National Tourism Foundation

Texas Tourism

Texas is located in the middle of southern USA and on the Gulf of Mexico. This Lone Star State is actually six major land regions put together. As the areas flow into one another, the land changes from dark pinewoods, to rolling hills and into sparse desert. Each area has its own business, agricultural specialties and distinguishing weather. The name means "friend" in the Caddo Indian language. Texas usually reminds visions of the lonely cattleman, gun-toting cowboys and rough oilmen but actually there is far more multiplicity of people and land.

East Texas: Pine Trees and Placid Lakes
Located on the border of Louisiana, East Texas is the wet eastern quarter of the state. Also called the Piney Woods area, it is filled with hundreds of lakes, rivers and streams, making it a fisherman's paradise. The mix of pines and hardwood trees ultimately provide way to the Backland Prairies, which are 12 million acres of grassland. Most of this land is used for cattle grazing. The town of Tyler, the rose capitol of Texas has seven museums, gardens, camping areas, theater, a zoo and beautiful historic homes. During March and April, the land overflows with colors from roses, azaleas and a multitude of wild flowers.

Gulf Coast: Sun, Shrimp and Deep Space
A curve around the Gulf of Mexico, The gulf coast region is 100-mile strip of land. Its weather is tropical, usually not falling below 4C in the winter and the ocean breezes keep the beaches in a comfortable 32C range in summers. This is a favorite winter location for migratory retired campers, locally referred to as "Winter Texans" or "Snowbirds". The oil boomtown of Houston is located in this area, is the center of the Texas movie industry, technological companies and science research centers such as National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center. Astroworld with thrilling rides, and the Johnson Space Center tour are also amazing places to visit.

Mustang Island of Corpus Christi offers sandy dunes and deep waves next to a federal land preserve and bird haven. South Padre Island beaches have become popular spring vacation spot. This town boasts lots of sparkling white sand and gentle waves in the day and a party lifestyle at night.

Hill Country: Outdoors Paradise
A cut across the center of the state, Central Texas is also called as the Hill Country. This region includes the great metroplex of Dallas-Ft. Worth. Built as a railway center for the cattle markets of Kansas, these cities have grown together to become a leader in banking and insurance. The metroplex area offers too many wonderful sights but this area includes the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art (Ft. Worth), The Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens and the Dallas Arboretum. Seasonal events include the Texas State Fair and Ft. Worth Fat Stock Show and Rodeo.

Home of University of Texas at Austin and a growing commercial center, the state's capital of Austin is also nuzzled in the hills next to Lake Travis. The land is sprinkled with short small woods, lakes, rivers and caves. The hill country region area is great for freshwater sailors, deer hunters and fishermen. Central Texas weather can be a little more extreme. Winter months usually include two or more short ice storms while the summers can get as hot as 43C during July and August.

The Panhandle: Cattle Country
The very northern section of the state is The Texas Panhandle. Made up of plains, mesas and rocky outcrops, this area is mostly used for cattle and sheep grazing as well as mining and oil drilling. The towns of Midland-Odessa and Lubbock are the largest cities. Their main industry is focused around energy and chemical production. This is the only area in the state that gets snowfall every year. The winters can be icy and harsh but the summers are mild here compared to other areas of the state.

West Texas: Desert Beauty
Beautiful but harsh cactus land that includes the Davis Mountains, West Texas divides the border between Mexico and New Mexico. The land is filled with limestone rocks, twisted mesquite trees and prickly pear cactus. Big Bend National Park, southeast of El Paso are places to see true cactus beauty. Tiny towns and ranches are nestled among all the plateaus and canyons of this region. This area only has two seasons, warm and really hot. From December to March, the days are warm; the nights are cool and the desert plants bloom from all the water in the air.

Fun for Everyone!
Texas boasts at least 6 major entertainment parks ranging from Six Flags over Texas in Arlington to Schlitterbaun in New Braunfels. Art centers flourish in the Houston and Dallas region while romance blooms along the San Antonio Riverwalk or one of the many beaches.