Heritage Tourism

If you enjoy traveling to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present, then you are a cultural heritage tourist, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Texas is internationally renowned for its unique natural and cultural heritage. Tourism in Texas is a $65 billion dollar industry with 220 million visitors, 63% of which report that they “seek travel experiences where the destination, its buildings and surroundings have retained their historic character”. Tourism dollars help Texans sustain the very qualities of community they value and heritage tourists desire, including: walkable historic districts showcasing Texas’ varied architectural legacy of stunning courthouses, depots, churches, houses, and commercial buildings; downtowns full of home-grown shops and restaurants reflecting the character of our diverse heritage; restored historic theatres where the show must go on; museums and cultural centers telling local stories; and the legendary forts, missions, presidios, and battlefields that embody Texas’ living history. Such places are critical to the maintenance of a uniquely Texan community and our state’s ability to deliver that legendary Texas mystique many travelers expect.

The Texas Historical Commission recognizes the value heritage tourism initiatives bring to communities across the state, and administrates a Heritage Tourism Program to support Texas towns and cities that utilize heritage tourism to enrich their local communities and economies.  The THC Heritage Tourism Program staff collaborates with community partners to develop heritage focused travel guides, aides in the promotion of natural and cultural resources statewide, and leads local level heritage tourism development workshops. Should you have any questions about the THC's Heritage Tourism Program, please do not hesitate to contact us via the contact form or direct contact information provided on the sidebar of this page.

What's New

Travel through Time with Free Mobile Tours

Bankhead Highway

The THC's Texas Time Travel mobile tours let you plan journeys to see the real places where the real stories of Texas took place during various periods of time in history. The free tours feature a rich blend of images, videos, first-person interviews, maps, and useful visitor information for exploring historical sites across Texas. Go to texastimetravel.toursphere.com to view the full app on the web or download it directly to your iOS or Android device. 

Free Hispanic Heritage Guide Helps You Plan Historic Travel

San Antonio Missions

Download the THC's latest travel guide, Hispanic Texans: Journey from Empire to Democracy (PDF) or order a printed copy. The 100-page, full color travel guide showcases hundreds of heritage tourism sites across the state, each featuring cultural and historical attractions significant to the Hispanic experience in Texas.