The USA is huge. Made up of 50 states all with their own capital cities and general differences in regards to culture. With so any regions to explore you might be unsure about where to start. I would say there are plenty of states that are popular amongst fellow travellers and vacation explorers. There is Florida and Orlando, famous for those theme parks. The state of New York with the iconic New York City and all those landmarks. Then let’s not forget Nevada with the glittering lights of Las Vegas. But one place I think many people also know of is the largest state within the main country, and that is Texas.
Which got me thinking. Do many people actually take a vacation there? I would say that it wouldn’t be the number one place people holiday, but the answer is yes they people do visit this state. I wanted to explore this vast state a little more and provide you with some facts and history about Texas. Maybe it will entice you to consider spending a holiday there at some stage. Perhaps one to add to the bucket list for sure.
A little bit of history
First of all I thought it would be a good idea to give you a little insight into the history of Texas. It hasn’t always been a main part of the USA. Thousands of years ago, the state that is known as Texas was inhabited with many different Native American tribes. Back in 1519 saw the first Spanish conquistadors having travelled up from South America. During the period of 1519 to 1548, different regions of Texas were claimed by five different countries. France, Spain, Mexico, The republic of texas and The United States Of America. How crazy is that? Further still, I think this is evidence to the diverse culture you will find across this expansive state. It’s easy to see with some of the most popular cities that those influences live on. Now the second biggest state of the USA behind Alaska, Texas has fast become an area that many people will know. With a colorful history that showcases Texas once being a nation itself, in 1845 it officially became part of the USA as it’s 28th state.
Major cities and their landmarks
Today, we know Texas as a large state based in the southern part of the USA. With the famous river the Rio Grande that forms the border between USA and Mexico, many pine forests and deserts there is a lot to see. Texas can have good weather, but it can be quite humid at times. I thought I would share with you some information about the major cities within the Texas state.
Austin is a city on the Eastern edge of the Texas state. It also happens to be the state capital. But what it is known for most is for being the live music capital of the world. If you are into Formula 1, then you may want to visit the famous raceway here. It won’t disappoint. Austin is fantastic for the more sports focused individual. Whether you love hiking and biking, or swimming and boating. With all the lakes and parks there will always be something to do. It is a great popular destination for outdoor pursuits.
Houston is a sprawling city with a metropolis of skyscraper buildings and much to see. Houston is also the home to the Space centre where some of the training for NASA astronauts takes place. If museums are more your thing, then you have the the museum of fine arts and also the museum of natural science. There is something for everyone in this city.
Dallas is a modern and bustling city in the northern region of Texas. Most well-known for the location in which John. F Kennedy was assassinated at Dealey Plaza, which has a great memorial to visit. However, art is at the forefront of what this city has to offer with its very own arts district. It has an amazing Asian art collection that goes back 100’s of years. There is even a Dallas architecture tour that offers some excellent insight into the city itself. Dallas is a suitable destination for all the family and has great child friendly attractions.
San Antonio is a different style city in the southern region of Texas. It has a real Spanish feel to it. This is down to the battle of Texan independence from Mexico in 1836. A great attraction is the mile-long river walk that has an abundance of cafes and restaurants along the promenade. Offering an amazing diver cultural experience with an atmosphere to match. This city is rich in culture and offers many attractions for all the family to enjoy. There is something that everyone can enjoy and experience.
In the late 19th century the city of Fort Worth became an important outpost for trading amongst cowboys. Today it still has this history at the forefront of what it does with the National Cowgirl Museum and the famous rodeos that take place. This city will offer you an experience never to forget.
What about the food?
As we have taken care of the cultural side of things and the places to go. The next most important thing would be the food, right? There are just some foods that Texas does better than anywhere else. Some include Fajitas, which I think has much to do with the close proximity of Mexico. Especially with the Spanish influence that San Antonio has to offer. I couldn’t talk about food without giving a mention to the Pecan Pie. The pecan nut is officially the health nut of Texas, so there is no surprise that this dish is done well in this state.
BBQ is huge in Texas. So an amazing dish would be the Texas style slow cooked brisket. However, being in Texas there are an abundance of steakhouses offering top notch cuisine. For example places like myronsprime.com in San Antonio.
However, if you are a real foodie then the Texas State Fair is an occasion not to be missed. Plus everything tastes better when it is deep fried. Just don’t tell the waistline that. But even things like chilli con carne and cobbler are all dishes that work well and are created to perfection in Texas. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about how good the food is suppose to be.
How to get there
Of course, getting there purely depends on where you are travelling from. If you are reading this and live in the USA you may be close by, or perhaps need to take an internal flight. For many of us, you would get there by plane. Thankfully there are number different major international airports that are central to some of the main cities in Texas. There is the San Antonio international airport and the Dallas Fort Worth airport. Thankfully just checking out websites like skyscanner.com will enable you to find the best tickets and prices for your trip to Texas.
Getting around is easier than you think. There are some amazing links between the cities with public transport options like buses and trains. So there are other options to hiring a car while you are about on your travels.
Things you need to know before you go
The Texan people are very friendly apparently. In some countries you notice that some people are just not forthcoming with eye contact and smiles. I especially noticed it when living in England as an Expat. It can seem like when someone smiles or makes eye contact with you that there is a hidden agenda. But in actual fact people can be friendly and helpful.
They also love to talk and sometimes you might find that a five minute story takes more like ten minutes. But I think this is down to the expressions and emotions that get drawn in when communicating.
There is always something to be doing. But with the state being so large I don’t think it’s a place that you can just visit once and see everything in a week. If you are travelling around the world, like I am, then you have the time to really appreciate each place. So bear in mind that if you are choosing to vacation there, that you may want to appreciate different areas at different times. Just so you get to see everything this state has to offer.
I hope that this guide has given you a big insight into the state of texas. As I mentioned earlier it’s well known for many things, but not as obvious as a holiday destination. Many travellers around the USA will take on this state. Possibly starting with it as it has a southern pinpoint. It certainly has many landmarks to consider witnessing. But it should also be considered for anyone just taking a general vacation. Each of the cities have so much to offer. If anything, I hope it has inspired you to consider alternative destinations than just some of the most popular places. Hidden gems around this globe are everywhere, they are just waiting to be discovered by you. Will you be adding Texas to your bucket list?
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