Launch your next Texas trip with this essential guide to its biggest cities
Hit the Road
Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the state itself. At 268,597 square miles, it's a lot to traverse — but luckily there's plenty to see, do, eat, and drink along the way.
No matter what kind of trip you're planning around Texas, Marriott Bonvoy Hotels can be the launchpad for your next travel or culinary adventure. Its hotels and resorts are as diverse as the Lone Star State and offer amazing culinary, spa, and destination experiences in each city.
Plan your next trip from this guide below:
See Austin from the water.Photo courtesy of Marriott International
At a glance: Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin is also home to the State Capitol. University of Texas at Austin helps "Keep Austin Weird," but it's also a growing tech hot spot with a vibrant, culinary-focused atmosphere.
Must-see spots: Ladybird Lake, Texas Capitol, Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Botanical Garden, Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, Pennybacker Bridge, Blanton Museum, ACL Live at Moody Theater, Rainey Street, UT Austin.
Must-try eats & sips: Head to the new Dean’s Steakhouse Austin at JW Marriott Austin for a special occasion or business dinner, and try the Wagyu beef cuts in addition to an acclaimed raw bar and generous happy hour.
Travel north to Renaissance Austin’s restaurant, Knotty Deck & Bar, for an urban retreat with patio views of the Texas Hill Country. It serves elevated Austin cuisine with a spacious backyard for bean bags and other outdoor games to enjoy with family and friends.
Austin easily features the highest density of rooftop bars in the state, including the popular Zanzibar, a tropical oasis serving up inventive Tiki cocktails. Toast to “golden hour” nightly at Otopia Rooftop Lounge with craft cocktails high above the nearby university.
Must-attend events: SXSW Conference & Festivals (March), Blues on the Green (all summer long), Pride in Local Music Festival (June), Austin City Limits (October), Austin Film Festival (October).
Must-experience vibes: Get your retro music fix with unique vinyl record programs at the Otis Hotel Austin and the W Hotel Austin.
Take the whole fam to Las Colinas Resort.Photo courtesy of Marriott International
At a glance: A pair of cities that have undergone true transformation, beginning as cattle hubs and railroad centers and blossoming into Texas' current window to the world with incredible art museums and performing arts centers (the largest arts district in the nation, in fact).
Must-see spots: Dallas Museum of Art, Katy Trail, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Reunion Tower, Fair Park, Meyerson Symphony Center, Kimbell Art Museum, the Deep Ellum and Bishop Arts neighborhoods, Mesquite Rodeo Arena, Fort Worth Stockyards, NorthPark Center.
Must-try eats & sips: Dallas’ dining scene is highlighted by Margaret’s, the restaurant at the JW Marriott Dallas Arts District that's opening in June. It offers farm-to-fork ingredients in a dramatic setting with sweeping views of the city and a lively bar with handcrafted cocktails from seasoned mixologists.
Head to Uptown Dallas for its sophisticated restaurant, shopping, and boutique fitness scene highlighted by Good Graces in Marriott Uptown Dallas, a bright and airy brasserie where you can indulge in fresh oysters, charcuterie boards, crisp salads, and a variety of steak and seafood dishes.
In the northwest suburb of Irving, visit LAW at Las Colinas Resort to experience the very best of land, air, and water elements, alongside locally sourced ingredients. Mesa Mezcal at the Westin Irving is the spot for modern Mexican fare, curated mezcal cocktails, and YogaRitas on the patio, a partnership series with YogaSix Studio.
Head west to Fort Worth to dine al fresco at 97 West, where a Southwestern ambiance beckons adventurous spirits and serves up classic Texas heritage dishes.
In the heart of Cowtown, experience the convivial dining culture of Central and South America at Toro Toro in the Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth. Slip outside afterward to take in a movie on its rooftop deck via a partnership with Rooftop Cinemas, complete with a food truck for snacks and drinks.
Marriott Bonvoy’s restaurants aim to incorporate local and regional breweries in their beverage menus whenever possible, so ask your bartender for his or her favorite brew. Explore DFW's robust brewery scene, from Martin House Brewing Company to Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Celestial Beer Works to Manhattan Project Beer Co., and Peticolas Brewing to Texas Ale Project.
Must-attend events: Dallas Pride Parade (June), Homegrown Music & Arts Festival (June), Riverfront Jazz Fest (September), State Fair of Texas (September-October), Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo (January-February).
The best way to see Houston? From a rooftop.Photo courtesy of Marriott International
At a glance: Founded as a bustling commercial center and shipping port in the mid-1800s, with major influence from Charlotte Baldwin, known as the "Mother of Houston," today H-Town is statistically the most diverse major city in Texas with a thriving gastronomic scene, world-class museums, and the Houston Space Center.
Must-see spots: The Museum District (18 institutions within walking distance; includes the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), The Galleria, Houston Aquarium, Buffalo Bayou Park, POST Houston entertainment district, Chinatown, Houston Graffiti Park, Discovery Green, Houston Zoo.
Must-try eats & sips: Located inside the Magnolia Houston, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, is The Dispatch, which pays homage to its building’s rich history as the home of the Houston Post-Dispatch paper. The Art Deco vibes complement the eatery’s contemporary American cuisine and enticing cocktails.
After a day of shopping at The Galleria mall, stop by White Oak Kitchen + Drinks for a collection of fresh ingredients, a curated wine and cocktail menu, and weekend brunch.
Explore Houston’s culinary melting pot with an experience at Xin Chao, a modern Vietnamese restaurant owned by MasterChef winner Christina Ha. Locals also hail Killen’s BBQ as some of the best in the state.
Houston visitors will also find food trucks dotted around the city, offering inventive cuisine with global fusion showcasing Houston’s diversity.
Must-attend events: Freedom Over Texas Festival (July), Houston Restaurant Week (August), Fiestas Patrias (September 2023), Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (February-March).
Must-experience vibes: Stay cool in the Houston heat this summer by diving into the city's best urban party playground: the iconic, Texas-shaped lazy river at the Altitude Rooftop & Pool at Marriott Marquis Houston.
It's always a party on the San Antonio River Walk.Photo courtesy of Marriott International
At a glance: Remember the Alamo! Explore San Antonio’s famed River Walk or journey further south to the San Antonio Missions National Park, where some of the Lone Star State's most pivotal moments occurred. Northwest of the city, treat your family to a thrill at world-class amusement parks.
Discover the emerging arts and culinary scene while touring historic, trendy neighborhoods like the impressive King William District, dotted with colonial mansions, and Dignowity Hill, sporting the Hays Street Bridge and a deep-rooted sense of community.
Must-see spots: The Alamo, the San Antonio Missions, River Walk, San Antonio Botanical Gardens, San Antonio Zoo, Southtown, Brackenridge Park, SeaWorld San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Historic Pearl Brewery, Tower of the Americas, La Villita, Market Square.
Must-try eats: Check out incredible South Texas fare on the River Walk such as Tributary restaurant in the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel, with seasonally rotating menus and ingredients sourced from regional farming partners and purveyors.
Escape to the Texas Hill Country at 18 Oaks for an outstanding quality of meats and seafood prepared with style and expertise, ideally enjoyed after a day of golf at TPC San Antonio or a splashy time at the nine-acre waterpark at the JW San Antonio Hill Country Resort.
Take the kids or pups and head to the Historic Pearl Brewery, where you'll find everything from upscale bistros to an array of dining choices inside the Food Hall at Bottling Dept. Enjoy a picnic on the green spaces and a family-favorite splash pad while taking in the quaint European vibes in this special area of Alamo City.
Must-sip drinks: Visit the new 1 Watson rooftop deck atop the AC Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk for downtown views and a cocktail or two by a fire pit.
Hop on the city’s shared bike or scooter systems to explore local-favorite breweries and coffee shops such as Merit Coffee, Freetail Brewing, Weathered Souls Brewing, and Alamo Beer Co.
Must-attend events: Fiesta San Antonio (April), Pride San Antonio (June), Día de los Muertos (November), San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo (February).
Comprised of 30 unique brands, Marriott Bonvoy is a travel program that goes beyond rewards to connect members to more of what they love through hotel and resort stays, elevated dining, and endless experiences.
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