We’ve all heard the old saying, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” and it’s not entirely false! Texas is the second largest state in the Commonwealth (Alaska is the first, in case you were wondering), and it’s bigger than any continental European country! (Russia may be bigger, but it spans two continents) If you love to travel, check out these facts about Texas, you’re sure to find some great opportunities to join us in the Lone Star State!
Great Facts About Texas
Speaking of scale, we’ll start with these “scale-mographic” facts about Texas so you can see where you’re at.
1. Texas is big
Texas has the second largest population in the U.S. Texas’ population is second only to California and larger than the population of many European countries. It is also larger than Thailand, Kenya and Japan.
To give you a better idea, Dallas alone has almost twice the population of North Dakota.
2. Texas has the largest convenience store in the world
As you drive through a state that would otherwise be the 39th largest country in the world, you’re going to have to make a major pit stop! The Buc-ee Convenience Store in New Braunfels, Texas holds the record for the largest convenience store in the world at 66,335 square feet!
Oh, and as a bonus – it’s also The longest car wash in the world This way you can light up your trusty steed.
3. The world’s largest…belt buckle?
You read that right, mate. A Montana silversmith in Dallas recently earned a Guinness World Records title for the world’s largest belt buckle.
At 10’6″ and 14’6.5″ wide, can you imagine how much denim this thing can hold?
4. Best of America
There is no doubt that when you think of Texas, you think of cowboy lore, and nothing calls a “cowboy” more than “the world’s largest cowboy boot” (except maybe Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas football team).
Rocketbuster Hand Made Custom Boots in El Paso, Texas are those size 328-D sand kickers in all their leather glory.
5. Attention, sports fans
Texas takes sports very seriously, especially football. So it’s no surprise that you’ll find another “world’s largest” record holder – the world’s largest foam finger.
Start doing push-ups now, because you’ll need to use all your strength to catch this bad boy who currently lives at Round Rockdale headquarters – it’s 1 foot thick and 20 feet tall.
Interesting Facts About Texas
However, Texas isn’t just oversized for everything. Now that we’ve covered some of the biggest and boldest places and locations in Texas, let’s turn our attention to some interesting facts about Texas.
6. Texas used to be its own country
The gigantic piece of land now legally named Texas has had a rather turbulent past when it comes to who runs the place.
Native Americans lived in the region for thousands of years before Spanish and (later but to a greater extent) French explorers came to the state.
In an ongoing saga, Texas as we now know it was known as the “Republic of Texas” for nearly a decade in the mid-1800s.
7. Six Flags Texas
Not to be confused with the amusement park of the same name, Texas has only recently recognized and flies the flags of six different countries – the United States, Mexico, France, Spain, and the Republic of Texas. But wait, that’s only five!
The sixth, once the Confederate flag, was replaced in the 1990s by something called the Old Southern State Flag.
8. Horror Movie Nerd Paradise
For fans of the genre, this sounds like it’s for me. Who wouldn’t want to visit the house where the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was filmed? Fortunately for the faint of heart, the house is used less often as a slaughterhouse and more as a family friendly(ish) tourist attraction.
Otherwise you’ll have to do some research to visit the (renovated) house belonging to the fictional Sawyer family, as you’ll need to steer clear of your fans a bit – it’s moved from Round Rock’s original filming location. The ancient residence of a man’s skin and a family now sits on the grounds of the historic Antlers Hotel. The infamous gas station in the movie is also located near Gastrop, Texas (south of Austin), where you can cook up a meal with a delicious BBQ. Certainly Texas style.
9. The proud and lonely star
Ever wonder why Texas calls itself the “Lone Star State”? You may not have noticed before.
Texans pride themselves on their uniqueness and desire to “stick to men.” Politics aside, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Texan who is at least proud of their state’s revolt.
Perhaps the best example is the state flag, where Texas and its residents are proud of their “norm-breaking” history and legacy. They have flown many different flags, but respect each one as a symbol of their lasting independence.
10. Remember the Alamo
Going down in history as one of America’s worst fiascoes, the Battle of the Alamo has been stamped in time as the last leg of a group of loyal heroes.
We mentioned before how many times Texas has been beaten, but perhaps the greatest act of American heroism took place in a formerly humble outpost near San Antonio called the Alamo.
History buffs, you’ll recognize names like Sam Houston, David Crockett, and James Bowie — all of whom risked their lives (many sacrificed) to stop the Mexican army in battle — — when they visit this near-sacred place full of American patriotism and sacrifice.
11. The deadliest natural disaster occurred in Texas
The deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history occurred in Galveston, Texas. While the science of weather forecasting is still in its infancy, meteorologists in Cuba and all parts of the east have repeatedly and strongly warned officials to be on the lookout for massive storms and extremely dangerous winds.
It was 1900, so the warning did not draw the attention needed to evacuate citizens and properly evacuate tourists. People flock to Galveston’s beaches hoping to see huge waves!
The tragedy resulted in approximately 8,000 deaths, tens of thousands more injuries, and billions of dollars in infrastructure and construction damage. You can tour modern Galveston…it’s not frustrating. It’s still a beautiful hidden gem.
Fun facts about Texas
Let’s put the icing on the cake for this unofficial Lone Star State road trip guide!
12. Keep Austin weird
Austin, Texas is known as the live music capital of the world. Regular musicians, street performers, and even professional musicians look to Austin as a mecca for honing their craft.
Austin hosts several music and arts festivals, such as South By Southwest and Austin City Limits—both of which highlight musicians and artists who aren’t “mainstream”, and many are considered more authentic and artistic.
Legendary productions and collaborations have been born through SXSW and Austin City Limits, and many Grammy-winning artists have found their best at these events. We’ll also find quite a few tarot readers, alternative tattoo artists, and pantomimes (!) wandering the streets of Austin.
13. You can drive. so. quickly.
Hey, this is an open country. Hit the metal pedals on the freeway between Austin and San Antonio—it has the highest speed limit in the country at 85 mph. We’ll only find speed perks like this on German autobahns.
14. The best water parks in the world
The Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels (also home to the world’s largest convenience store) has been named the best outdoor water park in the world. Consistently rated in this category, Schlitterbahn offers numerous water slides, children’s pools and thrill rides to satisfy every member of the family. It’s also great for families!
15. Okay, so what about New Braunfels?
Unless you’re a Texas native or a lover of water parks and gas stations, chances are you haven’t heard of the town of New Braunfels. But if you haven’t read this, you’d think it’s the quirky capital of the world. So, what drives such a large and high-quality business activity in the region?
Some would argue that the term “tourist trap” carries a negative connotation.
Some are also completely wrong. Please give me a huge water park and a huge convenience store and we have an automatic plug and play family day trip.
New Braunfels is a short drive between the second and fourth largest cities in Texas (San Antonio and Austin, respectively), and has a very tacky feel that many baby boomers miss, while also being a little bit of a nuisance to young people Still very interesting. Oh, and Buc-ee’s jerky is killer.
16. Texas has some weird laws
While every state has some outdated laws, Texas once again outpaces everyone else. Did you know it’s illegal to eat other people’s trash without a license in Texas? So for your own good, pack a lunch. Or maybe just ask?
It is also illegal to milk someone else’s cow in Texas. Sorry to disappoint you, but like eating their rubbish, you might just ask them to milk their cows well and the lawyer doesn’t need to get involved.
And one more, and last but not least – it’s illegal in Texas to drink more than a few sips of beer while standing.
17. Many celebrities call Texas home
It may not be Hollywood, but Texas is the proud home of many of America’s most beloved actors and musicians. If you want to attract fans, the following celebrities live in the Lone Star State.
• Willie Nelson – The country music legend and former road man is a proud Texan. Although he is known today more for his offstage hobbies than his music, the 88-year-old bard owns a private ranch in Spieswood, Texas.
• Matthew McConaughey – OK, OK, OK – It’s no big secret that Mr. McConaughey is the most famous Texan today. Actor, philanthropist and part-time nude bongo drummer (he) lives near Austin with his family.
• Sandra Bullock – Sandy was an Austin resident before Austin residents were cool. If your drive-thru is well timed, you might meet the heroine in downtown Austin, where she also owns a bakery, florist, and deli.
• Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki – Our favorite supernatural stars also call Texas home. Both star in one of the longest-running shows on TV, they are best friends, and they were both born and raised in Texas. They both now live in Austin Baby too.
• James Van Der Beek – Yes, Dawson lives in Texas. Recently transplanted from California, you’re unlikely to see the “Friday Night Lights” star at many football games — his family and friends live not far from Austin in what they call a “very compound life.”
If you want to experience all that Texas has to offer, then you should book a trip to the Lone Star State today! For some reason, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States.
If you love traveling and would like to see more posts like this, be sure to check out our destinations section for more travel inspiration. Also, if you have more interesting facts about Texas to share, please leave a comment below.