Texas: the Lone Star State. The only state to have been its own country first. Everything is bigger in Texas, from the cities to the open plains, to the pine forests and the bayou country. Texas is huge and varied, so where do you start? Here are five tips on visiting Texas.
Visit in Spring or Fall – Summer in Texas is sweltering. The panhandle winds blow over dusty plains, tumbleweeds decorating the streets. The west side reaches epic temperatures on the mesas, the southern part epic humidity. Winters are mild but rainy, not exactly a perfect setting. Spring in Texas is gorgeous. Around the hill country of Austin, bluebonnets (the state flower) grow in wild blankets of blue-violet. Wildflowers decorate every inch of land. Spring comes early so far south, so April and May are prime months to see the wildflowers. Fall doesn’t necessarily mean changing of colors. Texas winters are so mild that trees frequently don’t change color at all. But when the weather starts to crisp, usually around the end of October, Texas comes alive. Festivals of all sorts spread across the state. Food is a staple at events, so be prepared to taste every variety of BBQ and chili known to man.
Love music? Try Austin – Known for its eclectic mix of music and art, Keep Austin Weird is the motto of the capitol city. Not too big to be overwhelming, Austin offers a variety of entertainment venues. The nearby cities also have great things to see, especially the college towns. If you’re a history buff, visit the capitol building and learn a little about the nation within a nation. Keep an eye out for a University of Texas/Texas A&M football grudge match.
Love history? Try San Antonio – The river walk, the Alamo, the historic district, San Antonio loves its past. Colorful Mexican dancers and wares line the boardwalk, and the Alamo is something everyone should see at least once. For the romantic, San Antonio has the highest number of horse and carries in the state. You can also float down the river that bisects the town and take in the sights that way.
Got a multicultural flair? Try Houston – The oil town has every culture you’d ever want. The biggest city in Texas and the fifth largest in the U.S., Houston has an active nightlife. The downtown and Galleria areas are teeming with life until the wee hours of the morning. World-class restaurants and museums flood the area. Watch out for the traffic though, they don’t call it the city of freeways for nothing.
Visit the parks – Texas has a huge variety of parks to visit. All reasonably priced and open nearly all the time, Texas parks offer everything from swamp tours to cabins in the pines, and everything in between. The panhandle to the north is mostly plains, the center is softly rolling hills, the east piney woods, the west mesas and deserts, the south swamps and bayous. Pick a climate and take a look at the parks in the area. Pay attention to the ‘prime times’, most park sites let you know when the best time to visit is.
There you go, now choose a spot and get moving! Texas is a lot more than cows and oil; it offers a variety of adventures for any traveler. Whether you’re looking for relaxing scenery or you’re planning on clubbing it, Texas has something for everyone. And don’t worry about the dress; boots and cowboy hats are not required.
This Guest post is by Christine Kane, a graduate of Communication and Journalism. She enjoys writing about a wide-variety of subjects including internet service for different blogs. She can be reached via email at: Christi.Kane00 @ gmail.com