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Texas – The Lone Star State

The state of Texas is impressive both in terms of area as well as population, ranging second among all states in both categories. Only Alaska is bigger and only California more populated. But not only in numerical terms the Lone Star State is among the nation’s best. More and more visitors discover Texas’ cultural and geographical diversity, its stunningly beautiful nature as well as some of the most important urban centers in the country.

Texas is home to almost 24 million people and has an area of 261,797 square miles. The state, formerly belonging to Mexico, joined the United States officially in 1845, after a long armed struggle between the US and Mexico over disputed territory. The geography within the state borders ranges from extensive plains to mountain ranges like the Sierra Madre Oriental. Many of the state’s boundaries are defined by long rivers, like the Rio Grande, Red River and Sabine River. Average high temperatures in summer are usually in the 90s throughout the state, while they range between the high 40s and low 60s in January.

Panhandle Plains

The northernmost Texan region boasts great rolling plains, crystal-clear lakes as well as fruitful farmland and rugged canyons. America’s Highway Number One, better known as Route 66, crosses the region. It runs along one of the important and most interesting places, Amarillo, the center of the Texas Panhandle. Traditionally a gateway to the great Palo Duro Canyon, second only to the Grand Canyon in size, Amarillo was in the late 19th century a true center of wild western life. Today, the city hosts many cultural attractions as well as hints at the region’s “wild” past. The sunrises, sunsets and starry nights are an especially wonderful feature in Amarillo and the Panhandle as a whole.

Prairies and Lakes Region

The region extends from the Oklahoma border in the north to the San Antonio area in the south and has one of Texas’ most important city centers, Dallas. The city is full of major attractions for all ages and interests. For instance, visitors can enjoy the great collection of the Dallas Museum of Art or visit one of the nation’s saddest historic sites, the “Sixth Floor Museum” at Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy was shot dead. The old warehouse from where the shots rang out into the hot Texan day in 1963 is today an historic museum. Dallas Zoo is among the finest in the nation. The Mavericks are one of the best NBA teams. In neighboring Fort Worth, one can get a glimpse of the wild western past of the state. Billy Bob’s Texas, the largest honky tonk worldwide, the Stockyard National Historic District or even the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame are but few of the many places mentionable. But the region has also smaller, quieter (but not less interesting) places to offer, such as New Braunfels, Mount Vernon or Waco.

Hill Country

Home to the famous rolling hills, the Hill Country really is located in the heart of the Lone Star State. Nature dominates much of the region. Beautiful lakes and rivers are spread in the midst of green hillsides and extensive wildflower vegetation which is especially stunning in the springtime. But the region also hosts the city of Austin, home to the University of Texas as well as countless cultural attractions, museums, historic sites, and also a state capitol building whose dome is taller than the one in Washington.

Stonewall might be a smaller place at first sight, but its historical significance lies in the fact that it gave birth to Lyndon B. Johnson. Visitors can wander around his reconstructed childhood home, which is at the same time the late president’s final resting place. Throughout the region, heritage and historical museums abound. In the many local wineries you can taste the fine local blends. Cowboy life is also still very visible and explorable in the Texas Hill Country... So whatever you choose, there is something to see and do!

Gulf Coast

In the southeast, Texas borders entirely with the Gulf of Mexico. The shoreline is more than 600 miles long and offers everything you can imagine. Water sports, sunbathing on the magnificent sandy beaches, fishing, and surfing - from South Padre Island in the south along the coast to Galveston - are only a few possibilities. But also in terms of wildlife the Gulf Coast region has a lot to offer. Bird watching is especially popular. Some of the areas even have a large number of tropical birds like Harlingen. The city of Houston and the surrounding metropolitan area is one of the great urban centers. In the nearby NASA Space Center one can explore the history of the Apollo missions, most notably of course the moon-landing Apollo 11 and the famously unfortunate Apollo 13 missions.

Texas, the USA’s second largest and most populated state, invites all visitors to explore ist rich and fascinating facets.

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