30 unusual Texas attractions for a last-minute summer vacation - Houston Chronicle

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Texas has its fair share of oddities, treasures and rustic surprises spread out over its 268,820 square miles.

We wanted to highlight some that stand out among the rest for those of you who may be considering a last-minute summer getaway. There's still time to make some great new memories just a drive away. >>>See 30 unique Texas attractions above.

Among the curious attractions is the "Steel House" by the late sculptor Robert Bruno. You might recognize it from Solange's music video for "Cranes in the Sky," since she filmed there for some scenes. Part sculpture, part house and part 1970s Texas time capsule, the structure is located in Ransom Canyon, about 15 miles east of Lubbock. The bold piece is made of 150 tons of steel that rests on narrow legs, giving the illusion of a hovering spacecraft. The three-level, 2,200-square-foot house sits at the edge of a jagged hill overlooking a nearby lake.

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If you prefer a place to cool down instead, consider a drive to Balmorhea. Known as the world's largest natural, spring-fed pool, this attraction just reopened after more than $1 million in repairs and campground upgrades. It's known for being so deep that it's used for scuba diving as well as swimming.

Remember the Terracotta Army replica soldiers out in Katy? They're still around town but have taken up residency at Lucky Land, a small amusement park that opened in 2017. Thousands of replicated miniature Qin soldiers are placed at the Tomb of Qin Shi Huang section of the park ---just like the real Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor in Xian, China.

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Adventurous Texas travelers are breathing new life into the far-west Texas ghost town Terlingua, a 60-person town that borders the Big Bend National Park. Terlingua visitors will also encounter a historic landscape of abandoned structures, from small adobe cottages to vintage vehicles, stranded and strewn across the border town. The lingering artifacts remind travelers of Terlingua's days as a mining boomtown. Its quicksilver mercury mines drew countless workers to the area in the early twentieth century.

Don't forget to stop off at the last marker of the Texas Republic for a photo. The last remaining boundary marker, a sizable granite pillar, for the Republic of Texas still stands at the border of Texas and Louisiana on FM-31. It's about six miles from the Louisiana border and some 10 miles from Deadwood, Texas in Panola county.

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