Do you want to discover interesting and fun facts about the Lone Star State? Texas is the second-largest state in the United States that is big in both population and area.
25 Fun Facts About Texas to Know in 2023
In fact, did you know that Texas is bigger than most European countries? How about the fact that the fastest road in the US is also located in the Lone Star State, between San Antonio and Austin?
If not, you’re in for a treat. Here is a list of 25 facts about Texas that you may find surprising, interesting, and unbelievable!
1. Texas Used to Be an Independent Country
Believe it or not, but there was a time when Texas was its own country. In 1836, Texas declared independence from Mexico and became the Republic of Texas.
It had its own government and laws, but faced numerous problems. It also struggled financially. That is why in 1845, the Republic of Texas decided to get annexed by the United States. This is how Texas became the 28th State of the Union.
2. Texas Means “Friends”
The word “Texas” comes from a language of the Caddo Nation and means “friends” or “allies”. The Caddo Indians are a tribe that resided in the northeastern area of the Pinewoods. It is believed they used this word “friends” (“tejas”) as a form of greeting: “Hello, friend!”.
3. The Frozen Margarita Was Created in Texas
The frozen margarita is a popular tropical drink made with tequila and rum. You may think that this drink was invented in Mexico because that’s where the rocks margarita was originally created.
However, the truth is that the actual inventor of the frozen margarita is a Dallas entrepreneur and restaurateur Mariano Martinez. In 1971, he saw a Slurpee machine at 7/11 and came up with an idea for a frozen margarita machine.
He modified an old ice machine that he had at his restaurant and used his father’s margarita recipe to create the famous frozen drink. Soon, it became the restaurant’s signature drink.
4. Texas Has the Largest Ranch in the United States
Everything is bigger in Texas, including ranches. The largest ranch in the country is also located in Texas. The size of King Ranch located in Kingsville, South Texas is over 825,000 hectares.
Imagine, it is bigger than the entire state of Rhode Island! The ranch is home to over 35,000 cattle and workplace of over 500 employees.
5. The Largest Bat Colony in North America Lives in Texas
Did you know that millions and millions of bats live in Texas? Bracken Cave, located 20 minutes of San Antonio, is filled with 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats.
Every night in summer, you can see millions of these mysterious spooky creatures flying out of the cave. The land around the cave is owned by the Bat Conservation International, an organization that holds regular viewings for the public in summer.
6. Caddo Lake Is the Only Natural Lake in Texas
Can you believe that the state of Texas has only one natural lake? In total, there are over 7,000 lakes in the Lone Star State, but they are all reservoirs.
The only exception is Caddo Lake located on the border of Texas and Louisiana. It was named in honor of the Caddoans, Native American tribe, and was formed – according to the legend – by an earthquake in the 1700s.
7. Live Music Capital Is in Texas
Austin is more than just the capital of the Lone Star State – it is also the live music capital of the world. The city adopted this nickname in 1991, after it was discovered that there are more live music venues than anywhere else in the United States.
That means that if you are a music lover, you should definitely plan your trip to Austin. You will be able to catch a music show in this vibrant city anytime, day or night.
8. Iconic Six Flags Was First Opened in Texas
Have you ever heard of a famous amusement park Six Flags? It was founded by a Texan real estate developer Angus G. Wynne, Jr. in 1961. After visiting the newly-opened Disneyland in California, he decided to open a similar park in the Lone Star State by adding some Texas history and culture.
There is one interesting fact about the Six Flags Over Texas – its name. The name “Six Flags” actually comes from the flags of six different nations that governed the Lone Star State during its history.
The flags include Mexico, France, Spain, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States, of course.
9. There Are Several Animals That Symbolize Texas
There are actually several state animals in Texas. The most famous and symbolic is the nine-banded armadillo. This adorable creature became the official state animal of Texas in 1995.
Another well-known animal that also symbolizes the Lone Star State is the Texas longhorn. An interesting fact about this unique animal is that in 1916 a longhorn steer, whose name was Bevo, was adopted as a mascot of the University of Texas.
10. Many Celebrities Were Born In Texas
Texas is a historic home to many famous people. For example, the singers Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce, and Selena Gomes were born and raised in the great state of Texas.
The list of actors who are from the Lone Star State is also impressive: Jamie Fox, Matthew McConaughey, Owen Wilson, and more.
Two former leaders of the United States were also born in Texas – Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson. You can visit the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park that is also known as “the Texas White House”.
11. Texas Has Its Own Cuisine
Since Texas was a part of Mexico, it has its own version of Mexican Food – Tex-Mex. It is a unique blend of Mexican, American, and Tejano cuisines.
It originated in the Rio Grande Valley, and is known for the heavy use and combination of such ingredients as shredded cheese, beans, various spices, chili peppers, and flour tortillas. So this is exactly how Texas tastes.
12. Texas Hosted the First Rodeo and Bull Riding Event
Yes, it is true – the very first rodeo took place in Texas in 1883. However, it didn’t look like the rodeo we are used to see today. It was a competition between two men.
People liked the competition so much, and so many participants wanted to join that it led to the birth of the first rodeo. Also, the first bull riding in rodeo was introduced in 1920 at the Fort Worth Stock show.
13. The Lone Star State Is the Birthplace of Dr. Pepper
Did you know that Dr. Pepper is the oldest drink in America? Yes, it is even older than Coca-Cola! How about the fact that it was created in Texas for medical reasons. It might be hard to believe but Dr. Pepper was invented by a pharmacist in Waco in 1885.
Imagine, soft drinks wer actually considered healthy to drink! So, if you are in the charming town of Waco, make sure to visit the Dr. Pepper factory and museum to learn more about the history of this drink.
14. You Can Visit the Nation’s Largest Rose Garden Located in Texas
Do you like flowers? Well, who doesn’t, especially if we talk about roses. One of the main attractions in the small town of Tyler is the Municipal Rose Garden.
Actually, it is more than just a garden – it is a giant 40-acre floral kingdom that has over 38,000 rose bushes. It is the largest rose garden in the US that boasts 600 different varieties of roses.
Do you know what is another cool thing about this garden besides its beauty? The answer is the price because you can visit the garden for free!
15. The Official Dish of Texas Is… Chili!
As we discussed before, food is what defines Texas. So it is not surprising that the Lone Star State has its own dish, and it is chili. There are many chili recipes, but Texas chili is different and unique.
Unlike other recipes, Texas version does not include tomatoes or beans. Instead, the most common ingredients are dried chili peppers and meat. Do you want to feel like a real Texan? Make sure to have a bowl of chili for lunch or dinner.
16. There Is the World’s Largest Convenience Store in Texas
Are you on a road trip and want to stop by somewhere to buy a sandwich, coffee, or a bag of snacks? Make sure check out Buc-ee’s in New Braunfels, the largest convenience store in the world.
It is famous for its beaver logo, incredible size (over 66,000 square feet), and a great variety of items and souvenirs available for road-trippers.
17. Texas BBQ Was Established in the 19th Century
The Lone Star State is also associated with delicious BBQ. But did you know that the Texan-style BBQ originated in the 19th century? It was pit-style barbeque that was invented in Central Texas by immigrants from Czech Republic and Germany.
Today, different parts of Texas have their own variations of BBQ, so you should definitely try them all while visiting Texas.
18. There Are Some Funny Laws in Texas That Are Actually Real
Many laws were adopted centuries ago, but they are still present, and some of them are quite funny. One of these interesting laws is related to marriage. Thus, in Texas, a couple is considered legally married if they publicly announce each other husband and wife saying it three times.
19. The Texas Coastline Is 367 Miles Long
The great state of Texas has one of the longest coastlines in the United States. It is only 16 miles shorter than the Californian coastline, and it is characterized by miles of sandy beaches, pine woods, and the beauty of six state parks.
Galveston and Saint Padre Islands are popular tourist destinations that attract beach and water sports lovers year round.
20. The Slogan “Don’t Mess With Texas” Was Originally an Anti-littering Advertisement
Even if you have never been to Texas, you probably heard the internationally known slogan “Don’t Mess With Texas”. An interesting fact about it is that it was created by the Department of Transportation, and its purpose was to reduce littering in the Lone Star State.
Surprisingly, the slogan worked so well that became known internationally, even outside the United States. Today, it is more like a slogan of proud Texans, and you can see it everywhere: on T-shirts, bumper stickers, keychains, and other souvenirs.
21. There Is a German Dialect That Is Spoken Only in Texas
In the 19th centuries, thousands of immigrants arrived to Texas from Germany. Due to the influx of German immigrants, there is a number of so-called “Texas Germans” who speak a very specific German dialect that is not spoken anywhere else.
The majority of Texas Germans live in New Braunfels, Schulenburg, Fredericksburg, and Boerne.
22. 7-eleven And Whole Foods Were Founded in Texas
You can find these stores all over the United States today and almost in any town. But did you know that both Whole Foods and 7-eleven got their start in the Lone Star State?
For example, the first 7-eleven was founded in Dallas in 1927. Whole Foods was founded much later in 1980, and the very first store was opened in Austin.
23. The Capitol in Texas Is Taller Than the U.S. Capitol
Even though it is not a contest of buildings, it is still quite surprising that the capitol building in Austin, Texas is 15 feet taller than the capitol building in Washington, D.C. However, in general, the buildings look alike and they have a similar dome shape.
24. Texas Is One of the Fastest Growing States in the Country
Yes, the population in Texas keeps growing, and people keep coming to Texas. The results of a recent study has shown that Texas is growing faster than any other state in the US.
Because of this, there is one phrase that became very popular and common in Austin: “Welcome to Texas! But please, don’t move here”.
25. Texas Has The Second-largest Canyon in the US
Of course, everyone knows the Grand Canyon located in Arizona, and it is one of the top destinations on any traveler’s list.
However, Texas also has its own canyon that is large and worth seeing. The canyon is called Palo Duro Canyon, and it is located in northern part of the state, not far from the city of Amarillo.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the most common questions about traveling to Texas:
Is the Lone Star State good for tourists?
Texas is on th bucket lists of many travelers, so this state is definitely worth visiting. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a food lover, or outdoor adventurist, you will find plenty of things to see and try in Texas.
Are Texans friendly people?
Yes, absolutely. Texas is among the friendliest states in the nation. Also, don’t forget that the word “Texas” means “friends”.
How many days do you need to see Texas?
Don’t forget: Texas is a gigantic state. Therefore, if you want to cover the entire state and see its main attractions, you will need over two weeks.
What is the best month to visit Texas?
If you are planning statewide travel, it is better to do it in late October/November, March, April, May, and early June. Try to avoid during summer because it can be extremely hot in Texas
What is the best way to travel to Texas?
If you are planning to visit major cities, it is better to fly. Then you can drive or take a train to the next city.
Book Your Trip to Texas Today!
Texas offers so many things to see and experience! So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and book your trip today and experience for yourself all that the Lone Star State has to offer! Happy travels!