Texas is the best state.
Yeah, that may be an unpopular opinion for our West Coast readers, but we’re not looking for popularity here.
We’re just telling it like it is: Texas has a warm climate and natural beauty, excellent food and music, and a rich history that includes everything from cowboys to oil tycoons.
If you want to get out of the winter blues or escape your overpriced apartment in Brooklyn or Los Angeles, come on down!
Or don’t. Because here’s 17 reasons why Texas is already the best state.
1. Our history
When my mom realized I had to take a Texas History course in middle school, she was so jealous. She grew up in Oklahoma and envied the fact that we got to learn about fierce battles and the generally colorful story of how Texas came to be.
I mean, we were our own country there for a while! Seriously, if you ever want to hear exciting, death-defying, and downright strange history, Texas has got it.
P.S. My favorite Texas history factoid is that Texas Governor James Stephen Hogg had a daughter who (and I’m not making this up) was named “Ima Hogg.”
2. The Texas State Fair
The State Fair of Texas is the oldest state fair in the country. It’s such a big deal that, as schoolchildren, we would get free tickets for our entire family to go to the Fair. It’s basically a rite of passage to take a photo with Big Tex, the giant and intimidating statue that hovers over the fairgrounds.
3. Highway speeds
Where else in the world can you legally drive 85 MPH on the highway? The speed limit on tollway 130 is literally the fastest in America. Of course, you’re allowed to go that fast because of how gi-freakin’-gantic our state is. I personally prefer to go under the speed limit since I don’t drive a Lamborghini, but most drivers are happy to go over 85 MPH.
I admit that I didn’t stop at Buc-ees until a few years ago. But when you’re stuck on I-35 for seven hours, nothing is a more welcome sight than the giant yellow beaver sign. Buc-ees has the cleanest bathrooms of any convenience store you’ll ever visit (and did I mention that it’s HUGE?). It also sells grills, coolers, and off-the-wall snacks like Beaver Nuggets that you just have to try.
5. The Texas flag
Psst, hey, did you know that the Texas flag is the only flag that’s allowed to fly at the same height as the US flag? We Texans take a lot of pride in our flag, which has served our citizens since Texas was its own country.
6. Tex-Mex food
You probably aren’t going to find “authentic” Mexican food north of Austin, but there’s nothing wrong with Tex-Mex food! This is the cuisine that most Americans think of when they hear the phrase “Mexican food.” Since we share a border with Mexico, Texas foods and Mexican classics have fused to create dishes like fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, and chile con queso.
7. The accents
The people have spoken: Texans have the sexiest accent in America. If you’ve ever been seduced by the dulcet tones of Matthew McConaughey’s sweet drawl, you know what I’m talking about.
(Yes, he’s just one of the many celebrities who live in Texas.)
The Texas accent is so iconic that, when I was traveling through Europe and told people I was from Texas, they begged me to “talk Texas to them.”
Football is a big deal here, but rodeo is actually the official sport of Texas. It may look like a bunch of dudes riding horses, but rodeo (and especially bull riding) is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. If you want to see yourself a real, authentic Texas cowboy, the rodeo’s got them by the pound.
I know people think Texas is a great, big desert, but it’s a geographically diverse state. We’ve got everything from deserts to swamps to forests—and awesome beaches. Thousands of spring breakers flock to South Padre Island every year, but Galveston, Port Aransas, Corpus Christi, and Rockport aren’t too shabby, either.
Don’t miss our guide to the 14 best beach towns in Texas!
10. Dr. Pepper
I shrivel up and die inside any time I ask for a Dr. Pepper and I’m offered a Mr. Pibb instead. As a teen, I drank 3+ cans of Dr. Pepper daily, and I’m far from alone in my soda obsession. There’s actually a Dr. Pepper museum in Waco, Texas where you can learn all about this perfect, amazing elixir.
P.S. Dr. Pepper is 1 year older than Coca-Cola! It’s the oldest big-name soda in the US.
If you’re driving along I-35, eventually you’ll come across signs for the town of West, Texas. What’s unique about this place is that Czech immigrants settled the area. That means that today you can chow down on some tasty Czech-inspired fare before continuing your trip down the highway.
Many Texans call these treats “kolaches,” but apparently there’s a difference based on if the filling is sweet or savory. Whatever they’re called, you just can’t beat the fluffy, buttery deliciousness of this Czech treat in the Lone Star State.
I don’t even need to explain this one.
Texas barbecue is an institution by itself. While you can try barbecue from the Carolinas, Kansas City, or Memphis, Texas has its own unique flair too. I live in South Texas, which features more Tex-Mex ‘cue, like barbacoa. But most Texas barbecue features expertly sliced brisket served with sweet, hot sauce. There’s nothing like the spicy, hot, melt-in-your-mouth delicacy of a brisket plate.
Whether you like football, hockey, basketball, or baseball, Texas has got it. The Dallas Cowboys are almost a religion, although the Houston Texans have a cult following, too. We take our football seriously, but no matter what sport you love, Texas does it bigger. There’s nothing like the roar of a crowd under the big, bright lights. (Some of which are of the Friday Night variety… yes, our highschool sports scene can’t be beat, either.)
15. Texas Hill Country
Guys, have you seen photos of this place? If I had a bajillion dollars I would move to the Texas Hill Country without hesitation. The rolling hills, forests, cliffs, and rivers in the Hill Country create some of the most gorgeous views in the state. You can get happily lost cruising the many dirt roads of the Hill Country, enjoying unspoiled natural views under the big Texas sky.
16. Texas hospitality
There are friendly folks in every state, but Texans just seem to do hospitality… bigger. Even in urban areas like Dallas or Austin, you’ll find the yeehaw spirit alive and well. Texans have no problem carrying on a conversation with a stranger and will happily feed you and your ten friends a full supper. Whether you need a hot meal or just want directions, you just won’t find a friendly culture like this in any other state.
The Texas bluebonnet is an iconic— and, dare I say, photogenic—bloom on roadways across the state of Texas. If you drive the Willow City Loop near Fredericksburg, you’ll see an endless field of deep indigo blue.
Thanks to an initiative by the state, native wildflowers line most Texas highways. It makes for a gorgeous trip! It isn’t unusual to see families pulled over on the side of the road snapping photos next to the bluebonnets.
Oh, and we also have some amazing sunflowers.