Welcome to Texas. Everything is bigger and better here, even the history! Come explore the thousands of historical, cultural, and natural treasures in the Lone Star State. We want to enrich your life through history, one visit at a time.
Experience the vastness and wonder of the Lone Star State with the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Heritage Travel Guide. Encompassing all 10 Texas Heritage Trail Regions, this statewide guide highlights historic destinations that tell the real stories of Texas. From beautifully restored courthouses to historic frontier forts, use this guide as a starting point for your next adventure and immerse yourself in the captivating story of Texas.
THC Historic Sites in Texas
Heritage tourists can learn more about the rich Texas history and experience real places and stories at one of the Texas Historical Commission (THC)’s historic sites.
From whitewashed ruins and Victorian mansions to sacred burial mounds and pivotal battlegrounds, the THC state historic sites exemplify a breadth of Texas history. View the 20 historic sites listed below or explore them on a map to learn more.
In the small town of Acton, a statue of Elizabeth Crockett towers over Acton Cemetery marking the burial site of Davy Crockett's second wife, Elizabeth, who died in 1860. Today, Acton State Historic Site continues to preserve and pay tribute to the widow of one of the nation's most celebrated folk heroes.
More than 1,200 years ago, Caddo Indians known as the Hasinai built a village and ceremonial center 26 miles west of present-day Nacogdoches. Today, three earthen mounds still rise from the lush Pineywoods landscape at Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, where visitors discover the everyday life and the history of this ancient civilization.
Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, Casa Navarro State Historic Site celebrates the life of rancher, merchant, and Texas patriot José Antonio Navarro at his original 1850s limestone and adobe home.
On the edge of the Navasota River, Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site commemorates a place where Confederate Civil War veterans and families reunited from 1889–1946. Today, it remains a gathering place for living history events and family reunions, and features an 1893 dance pavilion and Civil War-era cannon.
Located in the heart of Denison, Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site showcases the home where the 34th U.S. President Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower was born in 1890. The visitors center celebrates Ike with memorabilia and exhibits featuring his many accomplishments as president and war hero.
Fannin Battleground memorializes the brave soldiers who fought the Battle of Coleto Creek on this site in 1836 during the Texas War for Independence. After surrendering to Mexican forces, Col. Fannin and his men were ordered to be executed in nearby Goliad, inflaming the Texas cause and spurring the battle cry, “Remember Goliad”!
Holding command over the Southern Plains, Fort Griffin served as one in a line of western defensive forts from 1867 to 1881. Remnants of the fort remain today at Fort Griffin State Historic Site, which is also home to the Official State of Texas Longhorn Herd and offers camping, fishing, hiking, stargazing, and living history.
Spanning 82 acres in the Pecos River valley, Fort Lancaster State Historic Site commemorates the vestiges of one of four posts established in 1855 to protect the military route between San Antonio and El Paso. Visitors wander through ruins of 25 permanent structures and enjoy the sights, sounds, and wildlife of West Texas.
The remains of a 150-year-old fort beckon visitors to one of the best preserved examples of a Texas Indian Wars (1850–1875) military post. Experience early West Texas life through of the infantrymen, Buffalo Soldiers, women, and children who lived at what Gen. William T. Sherman once described as "the prettiest post in Texas."
Rising above the Aransas Bay, Fulton Mansion State Historic Site must have appeared incredible in 1877, as it does today, with its mansard roof and ornate trim. Today, visitors to the restored home get a glimpse into the life of the affluent Fulton family in the late 1800s.
Landmark Inn State Historic Site offers a unique opportunity to celebrate Texas history. Quaint rooms provide comfortable historic lodging against a backdrop of red oaks and the lazy Medina River. Enjoy breakfast in the 1860s Vance House or relax in the grassy courtyard. Day visitors enjoy tours of the historic site and recreational opportunities.
Significant to the antebellum period of Texas and the tumultuous era of Reconstruction, this site hosted a sizable plantation operation and Greek Revival-style house. Today, the Levi Jordan Plantation provides a unique opportunity to understand the evolving agricultural history of the South and the early African American experience in Texas.
A striking adobe structure, Magoffin Home State Historic Site explores the stories of a multicultural family who actively participated in U.S. expansion and settlement, military service, trade on the Santa Fe–Chihuahua Trail, Civil War turmoil and U.S.–Mexico relations. The 1875 home is a prime example of Territorial style architecture.
The National Museum of the Pacific War is dedicated to perpetuating the memory of the Pacific Theater of WWII in order that the sacrifices of those who contributed to our victory may never be forgotten.
The location of a significant Civil War battlefield, Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Site honors a small band of Confederate soldiers that prevented Union forces from penetrating the Texas interior in 1863. The site features a statue of Confederate Lt. Richard “Dick” Dowling and an interpretive pavilion illustrating the story of the battle.
Built in the High Victorian Italianate style in 1868, the Sam Bell Maxey House State Historic Site in Paris, Texas was the family residence of Sam Bell Maxey, a Mexican War veteran, Confederate general, and two-term U.S. senator. Maxey and his wife hosted many distinguished guests in this home, which was commonly regarded as a town social center.
Step into the welcoming world of one of Texas’ best known statesmen, Sam Rayburn. One of the most influential politicians of the 20th century, Rayburn served in the U.S. Congress for 48 years. His 1916 home, now the Sam Rayburn House Museum, preserves his real stories with original furnishings, candid photographs, and personal belongings.
Commemorating the pivotal years of Texas’ history, San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site preserves the location where Stephen F. Austin established his colony in 1823. Walk in the footsteps of Texas’ early pioneers at what was once the social, economic, and political center, as well as the first capital of the provisional government of Texas.
Nestled in the heart of Marshall, Starr Family Home State Historic Site maps the 150-year history of the Starr family in Texas. The site is composed of several elegant structures, including the Starr-Blake Home and the Maplecroft mansion. Period furnishings, clothing, and antiques trace the transition of four generations of the Starr family.
Pecan orchards, magnolia trees, and generations of commerce encapsulate Varner-Hogg Plantation State Historic Site. The home tells the story of its owners: colonist Martin Varner, mogul Columbus Patton, and Texas Gov. James S. Hogg. This property hosted sugarcane production, rum distilling, and oil drilling as it transitioned through families.
Texas Heritage Trails
The THC's award-winning heritage tourism initiative, the Texas Heritage Trails Program, encourages communities, heritage regions, and the state to partner and promote Texas' historic and cultural resources. These successful local preservation efforts increase visitation to cultural and historic sites, bring more dollars to Texas communities, and preserves the state's historic resources for the use, benefit, and enjoyment of future generations.
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More Travel Destinations
The Texas Historical Commission, the state agency for historic preservation, administers a variety of programs to preserve the archeological, historical, and cultural resources of Texas.
Texas has the largest and most diverse collection of county courthouses in the nation. The nationally recognized Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program is in the process of restoring the state’s most treasured historic landmarks.
The Texas Historical Commission is a leader in implementing and promoting heritage tourism efforts in Texas. Enrich your life through real places that tell the real stories, one theme at a time.
- African Americans in Texas: A Lasting Legacy
- Bankhead Highway brochure (PDF)
- The Chisholm Trail brochure (PDF)
- Red River War of 1874-1875 brochure (PDF)
- Texas in the Civil War brochure (PDF)
- Texas in World War II brochure (PDF)
First Lady's Texas Treasures
Texas First Lady and honorary chair Anita Perry, in partnership with the THC, is recognizing communities that have shown a high level of creativity and ingenuity in preserving their authentic Texas sense of place.
- Paris (2013)
- San Angelo (2012)
- Brownsville (2011)
- Nacogdoches (2010)
- San Marcos (2010)
- Waxahachie (2010)
- Castroville (2009)
- Georgetown (2009)
- Mount Vernon (2009)
Main Street Cities
Visitors can stroll the sidewalks and peruse shops in one of the region’s Texas Main Street cities. Partnering with the THC, each community works to revitalize its historic commercial area, often the heart of a town.