What is Texas Known for? Discover Texas’s Famous Facts, Foods, and Landmarks

From Texas BBQ, and iconic cities like Galveston and San Antonio, to its wild west past and winding rivers, there’s plenty that Texas is known for. Whether you’re a long-time Texas resident or recently moved to the state, there’s always something new to learn about the Lone Star State.

Read on to learn more about what Texas is known for. If you’re looking for a home in Dallas or planning to rent an apartment in Houston, you’ll find plenty of reasons to love Texas.

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Thriving economy and job opportunities

Texas’ main job industries encompass energy, particularly oil and gas, technology, and healthcare. Some of the major corporations driving the state’s economy include MD Anderson Cancer Center, Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Dell Technologies. 

Texas’s top five employers

  • MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • Dell Technologies
  • H-E-B Grocery Company
  • University of Texas at Austin

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Iconic tourist attractions

  • San Antonio’s River Walk is a picturesque urban oasis lined with shops, restaurants, and historic landmarks like the Alamo. You can take boat tours along the river, explore museums like the San Antonio Museum of Art, and enjoy festive events throughout the year.
  • Big Bend National Park has rugged landscapes, including canyons, deserts, and the Rio Grande River. You can hike trails like the Window View Trail, soak in hot springs along the river, and stargaze in one of the darkest skies in the US.
  • Austin, the state capital, is known for its live music scene, eclectic culture, and outdoor recreation. There are plenty of attractions to explore, like the Texas State Capitol, hiking and biking along Lady Bird Lake, and enjoying concerts and festivals throughout the year.
  • The Houston Space Center is a hub of space exploration history and education. It features exhibits on NASA’s manned space missions and interactive displays like the Mission Control Center. You can also tour space capsules and learn about future space exploration initiatives.
  • The Fort Worth Stockyards preserve the city’s Wild West heritage with daily cattle drives, rodeos, and historic buildings like the Stockyards Station. You can watch bull riding at the Stockyards Championship Rodeo, shop for Western gear, and dine on Texas barbecue.

Did you know? Texas is the only state to have been a decade-long independent nation, known as the Republic of Texas, from 1836 to 1846 before joining the United States.

Famous regional cuisine

Texas cuisine is as varied as its landscape, with influences from Mexican, Southern, and cowboy culinary traditions. Barbecue reigns supreme in Texas, with brisket as the star attraction, slow-smoked, and served with tangy sauces. Tex-Mex cuisine, featuring dishes like enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas, is also prominent. Texas chili, made with chunks of beef and without beans, is a hearty comfort food enjoyed throughout the state. And, don’t miss out on grabbing a slice of pecan pie, Texas’ official dessert.

Top restaurants in Texas

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Festivals, music, and arts scene

Texas has a unique blend of Western heritage, traditions, and a thriving arts scene. The state is home to world-class institutions like the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, which have collections ranging from classical to contemporary art.

Music festivals such as South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Austin City Limits, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo attract global audiences. In particular, Austin and Dallas are vibrant cities with plenty of theaters, music venues, and galleries that showcase Texas’s artistic vibe.

Five great places to catch a show in Texas

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Picturesque landscapes

Texas boasts a diverse range of natural land formations, from the rugged mountains of the Big Bend region in the west, along the Rio Grande, to the expansive plains and rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country. The Gulf Coast features sandy beaches and coastal marshes, while the Panhandle region offers wide-open spaces and canyons carved by rivers like the Palo Duro Canyon.

National and state parks in Texas

  • Big Bend National Park: Located in West Texas along the Rio Grande, Big Bend has diverse landscapes including desert, mountains, and river canyons. Activities include hiking, river rafting, birdwatching, and stargazing.
  • Guadalupe Mountains National Park: Known for its rugged mountains, it’s home to the highest peak in Texas, Guadalupe Peak. This park has hiking trails, camping, and opportunities to explore a fossilized reef.
  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park: Known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” Palo Duro Canyon has hiking, horseback riding, camping, and scenic drives amidst colorful rock formations.
  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area: Home to a massive pink granite dome, Enchanted Rock offers hiking trails, rock climbing, and panoramic views of the Texas Hill Country.

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Top-notch higher education

In Texas, there are plenty of prestigious colleges, ranging from public to private universities. With renowned research programs, specialty schools, and internationally acclaimed colleges, you’ll find great options in Texas.

Top universities

  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • Rice University in Houston
  • Texas A&M University in College Station
  • University of Houston
  • Baylor University in Waco

Professional and collegiate sports teams

Texas is known for its list of highly accomplished professional sports teams, with enthusiastic fans across the state. You’ll also find this support extends into collegiate sports as well.

  • Dallas Cowboys (NFL)
  • Houston Texans (NFL)
  • Houston Rockets (NBA)
  • San Antonio Spurs (NBA)
  • Dallas Mavericks (NBA)
  • Texas Rangers (MLB)
  • Houston Astros (MLB)
  • Dallas Stars (NHL)
  • University of Texas Longhorns (Competing in NCAA Division I sports)
  • Texas A&M University Aggies (Competing in NCAA Division I sports)

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Popular Texas phrases

In Texas, you’ll discover expressions that reflect the state’s larger-than-life vibe and deep-rooted cowboy culture. 

  • “Going two-stepping,” at a honky-tonk or “riding the mechanical bull,” for a taste of Texas nightlife.
  • “Don’t Mess with Texas,” the state’s independent spirit, captured in its motto. 
  • “Howdy,” is another way to say hello.
  • “Fixin’ to,” is a phrase to say “getting ready to” or “about to.”
  • “All hat, no cattle,” means “all talk and no action.”

More things Texas is known for

  • Lone Star State: Texas is known as the Lone Star State, symbolizing its independent spirit, as well as its former status as an independent republic.
  • Cowboy culture: Texas boasts a rich cowboy heritage, celebrated through events like the Fort Worth Stockyards rodeo and cultural icons like the Texas Rangers.
  • BBQ capital: Texas is renowned for its barbecue traditions, with regional styles like Central Texas brisket, East Texas pork ribs, and South Texas barbacoa drawing barbecue enthusiasts from around the world.
  • Live music: Austin, the state capital, is famous for its live music scene, with numerous music venues, festivals like South by Southwest (SXSW), and a vibrant indie music community.
  • Mexican-American culture: Texas has a strong Mexican-American influence, reflected in its cuisine, arts, and cultural traditions. Cities like San Antonio showcase historic missions and vibrant Latino culture.

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