Why should you visit Texas

Texas - Lone Star State in the American Mid-South

Wonderful pristine natural landscapes, cacti, oil fields, cowboys and endless prairies. Big cities like Dallas or Houston, cowboy cities like Amarillo and the world-famous Stetson hat that even adorns the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas, all of this is Texas, the 28th state of the USA. Texas is a state of superlatives where everything is a little bigger than anywhere else, regardless of whether it's about the vehicles or the portion sizes in the restaurants. Texas has more counties than any other state in the United States, and even the Texas Capitol is taller than Washington's.

Table of Contents
Texas in numbers, data and facts | Geographical location and extent | Weather and Climate in Texas | Texas population | The 10 Biggest Cities of Texas | Texas for tourists | Tickets for attractions and activities | Hotels, Apartments and Vacation Rentals | Texas - stronghold of American conservatism | History of texas

Texas
Alamo | Arlington | Austin | Dallas | El Paso | Fort Worth | Fredericksburg | Houston | New Braunfels | San Antonio


It would take months to years to fully explore the United States' second largest state in terms of area after Alaska. Reason enough to visit the Lone Star State in the American Mid-South over and over again.

Texas in numbers, data and facts

  • surface: 695,621 km²
  • Residents: 28.304.596 (2017)
  • Member of the USA since: December 29, 1845
  • Time zone: UTC-6 Central, UTC-7 (Mountain)
  • Highest elevation: Guadalupe Peak (2667 meters)
  • Deepest point: Gulf of Mexico: 0 meters
  • Average height: 520 meters
  • Capital: Austin
  • State motto: Friendship

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Geographical location and extent

Texas is located in the mid-south of the United States and borders Mexico to the south. About half of the border between the two states is there. Other neighboring states are New Mexico in the west, Louisiana in the east, Arkansas in the northeast and Oklahoma in the north. The Lone Star State offers its visitors an incredible variety. You often get the impression that you are still in your own country within the USA, even if Texas has been part of the Union since 1845. Huge mountains and plains, the plains, citrus groves and deep canyons, the endless prairie in the north and the 1000 kilometer long Gulf coast with its beautiful beaches in the south are just some of the diverse and appealing regions that can be discovered in Texas.

Weather and Climate in Texas

Texas is divided into three climatic zones. While the west is characterized by a dry, continental climate, which develops into a healthy mountain climate in the plateaus on the Rio Grande, a maritime climate prevails in the east on the coast to the Gulf of Mexico. Due to the high humidity, it is often quite humid there and on the coast, but also in Central Texas and in the Rio Grande Valley the temperatures are often felt higher than in reality. The highest temperatures can be expected in July and August.

In the south the climate is subtropical with mild winters. In the north, however, the winters are often severe. There are often sudden, violent snowstorms and high amounts of precipitation. In general, Texas is a state where you can expect abrupt weather changes and where you should always take the weather forecasts and warnings seriously. This applies in particular to the tornado warnings, which can be expected from August to October in particular.

The best times of the year to visit Texas are spring and fall. In the south and south-east of the Gulf of Mexico, pleasant temperatures with water temperatures above 20 degrees can also be expected in winter.

Population of Texas

Texas is the second most populous state in the United States after California. The 2010 US Census had 25,145,561 inhabitants, made up of 45.3% whites, 37.6% Hispanics and Latinos, 11.8% African-Americans, 3.8% Asians, 0.7% Indians, 0, 1% Hawaiians and residents of other Pacific Islands. Minorities made up the largest part of the population with 50.2% in 2010, which makes Texas a majority minority state. The Lone Star State's population is among the fastest growing in the United States, with an average age of 34.3 years.

The proximity to Mexican culture can be clearly felt in Texas. A lot of Spanish is spoken, many signs are bilingual and there are numerous Spanish radio and television channels. German culture is also upheld in many traditional associations in Texas. After all, 9.6 percent of the residents are of German descent, which makes residents with German roots the second largest group after Mexicans. Especially in the southeast and in the center of Texas, many whites live with German ancestors. In addition, many people whose ancestors were immigrants from Ireland, Great Britain and France also live in the Lone Star State. African Americans are mostly found in parts of the state that had many cotton plantations before the Civil War. Many African Americans also live in Dallas and Houston.

The main religion in Texas is Roman Catholic. There are also many Baptists and Methodists and other Protestant denominations, especially in the east, north and central Texas, where many descendants of Irish and British live.

The 10 Biggest Cities of Texas

  1. Houston (2,099,451)
  2. San Antonio (1,327,407)
  3. Dallas (1,197,816)
  4. Austin (790,390)
  5. Fort Worth (741,206)
  6. El Paso (649,121)
  7. Arlington (365,438)
  8. Corpus Christi (305.215)
  9. Plano (259,841)
  10. Laredo (176,576)

Figures according to U.S. Census 2010.

Texas for tourists

Texas, that includes superlatives, cowboys, barbecues, Spanish culture, ghost towns, lively cultured metropolises, cultural attractions, ghost towns like Terlingua, parks like Six Flags over Texas and one-off events.

That includes legendary barbecues, great festivals like the unique Charro Days in Brownsville, modernist oases of relaxation like the Forth Worth Water Gardens, modern cities with large shopping centers like Houston and Dallas and lively places like San Antonio with its picturesque River Walk wonderful to sit in one of the restaurants with outside seating and enjoy music, festivals and shows.

And of course NASA's futuristic Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, where everything revolves around the well-known space program. Not only does the largest collection of moon rocks await visitors there, but it will also be possible to take a look behind the scenes at NASA.

And if you want, you can take a trip to Louisiana from Texas and try your hand at gambling, or go fishing or water sports at Toledo Bend.

Tickets for attractions and activities

Tickets for attractions and activities in Texas can be found at www.getyourguide.de.

Texas - the home of the cowboys

To walk in the footsteps of western heroes like Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood is a dream that many associate with their vacation in the USA. In Texas, the dream of the Wild West can come true. Because the Lone Star State is not only a stronghold of the rodeo, but also events with colorful western shows, cattle auctions, country music and line dancing are regularly offered in all larger cities. The rodeo in Houston is particularly spectacular, where the world's best riders compete in bull riding, bull wrestling and other well-known rodeo disciplines.

In addition, many ranches offer cowboy vacations, which offer visitors the opportunity to get to know the originality of the Wild West and the unique primeval landscape with its huge cacti on the back of a horse or donkey or optionally in a jeep, which they previously only knew from western films without having to forego modern comfort. The largest ranch in Texas is the King Ranch on the Gulf of Mexico, which was founded in 1852 and is a historical attraction in a beautiful landscape. Bandera is known as the world capital of cowboys with its imposing longhorn cattle, real cowboy breakfast and saloons.

Also worth seeing are the Cadillac Ranch with its art installation made up of 10 Cadillacs and the “Frontier Texas!” Museum in Abilene, where you can return to the days of the Wild West with life-size holograms.

A touch of Spain and Mexico

The influence of the Mexican and Spanish culture from the long period of Spanish rule can still be felt in many places in Texas and some of the most famous attractions of the Lone Star State also originally came from the Spanish.

First of all, of course, the Spanish mission station The Alamo in San Antonio should be mentioned, where the most famous and no less historical battle of the Texan War of Independence took place at the beginning of the 19th century. The Alamo is now the most visited attraction in Texas. Another highlight for friends of Spanish culture is El Paso with its many festivals and holidays such as the famous Amigo Airshow.

Hotels, apartments and holiday homes

Hotels, apartments and vacation rentals in Texas can be found at www.booking.com.


Must-see museums and cultural attractions in Texas

There are numerous museums and other cultural attractions in Dallas that are well worth a visit.

Including the following:

  • Sixth Floor Museum: Located on Dealey Plaza in Dallas, the Sixth Floor Museum is dedicated to the life and legacy of John F. Kennedy. It is located at the place where the shooter is said to have fired the fatal shots at the US President in the November 22nd 1963 assassination attempt.
  • Dallas Museum of Art: With an impressive collection of more than 24,000 works, the Dallas Museum of Art combines innovative programs, lectures and exhibitions with an entertaining excursion past many works of art, decorative objects and design objects.
  • Museum of Fine Arts: The largest art museum in the Lone Star State is in Houston. Around 56,000 exhibits and important exhibitions can be admired there.
  • Dr. Pepper Museum: Dr. Pepper is cult and is still often associated with Texas. And that's no coincidence, after all, it was invented there in the 19th century. At the former bottling place of the cult drink in Waco there is now a museum for one of the oldest soft drinks in the world with surprising insights.
  • Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument: In the north of Texas, in the hills above the Canadian River, there are sites of flint, which was used as early as 11,000 BC by the Indians and their predecessor cultures to make tools and weapons from the material. The National Monument is only accessible on guided tours.
  • Texas Surf Museum: Texas is not only the land of oil barons and cowboys, but also a dream destination for thousands of surfers. The Texas Surf Museum, which opened in Corpus Christi in 2005, tells the story of surfing and where Texas is part of that story.
  • Kelsey Bass Museum and Event Center: When it comes to history and proud traditions, Rio Grande City has a lot to offer. For a glimpse into the culture and heritage of Rio Grande City and Starr Counties, visit the Kelsey Bass Museum and Event Center.

National parks and natural landmarks in Texas

Texas not only has a huge area, but also an impressive landscape that has retained much of its originality. This can be enjoyed particularly well in the national parks and natural monuments of the state.

On the one hand, there is the Big Bend National Park, which is traversed by the Rio Grande River, and which really gives rise to Wild West nostalgia. In addition to the state's tallest mountain, Guadalupe Mountains National Park in far west Texas has excellent hiking trails. Wild birds are best seen in Texas at the Arsanas National Wildlife Refugee. On the other hand, it gets hot in Franklin Mountain State Park, which includes 96 square kilometers of the Chihuahua Desert.

And for those who would like to combine history and nature, a visit to the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park with four mission stations from the 18th century or the Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area, which is known for its vertical canyons and in particular the Mexican bulldog bat provides a home.

Wonderful lake landscapes await visitors in the Amistad National Recreation Area near Del Rio and the Padre Islands National Seashore is home to the most important nesting beach for the Caribbean ridged turtle, one of the most heavily protected turtle species in the world.

If you want to combine nature hiking and wildlife viewing, you should definitely take a closer look at the Texan trails, such as the Heart of Texas Wildlife Trail, the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail and the Prairies and Pinewoods Trail.

Beaches and swimming in Texas

Everything is great in Texas, at least if you ask the Texans. But what is definitely fantastic is the Texas Riviera, on which 560 kilometers of beautiful beaches and pretty cities like Galveston, Corpus Christi and Beaumont are just waiting to be discovered by visitors to Texas. South Padre Island is particularly popular with kiteboarders, but also for snorkeling, diving, swimming and sailing, while windsurfers tend to cavort in the Bird Island Basin area in Laguna Madre between Corpus Christi and Port Isabel.

Texas - the home of the oil barons

When you think of the Texan economy, the first thing that comes to mind is the oil barons. After all, oil and gas production, oil refining, and petrochemicals are inextricably linked to the Lone Star State. Most of the US oil is still produced in Texas and it is still the second most important industrial and commercial state in the US after California. Other important branches of the economy are agriculture with the cultivation of cotton, wheat, citrus fruits, rice, maize, oats and vegetables and the keeping of cattle and sheep. The food, aerospace, electronics and tourism industries also play an important role in the US economy. The port of Houston is the second largest seaport in the United States. The Texas Eagle (Amtrak) runs daily between Chicago and San Antonio and makes stops in Austin and Dallas.

Texas - stronghold of American conservatism

Politically, the Lone Star State has been a Republican stronghold since the 1970s and is viewed as thoroughly conservative. George Bush and his father, George H. W. Bush, had careers in Texas before moving into the White House.

But Texas is also known for its rigorous enforcement of the death penalty. There is no other state in the United States where more people are executed. The corporal punishment of students using so-called paddles is still allowed in the Lone Star State and is especially widespread among evangelical Christians.

History of texas

Texas is home to the oldest datable human artifact in North America. People lived in the Buttermilk Creek Complex in what is now Bell County as early as 15,500 to around 13,200 BC. Traces of the Paleo-Indians can be found mainly in the north. Man-made petroglyphs have been preserved on the Pecos River around 4000 BC and the ruins of The Buried City, which was probably inhabited by Indians between 800 and 1500, are located southeast of Perryton in Ochiltree County. Texas also owes its name to the Indians. Because the Indian word "teysha", from which Texas eventually developed, means something like "hello friends" and was used by researchers and colonists who referred to the friendly Indian tribes in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

The Spaniards were the first Europeans to arrive in what is now Texas in 1519. Alonso Álvarez de Pineda mapped the Texan coast and in the course of time many places and especially missions in the area of ​​the present state were created. Corpus Christi was founded in 1621, El Paso followed in 1659. An interim attempt at colonization by the French failed in 1685. In 1718 the Mission San Antonio de Valero was founded, which eventually became known as "The Alamo" in US history and above all over 100 years later should go down in Texan history.

In 1821 Texas became part of Mexico, but two years later the North American Colonel Stephen F. Austin received permission to settle with 300 families in the state of Texas. This heralded the Anglo-American settlement of today's Lone Star State, but also created tensions between the settlers and the Mexicans under President General Santa Anna. Especially when Mexico outlawed slavery. These tensions between the two camps finally culminated in the Texan War of Independence in 1835, during which the Texans proclaimed the independent Republic of Texas in 1836 and declared General Sam Houston military commander-in-chief.

Battle as a symbol of the war of independence

The battle followed, which would become the symbol of the War of Independence. On March 6th, after a thirteen-day siege, Mexican troops began to storm Fort Alamo and were only able to take the mission station on the third attempt and with great losses, despite being clearly superior. Most of the defenders were killed in the fighting. Survivors were subsequently executed by the Mexicans. It was a victory for the Mexicans, but nonetheless the beginning of the end for them.

After further acts of war, the Texan War of Independence finally ended with the 18-minute battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, in which the Texan Army under General Sam Houston surprisingly won the war. Texas then remained a separate country as an independent Republic of Texas between 1836 and 1845 and did not join the Union until 1845. At least until the Civil War, when Texas, along with other Southern States, left the Union and joined the Confederate States of America. After the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was completed, Texas was re-admitted to the Union in 1870.