By Alex Edwards
If you have any interest in traveling across the pond to the land of the stars and stripes, consider making Texas your holiday destination. There’s a ton of must-sees any British visitor can’t miss, but I’ve got the inside scoop as a proud native of the Lone Star State. Dust off your boots and dig out your best flannel, because between the food and the landmarks, everything is bigger in Texas.
Houston: I have an obvious soft spot for Houston as someone that was born and raised there. While it might not have as tourist-y spots as some of the others on the list, Forbes did rank it as America’s number one fastest growing city to live in. It’s a giant metropolitan, rich from young entrepreneurs and the oil industry. H-Town has one of the best museum districts, a sprawling zoo and an impressive aquarium. Since it’s near the coast, you have easy access to some quaint beach towns. It’s also home to the Space Center and the infamous phrase: “Houston, we have a problem.”
Dallas: Travel a little further north and you’ll find Dallas, one of the major commercial hubs of the state. There you can visit the historical landmark that celebrates President JFK’s life, near the location where he was assassinated. The art district is expansive, as well as the zoo and aquarium. There’s also a Six Flags, a huge amusement park with roller-coasters that has locations scattered around Texas. The shops are also thriving, and you’ll have no problem spending tons of money here.
Austin: Austin is an obvious choice as the capital of Texas. Located in the heart of Hill Country, this quirky and eclectic city has views that might outweigh any other on the list. If you’re a music junkie, the live-music scene is always thriving, with Sixth Street being the popular late night destination. But get used to seeing a younger crowd if you choose to visit, because smack dab in the middle of Austin is the University of Texas. If you enjoy outdoor activities that build up a sweat, this city houses the best parks and lakes for hiking, swimming and boating.
San Antonio: I, San Antonio has the richest colonial heritage on the list. The south-central city is home to the Alamo, the site of the battle that ultimately resulted in Texas independence. Most visitors enjoy the miles-long River Walk, a slew of restaurants and shopping that follow the San Antonio River. In terms of amusement, there’s also SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas, which will easily make you feel like a kid again.
As a border state, Texas is home to some of the most authentic Mexican food in the U.S. — and we don’t let you forget it. Texans love to brag about how our queso is cheesier, guacamole is fresher, margaritas are stronger and tacos are fuller than any other state that claims their Mexican cuisine is the best. While it is hard to go wrong with any Tex-Mex restaurant, if you’re planning on absolutely pigging out, try one of my suggestions below.
- Pappasito’s Cantina: All cities
- Chuy’s: All cities
- The Original Ninfa’s: Houston
- Mi Tierra: San Antonio
- Fonda San Miguel: Austin
- Avila’s: Dallas
If you’re one of those men that loves to grill, barbecue will probably end up being your favorite meal. If you’re a true carnivore, grab a bib and have yourself a full Texas BBQ, piled high with meat, potato salad, beans, cole slaw, bread, corn and more. Texas Monthly recently named the top 50 BBQ restaurants in TX, so I pulled a few of my personal favorites from the cities I recommended before.
- Franklin Barbecue: Austin
- Catteleack Barbeque: Dallas
- CorkScrew BBQ: Houston
- 2M Smokehouse: San Antonio