Whether you live in Texas or you’re on the outside looking in, you’ve probably noticed that there’s just something different about the Lone Star State. As that famous moniker suggests, Texas stands alone when you consider its sheer size, fascinating history, and diverse environments. 

By visiting these Texas Historical Commission sites, you can give the entire family what they want this summer. For the parents, you’ll get to experience history in the best way possible: up close and personal. For the kids, these sites not only offer educational opportunities a bit more engaging than a textbook, but several fun ways to take full advantage of summer vacation.

Fishing at Sabine Pass Battleground

Dick Downling statue at Sabine Pass Battleground
Sabine Pass Battleground

Right on the border of Texas and Louisiana is the Sabine Pass Battleground, which remembers a pivotal battle between Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. The site includes infographics and art pieces, as well as a bronze statue of Confederate Lt. Richard “Dick” Dowling and a memorial to the Union casualties. 

After you’ve got some reading in, don’t head off quite yet! The Sabine Pass Battleground has its very own campground, which provides five spots for RVs and plenty of considerations for overnight visitors. You’ll also find a boat ramp and boardwalk leading to Sabine Lake, where you can get in some good fishing. The area is well lit at night, because, as we all know, the best fishing days never end. 

RV Camping at Fort Griffin

Longhorn herd at Fort Griffin
Official State of Texas Longhorn Herd

Farther up north is Fort Griffin, located between Dallas and Lubbock. Fort Griffin was a military post built in 1867 that played an important role in the Red River War of 1874, then was ultimately decommissioned in 1881. During that time, the nearby town of the same name became famous for its wild citizenry of gamblers, buffalo hunters, soldiers, and outlaws. 

These days, you can visit the remnants of the once bustling fort, then spend time at the Fort Griffin campgrounds, which features seven sites for hooking up your RV. On these nearly five acres, you can go fishing at the river, play volleyball, or take a hike on one of the nature trails. Oh, and keep an eye out for the Official State of Texas Longhorn Herd

Spend the Night at Presidio

Chapel at Presidio la Bahia
Presidio la Bahía

Visiting a piece of Texas history is great, but sometimes it’s so great, you don’t want to leave. At the Presidio la Bahía, you don’t have to! The Presidio, one of the most pivotal sites in the war for Texas’ independence from Mexico, allows for you to spend the night at The Quarters

The Quarters is a spacious, two-bedroom apartment that comes with a fireplace and after-hours access to the Presidio’s inner courtyard. Though complete with modern amenities, the interior features stone walls, wood furniture, and even a prayer candle on the windowsill. Sleep safe and sound by spending the night in a fort!

A Day at the Beach and the Port Isabel Lighthouse

Aerial photo of the Port Isabel Lighthouse at night
Port Isabel Lighthouse

Built in 1852 to help stave off shipwrecks, the Port Isabel Lighthouse still stands tall at the southern tip of Texas. Though it no longer guides ships safely to the harbor, the lighthouse is now guiding tourists to its visitor center and museum. You can also climb up to the very top of the lighthouse and get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding coastal town of Port Isabel. 

While you’re visiting the lighthouse, make your way over to the nearby South Padre Island for a tropical experience the Texas way. Isla Blanca Beach is the perfect spot to relax after a long workweek or road trip. Marinas, parasailing, boat ramps, and a top-of-the-line water park are at your disposal.

A Summer Road Trip Through the History of Texas

Everyone knows there’s something special about Texas, but even those who have lived here their entire lives have likely not seen all it has to offer. This summer is a perfect time to gather the family and become better acquainted with the Lone Star State, especially considering how many summer activities its historical sites allow for. Fishing, parasailing, and camping all come free with a Texas education! Learn more about what Texas history has to offer the modern traveler and plan your road trip today.