Texas is the largest state in the lower 48 states and is thought by many to reflect a truly “American” attitude. Due to such a vast size, tourists are able to experience a wide diversity of cultures, regions and peoples. The “Lone Star State” is aptly named; for many residents still consider themselves to be proudly independent from other locations in the country. Also, a rich history of Spanish and Mexican occupation further lend a sense of uniqueness here.
The Best Times to Visit Texas
Texan winters can be extremely cold and harsh due to its central geographic location. In contrast, the height of the summer is known to be associated with temperatures well above 90 degrees or even higher. So, it makes a great deal of sense to arrive here during the spring or the autumn. This is particularly the case for those who are planning to visit the northern Texas panhandle (the region closest to Oklahoma).
Flight times from New York City to Texas will depend upon where one is arriving (once again due to the size of the state). For example, flights from New York to George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) in Houston will last approximately 3 hours and 35 minutes. Those arriving to San Antonio (SAT) will require a duration of just over 4 hours. These times are both associated with flights which are non-stop in their nature. Texas is also the central hub for American Airlines (Dallas) and Southwest Airlines. While these are some common carriers, other providers include Delta and Jet Blue.
Texas is an extremely hospitable state, so the number of different accommodation options will naturally vary. One of the most traditional and popular choices is a caravan rental, for this will enable visitors to see large portions of the state during their stay. There are also many roadside motels which are ideally suited for those who do not wish to spend a great deal of money. Major cities will obviously include equally recognizable hotels such as Hyatt, Motel 6, Days Inn and Clarion. Upper-class establishments such as those found in Austin (the state capitol) and Houston are also available. However, prices can increase dramatically during both the autumn and the spring due to the number of tourists arriving.
Top Things to do in Texas
Many will associate Texas with the Alamo and the Mexican-American war of the 19th century. Thus, it is wise for any visitor to view the Alamo from a first-hand point of view. Much of the original building is still intact and guided tours are available during the week. As it is conveniently located in San Antonio, arriving here is not overly difficult and any Texan alive will be glad to point the way. It can be reached by car, bus and train.
Big Bend National Park is another attraction worth viewing for those who have the time. This is a location defined by its rather timeless nature. Desert landscapes blend with the nearby Rio Grand river. Staying true to the legends of the old west, there is even a ghost town (Terligua) to be found within its confines. Wildlife including snakes and wild pigs are normally seen here while the evenings are breathtaking. Keep in mind that this park can become quite busy between November and January (when families with children will visit). As it is such an immense park, it is best to devote an entire day (at least) to experience the sights to be found here.
Due to such a down-to-earth nature, Texas is perfect for those who wish to experience a decidedly simpler time in their lives. Dude ranches are some of the best ways to do so. Popularized by such films as City Slickers, there are countless dude ranches scattered throughout the state. One can learn how to tie a lasso, how to rope a cow and even how to ride a horse. These ranches are perfect for the entire family while they may not be quite adequate for those with extremely young children.