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Travel the USA (Visit Texas)

Texas

It is the unique goal of travel adventurers to visit all fifty states in America. To boost this objective, each week we shall explore one state. Alphabetically, the 43rd to visit is none other than Texas, abbreviated TX. Regardless of the order in which you explore them, The Lone Star State is full of character.

Visit state # 43– TX

State MottoFriendship
State FlowerBluebonnet
State BirdNorthern mockingbird
State GemTexas blue topaz
State CapitalAustin
Famous FoodsChicken fried steak, pecan pie, brisket, chili, Chile con queso, kolaches, Tex-Mex, migas, margaritas, hamburgers, Micheladas, Texas sheet cake, Texas barbeque, pralines, tamales, Frito pie, salsa, Texas caviar, salsa, king ranch chicken casserole, Texas hash, and more.

Texas is located in the south-central part of the United States. It is the second largest state based on area, following Alaska which is roughly two and a half times larger. Texas shares borders with the states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, and New Mexico to the west. Mexico is to the south and southwest. The Lone Star State has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast. The state was formerly part of Mexico and has been an independent country since 1836. On December 29, 1845, Texas became the 28th state in the United States. It is the only state to enter the United States by treaty instead of territorial annexation. The name Texas derives from the Caddo Indian word that means “friends” or “allies” and appears in the state motto, “friendship.”

Texas is a state that is loaded with history, featuring visitable native American historical sites such as Caddo Mounds State Historical Site. Visitors can come see the land where more than 1,200 years ago, a group of Caddo Indians known as the Hasinai built a village 26 miles west of Nacogdoches. The site served as the southwestern-most ceremonial center for the great Mound Builder culture. Visitors can discover the everyday life and history of this ancient civilization. Another place where Texas history is brought to life is the Alamo. Folks can learn about the events that led up to and including the Battle of the Alamo. Audio tours and exhibit experiences are available. Visitors can also celebrate the holidays after hours and walk the grounds which are decorated with festive lights that illuminate the gardens. Private guided tours are also available of the Alamo Plaza, church and exhibits, and special events such as the musket firing demonstration are offered by the Alamo Living History Staff.

The Lone Star State has many great towns and cities worth seeing. Top of the list for many travelers is Austin. It, of course, is home to the Texas Capitol and many other visitable sites including Zilker Metropolitan Park, Bullock Texas State History Museum, LBJ Presidential Library, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Austin Aquarium, Blanton Museum of Art, and more. McKinney Falls State Park is a popular site for camping, biking, fishing and for “Old Baldy,” a 500-plus-year-old cypress tree.

Southern Texas’s San Antonio River Walk is a top-rated state attraction. It is an iconic area with landscaped walkways that extend along a 15-mile urban waterway. There are bridges, restaurants, bars, hotels, shops, art museums, and boat tours. In fact, it is the most visited tourist attraction in all of Texas. Padre Island National Seashore comes in second. As the largest of the Texas barrier islands, it is beloved for its pristine white sandy beaches, warm gulf waters, fishing, boating, bird watching and more. Visitors can enjoy a vast protected area with beaches sheltering kemp’s ridley sea turtles. There, Grasslands Nature Trail winds through the seashore’s marshy terrain and leaves a memorable impression. Wherever you are in nature, don’t miss the night sky. Like the popular song says, “The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.”

Dallas, located in the North Texas region, is another must-see destination. Top city attractions include the JFK Assassination and Museum Tour, Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens featuring exotic water and plant exhibits, the Iconic Reunion Tower offering 360-degree city views, The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, The Dallas Museum of Art, The Dallas World Aquarium, and more. For those looking for an easy day trip from Dallas to Waco, a trip to the Silos at Magnolia Market is a great experience for shoppers and followers of Chip and Joanna Gaines, familiar faces from HGTV. In addition to the Magnolia Market located in a renovated grain barn, visitors will enjoy a large public green space, a food truck park with picnic tables, the Magnolia Feed & Supply Store and small garden, and a quaint bakery featuring Joanna’s personal recipes. With so many great attractions in one big state, wherever you go there is an abundance of adventures waiting.


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