If you’re like most Texans, you’ve spent hours of your vacation days traveling across the vast expanses of this great state we call home. In those treks you have probably noticed, Texas is really beautiful. It’s such an enormous land that there is nearly any and every natural environment you can imagine, from dusty mountains out West, to red deserts, to rolling rivers to beaches down south, all the way out to the quiet swamplands in the east. And all across Texas, connecting each part to one another are bridges. Some of the bridges themselves are beautiful, and some merely allow travelers to view the natural beauty of the state, but either way, here are 10 incredible Texas bridges you’ve got to see.
Lone Wolf Crossing Bridge – San Angelo
Built in 1888 and constructed to its current form in 1921, Lone Wolf Crossing Bridge was a necessary water crossing in the old west town of San Angelo. Today it has been converted to a pedestrian and bicycle bridge. Though Old West wagons no longer amble across it, it’s still reputed to be haunted.
Rainbow Bridge – Port Arthur
The tallest bridge in Texas, the Rainbow Bridge that connects Port Arthur to Bridge City was commissioned in 1931. Just up the river in Beaumont, locals petitioned to have the bridge built tall enough to allow shipping to continue to reach their city, so the bridge was made with a clearance of 177 feet, and it’s truly a thrill to drive over.
Pecos River Bridge – Langtry
This historic railroad bridge was completed in 1892 to service the Southern Pacific Railroad. Built over the Pecos River Gorge in Langtry near the Mexican border. The bridge was replaced in 1949 and remains one of the most beautiful bridges in Texas.
Fred Hartman Bridge – Baytown
The Fred Hartman Bridge over the Houston Ship Channel in Baytown is a sight to be seen. Its construction is whats known as a cable-stayed bridge, and it’s the longest such bridge in the state. It’s named for the editor of the Baytown Sun, Fred Hartman.
Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge – Corpus Christi
Though the Port Arthur bridge may be called the Rainbow Bridge, the Harbor Bridge in Corpus actually becomes a rainbow. At night the bridge lights up in a kaleidoscope of different colors. The colors are created by 950 LED lights installed in 2011 at the price of $2.2 million, and has made the bridge a substantial tourist draw for visitors to the Gulf Coast city.
7th Street Bridge – Fort Worth
The 7th Street Bridge that connects downtown Fort Worth with its cultural district was reconstructed in 2013 to include its signature arches. Improved pedestrian crossing was also added as a safety feature, and it’s a beauty to behold.
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge – Dallas
The beautiful bridge that spans the Trinity River coming into Dallas was fully completed in 2010 when the 40-story arch was added to the apex of the bridge. The bridge came with a hefty price tag, according to a 2012 article in the Dallas Morning News, the estimated costs topped out at $182 million.
Waco Suspension Bridge – Waco
Originally constructed in 1870, the Waco Suspension Bridge served as a water crossing over the Brazos River on the Chisholm Trail. Today the bridge is a beautiful and historical centerpiece of city events.
Queen Isabella Causeway – South Padre Island
The picturesque bridge that connects Texas’s most beautiful beach with the mainland was opened in 1974 and is the principal thoroughfare used to get to South Padre Island. The bridge is two miles long and affords breathtaking views of the island as travelers approach.
Pennybacker Bridge – Austin
Named for Texas Highway Department veteran Percy V. Pennybacker Jr., the Pennybacker Bridge is one of the most photographed bridges in Austin. Surrounded by breathtaking vistas of Lake Austin and Mount Bonnell, locals simply refer to the bridge as the 360 Bridge, for its location along Austin’s Loop 360.