Looking for some fun facts about Texas?
From Texas’ long history to a few surprising drinks that were invented in the Lone Star State, here are some of the most interesting facts about Texas!
Fun Facts About Texas Culture + History
Texas was once its own country.
From 1836 to 1845, Texas ruled itself as an independent country.
The Alamo isn’t the only Spanish mission in San Antonio.
… and it’s arguably the least impressive, storied history aside. San Antonio is home to the San Antonio Missions, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas.
“GONE TO TEXAS” has been used since the 19th century.
In the 1800s, GONE TO TEXAS, or even a shortened version of G.T.T. was adopted by people leaving a brief note for their loved ones before skipping town to head to Texas–often, though not always, because they were on the run from the law.
Vietnamese is the third most spoken language in Texas.
English and Spanish, of course, are the two most spoken by a landslide.
… and there’s a dialect of German in the Lone Star State that is specific to Texas.
Texas has an enormous amount of German heritage dating to the 19th century, including plenty of German town names that dot the map (Fredericksburg and Luckenbach, for example).
One of the results of this heritage is Texas German, a specific dialect of German spoken by the descendants of German immigrants who settled in Texas.
Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the United States.
By some metrics, the 4th largest city in the USA is considered to be the most diverse city, even beating out NYC!
“Don’t mess with Texas” originated as part of an anti-littering campaign.
Only Texans could turn an anti-littering slogan into a catchphrase for local pride! “Don’t mess with Texas” was coined in the 1980s as part of an ad campaign.
Texas is home to the world’s smallest Prada store… which is never open.
The small store in Marfa, Texas, is actually an art installation–but the sight of a tiny Prada store in the middle of the desert sure isn’t something you see every day!
Interesting Facts About Texas Cuisine
Texas barbecue varies by region.
Texas is famous for its barbecue, but one of the lesser-known fun facts about Texas (at least to those outside the state) is that Texans don’t even necessarily agree on what barbecue should be!
Barbecue from Central Texas, which is focused on showing off the meat with little-to-no sauce, is most popular, but there are specific variations.
For example, in East Texas, barbecue is generally served chopped, with sauce, on a bun. West Texas barbecue is home to barbacoa, which is traditionally made from the cow’s head.
Dr. Pepper originally hails from Texas.
Charles Alderton invented Dr. Pepper in Waco, Texas in 1885.
… and so does Whole Foods.
The beloved grocery chain first opened its doors in Austin, Texas in 1980.
Frozen margaritas were invented in Texas.
Mariano Martinez first invented frozen margaritas in Dallas in 1971, when he had the idea to put a margarita through a soft serve ice cream maker.
Kolaches are incredibly popular in Texas.
This originally Czech food has been Texas-ifed and is beloved in the state.
In addition to sweet kolaches, savory klobasneks are also popular.
Fun Facts About Texas’ Topography + Size
Texas is the second-largest state in the USA.
… in both population and size.
When you’re in El Paso, you’re closer to Los Angeles than the eastern border of Texas.
It’s about a 12-hour drive from El Paso to Los Angeles, for context.
The second-largest canyon in the USA is in Texas.
Palo Duro Canyon is located in the panhandle of the state, not far from Amarillo, and it is absolutely stunning.
Texas is home to two national parks.
Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park are both located in the western part of the state.
Three of the top 10 most populated US cities are in Texas.
Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio all rank in the top 10, and Austin just misses the cutoff at number 11.
Route 66 cuts right across the Texas panhandle.
If you drive the classic route, you’ll pass through Amarillo… and also drive past a lot of windmills.
More Interesting Facts About Texas
The Texas State Capitol is taller than the US Capitol.
… by almost 15 feet.
The brand name “Six Flags” is a reference to Texas.
Though there are now Six Flags theme parks all over the USA, the brand originated in Arlington with the park Six Flags Over Texas.
Six Flags Over Texas refers to the six flags that have ruled over the state: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the USA, and the Confederacy.
Though there were six flags over Texas, Texas actually changed governments a total of eight times!
Texas is home to the highway with the fastest speed limit in the USA.
Here’s a Texas fun fact for drivers who love to go fast: there’s a stretch of State Highway 130 where the posted speed limit is 85 mph.
Texas produces more wool than any other state in the USA.
… and, to the surprise of absolutely no one, it produces more oil than any other state in the US too.
The largest bat colony in the United States is in Texas.
Bracken Cave is home to the largest bat colony in the country, and the South Congress Bridge in Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in the USA!
However, they’re far from the only two places to see bats in Texas.
Floating the river is a peak summer activity.
Head to a crisp, cool river, grab a beer and an inner tube, and go for a float: if you ask a Texan, this is the perfect way to beat the heat on a Saturday during the summer, and an excellent reason to visit Texas!
The term “maverick” comes from a Texan.
A 19th century Texas rancher named Samuel Maverick is the origin of the word, who gained notoriety for refusing to brand his cattle.