Texas is packed with captivating historic sites – from the hallowed walls of the Alamo, to the landmark spot where President John F Kennedy was fatally shot. Visitors will always remain captivated by the state’s history thinking of the San Jacinto battle that won Texas independence from Mexico and witness the recreations of the former Christian missions. The plethora of fascinating facts and rich Texas history is the reason why tourists flock to the state. Discover the best historic sites in Texas.
1. The Alamo, San Antonio
America’s and precisely Texas’ most famous battle site is “The Alamo” at the Colonial-style fort (originally home to missionaries) where 189 ambitious Texas volunteer soldiers fought for a 13 days siege seeking autonomy. Unfortunately, the Mexican troops defeated them. This was in 1836 during the Texas Revolution.
Visitors can pay tribute to famous defenders and fighters like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie who fought that battle. This fort played an important role during the battle and it also served as San Antonio de Valero Mission and a Native American burial ground.
Most of the complex’s indigenous buildings are now old and gone but one can still visit the long Barrack where there is a museum holding much details concerning Texas’ history, the Mission church where tourists will see the battle artifacts such as paintings and weapons.
2. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, Dallas
This name has been linked to the site where President John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. This plaza has been dedicated to preserving the history of that tragic moment for the country. The Warren commission responsible for investigating that incident concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald fired at least 3 bullets from a 6th floor Texas School Book Depository window.
Currently the museum covers the spot where Harvey fired the shots. Details related to that auspicious day are exhibited with more than 400 photos and documentary film footage. Many exhibits also detail the President’s legacy.
3. San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, Houston
Travelers not only visit the historic San Jacinto battlefield where Texas gained its independence from Mexico, they can also pay visit to a monument dedicated to the battle and a USS warship built in 1914. The site covers granite markers representing the Mexican and Texan camps and points of confrontations.
Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the 489 feet monument that has the star of Texas greatly resembling Washington’s. The panorama view once at the top gives a vivid view of Houston city and the immediate grounds. Documents, books and Dioramas explaining Texas’ rich history are contained in a museum housed by this significant monument.
The USS Texas built in 1914 is a place to visit and take a solo guided tour to the engine room, staff quarters, guns and anchors. For an enchanting and memorable experience, April is the month to visit the historic site during San Jacinto Day during which historic recreations take place.
4. Stockyards National Historic District, Fort Worth
Famously known as the “Cowtown” more than 4 million cattle used to be herded through but now things are really different. Fort Worth stockyard which is among the only remaining stock yards in modern America currently offers a solely entertaining cattle drive experience. Visitors have a great chance to tour the world’s first indoor rodeo arena, explore the Livestock Exchange Building, and visit the stockyards museum rich in Fort Worth history. If you are a beer lover, the oldest bar in Fort Worth offers you a chance to taste the local drink.
5. San Antonio Missions National Historic Park, San Antonio
Texas land was once a fertile ground for Christian missionaries who wanted to convert American native residents, the famous existing Alamo as well as other indigenous missions.
Four of these missions: Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan and Mission Espada have all been conserved by San Antonio Missions National park. These missions were designer built with each featuring small villages around a church, with other buildings that were used as living quarters, granaries, mills and stores.
High walls enclosed these compounds creating fort-like structures offering protection from any attacking community of Native Americans.