There’s no getting around it: Texas is huge. Enormous. Massive. It’s just a big ol’ giant place. No other state can claim mountains, tropics, pine forests, prairies, and mesas all within its borders. Toss in an eclectic mix of regional cuisine, national parks, and some good old-fashioned Southern hospitality and you’ll find a rich experience representative of Texas’s distinct character.
Texas has an independent spirit unmatched across the globe. Its people, like its landscapes, are rugged, fiery, captivating, and endearing. The one element that ropes them all together is an immense Texas pride. The Lone Star State’s mystique is enormous, and for good reason — Texas is practically a country unto itself, and people continue to be intrigued by its dynamic magnetism.
It’s evident in the Panhandle plains, where chicken-fried steaks are proudly served at diners along old Route 66. It’s apparent in the Hill Country , where Texas troubadours play beer-soaked blues guitar on the Luckenbach  stage. It’s all over the Rio Grande Valley, where Lone Star flags are as abundant as the bountiful groves of grapefruit trees.
Friday Night Lights. Barbecued beef ribs. Austin City Limits . Chisholm Trail cowboys. You can’t swing a piñata stick in Texas without encountering a cultural icon. It’s what makes the state such an enigma and such a fascinating place to explore. This unique sense of place has also drawn an influx of new residents, from young professionals seeking opportunities in creative hotbeds like Austin  to snowbirds from cooler climes taking roost along the tropical Gulf Coast .
Mention Texas history and most people will offer an enthusiastic shout of “Remember the Alamo!” But there’s plenty more to discover about Texas’s rich heritage in all corners of the state. Excavated shipwrecks, Spanish missions, vaqueros (Mexican cowboys), majestic courthouses, cattle drives, oil booms, and JFK’s assassination all occurred under the state’s legendary six flags.
Perhaps most intriguing about Texas are the bountiful authentic experiences you’ll discover just below the surface. You could spend a year exploring the state’s natural and cultural wonders and still find yourself with dozens of destinations remaining on your must-see list — all certain to become unforgettable future memories.