Texas is not always the first place you think of when the subject of a vacation is raised. There are certain preconceptions of what the place is like – and what the people who live there are like too. But, as with most stereotypes, the truth is far more complex.
Yes, you will see a lot of people wearing cowboy hats if you make the trip to Texas. But that doesn’t mean that everyone you meet is actually a cowboy, or that old-fashioned and dated views are the norm. There is a lot going for the Lone Star State, from thesports betting opportunities in Texas to the stunning scenery to the range of food on offer. Texas has been cruelly overlooked as a holiday destination and we are set on doing our part in making sure that more people know the truth.
Everything’s Bigger in Texas
As with most incorrect preconceptions about anything American, it is difficult to picture the sheer size of the place. There is a saying that “everything is bigger in Texas” and that is one cliché that actually does have a base in truth. But the state of Texas is also much bigger than many people imagine.
Even though Texas is just one state, it is roughly the size of the entirety of France – with Switzerland added in for good measure. It covers an area of almost 270,000 square miles and is home to more than 30 million people. It is obvious, therefore, that Texas is a more diverse place than the old TV shows and films might suggest.
The US is built on centuries of immigration and Texas is a perfect example of that. There are areas where particular communities have flourished for decades but the fact is that cultural diversity is the norm, rather than the exception here. From bustling metropolises to rural hamlets, Texas enjoys an intriguing mix of peoples.
Houston is the biggest city in the state and is home to numerous communities that have been attracted over the years. The city’s Chinatown is one of the biggest in the States and is home to many other Southeast Asian peoples. Travel west of Austin and you’ll find established central European communities in places like Fredericksburg. Texas is home to people from just about everywhere in the world.
Art in Texas
Urban arts districts are a big thing in the States and all major cities will have areas dedicated to creativity that receive financial help to keep the arts alive. Dallas is home to the biggest in the country and has a museum of art that houses collections including works of celebrated artists such as Van Gogh and Monet.
Further south, San Antonio draws its creativity from its surroundings – and especially its proximity to Latin America. Museums and galleries mix European and Latin American culture in a beautiful setting. But the truth is that art can be found just about everywhere.
Maybe it is something about the big skies of Texas that inspires interesting and innovative architecture and infrastructure. But, whether it is the underground tunnels of Houston, or the elaborate bridges spanning the rivers around Dallas, straining your neck to take in the views here will become a necessary hazard.
But the creativity is not confined to the most well-known cities in Texas. Fort Worth, a little west of Dallas, shows that there is something to be experienced all across the Lone Star State. The Water Gardens has cascading torrents over a series of terraces that can be walked for a truly immersive architectural experience.
The History of Texas
If your idea of the history of Texas is restricted to the cowboy movies you watched as a kid, then be prepared to be schooled. This place has been millions of years in the making and there is still a lot of wide-open land that has not been developed in all that time.
The landscape of the American west played a major part in the otherworldliness of the movies we mentioned, but prehistoric Texas has provided today’s visitors with the ability to enjoy huge canyons, mountain ranges, and even dinosaur footprints.
Hit the Beach
Much of Texas is a landlocked area of desert and heat. But the Gulf Coast is the place to head for if you are more of a beach person. There are almost 600 miles of sandy beaches, stretching from Galveston in the north to San Padre Island in the south. There are plenty of scenic hideaways to find here.
You can reach Matagorda Beach in just two hours if you are staying in Houston. But other beach towns and cities have everything you could wish for – whether you are travelling alone, with friends, or with family. The activities are as endless as the views along this stunning stretch of coastline.
Austin – Music City
With such a diverse cultural landscape, it will not come as a surprise that there is a lot that Texas has to offer when it comes to music. But there is one place in particular where any music aficionado has to make a pit stop. Austin is considered to be the live music capital of the world.
You can find music festivals and venues in every town and city across the state, but Austin boasts two major events every single year. There is the Austin City Limits Festival, with some of the biggest names performing, andSXSW, showcasing emerging names in music across the genres. A ticket for either is an excellent way to enjoy a city unlike anywhere else in the world.
The truth is that there are an infinite number of different vacations to be found in Texas. The place is just far too big to do in one trip. You wouldn’t want to visit Texas with that kind of attitude anyway.
Whether it is a luxurious hotel and prestigious art gallery opening, or a traditional dive bar and some barbecue food (we didn’t even have time to mention the food here!), you will find yourself returning to Texas time and time again – and never failing to be utterly enchanted by this incredible place.