For a state that’s been affiliated to three different countries and also had a go at independence, you might be forgiven for thinking you’ll hear a few mixed messages from the locals.
Are we Spanish? Mexican? American? The truth is they are a bit of all of them, but there is one thing they will all agree on; Texans just do things their own way. After all, it’s not called The Lone Star state for nothing. For those of you not yet acquainted with the Lone Star State here is a TripReporter guide to Texas.
Texas’ history has embedded a unique sense of individualism among Texans, a state patriotism you won’t find anywhere else in the USA. Yes, things are bigger here. I remember a bright spark once telling me ” you wanna get to Houston from Dallas? Just drive out of the airport and turn left” there is no shortage of wide open spaces for sure, and by the size of many of the homes in Houston and Austin the bank balances are pretty large too. But size apart, Texans are pretty proud of their heritage.
The Battle of the Alamo has long been the standard bearer for Texan unity. The defining moment after which Texans collectively came to arms to defeat the Mexican army at San Jacinto. After that it all changed. Yes, Texans were forced to join the South during the Civil War because of slavery issues, but after the guns fell silent it became the powerhouse of the US economy because of oil.
That said, put your preconceptions behind you if you think Texas is all about oil wells and Stetsons. The cities of Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio are all quite different from that stereotype and in-between them, you’ll find green rolling hills and varied communities many directly descended from wealthy German immigrants who came here to forge a new life away from Europe.
Texas’ capital Austin’s highly alternative feel, fuelled by its university population and the billionaire technology wizards who felt more at home here than California’s silicon valley. Of course its many famous musicians had a hand in building its reputation as the live music capital of the world.
San Antonio remains the home of The Alamo and the four other Spanish Missions, perhaps the best preserved examples of colonial architecture in the US. It’s lovely river walk threading its way through the city, brings a touch of Venice to a city whose past is steeped in pioneering history and conflict with Mexico and native American Indians.
Then there is Houston, a city named after Sam Houston, the hero of San Jacinto and man who led Texas into the Union. Houston, the call sign for Planet Earth, the home of Mission Control but a whole lot more besides. The fourth largest city in the USA, Houston is worth exploring for its diversity; its theatres, its art and its museums. Its numerous neighbourhoods from downtown to the Bay area to uptown as diverse as its people. Yes it is big, but come on, it is in Texas after all!
For more information on visiting Texas go to www.traveltex.com
America As You Like It offer a 7 night package from £1335 per person including return international flights on United, car hire, 2 nights at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, Houston, 3 nights at the Hilton Austin Downtown and 2 nights at the Hilton Palacio del Rio in San Antonio. Price based on 2 people sharing on a room only basis. For more information contact 020 8742 8299, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.americaasyoulikeit.com