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The Mission San Jose at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park



As we come upon the spring and summer season, there’s no better time to start making your next travel bucket list.

Texas is home to 16 national parks and historic sites, each one beautiful and well worth a visit. But here are a few favorites to start with.

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Head out to this national historical park for a little time travel. You’ll get to explore the San Antonio Missions – the Alamo, Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada – which date back to the Spanish conquest and played a major role in the U.S.-Mexican War in the mid-1800s. They lie across a span of 2.5 miles, which makes it easy to see them all on foot. This area is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historical significance.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Deep in the Guadalupe Mountains, you’ll find this park that features over 80 miles of hiking trails. And in fact, one of these trails will lead you to the highest point in the entire state, if you’re willing to take the trek. Due to its location, it doesn’t tend to get as many visitors as other national parks in the state, which makes it a perfect getaway when you just want to commune with nature. And you’ll have plenty of that, in the form of mountains, desert, and valleys, thanks to the stunning variety of ecosystems in this park.

Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park

Like the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, this destination also showcases a pivotal time in American history. Palo Alto Battlefield is committed to remembering the soldiers who fought in the U.S.-Mexican War. You’ll find lists of their names here, as well as opportunities to trace their steps as they went into battle. There are interactive exhibits there as well, and a bookstore with more information about this region and the war.

Big Bend National Park

You’ll probably recognize this national park, as it is one of the largest parks and one of the most popular destinations in the Lone Star State. It houses the Chisos Mountains, dinosaur fossils, dozens of species of birds, stunning views of the Rio Grande, and over 150 miles of trail to explore. It is truly a haven for nature lovers.

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