Situated in the south-central part of USA, the state of Texas possesses a common international border with the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Nuevo León, along with sharing common borders with the US states of New Mexico in the West, Oklahoma in the North, Louisiana in the East, and Arkansas in the northeast.
The State has 11 ecological regions, 10 climatic regions and 14 soil regions. A classification system segregates different ecological areas of Texas Gulf Coastal Plains, Interior Lowlands, Great Plains and Basin, and Range Province. Texas houses 15 major rivers with Rio Grande being the largest. Other major ones include Colorado, Pecos and Red River.
The state which covers approximately 268,820 square miles of area is home to more than 26 million people of the world. The state of Texas is sub-divided in as many as 254 counties, and into several geographic regions, ranging from landscapes to beaches, to canyons and hills, to rugged hills and rolling plains, to lakes and rivers, to desert and mountains. Texas offers a complete package for every type of traveler in the state. Some of the more prominent counties of the state are Austin County, Bexar County, Dallas County, El Paso County, Houston County, Orange County, Travis County, and Washington County, among many others. The largest city in the state is Houston (fourth largest in US) and the state capital is Austin. Other major cities include San Antonio, Dallas, Fort-Worth and El Paso.
Having talked of the geography of this enormous state, let’s have a look at some of the major counties and main tourist attractions.
Located in the south-central part of Texas, Travis County is the fifth most populous county in the state. Travis County has a population of 1,024,266 people. It is also a part of the Greater Austin, with the county seat being Austin. One aspect of the county that cannot be missed is that it is home to various springs, such as the Coleman Springs, Santa Monica or Sulphur Springs and Spicewood Springs to name a few. The county also includes a part of the Balcones Canyonlands, a reserved area for the conservation of endangered species. The state capital Austin is also situated in this county.
Austin offers many interesting destinations to a first-time traveler, like the 311 feet high Capitol Building. The admission to this spot is absolutely free, and usually guided tours are provided for visitors. Another place to be checked out is the biggest urban bat colony in North America. The spectators can have a look at more than 1.5 million Mexican free tailed bats usually at the time of sunset. Austin and the Travis County proudly boast of the very famous University of Texas in the city, which is one of the oldest universities in the state and possesses a huge underground tunnel system. The university is one of the few universities which attract huge federal research grants.
Mount Bonnell, standing tall at 780 feet above sea level overlooking Lake Austin, is one of the famous tourist spots in Austin, which is made of natural limestone.
The largest city of the state and also the county seat of Harris County, Houston is a city full of successive circuits of highways. Although the city has immense humidity, it has an arduous energy in the air. For its visitors, it offers exuberant museums, greatly regarded performing arts, theaters, and an amazing nightlife. For all those interested in space travel, Houston offers the Space Center Houston, the official center of the NASA’s Johnson Space Center. People can visit this facility and also take the NASA’s Tram Tour, along with enjoying the various space exhibits, artifacts and hardware of the facility. Also, not very far from this Space Center, the Harris County has the Texas Gulf Coast, whose beaches cover approximately 350 miles, starting from South Padre Island to the Rio Grande Valley, ending at the Louisiana border.
Another exotic location not to be missed is the Big Bend National Park. It is the largest protected area not only in Texas, but also in the US. The national park is home to more than 1,000 species of plants, 400 species of birds, 75 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles. The Rio Grande River forms an international boundary, thereby segregating the United States and Mexico for more than 1,000 miles, thereby sometimes facing unusual constraints on its administration.
Other gems in the feather in the State of Texas are the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, which offer a huge range of attractions to their visitors. The city of Dallas, which is the county seat of Dallas County, along with Fort Worth is one of the metropolitan areas of the US. The city holds a historical importance for being a prominent center of the oil and cotton industries. If you’re one of those seeking adventures in this land, then definitely Dallas County is your place, the ruins of the Old Cahawba cannot be missed here. It is an archeological park that possesses many a natural wonders. Old Depot Museum, Sturdivant Hall and the Vaughan-Smitherman Museum are other important places of archeological importance in the county.
There is no dearth of attractions in the Bexar County of Texas, whose county seat is San Antonio. One of the most recognized landmarks of historical attraction of US, Alamo, is located in the Bexar County. Many American legends passed away defending this landmark. One can also visit the Alamo Gift Museum so as to help with the proceeds for this charitable cause.
Something which cannot be overlooked in this county is the River Walk, one of San Antonio’s main tourist attractions, which is also known as ‘The American Venice.’ This three-mile romantic picturesque stretch is a waterside downtown terrain, providing for awesome dining facilities, amazing shopping opportunities and alluring entertainment. Also, its sidewalks connect it to the popular attractions like the Rivercenter mall, Alamo, and the Tower Life Building.
Universities and Colleges
Texas has around 36 universities in total, out of which 32 belong to one of the six state university systems. The top colleges and universities of the state are University of Texas at Austin, the Texas State University in San Marcos, University of Houston, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, Texas College, Baylor University, St. Edward’s University and Lamar University. The University of Texas at Austin, the Texas A&M University, and the University of Houston, has been listed in Tier One research institutes by the Carnegie Foundation.
The University of Texas at Austin boasts of providing the fifth-largest enrollment in a single-campus, across the country.
|List of Texas Counties|
|USA County Maps|