Background: Texas State Capitol in Austin at night.
Photo by Kumar Appaia

Living in Texas

Don't Mess With Texas

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Texas

Texas USA Map
Texas USA Map

After coming to Texas, you're going to gain an entirely new appreciation for cattle ranching barbeque, and tubing. Texas comes with its own distinctive culture, and every city has a definitive micro-culture. Houston is oil, Galveston is Gulf, Austin is music. Yet every place you go you will encounter a huge spoonful of Texas pride. It’s an extremely colorful region, and the people are friendly. A homegrown bumper sticker states it all: "I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as quick as I could!

The state was named for tejas, a Hasinai Indian word meaning allies or friends. Here's hoping, Texas will embrace you with a welcoming "howdy" after you show up. Texas is a huge place, and there's a major city to be found n every direction. Dependent upon where you’re going to in Texas, there's a massive amount of culture, space, and activities you're going to experience..

It's really unimportant which town or city you select to settle down in within the state because there’s constantly something exciting happening. In north Texas, the Dallas-Fort Worth area boasts a booming economy, big lots with reasonably-priced homes, all kinds of leisure and sports along with low living costs.

At the eastern end of Texas, near the Gulf of Mexico, there is Houston. Oil money built the city, while oil, gas and banking dominate the economy. You will discover a equitable cost to live in Houston, numerous options in real estate and oodles of cultural activities going on in this international city.

Austin in central Texas is the location of the state capital, Tech is huge here; they call it the Silicon Hills or Silicon Valley in the South. The f living cost, particularly purchasing a home, is more costly than any other region in Texas. But for the additional money, you get the opportunity to reside in the Texas music capital while, some might contend, of the nation.

San Antonio, famous for the Riverwalk, the Alamo, and basketball, is a brief drive from Austin, a true jewel of Texas. Founded the 1700s by Spaniards, where the old world encounters new economy. Aside from the major cities, you will find numerous small towns and suburbs in Texas to call home. Regardless of your preferred lifestyle, you will find a place just right for your needs in Texas.


Generally speaking, the part of Texas that lies to the east of Interstate 35 is subtropical, while the portion that lies to the west of Interstate 35 is arid desert.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Texas was 120 °F on August 12, 1936 in Seymour, during the 1936 North American Heatwave, and again on June 28, 1994 in Monahans. The lowest temperature ever in Texas was −23 °F , recorded on February 8, 1933 in Seminole.


  • Texas Geography, Facts and History
  • Texas Facts & Trivia
  • Texas Flags
  • Famous People from Texas
  • Texas Timeline
  • Texas Official Song
  • Education

    Texas Colleges. The state's two most widely recognized flagship universities are The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University, ranked as the 52nd and 69th best universities in the nation according to the 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges", respectively. Some observers also include the University of Houston and Texas Tech University as tier one flagships alongside UT Austin and A&M. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) ranks the state's public universities into three distinct tiers


    Texas's immense population, abundance of natural resources, thriving cities and leading centers of higher education have contributed to a huge and diverse economy. Since oil was discovered, the state's economy has reflected the state of the petroleum industry

    Flora and Fauna

    Texas State Flower - Bluebonnet
    Texas State Flower - Bluebonnet
    More than 500 species of grasses covered Texas when the Spanish and Anglo-Americans arrived. Although plowing and lack of soil conservation destroyed a considerable portion of this rich heritage, grassy pastureland still covers about two-thirds of the state. Bermuda grass is a favorite ground cover, especially an improved type called Coastal Bermuda, introduced after World War II. The prickly pear cactus is a mixed blessing: like the cedar and mesquite, it saps moisture and inhibits grass growth, but it does retain moisture in periods of drought and will survive the worst dry spells, so (with the spines burned off) it can be of great value to ranchers as cattle feed in difficult times. The bean of the mesquite also provides food for horses and cattle when they have little else to eat, and its wood is a favorite in barbecues and fireplaces.

    Texas has more than 20 native trees, of which the catclaw, flowering mimosa, huisache, black persimmon, huajillo, and weeping juniper (unique to the Big Bend) are common only in Texas. Cottonwood grows along streams in almost every part of the state, while cypress inhabits the swamps. The flowering dogwood in East Texas draws tourists to that region every spring, and the largest bois d'arc trees in the US are grown in the Red River Valley. Probably the most popular shade tree is the American (white) elm, which, like the gum tree, has considerable commercial importance. The magnolia is treasured for its grace and beauty; no home of substance in southeastern Texas would have a lawn without one. Of the principal hardwoods, the white oak is the most commercially valuable, the post oak the most common, and the live oak the most desirable for shade; the pecan is the state tree. Pines grow in two areas about 600 mi (970 km) apart—deep East Texas and the trans-Pecos region. In southeast Texas stands the Big Thicket, a unique area originally covering more than 3 million acres (1.2 million ha) but now reduced to about one-tenth of that by lumbering. Gonzales County, in south-central Texas, is the home of palmettos, orchids, and other semitropical plants not found anywhere else in the state. Texas wild rice and several cactus species are classified as endangered throughout the state.

    In 2003, 28 Texas plant species were listed as threatened or endangered, including ashy dogweed, black lace cactus, large-fruited sand-verbena, South Texas ambrosia, Terlingua creek cats-eye, Texas snowbells, Texas trailing phlox, and Texas wild-rice.

    Possibly the rarest mammal in Texas is the red wolf, which inhabits the marshland between Houston and Beaumont, one of the most thickly settled areas of the state; owing to human encroachment and possible hybridization with coyotes, the red wolf is steadily disappearing despite efforts by naturalists throughout the United States to save it. On the other hand, Texans claim to have the largest number of white-tailed deer of any state in the Union, an estimated 3 million. Although the Hill Country is the white-tailed deer's natural habitat, the species has been transplanted successfully throughout the state.

    Perhaps the most unusual mammal in Texas is the nine-banded armadillo. Originally confined to the Rio Grande border, the armadillo has gradually spread northward and eastward, crossing the Red River into Oklahoma and the Mississippi River into the Deep South. It accomplished these feats of transport by sucking in air until it becomes buoyant and then swimming across the water. The armadillo is likewise notable for always having its young in litters of identical quadruplets. The chief mammalian predators are the coyote, bobcat, and mountain lion.

    Texas attracts more than 825 different kinds of birds, with bird life most abundant in the lower Rio Grande Valley and coastal plains. Argument continues as to whether Texas is the last home of the ivory-billed woodpecker, which lives in inaccessible swamps, preferably in cutover timber. Somewhat less rare is the pileated woodpecker, which also inhabits the forested lowlands. Other characteristic birds include the yellow-trimmed hooded warbler, which frequents the canebrakes and produces one of the most melodious songs of any Texas bird; the scissor-tailed flycatcher, known popularly as the scissor-tail; Attwater's greater prairie chicken, now declining because of inadequate protection from hunters and urbanization; the mockingbird, the state bird; and the roadrunner, also known as paisano and chaparral. Rare birds include the Mexican jacana, with a flesh comb and bright yellow-green wings; the white-throated swift, one of the world's fastest flyers; the Texas canyon wren, with a musical range of more than an octave; and the Colima warbler, which breeds only in the Chisos Mountains. In the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, along the central Gulf coast, lives the whooping crane, which has long been on the endangered list. Controversy surrounds the golden eagle, protected by federal law but despised by ranchers for allegedly preying on lambs and other young livestock.

    Texas has its fair share of reptiles, including more than 100 species of snake, 16 of them poisonous, notably the deadly Texas coral snake. There are 10 kinds of rattlesnake, and some parts of West Texas hold annual rattlesnake roundups. Disappearing with the onset of urbanization are the horned toad, a small iguana-like lizard; the vinegarroon, a stinging scorpion; and the tarantula, a large, black, hairy spider that is scary to behold but basically harmless.

    In addition to providing protection for the animals on federal lists of threatened and endangered species, the state has its own wildlife protection programs. Among the animals classified as non-game (not hunted) and therefore given special consideration are the lesser yellow bat, spotted dolphin, reddish egret, whitetailed hawk, wood stork, Big Bend gecko, rock rattlesnake, Louisiana pine snake, white-lipped frog, giant toad, toothless blindcat, and blue sucker. In 2003, 63 animal species were listed as threatened or endangered in Texas (up from 43 in 1997), including the Mexican long-nosed bat, Louisiana black bear, bald eagle, ocelot, Mexican spotted owl, Texas blind salamander, Houston toad, black-capped vireo, two species of whale, and five species of turtle.

    Texas has 15 National Wildlife Refuges, with a total of 302,731 acres (122,511 ha). The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department administers an additional 19 wildlife management areas.

  • Texas Birds (Northern Mockingbird)
  • Texas Official State Flower (Bluebonnet sp.)
  • Texas Official State Tree (Pecan)
  • Government

    Texas State Capitol
    Texas State Capitol
    The Texas State Capitol is the capitol building and seat of government of Texas. Located in downtown Austin, Texas, the structure houses the offices and chambers of the Texas Legislature and of the Governor of Texas. Designed in 1881 by architect Elijah E. Myers, it was constructed from 1882 to 1888 under the direction of civil engineer Reuben Lindsay Walker. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

    The state's chief executives are the governor and lieutenant governor, separately elected to four-year terms. Other elected executives, also serving four-year terms, include the attorney general, comptroller, treasurer, commissioner of agriculture, and commissioner of the general land office. The remaining cabinet members are appointed by the governor, who also appoints members of the many executive boards and commissions. The governor must be a US citizen, at least 30 years old, and must have resided in the state for at least five years prior to election.

    A uniquely important executive agency is the Texas Railroad Commission (TRC). Established in 1891 and consisting of three members elected for six-year terms, the commission regulates the state's railroads, oil and gas production, coal and uranium mining, and trucking industry. The TRC thus wields extraordinary economic power, and the alleged influence by the regulated industries over the commission has been a major source of political controversy in the state.

    In order to vote in Texas one must be a US citizen, at least 18 years old, and a resident in the county of registration. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.

  • State of Texas Official Website
  • Texas State Database
  • Attractions

    The second largest state in the nation Texas - features a wealth of natural assets and cultural attractions. Geographically, its south central location offers a large diversity of landscapes, from desert regions and cave systems to mountains, canyons, and the splendid coastal scenery along the Gulf of Mexico. Its world-class cities are also a big draw and are packed with tourist attractions. Highlights include San Antonio's superb River Walk (not to mention the famous Alamo); the galleries and museums of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston; the State Capitol in Austin; and the Space Center in Houston. Texas is also one of the most multicultural states, and Spanish influences in particular are  evident

    Lydia Anne Lighthouse
    Lydia Anne Lighthouse
    Lighthouses in Texas - During the 19th and early 20th centuries, blinking lights were all up and down the Texas coast from the Rio Grande to the Sabine River. Texas boasted a greater array of lighthouse types than any other state (and still does), including brick masonry, cast-iron, screw-pile, and caisson styles. Although some Texas light towers succumbed to storms, shifting sands, or modernization, eight still stand along the Texas coast, sturdy remnants of the past.

    Amusement Parks

    Aquatica, San Antonio
    Austin's Park N Pizza, Pflugerville
    Downtown Aquarium, Houston
    Elise's Family Fun Center, Winnie
    Funtrackers, Corpus Christi
    Funplex, Houston
    Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, Galveston
    Grand Texas Theme Park, New Caney (planned, opening April 2020)
    Joyland Amusement Park, Lubbock
    Kemah Boardwalk, Kemah
    Kiddie Park Of San Antonio, San Antonio
    Morgan's Wonderland, San Antonio
    NRH2O, North Richland Hills
    Sandy Lake Amusement Park, Carrollton
    SeaWorld San Antonio, San Antonio
    Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio
    Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington
    Tilt Studio, Katy (inside Katy Mills)
    Wonderland Park, Amarillo
    YesterLand Farm, Canton
    ZDT's Amusement Park, Seguin
    Zuma Fun Center, Houston - Permanently Closed

    National Parks

    Big Bend National Park Big Bend National Park
    Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, Fritch, TX
    Amistad National Recreation Area, Del Rio, TX
    Big Bend National Park, The big bend of the Rio Grande, TX
    Big Thicket National Preserve, Beaumont, TX
    El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail, Various States TX,LA
    El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail, NM,TX
    Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Salt Flat, TX
    Lake Meredith National recreation Area, Fritch, TX
    Lyndon B Johnson National Historic Park, Johnson City, TX
    Padre Island National Seashore, Corpus Christi, TX
    Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park, Brownsville, TX
    Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River, Southwest Texas, TX
    San Antonio Missions National Historic Park,San Antonio, TX

    National Forests

    Sam Houston National Forest
    Sam Houston National Forest
    Sam Houston National Forest - 163,264 acres
      Part of the Lone Star Trail travels through Sam Houston National Forest, which borders parts of Lake Conroe and Lake Livingston. The Little Lake Creek Wilderness is the only wilderness area in the forest.
    Angelina National Forest - 154,140 acres
      Primarily longleaf, loblolly, and shortleaf pine, the forest includes two wilderness areas and borders the Sam Rayburn Reservoir. The forest provides habitat for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and wintering habitat for bald eagles.
    Davy Crockett National Forest - 161,140 acres
      Located where the southeastern pine forests meet the blackland prairies of central Texas, Davy Crockett National Forest's Big Slough Wilderness consists primarily hardwood forest. A recreation area surrounds Ratcliff Lake, which covers 45 acres
    Sabine National Forest - 161,088 acres
      Sabine National Forest borders the western side of Toledo Bend Reservoir and has 28 mi (45 km) of trails. The forest's only wilderness area is the Indian Mounds Wilderness. Old-growth forest can be found in the wilderness and at Mill Creek Cove along the reservoir's shores.


    Many Texans are passionate about American football and intensely follow high school and college football teams, which often dominate social and leisure activity. Professional football is also intensely popular in Texas, and the state is home to two National Football League (NFL) franchises, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans. In addition to the Cowboys and Texans, two current NFL teams previously played in the state, and one now-defunct NFL team also called the state home.

    The Cowboys, founded in 1960, are one of the most popular teams in the league and have fans in many parts of the United States, leading to the nickname "America's Team". They are also one of the most successful, having reached eight Super Bowls and won five (tied with the San Francisco 49ers & the New England Patriots for second all-time). The Cowboys play their home games at AT&T Stadium in nearby Arlington, into which they moved in 2009 after having spent 38 years at Texas Stadium in Irving.

    Baseball has a strong presence in Texas, with two Major League Baseball teams. The Houston Astros started playing in 1962. The Texas Rangers debuted in 1972 after relocating from Washington, D.C. In 2005, the Astros became the first team in Texas to make it to the World Series. The Rangers followed the Astros in 2010 to their first World Series and the following year as well. In 2017 the Astros became the first team in Texas to win the World Series.

    Basketball is also popular, and Texas hosts three NBA teams: the San Antonio Spurs, the Houston Rockets, and the Dallas Mavericks. All three have won championships, however the Spurs having won at least 50 games over the past 15 seasons and 5 NBA championships, are arguably the best professional franchise in Texas sports and are considered one of the best NBA franchises in history. The Houston Rockets did however distinguish themselves as the first team in Texas to win an NBA Championship and are currently the only team in Texas to have back-to-back NBA Championships.

  • Texas Sports Teams
  • Taxes

    Texas Tax Facts
    • Income tax: none
    • Sales tax: 6.25% - 8.25%
    • Property tax: 1.86% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 20 cents per gallon of regular gasoline and diesel



    Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
    Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Photo by Framepool & RightSmith Stock Footage
    Texas Airports. Texas has 730 airports, the second most in every state in the country. According to Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), it is the largest airport in Texas and the second largest airport in the United States in terms of size and passengers. He is the fourth largest in the world with 18,076 acres. In traffic, DFW is the busiest in the state, the fourth most common in the United States, and sixth worldwide. American / American Eagle of the American Airlines Group, the world's largest airline with a passenger-miles transport and a passenger fleet, uses DFW as its largest and most important hub. It is the largest airline in the United States, counting the number of domestic passengers per year and the world's largest airline based on the number of passengers carried. Southwest Airlines, headquartered in Dallas, is based in Dallas Love Field.

    Texas' second largest air traffic facility is the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston. It served as the largest hub for the former Continental Airlines, which was based in Houston; It serves as the largest hub for United Airlines, the third largest airline in the world, for passenger miles flown. IAH offers service to most of the Mexican destinations of any US airport. The next five largest airports in the state serve more than 3 million passengers annually; These include Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, William P. Hobby Airport, San Antonio International Airport, Dallas Love Field and El Paso International Airport. The smallest airport in the state, which is declared the international airport, is the international airport of Del Rio.

    Port of Houston
    Port of Houston


    Approximately 1,150 seaports dot Texas's coast with over 1,000 miles of channels. Ports employ nearly one-million people and handle an average of 317 million metric tons Texas ports connect with the rest of the nations Atlantic seaboard with the Gulf section of the Intracoastal Waterway. The Port of Houston today is the busiest port in the U.S. in foreign tonnage, second in overall tonnage, and tenth worldwide in tonnage. The Houston Ship Channel is 530 feet  wide by 45 feet deep and 50 miles long.


    Since 1911, Texas has led the nation in length of railroad miles within the state. Texas railway length peaked in 1932 at 17,078 miles, but declined to 14,006 miles by 2000. While the Railroad Commission of Texas originally regulated state railroads, in 2005 the state reassigned these duties to TxDOT.

    Both Dallas and Houston feature light rail systems. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) built the first light rail system in the Southwest United States, completed in 1996. The Trinity Railway Express (TRE) commuter rail service, which connects Fort Worth and Dallas, is provided by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (the T) and DART. In the Austin area, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates a commuter rail service known as Capital MetroRail to the northwestern suburbs. The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) operates light rail lines in the Houston area.

    Amtrak provides Texas with limited intercity passenger rail service. Three scheduled routes serve the state: the daily Texas Eagle (Chicago–San Antonio); the tri-weekly Sunset Limited (New Orleans–Los Angeles), with stops in Texas; and the daily Heartland Flyer (Fort Worth–Oklahoma City).


    The first Texas freeway was the Gulf Freeway opened in 1948 in Houston. As of 2005, 79,535 miles of public highway crisscrossed Texas (up from 71,000 miles in 1984). The state has 17 toll roads.  The southern section of the State Highway 130 toll road has a speed limit of 85 miles per hour, the highest in the U.S. All federal and state highways in Texas are paved.

    Texas Housing

    The median home value in Texas is $188,700. Texas home values have gone up 6.8% over the past year and predictions are they will rise 3.8% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Texas is $125. The median price of homes currently listed in Texas is $275,000. The median rent price in Texas is $1,545.
    Texas Association of Realtors
    Texas Real Estate Commission
    Texas Real Estate Listings

    Texas Cities & Towns

    Texas is divided into 254 counties, more than any other U.S. state. Texas was originally divided into municipalities, a unit of local government under Spanish and Mexican rule. When the Republic of Texas gained its independence in 1836, the 23 municipalities became the original Texas counties. Many of these were later divided into new counties. There are 3333 Texas Towns & Cities: Texas, cities are either "original law" or "home rule" cities. Cities governed under general law have only specific powers granted by state law. A city with a population exceeding 5,000 may seek home rule status by voter approval although some municipalities in Texas refer to themselves as "towns" or "villages", these names have no specific designation in law. Huston has the largest population with 2,312,717 residents, The smallest town in Texas is way down south on Ranch Road 649 about 90 miles northwest of McAllen in Jim Hogg County and has a population of a whopping 6. Early Mexican settlers called the town El Colorado because of the red cattle found in the area.
  • Texas Cities and Towns
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