The Lone Star State is known for its cowboy culture and conservative politics. But beyond that, Texas has a diverse landscape, an exciting history, plenty of adventure and much more to offer. Read more in our following article!
- Area: approx. 696.000 km²
- Population: approx. 29 million
- Time zone: GMT -6 hours
- Capital: Austin
- State motto: Friendship
History of Texas
The region of today's Texas was already populated 12,000 years ago. At the time of the arrival of the Europeans, several Native American tribes lived there, most of whom later perished or were resettled to reservations in Oklahoma and Arkansas. The name of the state is derived from the word for "friends" in one of the languages spoken there at that time (táyshaʼ - Caddo language).
Texas becomes US State
Since the first settlement by immigrants, today's Texas has belonged to Spain, France, Mexico and was even once - as the only state besides Vermont - an independent republic. Then in 1845 it became part of the United States, belonged to the Confederate States and rejoined the USA after the American Civil War. It was formally admitted to the Confederation on 29 December 1845 as the 28th state of the USA.
The domestication of Texas wild longhorn herds contributed greatly to the popularization of beef in the USA and Mexico in the 19th century. The discovery of numerous oil fields further boosted the economy in the early 20th century.
Due to declining economy and political discrimination, many Afro- and Latin Americans left the state in the 20th century, so that the population was 74% white in 1940. Today, however, Texas is considered a "Minority-Majority-State", since about 40% of the Texas population is Hispanic and only about 41% white.
Texas has been shaped mainly by German immigrants, who still make up the largest share after the inhabitants of Mexican descent. Texans have always been predominantly conservative and vote mostly for Republicans, although demographic changes suggest a tendency towards the Democratic Party.
Thanks to the wealth of natural resources, high population, increasing urbanization and a strong higher education system, Texas' economy is diverse. However, the oil industry is still a very large and important part of it.
Landscape & Location
Texas is located in the central south of the USA and borders the states of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana in the north. In the far south, the Rio Grande forms the border between Texas and Mexico. Texas also has a coastline on the Gulf of Mexico in the southeast.
Location of Texas
The state comprises various ecological regions: with coniferous and mixed forests in the east, the prairies and steppes of the central plains and the Basin & Range Province in the west - the most diverse region, where forested mountain ranges stretch into deserts, arid grasslands and dry valleys.
Map of Texas
Climate in Texas
The climate is as varied as its landscape, but in general, summers throughout the state are hot, averaging 40°C, especially in the western regions. Rainfall is low in the west, but relatively high in the south and southeast, where summers are humid and winters are mild. Regular snow is only found in the western mountain ranges and far to the north.
Temperatures in El Paso - Source: wetter.de
With 30°C water temperature in summer, Texas at the Gulf of Mexico offers some of America's warmest beaches. Water temperatures here drop to 12°C in January, but from April to October you can enjoy Texas' coastline in the water.
Texas is also the US state most affected by tornadoes, with around 140 tornadoes per year. They usually occur from April to June in the northern part of the state, which belongs to the so-called Tornado Alley.
Best Travel Time to Texas
Mild temperatures, lower hotel rates and exciting activities make spring in Texas particularly inviting. Wildflowers are in bloom at this time of year, the winter weather has changed and the summer heat is still to come.
Places of Interest in Texas
More than 100 National Parks preserve Texas' spectacular landscapes. On foot, on horseback or from the water - there are countless ways to discover the state's rich history and impressive beauty. Some of the best parks:
- Big Bend National Park: A paradise for hikers! Over 300km of trails wind through desert, mountain ranges and green river valleys.
- Hueco Tanks State Park: An exciting climbing experience, where thousands of years old rock paintings remind us of past civilizations.
- Palo Duro Canyon State Park: The breathtaking canyon with its steep, multicolored rock faces is best experienced on horseback.
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area: Take a day trip from Austin to explore this pink granite peak, one of the oldest exposed rock formations in the world and the subject of many legends.
- Longhorn Cavern State Park: Limestone caves washed out by water that sheltered animals during the Ice Age, Native Americans, Civil War soldiers, smugglers and Prohibition parties.
- Padre Island National Seashore: The park protects the world's longest stretch of undeveloped dune islands, where rare sea turtles lay their eggs.
Attractions for the whole Family
We recommend the following activities especially if you are travelling with the whole family:
- Spend one (or more) exciting day in Texas' most popular water parks: Schlitterbahn offers fun and cooling down for the whole family!
- Experience rodeos, live country music and classic Wild West flair at historic Fort Worth Stockyards.
- Admire the splendor of Texas Bluebonnets, which only grow here and in parts of Mexico. The flowers bloom from March to April and are especially beautiful on the Willow City Loop Tour around Fredericksburg.
- Taste everything you can think of in fried versions and let your inner child out at the Texas State Fair, the big fair in September and October!
- Visit the legendary amusement park Six Flags Over Texas. The Six Flags chain now has several locations in the USA and Mexico, but this one in Arlington, Texas was the first!
ATTRACTIONS FOR SINGLES
Even for lonely adventurers there is a lot to discover:
- Jump from rocks in Jacob's Well! The cave system below may only be explored by experienced divers.
- Drift down the Guadalupe River for a party in the water.
- Admire the stars over Texas' prairie at one of the McDonald Observatory's star parties at Davis Mountains State Park. The Observatory's telescopes, including the state's largest telescope, are available to partygoers there.
- Get a fright in the Haunted Mayfield Manor, one of the supposedly "spookiest" estates in the country.
- Explore the beautiful scenery in the heart of the city on the San Antonio River Walk.
Food & Culture in Texas
Museums and Monuments
Texas' history and culture is fascinating and diverse. Learn more about the state of the lone star and visit:
- The Alamo, formerly a Christian mission and a major player in the war of independence against Mexico.
- The Houston Space Center, where NASA monitors manned spaceflights.
- Get a glimpse into the political world of the 1960s at the 6th Floor Museum in Dallas, where you can learn all about the life and death of John F. Kennedy in an interactive exhibition.
- If you want a broad overview of the state's history, don't miss the State Capitol and the Bullock Texas State Museum in Austin.
Events in Texas
The Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday for the dead on November 2, is best celebrated in the USA in San Antonio. Palo Duro State Park also regularly hosts the open-air musical TEXAS during the summer months, an entertaining journey through Texas' history for the whole family.
You can also visit some of Texas' legendary music festivals, such as South by Southwest, the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and the Free Press Summer Fest.
What to Eat in Texas
America is the land of burgers and barbecue and nowhere else can you find both as good as in Texas. For example in Austin at P. Terry's or at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. You can taste the Mexican history of the state at Tex-Mex - in a classic way at the Original Blanco Cafe in San Antonio.
Top 5 Beaches in Texas
You can find great beaches at the Gulf of Mexico here:
- The tranquility and closeness to nature of Crystal Beach are definitely worth the extra ferry there. The region is also known for fresh fish, crabs and other seafood.
- The beach at the Mustang Island State Park is ideal for sunbathing and swimming. The park also enchants by the rich animal world.
- The very safe and clean waters of Rockport Beach make the beach especially inviting for families.
- Known as "St. Jo" by the locals, San José Island can only be reached by jet boat. The private beach there is a real oasis far from civilization.
- Very close to Houston is Surfside Beach, which offers not only a beautiful beach, but also a rich variety of activities.
Instagram Hot Spots
Many Instagram Likes are guaranteed at the following locations:
- The Rio Grande flows through breathtaking landscapes, such as cactus-covered deserts and imposing canyons.
- The Blanton Museum of Art not only houses wonderful art, the building itself is a work of art!
- About a thousand years ago a landslide uncovered part of an underground river and created an exotic oasis with the Hamilton Pool.
- The skyline behind the iconic Zilker Park in Austin is one of the most beautiful motifs in such a beautiful city.
- At the Miller Outdoor Theater in Houston, you can take free cultural experiences with you in the fall, plus an artistic impression of the architecture for your Insta Feed.
Fun Facts & Curiosities
Did you know the following things about the 28th US state:
- Texas is supplied by its own power grid, separate from the two grids that distribute electricity in the rest of the US.
- Bracken Cave, not far from San Antonio, is home to the largest known bat colony in North America.
- The Lone Star State is larger than any country in Europe.
- Big Foot can be officially shot in Texas if he or she is sighted.
- American speed limits are much stricter than in Germany. The highest in the country is 136 km/h on a Texas road.
- The Texas Rangers are the oldest law enforcement organization in the USA. Chuck Norris is an honorary member.
- On Galveston beach it is forbidden to let a camel run free.