There’s a reason they call Texas the Great State. They know how to get things done right.
The Lone Star State is home to hard workers and big dreamers. Whether they are boot-scooting or laying down asphalt, Texans just know how to get stuff done.
When you take a road trip in Texas, you should be focusing on the music on the radio or the purple sunsets, not the bumps along the way. Superior roads are just another Texas tradition. You wouldn’t walk your horse over a busted cattle guard, would you? Ask any interstate trucker and they’ll tell you Texans do roads better than everybody else.
Take a springtime drive down just about any Lone Star road you desire, and you’ll be treated to a stunning view of Bluebonnets, Indian Blankets, Mexican Hats, or one of the other 1,000 species of wildflowers that are native to Texas. For an extra special trip, take to the winding roads near Fredericksburg, where entire wildflower farms cover rolling hills and colorful meadows.
Texas is home to a few of the greatest colleges in the nation. The University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, the University of North Texas, and many of the other fine Texas institutions have produced Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, world-renowned engineers, celebrated musicians, political powerhouses and even a few sophisticated journalists.
Texans have mastered the art of tailgating. Go to a college football game and you’ll see enough barbecue and beer to make Big Tex pass out. But this tradition doesn’t stop at the blacktop. In grassy fields across Texas, it’s not uncommon to back a bunch of trucks up in a big circle, crack open a few cold ones and crank up the radio.
12. The girl next door
The girl next door in Texas knows how to cook a meal from scratch. And she knows how to dance the two-step. She’ll give you the biggest hug of your life when you get it right. And when you mess up, she’ll call you out on it faster than the Orange Blossom Special can come around the bend. She looks beautiful in a cotton sun dress. She looks just as beautiful in her denim jeans and a t-shirt. She’s caring, independent and smarter than a whip. She’s educated, loves her family, and half the time she can shoot a beer can off of a fence post without thinking twice about it.
Have you been to Rudy’s? A good deal of young men in Texas learn how to barbecue around when they learn how to drive. Usually, this is 12 or 13 years old. Each town has a favorite reputable BBQ establishment, but you can also go to your neighbor’s backyard and that’s usually about as good as it gets.
10. River floats
The Guadalupe, Brazos, and Frio Rivers are perfect spots to cool off during the summer. It’s a simple enough process. You go down and get yourself two tubes. One for you, one for your cooler. You load that bad boy up with sunblock, Shiner Bock, and ice. Then, you spend the day lazily floating along the river while your friends hit you with water balloons. It’s Texas life at its finest.
Dancing in Texas is a right of passage. A kid starts out on his/her daddy’s feet and graduates to the dance hall. A lot of the best dance stories in Texas come from Hurricane Harry’s in College Station or maybe some old barn four miles down the road from nowhere. The Texas two-step can be four minutes with a stranger, or it can be that special moment you choose to celebrate 50 years with your husband or wife. It brings families, lovers and friends closer together.
No matter what part of Texas you are from, you grow up understanding the importance of football. From the Dallas Cowboys to Friday nights with your high school team, football is a reason to get people together. Nothing says Texas Pride like standing up and waving your team’s colors.
7. Festivals and fairs
Texas is home to many of the world’s greatest festival and fairs. Austin City Limits, Wildflower Festival, Utopia Fest, and South by Southwest bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Texas is also home to quite a few fairs. The biggest is the State of Texas Fair in Dallas. This party runs for weeks and includes a livestock show, auto show and Big Tex–a giant talking cowboy that is over 50 feet tall.
6. Unapologetic Chivalry
When a Texan opens the door for a lady, or calls her ma’am, he’s not saying that she can’t open a door or that she’s really old. Texans hold to a certain standard of old school chivalry. A Texan will open a door for a woman because he respects her and believes she deserves to be the first one allowed in out of the unbearable heat. He’ll call a woman ma’am because that’s what his mama told him to do. It might seem a little archaic at times, but the truth is that it’s not going to change any time soon, partner.
What do Willie Nelson, Lyndon B Johnson, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Nolan Ryan, Chuck Norris, and Renee Zellweger have in common? They’re all from Texas. Be it war hero, politician, rocker, or meme superstar (that’s you, Chuck), Texas has created icon after icon in every single industry.
4. Fast food
Legend has it that in 1950, God decided he wanted the perfect hamburger. So, he inspired the Dobson family to create Whataburger. Whataburger is the perfect fast food chain. Texans do better burgers than all of the other states put together. The food is consistently good, and Texas would literally start a war with any state, country, or planet that tried to take away that wonderful fancy ketchup. Ask this humble writer what he hopes his last meal on Earth will be and he’ll give a very simple: “Number 2. No pickles. Add cheese.”
3. Country Music
Specifically, I’m talking about Texas Country. Listen to Pat Green, Zane Williams, and Django Walker and you’ll hear artists who are seriously talented lyricists. Texas Country is all about storytelling. No flash. No rhinestones. It’s as clear as a blue Texas sky. And, of course, it’s always a good idea to throw on a little King George.
2. Cowboy Boots
Texans are known the world over for their particular taste in footwear. Cowboy boots are perfect for riding horses, scooting across a freshly saw-dusted dance floor, owning a meeting, and even ending a scuffle if need be. Cowboy boots are also a calling card. If you are in Europe and spot a guy in cowboy boots, just ask, “Hey, are you from Texas?” And he’ll say, “Heck yeah, you want a beer?”
1. State Pride
Texas pride comes from being honest, friendly and quick to lend a helping hand. The best of Texans are hard working and will go out of their way to show a stranger a good time. The true Texan is that guy that fixes your flat tire on the side of a winding county road, and then buys you a coke because it’s hotter than a West Texas windshield outside. She’s that gentle old lady down the street that sends you her surplus of King Ranch Chicken. There’s a proud Texan around every corner. Go out and meet one. Chances are they’ll shake your hand and say howdy.