Texas

Texas State Travel Guide

North America

Texas is located in the southern United States, between Mexico (south), Oklahoma (north), Arkansas and Louisiana (east), and New Mexico (west). The state is divided into seven regions, namely Panhandle Plains, Big Bend Country, Hill Country, Prairies & Lakes, Piney Woods, South Texas Plains, and Gulf Coast.

Given the size of the Lone Star State, it is difficult to give a general picture of the climate. In general, there is a typical maritime climate on the coast, with a continental climate further inland with all the associated aspects. There are predominantly two seasons in Texas: a hot summer from April through October, and a mild winter that lasts from November through April. By the time summer is over, it’s too hot for leaves to change color and winter sets in abruptly. Winter temperatures hover around the freezing point statewide; In the summer it is different: temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius are more than normal. Annual precipitation varies by area, from 8 inches (20 cm) in western Texas to 5 feet (142 cm) near the Louisiana border. From September onwards, an occasional hurricane may occur on the Gulf Coast. The summer months of May through October are the best time to travel to Texas. Keep in mind that June and July summer holidays are leisure time for Americans as well, and prices and wait times can add up. Moreover, July and August are simply incredibly hot.

Flora and fauna

Geographically, the state can be divided into five parts; from the flat lowlands of the east, through the hilly Prairie Plains, the soaring Rolling Plains and the arid rocky Great Plains to the arid high plains of the Basin & Range Region. Divided over this, grass is the common denominator; more than 500 species, especially Bermuda grass, grow here in all sizes. In addition, there are of course many cacti to be found, such as the prickly pear and yucca. Common trees include catclaw, huajillo, weeping juniper, elm, oak, pine, aspen, cypress, and dwarf palm. Again, the most common mammal is the white-tailed deer, probably the largest population in the country at 3 million individuals. In addition, the armadillo, coyote, lynx, mountain lion are numerous, as well as about 100 species of snakes – of which no less than 16 are venomous. Birds are plentiful; some 825 species flutter or scurry through the varied landscape. These include warblers, prairie chickens, mockingbirds, woodpeckers, wrens and, on the coast, cranes.

Main cities

The state capital of Texas is Austin. In addition, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Waco and Galveston are significant cities.

Nature

Texas has two National Parks, both of which are dominated by mighty mountains against a backdrop of jagged desert and immense drought. Big Bend National Park (PHOTO ABOVE) is located in one of the most remote areas of the state, in the big bend of the Rio Grande. The limestone mountains of Guadalupe Mountains National Park are chock full of Permian fossils and were formed from an ancient inland sea. The main reason to come to the Panhandle is the Palo Duro State Canyon Park. Out of nowhere, the ground splits open and reveals a large crack about 300 meters deep. The canyon is a visual spectacle, especially at sunrise and sunset, when the rocks seem to be ablaze by the sun.

Houston

It is chaotically busy and always damp and warm, pollution is escalating and the contrasts between rich and poor are poignant. The other side of Houston, however, is that it is a thriving cultural city, with many wonderful museums and a lavish nightlife.

Activities in Texas

Hot air balloon ride over Longview

Just like above the clouds: the oldest plane in the world still gives a sense of freedom and adventure. The area around Longview is – as the name suggests – the hot air balloon capital of Texas. Beautiful views of the roaring waters of Lake Cherokee, dense pine forests, meadows of freshly mown hay or the famous longhorns leave lasting impressions from a bird’s eye view. A particular highlight is the “Great Texas Balloon Race”, taking place this year from July 27 to 29, with numerous patterns of color flying through the sky. On the popular “Evening Balloon Glow”, the approximately 80 pilots light their balloons under the Texan starry sky and create a unique atmosphere.

By Texas State Railroad through Piney Woods

A wealth of sensory experiences awaits in Piney Woods in the east of the state, where diverse ecosystems and wildlife meet. Exploring this region with a steam locomotive from the 1920s, listening to historical stories, brings travelers in the nostalgic atmosphere of a train journey from 100 years ago. A stop is especially worthwhile in Palestine, where there are more buildings on the National Register of Historic Places than almost any other city in Texas, while in Jacksonville, majestic pines and blue lakes provide a serenity.

Rediscover the legendary Route 66

The area around Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the United States, served as a winter sanctuary for the Comanche Indians. Later, settlers used their trails and finally in the 1920s the legendary Route 66 was built along the old Native American trails – marking the halfway point right here. In the middle of the last free home of the Comanche Indians and only 15 kilometers from Route 66 is the ranch “Cowgirls and Cowboys in the West”. Here visitors, from beginners to professionals, can climb into the saddle and explore the canyon and Route 66 on horseback. Particularly romantic are the sunset tours, particularly spectacular are the “Cattle Roundup Vacations”, where riders become real cowboys over several days.

Hill Country by bike

It’s the bike that makes this area literally “touchable”: fields of wildflowers, streams through fragrant cypress forests and traditional wineries flank the trails in the Hill Country region. A good starting point for bike tours is the former German emigrant town of Fredericksburg, surrounded by vineyards, picturesquely located in the heart of Texas. The “Luckenbach Loop Alternate”, a 50 km long cycle route, can be done in a day trip. The tour also includes a stop here in the four-soul village of Luckenbach, which becomes an open-air stage for country musicians each evening – join the jamming, humming and singing, you are most welcome! In the evening a glass of Texan wine under one of the many oak trees – and life is fine.

Discover Big Bend NP by boat

Coyotes and bears, spectacular scenery and pristine nature – that’s West Texas. Five canyons are found in Big Bend National Park, and these can be admired from the Rio Grande just like the park’s wildlife: red-eared sliders bask on rocks and logs, great blue herons and green kingfishers fly along the river, beavers are here and there to hear. Whether in a kayak, canoe or rafting: tours from two hours to ten days are offered on the Rio Grande. Depending on the sector, the river offers ideal conditions for beginners and experts: the river sometimes runs through 450 meter deep canyons, sometimes through wide, open stretches with views of the surrounding high plains and mountains of the United States and Mexico.

Southfork

Further west, we find one of the main culprits of the state’s common image: Dallas. The world-famous 1980s TV series about the family of oil tycoon Ewing brought the city to millions of homes every week, and not in the most positive way. If you want to see the gun that Sue Ellen shot JR with, you can visit the real Southfork Ranch. Don’t expect a gigantic estate, though; most of the interior shots in the series were shot in California, and Southfork’s exterior shots often used a wide-angle lens.

Kennedy

The tragically deceased President John F. Kennedy was assassinated from the sixth floor of the Dealy Plaza in Dalls. Today it houses a museum, with curiosities, authentic memorabilia and a look through the eyes of the alleged killer, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Texas