By any stretch Texas is big. By far the largest of the 'lower states', it stretches 1000 miles across and even longer north to south. Its past as an independent nation has given Texans a sense of pride and freedom, evident by the state flag that still bears the Lone Star, emblem of the Republic. Dallas and Forth Worth are the main cities, but the capital Austin is not to be missed. Although this is a state of wide open countryside, 90 percent of the state's 20 million people live in the cities.
Everything in Texas' cities is big and bold. Visit Austin, live music capital of the world, and soak up the music scene that permeates every corner of its Hill Country streets. In Houston, the Space Centre offers a taste of life as an astronaut, while in San Antonio, the river and its vibrant River Walk are at the centre of the residents' way of life. Of course, Dallas and Fort Worth are the biggest cities, combining a rich western heritage with a modern way of life.
Wild West History
Everywhere you look in Texas, there are reference to its Wild West history. The rodeo, which originated as part of the working cattle industry, is now a huge tourist attraction. The Alamo, a military outpost in San Antonio, tells a story of long-ago battles and complex Mexican-American relations. And if you stay on a ranch, you'll get a glimpse of what life was like at home on the range, back when four-legged transport was the only option and afternoons were spent with a glass of lemonade and a rocking chair on the porch.
Cattle in Fort Worth
The vast Texan countryside is perfect for adventurers. Hike the 150 miles of trails through Big Bend, or climb 3,000 feet to Guadalupe Peak. East of El Paso, Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site is 860 acres of rock, basins, and desert skies, ideal for bouldering, while Georgetown boasts the Inner Space Cavern, a prehistoric cave of spectacular columns and flowstone. And in spring, Hill Country is the perfect place for that iconic Bluebonnet photo.
Big Bend National Park