Don’t mess with Texas

Unless, of course, you want to visit. Take a visual tour of Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and other attractions in the Lone Star state.

Big Tex greets over 3 million visitors to the State Fair of Texas each year. The State Fair is held annually at Fair Park, located near downtown Dallas. Courtesy of Fair Park
A project is under way to turn the banks of the Trinity River -- here reflecting the Dallas skyline -- into the nation's largest urban park. Dallas CVB
An athlete competes in a bull-riding event at the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, which runs April through October in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite. Dallas CVB
The view of Dealy Plaza from the Sixth Floor Museum in the former Texas School Book Depository. The site, from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot President John F. Kennedy, is dedicated to Kennedy's life and legacy. Courtesy of the Sixth Floor Museum
A center for blues and jazz early in the century, Deep Ellum had become a warehouse district by the 60s and 70s. But the artists returned, and an the area is once again a hotspot for arts and entertainment. Courtesy of the Deep Ellum Assoc.
Cowboys move a herd of Texas longhorns along the Trinity River Bottoms. Once a major stop along the Preston Cattle Trail, the Dallas area still has a number of working ranches. Dallas CVB
An aerial view of downtown Houston. Greater Houston CVB
The RE/MAX Ballunar Liftoff Festival is an annual ballooning event near Johnson Space Center involving a weekend of hot air ballooning, arts and crafts, live entertainment, sky-diving exhibitions and food. Aug. 25-27, 2006. Greater Houston CVB
Framed by the native bayou woodlands, the Diana Garden at Bayou Bend provides a magnificent vista from the north terrace of the house. Greater Houston CVB
Hermann Park, presented to the City of Houston by George Hermann in 1914, is Houston's most historically significant public green space. The park rests on 401 acres in the heart of the Museum District. Greater Houston CVB
As the official visitors center for Johnson Space Center, this theme park for space fans features actual spacecraft, flight simulators and a guided tram tour of NASA and Mission Control. Matthew Stockman / Getty Images
Located north of Houston in Spring, Augusta Pines Golf Club hosted the PGA Champions Tour (formerly the Seniors Tour) in 2004 and 2005. Greater Houston CVB
The Zoo's Natural Encounters exhibit features meerkats, otters, vampire bats and other small mammals. Greater Houston CVB
Founded in 1900, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is the largest art museum in the Southwest. The encyclopedic collection of the MFAH numbers more than 51,000 works and embraces the art of antiquity to the present. Greater Houston CVB
Just 50 miles south of Houston, Galveston is Texas' most beautiful, entertaining & historic island. Visitors to this splendid tropical paradise are treated to 32 miles of sun-drenched beaches, direct access to four major cruise lines, miles of historic Victorian architecture, countless exciting attractions, 20 square blocks of shopping on Galveston's Historic Downtown Strand and much more.. Greater Houston CVB
Kemah, on Galveston Bay, is a spectacular waterfront destination with themed restaurants, the Boardwalk Inn hotel, amusement rides, dancing fountains, mid-way games and retail shops. Greater Houston CVB
A jewel in the crown of the majestic downtown Houston skyline, Minute Maid Park has become a welcome home for the Houston Astros and has ushered in a new era of Major League sports in the city. Greater Houston CVB
San Antonio and the Alamo played a critical role in the Texas Revolution - it is a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. For this reason the Alamo remains hallowed ground and the Shrine of Texas Liberty. San Antonio CVB
The World Famous San Antonio River Walk offers a variety of attractions and activities including riverboat rides, live music, hotels, museums, art galleries, shopping. San Antonio CVB
An ancient festivity that has been much transformed through the years, the Day of the Dead was intended in prehispanic Mexico to celebrate children and the dead. The holiday today is a time when Mexican families remember their dead and the continuity of life. San Antonio CVB
Mission San Jose was founded in 1720 by the famed Father Antonio Margil de Jesús, a prominent Franciscan missionary in early Texas. It was built on the banks of the San Antonio river several miles to the south of the earlier mission, San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo). Mission San Jose is an active parish. Visitors are welcome to attend mass on Sundays. San Antonio CVB
The Witte Museum is San Antonio 's premiere museum featuring scientific and historical exhibits for the whole family. The H-E-B Science Treehouse offers four levels of fun and experimentation with Energy, Air Power, Simple Machines, Eco-Science, Weather, and Sound Waves. San Antonio CVB
Housed in what was the home of the late Marion Koogler McNay, the McNay Art Museum was the first modern art museum in Texas. Founded in 1950, the McNay focuses primarily on 19th- and 20th- century European and American art, and opened to the public four years later. It's collection of prints and drawings is one of the finest in the Southwest. San Antonio CVB
This Roman Catholic Church, is dedicated to Ste. Thérèse de Lisieux of the Child Jesus, and bears her nickname, 'The Little Flower' of Jesus. It is distinguished as one of only a handful of church buildings in North America (and one of only three in the state of Texas) bearing the papal designation of 'basilica' - a treasury of art, master craftsmanship and relics. San Antonio CVB
Urban monumental sculptor Sebastian was commissioned by the Association of Mexican Entrepreneurs of San Antonio to create this 50-ton red steel structure. Created in Mexico, it was shipped to San Antonio in six pieces and was presented to the City of San Antonio as a gift from the Association. San Antonio CVB