If you thought, ‘Screw You, We’re from Texas’ was the state motto, not just the refrain in a Ray Wylie Hubbard song, you’d be forgiven for misunderstandin’. A certain chest-puffin’ pride does seem to go with being from the Lone Star State. It probably has as much to do with leftover independent spirit (locals are mighty proud of Texas having been its own country) as it does with all that bigness (the state is larger than Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands combined). Nevertheless, the Wild West lives on today mostly in attitude. If you’re expectin’ to see a buncha cowboys dusty from the trail, you’re about as sharp as a heapa mashed potaters. Computer-geek millionaires outnumber rich cattlemen, and you’re as likely to see a Dallas fashionista as a good ol’ gal in her tight-fittin’ jeans.
Sure you can (and might oughta) do some two-steppin’ in a 100-year-old dance hall, but you should also rock out at the hundreds of live-music venues in Austin or pulse to the mariachi beat in ol’ San Antone. If you imagine the nature of Texas is tumblin’ tumbleweeds, a walk along miles of undeveloped Gulf Coast beach or the sight of snow in the 8000ft-plus Guadalupe Mountains will change your mind right quick.
Of course there’s also them bright lights ‘n big cities – Houston and Dallas, with their culture and such. And if what you really want to see is ropers and riders, they’ll oblige ya. Mosey on over to Fort Worth’s historic stockyards, attend a small-town rodeo, or get your giddy-up on at Bandera’s dude ranches. Wherever you go, most folks are just as friendly as pie. Can you blame ‘em? They’re from Texas.
Best places to stay in Texas
The USA's best regional desserts
Apple pie gets a lot of glory for being the embodiment of American desserts – ‘As American as apple pie’ as the saying goes, flatly ignoring the fact that apple pie isn’t an American invention.
Broncs and buckaroos: On the cowboy trail in Texas
Texas destination guides
In a state known for its outsized personality, ego and geography, Houston is the biggest bad boy on the block.
Austin during SXSW: escape the crowds
Every year, Austin's South by Southwest Festival gets bigger and bigger, while Austin stays the same size. Escape the crowds with this mini-guide to experiencing Austin’s famously chilled-out ethos even during the most delightfully insane time of the year.
San Antonio Grand Sightseeing Tour
Discover the origins of San Antonio on a sightseeing tour featuring sights including the Alamo, Mission San Jose and the Japanese Sunken Gardens. You'll visit the Alamo - the most famous spot in Texas, where David Crockett, Colonel William Barrett Travis, Jim Bowie and 186 others died fighting for independence on March 6, 1836.
Roadtrip America Eastbound
Up for a cross-country journey? Then sign up for this road trip adventure from San Francisco to New York City, with plenty of big-name stops in between. Discover some of America's greatest national parks, live it up in Las Vegas, feel dwarfed by the Grand Canyon and discover a vibrant blend of musical traditions in New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville.
Top places to have a cheesy Valentine's Day in the US
Valentine’s Day: romantic or cheesy? Why shouldn't it be both? Let's face it - nobody does kitsch overkill quite as well as Americans. Here’s a list of a half-dozen places in the US, complete with built-in fun and mood-setting atmosphere for this February 14. Get ready to get smothered in cheese - love cheese. 1.