landscapes.
  2. Guadalupe Mountains National Park - Challenge yourselves with a hike to the top of Texas at Guadalupe Peak and enjoy spectacular views.
  3. San Antonio River Walk - Enjoy a leisurely walk, dine at riverside restaurants, and take a boat tour along this iconic urban waterway.
  4. Padre Island National Seashore - Spend time on the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world, perfect for fishing, bird watching, and beach camping.
  5. State Capitol, Austin - Take a tour of the impressive Texas State Capitol building and learn about the state's legislative process.
  6. Waco Mammoth National Monument, Waco - Discover an active paleontological dig site where Columbian mammoths and other Pleistocene creatures are uncovered.
  7. Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington - Thrill-seekers will love the roller coasters and entertainment at this famous amusement park.
  8. Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier - Enjoy amusement rides, games, and Gulf views on this classic seaside pier.
  9. National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg - Explore the comprehensive museum dedicated to the Pacific Theatre of WWII, located in President Eisenhower's hometown.
  10. Palo Duro Canyon State Park - Hike, bike, or horseback ride in the second-largest canyon in the United States.
  11. Dallas Cowboys Game, Arlington - Experience the excitement of an NFL game at the AT&T Stadium.
  12. Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs - Take a swim in the stunning natural pool formed by thousands of years of erosion.
  13. Battleship Texas State Historic Site, La Porte - Tour the last of the battleships to participate in both World Wars.
  14. Schlitterbahn Waterpark, New Braunfels - Cool off in one of the best water parks in the country, with rides and slides for all ages.
  15. Caddo Lake State Park - Kayak through a maze of bayous and wetlands in the only natural lake in Texas.
  16. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo - Immerse yourselves in Texas culture with rodeo events, concerts, and livestock shows.
  17. LBJ Presidential Library, Austin - Learn about the life and presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson.
  18. Glen Rose Dinosaur Valley State Park - Walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs at this park known for its preserved dinosaur tracks.
  19. Texas State Railroad, Palestine to Rusk - Take a step back in time with a ride on a historic steam train through the Piney Woods of East Texas.
  20. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Fredericksburg - Hike to the top of a massive pink granite dome for panoramic views of the Texas Hill Country.
  21. Deep Ellum, Dallas - Explore this vibrant neighborhood known for its street murals, live music venues, and eclectic eateries.
  22. South Padre Island - Enjoy the beaches, water sports, and fishing on this beautiful barrier island.
  23. King Ranch, Kingsville - Take a tour of one of the largest ranches in the world, offering a glimpse into Texas's ranching heritage.


From the cosmic wonders of Houston Space Center to the wild cowboy spirit at Fort Worth Stockyards, our Texas road trip was an adventure of a lifetime. We savored Lockhart's mouth-watering BBQ, set sail from Galveston, remembered the Alamo, and even spray-painted Cadillac Ranch. Each stop etched an indelible memory in our father-son bond. Texas, with its rich history and expansive landscapes, is a treasure trove of experiences, waiting for you to explore. So, when's your Texas road trip?

Written by:
#MenWhoBlog MemberBlogging GuruThought Leader

James' passion for exploration and sense of duty to his community extends beyond himself. This means he is dedicated to providing a positive role model for other men and especially younger guys that need support so that they can thrive and be future positive contributors to society. This includes sharing wisdom, ideas, tips, and advice on subjects that all men should be familiar with, including: family travel, men's health, relationships, DIY advice for home and yard, car care, food, drinks, and technology. Additionally, he's a travel advisor and a leading men's travel influencer who has been featured in media ranging from New York Times to the Chicago Tribune, and LA Times. He's also been cited by LA Weekly "Top Travel Bloggers To Watch 2023" and featured by Muck Rack: "Top 10 Outdoor Journalists for 2022".

He and his wife Heather live in St Joseph, Michigan - across the lake from Chicago.