The historic home of cowboys, Texas today is about more than ranches and rodeos. Hip Austin is a cultural hotbed, with a thriving music scene and a laid-back, artistic vibe. You could get a flavour for Texan history at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Or venture out of the cities and discover the legendary landscape of Hill Country – an adventurer’s dream of rugged hills, beautiful wildflowers, as well as superb wine and food.
From epic plains to epicurean delights, the Lone Star State is big on charm.
Things to do
They say everything is big in Texas – and the Big Bend National Park certainly lives up to the hype. A trip to the state warrants a day or two in this vast area of desert and canyons. Explore some of the 200 miles of hiking trails, spot rare birds, or saddle up and go horseback riding beside the Rio Grande.
On the plains west of Austin you’ll find the pink-hued Enchanted Rock – one of the oldest rock formations on earth. It’s been a fixture of local legends for centuries with its mysterious creaks and groans. Geologists believe this is due to temperature changes, but the Tonkawa Indians had a spookier explanation.
From home-cooked fare to contemporary fine dining, Texan cuisine is truly varied. Get a taste for traditional barbecue and tuck in to melt-in-the-mouth brisket. Try out the independent food trucks that have become a big part of food culture in Austin. Or take to the wine trail and tour the vineyards of Hill Country – taking a bottle or two back to your luxury hotel.
From the spring-fed pool to sculpture gardens, it’s easy to spend a whole day in Zilker Park. Seek out this green sanctuary in the heart of Austin city.
Top Tip from SLH