12 Things Texas Is Famous For - Updated 2021

things texas is famous for
Melanie
Melanie 
Updated

The second-largest state in the USA in terms of size and population, Texas is dubbed as the “Lone Star State” for its former status as an independent republic, having separated itself from Mexico, where it once was a province. Because of its rich history, Texas is a melting pot of culture, with so many beautiful small towns, and residents that are fiercely proud of their state. Its uniqueness has made it a favorite topic of songs and films, so much so that it has become familiar even for those who live outside the country. With its thriving cities, a number of establishments, including hotels near the convention center in Houston, have been steadily increasing. This brings more people to discover the beauty of Texan cities and towns as well as the things Texas is famous for.

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1. Texan barbecues (from USD 159.99)

Close up of the ribs
Source: Photo by Flickr user J Dimas used under CC BY 2.0

One of the top things associated with Texas is barbecues. Don’t ever mistake barbecuing for grilling while in Texas. Barbecue (or simply BBQ) is when food is smoked over wood at low temperatures, which can entail several hours worth, or even an entire day, of food preparation and actual cooking. While different kinds of meat can be barbecued, Texans love beef, particularly brisket. Other types of meat that can be barbecued include sausages, pork, chicken, turkey, and even goat.

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Duration: 6 hour

97 reviews

2. Cowboy boots

img_1455
Source: Photo by Flickr user Steve Rainwater used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Cowboy boots were identified as the official state footwear of Texas in 2007, a designation that was made because of its indelible ties to history. After the Civil War, Texans became highly involved in cattle farming. Their unique needs led to the invention of the cowboy boots, footwear that is long lasting, can be worn comfortably even while on horseback, and relatively easy to wear. Interestingly enough, it was through the efforts of a middle school teacher and her class that the boots were identified as the official state footwear, as they did the necessary research on how these had an impact on Texan culture and history.

3. Oil and gas

Ocean Star Drilling Rig & Museum
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ed Schipul used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The US has recently been recognized as the world’s top oil producer, a title that can be attributed to the sheer amount of this resource in the state of Texas. What is texas known for producing? Oil, of course! Texas accounts for 40-60% of the oil and gas produced by the US, and experts say that the industry will continue to grow in the next years. The large amount produced by the state is such that it now also exports to other countries; in fact, the amount of natural gas exported by Texas is more than what the other states produce,

4. Rodeos (from USD 22.0)

things texas is famous for | rodeos

Texas is one of the leaders of the rodeo scene, and it is also one of the best things about Texas. In fact, the first rodeo was held in Pecos, and the small town continues to host its annual rodeo, which draws cowboys from across the country to compete with each other. The state also continues to host the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the largest rodeo across the globe, every year. The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, the oldest continuously running rodeo are also in Texas at Fort Worth.

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11 reviews

5. Bluebonnet flowers

things texas is famous for | bluebonnet flowers
Source: Pexels

Spring brings forth the blooming of bluebonnet flowers, the state flower of Texas. During this season, it’s not uncommon to see cars stopping along highways so that the driver and/or the passengers can take photos of themselves surrounded by these beautiful blossoms. The wildflowers are only in bloom for a few weeks before they wilt, so make sure to grab the opportunity to take a picture with those before they disappear until the next year.

6. Texas' vast area

Texas flag map
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user AnonMoos based on... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A local expression is “Everything is bigger in Texas”; in fact, the state’s capitol building is larger than the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C. This saying certainly holds true as for the state’s size is concerned. At 268,820 square miles (more than 6 hundred thousand square miles), it is only second to Alaska and larger than several countries, including France and Germany. Because of its sheer size, Texas features a variety of climates and landscapes. Besides the deserts the state has come to be associated with, it also features forests, swamps, mountains, and plains.

7. Wool production

Sheep
Source: Photo by Flickr user Beau B used under CC BY 2.0

Texas has held the unofficial title of being the country’s top producer of wool for several years. This industry dates back to the 18th century when missionaries and soldiers brought them from Spain for the ranches that they established there, although these were originally intended as a food source, with minimal shearing done. It wasn’t until the Spanish sheep were bred with American and other European stock that the industry expanded, although it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that it actually took off.

8. Chili

Bowl of Chili No Beans
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Agentseven used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Chili is the official state dish of Texas, so you can be sure that the residents there take this food seriously. What makes Texan chili distinctive from that of other places is that beans are not included in their version. Instead, the ingredients commonly included to prepare this dish are beef, chili peppers, and other spices. Various places in Texas hold chili festivals on a yearly basis, so those who love this spicy dish should definitely miss out on attending at least one of these.

9. The Alamo (from USD 63.0)

Alamo-0705
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Loadmaster used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Alamo is arguably the most significant historical monument in Alamo. It is the site where over 150 Texans, including Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, battled against Mexican troops, led by General Santa Anna. The defeat and death of the defenders prompted residents from the other parts of Texas to fight for their independence, taking up “Remember the Alamo” as their rallying cry. The Alamo is considered by residents as the symbol of their independence and liberty.

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Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

132 reviews

10. Nachos

Nachos
Source: Pixabay

You’ve probably already had nachos at least once in this lifetime, so you already know how popular and appreciated it is, not only in Texas, but all over the world. This dish is made with fresh corn tortilla chips topped with a generous serving of cheese and jalapeno peppers. People have made their own versions since and have added beef, salsa, and beans to make it more flavorful. Nowadays, it’s typical to see nachos eaten along with beer as it’s great for sharing and it doesn’t make you too full. Be sure to have some when you’re in Texas!

11. Amarillo, Texas

Helium Plant
Source: Photo by Flickr user Bureau of Land M... used under CC BY 2.0

Amarillo is known as the “Helium Capital of the World” because of its large helium reserve. Centuries ago, the place supplied this important gas to the world for a variety of purposes. A helium plant, considered a historical landmark, can be seen on Business Interstate 40. However, the old facility is presently not in use and is awaiting renovation.

12. Country music (from USD 82.5)

things texas is famous for | country music

The popularity of cowboys has also led to the spread of country music in the state. Over the years, it has become one of the many things Texas is known for. Texas country has evolved into its very own musical genre, which is a blend of outlaw country with traditional country sounds. The themes of the songs under this genre usually revolve around the working man’s struggles, along with those that touch on nature and local tradition. The music itself is often stripped down.

Nashville: Grand Ole Opry Live Country Music Tickets

Duration: 3.5 hour

107 reviews

Learn more about Texas

These pieces of trivia barely scratch the surface of the fun facts and information involving the Lone Star State. Thanks to its long-running history, there’s plenty that people can say when talking about Texan culture. The best way to learn more about it is to drop by and visit to see for yourself what makes it unique from other places. Book a flight to Texas, and experience some of the best things Texas has to offer and get a firsthand experience of why this state is special.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Melanie is a freelance travel writer. She considers freelancing for Trip 101 to be a combination of two of the things she loves: writing and traveling.

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