Travel to Texas?
the largest state in the USA (apart from distant Alaska) and home to cowboys galore, oil and techno-wealth, a grand variety of landscapes - including mountains, deserts, plains, forests and beaches -a considerable selection of outdoor activities and some exotic influence, not to mention immigrants, from neighbouring Mexico.
-The intense sun and blistering heat can chargrill your skin in
the summer months
- Tornadoes and hurricanes are a part of tough Texan life.
This huge state has a variety of climatic conditions but generally summer in the south means high heat and humidity, while winter in the north means cold and possible snow while springtime is rain and tornado time.
Best: May-June or September-October.
OK: July-August tho' over hot in southern areas.
Worst: January-April, rain/snow, though the coast is usually OK.
Cowboy Stuff: Dude Ranches offer cowboy lifestyle holidays,
allowing guests to play at the wild west, with organised Wagon Drives
and Rodeos turning extreme ranching techniques into a spectator
Bend National Park and Guadelupe Mountains NP; Padre Island National Seashore
National Wildlife Refuge, Gulf Coast; Hill Country.
Whitewater Rafting and Canoeing:
Rio Grande River or Big Bend National Park.
Climbing: Austin; Hueco Tanks State
Historical Park, Chihuahan Desert.
Beaches: South Padre
Island for supreme solitude and wildlife.
sprawling 'metroplex' made famous by JFK, oil and little else. More Dallas information
unbeatable city for quality live music in the blues, country and
rock vein with dozens of venues, especially during the superb South
by Southwest Music extravaganza (March), the best in the country.
a must see for Buddy Holly fans with statue, walk of fame, gallery
and his grave. There are also some good museums.
Also Cap Rock Canyons and Palo Duro Canyon State Parks,
plus the wacky, half buried limousines at the Cadillac Ranch!
urban development around rivers and ports but otherwise quite unspoilt - a beautiful beach wilderness (with a few exceptions).
Houston: a wealthy sprawl well worth a short visit
anytime outside of the sweltering summer, for its upbeat city
culture and superb space place, the Johnson Space
Center and Rocket Park, for mission control, training labs, and
old space vehicles. Try Chase Tower for a view over the city which
has some old buildings around Allen's Landing
and market Square Parks, plus some good museums around Montrose,
River Oaks, and the Museum District. More Houston.
Island National Seashore: miles of undeveloped, pristine, dune lined beaches awaiting
your tent. More Texas beaches.
Galveston Island, a 19th seaport with
historic buildings and some attractions.
Desert and Rio Grande River
desert is the same one that creeps into New Mexico, Arizona and covers
a lot of Mexico - the biggest desert on the continent.
The Rio Grande river is on the Texas border with Mexico and sees plenty of illegal immigration.
Visit in the spring for flowers, autumn for fall in Guadeloupe and
rafting the rains.
laid back Tex-Mex hot pot boasting one of America's biggest attractions, the San Antonio River Walk (aka Paseo del Rio), a lush and colourful network of riverside walkways lined with trees, eating and drinking places, shops and entertainment facilities.
Then there's the Alamo (not as big as most tourists expect) amongst the five
Spanish Missions, Mexican heritage and a couple of great theme parks. More San Antonio.
Big Bend National Park: with a chunk
of the Rio Grande river, desert and mountains, this is a great place
for ethereal beauty, hiking, biking, rafting, bird watching and scenic driving. More Big Bend.
Guadelupe Mountains National Park, a high desert with Guadeloupe Peak the highest
point in the state and McKittrick Canyon.
Hueco Tanks Historical State Park, a watery oasis of pools in the desert where man and animal have
found sustenance now and in the past.
Laredo: There are several crossing points into Mexico but Laredo is the most popular.
El Paso: if you want a taste
of Mexico without crossing the border then this is probably your
best bet; the city is less-than-affluent and predominantly Mexican.
San Antonio and Austin lies a rather quaint hilly bit, Germanic
Fredericksburg: non-hostile Germans
invaded the area, so stop by for a taste of north Europe.
Bandera and Kerrville: for
wannabe cowboys Bandera is tops and nearby Kerrville provides country
music, especially during the Folk Festival.
Festivals and Parades:
Jan - Feb, Mardi
Gras, Galveston Island.
Show and Rodeo, San Antonio.
Feb - March, Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston
March, South by Southwest Music Festival,
April, Fiesta, San Antonio
Sept - Oct, Texas State Fair, Dallas.
Nov - Dec, Wonderland of Lights, Marshall.
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