surfer girl holding board over her headIt is no secret that the Lone Star State has a wealth of recreational opportunities for those seeking to enjoy the great outdoors. The offerings of Houston, San Antonio, and bike friendly Austin have been well documented. So here are three more Texas destinations for outdoor enthusiasts that you may want to put on your bucket list.

New Braunfels

Settled in the 1800s by German immigrants, this TX Hill Country town is just 30 minutes from downtown San Antonio. If you think of south central TX as dry and scrubby, think again. WORD! That is, the Water Oriented Recreational District of Comal County. Its primary goal is to promote water safety and an active lifestyle while conserving natural resources and preserving the environment. WORD came into existence due to the vast expanses of water resources in the New Braunfels area.

One of the state’s largest freshwater springs, Comal Springs, feeds one of the worlds shortest rivers, also the Comal. Nature lovers can search for unique animal and plant life while divers enjoy the river’s clear water and year round temperature of 72 degrees. Tubing on the Comal is also a more mellow experience compared to the nearby Guadalupe River, with its fast moving whitewater and imposing boulders. Along with its natural rapids, the Guad also offers majestic scenery and excellent opportunities for bird watching. Nearby Canyon Lake is another New Braunfels gem, where you can do it all, from biking to camping and fishing or hiking and sailing. With 84 miles of shoreline and 8,240 glistening acres of water, the possibilities are just about endless!


Often referred to as the “Real Texas”, Amarillo is famously known as “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” Situated in the Panhandle region, Amarillo is home to authentic cowboys, dude ranches, weekend rodeos, the legendary Cadillac Ranch and the nation’s 2nd largest canyon.

The Palo Duro Canyon is considered the “Grand Canyon of TX.” Dramatic formations, such as the Lighthouse pinnacle, vibrant, every changing color, desert reptiles and birds of prey, make this spot a favorite among climbers, hikers, bird watchers, artists, and rock hounds. The canyon area encompasses over 25,000 acres where outdoor enthusiasts can trail ride, mountain bike, hike, camp or just enjoy a nap under the shade of the cottonwood trees. The stable here has been in existence since 1962 and offers excursions for both beginner and experienced riders. Wildcat Bluff Nature Center and the 4-mile Rock Island Rail Trail are other great places to take advantage of Amarillo’s rugged beauty. When it’s time to refuel, you may want to consider taking the “Texas King Challenge” at the iconic local institution, the Big Texan Steak Ranch. Think that after a day of hiking, biking, trail riding or canyon trekking, you’ll be able to handle the 72-ounce steak dinner? Don’t worry, if you have a small appetite, there???s always the barbequed rattlesnake! If you’re considering a move to this great community, be sure to contact us about our Amarillo mortgage financing solutions.

South Padre Island

This tiny barrier island delivers when it comes to providing countless ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Connected to the larger town of Port Isabel via a causeway, South Padre Island is situated along the Gulf Coast on the tropical tip of TX. Its breathtaking beaches, pristine strands and dunes, and warm, clear water are undoubtedly why it has been named by many, including Dr. Beach and the Travel Channel as one of the country’s best coastal destinations.

In recent years, South Padre Island has become a favorite choice among surfers and kite boarders. The sandy beach breaks, such as those found at Isla Blanca Park and the area’s consistent warm tropical winds make it a natural for a number of activities. It is quite possible to fish, scuba dive, snorkel, and boat year round. Eco-tourism is also becoming synonymous with this area. The Dolphin and Nature Research Center and the University of Texas.Coastal Studies Lab offer programs in marine and plant life conservation and education.