Happy New Year everybody! Wanna know the best thing I did last year? Checking out the State Fair of Texas!
The Fair is recognized as the World’s Largest State Fair with almost three million visitors in attendance in 2016. Last year’s fair kicked on Friday, September 30th and we were there on Saturday to enjoy the festivities with toddler, no teenager in tow. We headed to Fair Park Saturday morning with a bustling two year old ready to conquer the fair.
The State Fair of Texas last 24 days and this annual event is held at historic Fair Park in Dallas. The fair has been around since 1886, and is organized every year except during World Wars I and II. Given my disdain for crowds, I was trying to convince myself this would not be so bad. After all, it is early and we won’t be there long. Right? So we get off our exit to loads of people in neon yellow vest flagging us into different parking areas… I am thinking… okay, this seems to have some order to it. Maybe I can handle this.
Texas, the Lone Star State, is the second-largest U.S. state. Texas is offering us the most beautiful landscapes, booming big cities, the finest restaurants, and several charming and friendly towns.
Texas is geographically highly diversified, and all regions have their own culture, characteristics, and economy.
If you travel through Texas you can see the Gulf of Mexico beaches. Houston’s skyscrapers, visit ‘Big D’, aka Dallas, check out if Austin is as weird as they say, or enjoy a bit of Mexican culture and class in San Antonio.If you’re only checking out Texas’ big cities, you’ll be missing so much of the real things that make Texas what it is.
There are numerous small cities that are laden with historical sights, so if you set out for El Paso, don’t forget to check out placed like Alpine, Terlingua, or Marfa. In case you really need to go to Oklahoma, don’t forget to visit Seymour while you’re in the area. There are so many quaint and interesting towns around in Texas, and here we highlight a few very pretty ones, Hunt, Marfa, and Salado.
Hunt is situated where the south and the north fork of the Guadalupe River are meeting and the area (including Ingram and Kerrville) is famous for the great number of festivals that are hosted there. The town is extraordinary pretty and is surrounded by rugged limestone and impressive trees.
The Texas Hill Country area has always attracted many visitors because of its stunning scenic drives, and the town of Hunt is in the midst of it all. The region’s beautiful drives have been commented on by thousands of residents and visitors.
Texas is America’s second-largest state and offers a great number of the most charming towns, thriving cities and stunning landscapes. All of the Texas regions feature an economy with its own characteristics, a varied geography and a highly divers culture.
We’ve been looking around in the great state of Texas and, to our humble opinion, found the towns and cities listed below pretty charming and attractive.
So check out our list of the most charming and beautiful Texas towns in Texas you really should visit when you’re in the Lone Star State. This is part one of our series about interesting Texas towns: Fredericksburg, Jefferson, and Wimberley
Round Top, Texas, is a quaint little community of 93 people (really, in the entire town) that’s nestled between Houston and Austin on US 290 (Texas 237). The name ‘Round Top’ comes from the house of the postmaster that had a round tower, and the town is famous for its art scene, the pie at Royers Cafe, and its famous annual Antiques Fair.
Every summer, Round Top is actually the home of two more visitor-drawing programs. The town is host to many students that perform at the town’s Festival Hill music institute, and the Shakespeare at Winedale program, is a Shakespeare-in-Performance program organized by the English Department of the University of Texas at Austin, that offers visitors and locals phenomenal theatrical and symphonic performances. But the most famous event is the Antiques Fair.
So the town has 93 resident ….but watch out when the trailers move in ….
We already published a post on weird Texas town names a few weeks ago. In that post we told you a few things about: DIng Dong, Gun Barrel City, Knickerbocker, Latex, Nada, Noodle, Oatmeal, Raisin, Scissors, Smiley, Tarzan, Uncertain, and Who Thought About It. In this post we’ll tell you something about a few more towns with odd names. Have fun:
– Bacon: The town of Bacon is located in Wichita County. and within the city limits of Wichita Falls. Bacon is no longer an independent town, but the name may still run a little water down your mouth.
– Bangs: The town of Bangs is located in Brown County (west-central Texas), and has a population w of arround 1,600 (2015). The town was named after Samuel Bangs who received the land as appreciation for his contribution in the Texas Revolution. Bangs was incorporated in 1915 and is located along US Highway 67.
Texans are absolutely proud of their state and very proud that they are Texans. As far as Texans are concerned, all things are better here in Texas.
A popular bumper sticker is reading ‘I wasn’t born here, but I got to Texas as fast as I could.’ I’m working together with a man who grew being an army brat, and he told me that in no state where he lived, people were referring to themselves by which state they live in first, like the people in Texas do.
In public schools and colleges, Texas government and history are mandated courses where the traditions of Texas are taught, and the fact that the state was an independent country before it joined the U.S. is a source of great pride, though that country had gone just about broke in its tenure of nine years, and applied for U.S. statehood to boost its economy.
Texas has a strong education system, both on high school and college level. Also, in Texas there are numerous locations that provide GED prep for people who need a second chance,
Texas is a big state, just Alaska is bigger, and when you consider livable land, the state Texas is the absolutely the biggest state (though there are individuals like Sam Morningstar who believe that San Angelo is not livable at all).
The people that in earlier times settled down in Texas included several dreamers who wished to create a state where everything would be the world’s biggest, the largest market, the biggest ranch, the biggest business, and so on, and that typical Texan ‘Think Big’ mindset is still existing across much of Texas today.
Regardless whether someone is a hero or a crook, they just are striving to be the best, the biggest, or the most famous. This ‘Think Big’ mentality may sometimes carry an individual to excess, but in Texas, these characters are cherished, especially when they’re a little crazy.
On the other hand, the name Texas was derived from ‘tejas’, a word from the Caddo tribe language that means ‘friendly’.
Alonso Álvarez de Piñeda, a Spanish explorer, was actually the first European to set foot on Texas soil in 1519, as many myths about the ‘Seven Golden Cities of Cibola’ was bringing a lot of Spanish fortune seekers from Mexico to Texas.
In 1682, Spanish missionaries were setting up the first missions in the El Paso area, and by the 1730’s, they had built many forts and missions throughout the eastern, central, and southwestern portions of what we now know as Texas.
In 1820, Spanish government officials granted land to an American named Moses Austin. A year later, in 1821, his son Stephen brought some 300 families to Texas to work on the farm lands along the Brazos River. After Mexico had gained its independence from Spain (also in 1821), Austin’s colony was extended, and more Texas land was granted to Americans.
We’ve probably all heard of the expression ‘Keep Austin weird’, but when you compare the name of Texas’ state capital to some other names of Texas towns, it seems to be that Austin is not so strange a name after all. Just take a look at some of the strangest and weirdest names of towns in Texas. The Lone Star State has more than 40 town names that are making the name ‘Austin’ your every-day cup of tea. Let’s take a closer look at the weirdest:
– Ding Dong: This city is (could it be more ironic?) Bell County, and was given the name in honor of Zulius and Bert Bell who operated a country store close to the Lampass River. Ding Dong is found in Central Texas, some 8 miles south of Killeen.
– Gun Barrel City: Texas and guns go hand and hand, so the name of this town (population almost 6,000) doesn’t come as a surprise. Gun Barrel City was incorporated in the late 1960’s to be able to legally sell wine and beer. The name comes from Gun Barrel Lane (now Highway 198), as has as motto ‘We Shoot Straight with You’. The town’s symbol is a rifle with two antique pistols. Gun Barrel City is located around 55 miles southeast of Dallas.
Marfa, Texas, is a quaint little town that counts some 2,000 residents. Over the past decade, the status of Marfa has reached almost mythical proportions because of an incredible influx of stores, art institutions, and quite a few Los Angelenos and New Yorkers who set up camp here as they were looking for a life somewhat simpler.
The town is situated in a vast desert setting, and the nearest town is almost 20 miles away, while the nearest major airport is over 200 away. Marfa is now one of the new subjects of modern life, and people return here awestruck from the starry nights and desert landscape, while they share great Instagram snap shots of them and Prada Marfa. It goes without saying that the small town of Marfa has amassed so much hype.