Texas is big. Big landscapes, big ranches, big cities, and big personalities. Big history too, starting with the fact the state was its own independent country for ten years. People here love to boast, but that's just big pride in the place they call home. Texas's unique culture combines Hispanic history, ranching heritage, overnight oil fortunes, a fiercely independent spirit, and incredible friendliness. It's also an indelible part of American identity and myth. Remember the Alamo and find a home on the range, deep in the heart of Texas.
Highlights from Texas
- Austin Texas's capitol, with a booming arts scene and some of the best live music in the United States
- San Antonio Home of the Alamo, site of a legendary battle in the war for Texas Independence; and many other sites related to the state's Hispanic heritage
- Big Bend National Park Remote National Park filled with stark landscapes straight from western myth
- Dallas and Fort Worth The ying and yang of Texas cities only thirty miles apart; the former a boom town built on oil and the latter the home of Texas cowboy culture. Both have great museums, restaurants, and nightlife.
- Texas hill country Beautiful rolling hills with many guest ranches
- Houston Sprawling city containing sites as diverse as the Johnson Space Center, the Museum of Fine Art; and the Orange Show, one man's monument to his favorite fruit
Hints and Tips for Texas
- Distances in Texas are unbelievably large. The state is 800 miles/1280 km wide both north/south and east/west. Expect travel times to be much longer than anticipated
- Northern Texas sees hot summers, warm springs and falls, and cold winters. Southern Texas sees boiling hot summers, hot springs and falls, and warm winters. Coastal areas feature nearly unbearable summer humidity
- Major and midsize cities have bus connections, but these are much less efficient than private vehicles. Private transport is required in rural areas.
- All cities feature budget hotels, and most rural areas have abundant camping spots
- Advance reservations are required in summer and on the coast during spring. For major festivals, reserve at least nine months in advance.
- To live like a real cowboy, reserve a stay on a guest ranch