There’s a saying about Texas and you’ve probably heard it — everything’s bigger in Texas. And it’s kind of true. The Lone Star State and its residents thrive on the pride that comes with being the largest state by area in the continental United States. So that means there’s plenty of over-the-top characters, excessively large events, and gargantuan attractions to visit the next time you’re in Texas.
Here are our Top 10 reasons why Texas is bigger and better!
Johnson Space Center
Honestly, how could you NOT visit the NASA home in Houston? The complex stretches to over 1,600 acres and is arguably the largest location that documents the history of human spaceflight. It’s nickname is Space City! Visitors can, from the MANY things to choose from, take a tram tour of the facilities, visit the historic Apollo mission control, and even meet a real-life astronaut.
Houston — we have no problem!
Texas State Capitol
Even if you’re not a fan of Texas politics, you’re going to be impressed with its capitol building. Located in downtown Austin, it’s home to both the governor’s office AND the state legislature. The building itself is considered by many to be the most beautiful of all the state capitols. When it was built, it was 7th largest building in the world.
Congress Avenue Bat Colony
Granted, this event is a bit out there and it’s not something for those who suffer from chiroptophobia (AKA a fear of bats). The Austin attraction can been seen on most summer nights, when about 1.5 million bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. It’s the world’s largest urban bat colony.
New York has New Year’s Eve, New Orleans has Mardi Gras, and Houston has the Rodeo. The Houston Rodeo is credited as one of the largest live entertainment and livestock exhibitions on the planet, and home to the richest regular-season rodeo events.
Texas State Fair
There are state fairs and then there’s the Texas State Fair. The annual event lasts for over three weeks and is usually held in September/October. It’s home to live music; a massive fair midway; a cacophony of fried treats; the largest Ferris wheel in North America; and much, much more.
Palo Duro Canyon
If you’ve never heard of the Palo Duro Canyon, all you need to know is that this geological formation near Amarillo is the second largest canyon in the United States. Visitors can hike and explore the surrounding area, all the while taking in the breathtaking natural splendor.
South by Southwest
Every March, Austin becomes the mecca of hipness, where fans of art and music catch flights to Texas just to immerse themselves in all the creativity that abounds. Sure, it’s one of the coolest cities in America year around, but March is when South by Southwest takes over the town. Featuring a film festival, music festival, and interactive media conference — it’s the biggest creative gathering like it in the world.
Billy Bob’s Texas
Honky tonks and Texas go together like — well, like honky tonks and Texas. So if you’re going to visit Texas, why not go to the world’s largest honky tonk? Billy Bob’s Texas has been rocking the Fort Worth area with its epic 127,000 square feet for nearly 25 years.
Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup
Here’s a creepy fact — there’s more than one rattlesnake roundup in the world. Thankfully, the town of Sweetwater, Texas hosts the world’s largest rattlesnake roundup. So if you’ve ever wanted to see the largest collection of rattlesnakes at one place at the same time, this is your best bet.
The USS Lexington
There are very few things bigger than aircraft carriers, so when you visit one, be ready to stand in awe of its massiveness. And if you’re ever in Corpus Christi be prepared to be awed by the USS Lexington, the WWII carrier turned museum ship. It’s an Essex class ship that weighs over 27 tons and measures over 820 feet. Oh, and it’s the oldest carrier left in the world.
Think we missed something MASSIVE that every traveler needs to check out when they check into Texas? Let us know in the BIG comments section below.