Second only to Alaska, Texas is the biggest state within the United States. And while many still assumes that it’s the state with the longhorn bulls and cowboy hats…well, in some parts it actually is that, but the point is that there’s more to Texas than some people realize, and they often make that mistake when coming to this state for the first time. Here are some tips for Texas first-timers.
There’s a saying you’ll often hear in Texas: ‘If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes for it to change.’ While most of the time you can expect hot, sunny days during the summer, don’t be surprised if you encounter summer showers or high winds. The winter is just as crazy. The top of the Texas region, often called ‘The Panhandle’ has what locals call ‘Winter Texans.’
They’re folks that come down even further south to escape the cold that’s touching the north, so expect southern cities to get a little crowded and certain prices to start going up. In addition, storms and heavy showers often plague Texas during that same time. On top of it all, some days can be incredibly humid, and others can be arid, depending on where in Texas you are. What this section boils down to is this: the weather can change on a dime, so be prepared.
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD
There are quite a few foods that Texas can take pride in that other states can’t, and it would be a wasted opportunity if you didn’t try the local fare, whether from the state’s grocery chain HEB or the large number of community BBQ’s that you’ll inevitably fin.. Chicken-Fried Steak, Chili, Kolaches, BBQ, Frozen Margarita, Pecan Pie, and of course, our state-pride soda Dr. Pepper.
Texas has a rich culture, and it reflects within its food. And as a Texan myself, I would be remiss without mentioning Bluebell Ice Cream and Whataburger. The former, some of the best ice cream you’ll ever have, and the latter, the state’s premier burger shack. Ask any Texan where a good place to get a burger would be, and nine times out of ten they’ll say, ‘Whataburger.’ A tip for a Texas First-Timer? Try a Whataburger. You won’t be disappointed.
Yes, Texas has it’s share of cattle farms and horse ranches. But what makes Texas special in terms of the animal kingdom are the smaller critters. Texas has a large and dedicated birdwatching scene, and it’s insectoid population is just as varied. Spiders, scorpions, snakes; these are creature you need to be worried about when going on desert hikes. In particular, the dreaded Copperhead snake. Tip for Texas First Timers? Be careful where you step in the wilderness. Wear good hiking boots.
WHERE TO GO
There are number of good places to visit in Texas, some of which you may not know about. San Antonio, home to the famous Alamo, and it’s beautiful River Walk. Austin, where they ‘keep things weird’ in order to promote local businesses. South Padre Island, home to the famous Wanna-Wanna Beach Bar & Grill and sandy beaches. Either way, more often than not, you’ll be able to see some beautiful sunset’s within the state, whether driving along the highways, or from a high rise in its modern and sometimes trendy cities. My tip for Texas First Timers? Be bold. Experiment. Do something random. You’ll never know what fun you might have one night.
While, yes, I may be biased as this is my home state, I can’t begin to fully show how beautiful and wonderful and, yes, weird this state is. Coming here can be enjoyable experience for everyone, filled with a sense of community and culture. Hope to see you all here soon!