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    Texas Cities: Metropolis, Minor Cities and Ghost Towns of the Lone Star State

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    Lluis Enric Mayans
    @lluisenricmayans
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    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    After having gone to the discovery of the places of interest of Texas with this article we continue our journey in the State of the Lone Star, offering an overview of the main cities of Texas, without neglecting minor cities, unusual attractions and ghost towns.

    Index

    • The big cities of Texas
      • Dallas: between unmissable museums and American football
      • Austin: Capital of Live Music
      • San Antonio: one of the most charming towns in the state
      • Houston: between history and space activities
    • Minor Texan towns
      • The coastal center of Corpus Christi
      • Amarillo: on the trail of the legendary Route 66
      • El Paso: on the border with Messico
      • Fort Worth: the western city of Texas
    • Unusual attractions and ghost towns
      • Marfa: the town of the unusual
      • Stonehenge Replica
      • terlingua

    The big cities of Texas

    Dallas: between unmissable museums and American football



    You are in the homeland of one of the most famous and followed American football teams: i Dallas Cowboys. For this reason, if you are passionate or even simply curious who want to discover something more, you cannot miss a visit with a tour attached to the majestic AT&T Stadium. And if you are lucky enough to be in the area during the regular season why not consider seeing a live game?

    Dallas Cowboys Tickets

    Enter the TRAVEL code to obtain 10 euro discount on a minimum purchase of 150 euros

    The city since 1963 is unfortunately linked to a sad event in American history; in fact, in his streets the then president John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated; as evidence of the event is dedicated the Sixth Floor Museum, one of the most visited attractions in the city, which stands in the building from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot.



    Info and tickets for the Museum

    Still on the subject of museums, the Museum of Arts with its remarkable collection of both European and American works. For a regenerating walk you can opt for a visit to Dallas Arboretum a large botanical garden that rises on the banks of the White Rock Lake and from which you can admire the suggestive skyline of the city, or for a walk to the Klyde Warren Park which, although not very large, always hosts numerous activities and a great choice of street food for a nice outdoor lunch.

    The autumn event par excellence is the State Fair of Texas a huge state fair (as indeed everything concerning the Lone Star State is) which hosts, among other things, the Texas Star which is the largest Ferris wheel in all of North America. To find out more about this city, please read our guide on what to see in Dallas.

    Austin: Capital of Live Music

    Welcome to what is not only the administrative capital of the state but also the world capital of live music. There are two major events that attract thousands of people to the city: the South by southwest andAustin City Limits. The first lasts almost two weeks (this year from 10 to 19 March), the second long two consecutive weekends (in 2017 it will take place in October from 6 to 8 and from 13 to 15) in the setting of Zilker Park. Passes are on sale for both events that will allow you to fully enjoy what is on offer but if you don't want to spend too much, or you won't be in the area at that time, don't be discouraged because Austin offers live music practically every day of the week. You cannot therefore miss a walk along the 6th Street and Red River St which, with their countless clubs, are the heart of Austin's nightlife.



    Austin, 6th Street

    Even history lovers will not be disappointed by visiting the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in which they will be able to relive the entire history of the Lone Star State from the time of the war of independence from Mexico to the present day through numerous interactive exhibits. Remarkable is also the imposing Texas State Capitol the palace of local political power that boasts the distinction of being the largest capitol in all of the United States. To learn more you can read our guide on what to see in Austin.

    San Antonio: one of the most charming towns in the state

    Second most populous city in the state after Houston and home to the NBA team San Antonio Spurs who play their games in theAT&T Center. In this regard, of course, the same goes for the Dallas Cowboys, if you are in the area during the sporting season being able to attend a live game is a unique experience that only the United States can offer!

    San Antonio Spurs Tickets

    Enter the TRAVEL code to obtain 10 euro discount on a minimum purchase of 150 euros

    The peculiarity that distinguishes San Antonio from all other cities in Texas is the presence of the homonymous river that flows inside the city and forms the very famous downtown Riverwalk, the promenade along its banks teeming with shops, hotels and restaurants that make it the beating heart of the city.


    To enjoy a view from above over the whole city, the choice can only fall on Tower of the Americas that with its revolving observation deck 230 meters high will allow you to enjoy a lunch or a simple coffee while admiring a fascinating panorama, especially at night when the lights of the city come on. We talked more about this than everything that awaits you in our article on what to see in San Antonio, as well as the Alamo, its quintessential historical attraction.


    Houston: between history and space activities

    When you hear about the city of Houston, most likely, the first thing that comes to mind is the NASA missions and in fact the most visited attraction in the city is precisely it. Space Center which offers numerous exhibitions, events and activities dedicated to the history of space missions.

    Il Museum District north of Hermman Park is the perfect place for those who are always looking for a bit of culture on their travels and therefore cannot miss a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, which inside houses works by Matisse, Cézanne, Modigliani, Picasso and Rembrandt.

    Il San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site It is the place where in 1836 the Texan troops commanded by General Sam Huston with the cry of “remember the Alamo” defeated the Mexican army in just eighteen minutes of combat and obtained the independence of Texas. Today in the park that remembers this battle you can visit the San Jacinto Monument, an imposing obelisk almost two hundred meters high, which houses a museum and go up to the observation platform to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city.

    If you are planning to visit Houston between February and March remember to pack your cowboy boots and hats as it is very likely that you will be able to attend the annual Livestock Show & Rodeo which for three weeks will offer you concerts, rodeo, barbecue competitions and much more in full western style.

    Minor Texan towns

    The coastal center of Corpus Christi

    Pretty town on the coast, the perfect base if you intend to visit the natural attractions of Padre Island National Seashore, Mustang Island and Port Aransas (we talked about it in our article on what to see in Texas). The main attraction is the majestic one USS Lexington, dating back to the Second World War, which today houses an interactive museum and a cinema.

    Amarillo: on the trail of the legendary Route 66

    One of the most iconic cities on Texas Route 66, where you will find the Big Texan Steak Ranch where, if you manage to finish eating a two-pound steak in less than an hour, you can write your name in the glorious hall of fame of the restaurant, enter history and (above all) not pay the bill! Amarillo is also synonymous with Cadillac Ranch perhaps the most famous attraction on the whole Mother Road.

    El Paso: on the border with Messico

    A city that, like its Mexican counterpart Ciudad Juarez, develops along the border between the two countries. To enjoy a splendid view, the advice is to visit the Franklin Mountains State Park, the largest park within an urban area in the whole of the United States, which offers the possibility of numerous excursions, the most fascinating of which go up on the North Franklin Mountain which reaches a height of over two thousand meters.

    The less adventurous can still reach the summit by taking advantage of the Wyler Aerial Tramway, which in just four minutes will take you to your destination allowing you to enjoy a 360 ° view that goes from the city below to beyond the border with Mexico.

    For those who cannot say that they have really visited a city without first having seen a museum, they have the possibility to choose between the history of the art ofEl Paso Museum of Art and the deepening of one of the most painful legacies of the Second World War of theHolocaust Museum.

    Fort Worth: the western city of Texas

    Despite being less than 50 kilometers from Dallas, it has nothing to do with the nearby metropolis as, despite the passage of time, it has managed to maintain its characteristic western charm and is therefore the perfect city for those who have always felt a cowboy. Definitely worth a visit Stockyards National Historic District which fully embodies the style of the city, where you can find souvenir shops, steakhouses, saloons and attractions, including, twice a day, the Longhorn parade, which will take you back to the time of the far west.

    Il Billy Bob's Texas it is a real institution not only local but of the whole state, located in what was once a granary, it is a huge place that houses something like forty bars inside. There is also no shortage of dance floors, restaurants, live concerts and even a rodeo! It is also worth a visit Civil War Museum with a large collection of weapons, uniforms, photos and footage from the American Civil War period.

    Don't forget also that thanks to the retro-style shuttle service Molly the Trolley you will have the opportunity to tour Downtown Fort Worth for free! For more info take a look at our guide on Fort Worth in Texas.

    Unusual attractions and ghost towns

    Marfa: the town of the unusual

    A veritable town of the unusual, located in West Texas between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park. Despite the just under two thousand inhabitants, there are three attractions for which it is famous in Texas and beyond.

    The first concerns contemporary art and is the Chinati Foundation conceived by the American artist Donald Judd who had the idea of ​​reusing the spaces of a disused military post to create minimalist art installations. If you are interested in the subject, you should know that to see all the works it will take some time; it is in fact necessary to book a guided tour that lasts a whole day (but luckily there is also a lunch break).

    With the second attraction we go into the field of the paranormal: the Marfa Lights in fact they are mysterious spheres of multicolored lights that appear during the night. There are many theories on this phenomenon (from the simple refraction of car headlights, to the messages of extraterrestrials) and the observation station located near Highway 67 is the privileged location to observe them. Who knows if you are not the ones who unravel the enigma of their nature!

    With the last attraction perhaps we return to the minimalist sphere, we use the word perhaps because of the Prada Marfa each gives their own personal interpretation. It is an installation created by the Danish artists Elmgreen & Dragset representing a small Prada shop literally lost in the middle of nowhere on Route 90 which, despite this, attracts a fair number of visitors every year. If the idea has intrigued you too, be careful not to be misled by the name because, even if it is named after the town we told you about, it is located 60 kilometers north-west of the latter, near the city of Valentine .

    Stonehenge Replica

    Yes, if you have always dreamed of visiting the Neolithic site par excellence but you have never had the opportunity to go to England well, you just have to go to Texas where you will find not one but two replicas! The first was built in the city of Odessa, the second in Ingram where you will find, so as not to miss anything, even copies of the Moai statues of Easter Island. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a bizarre reworking then you will have to move to Nebraska, where Carhenge is located, a Stonehenge made of vintage cars!

    terlingua

    Once a fairly successful mining center, it slowly emptied itself until it reached a few dozen inhabitants. However, it continues to be a destination for visitors both for its proximity to the Big bend national park, both for the views that can be observed especially along the spectacular Farm Road 170, which for a while passes inside the large park.

    In addition to the characteristic abandoned buildings used by the miners, in the cemetery and the church you will find some places where you can refresh yourself, with a good chance of being able to listen to live music, such as the Starlight Theatre and the picturesque La Kiva.

    Recently the town has returned to the spotlight for some news stories from which it was taken Badlands Texas, a series of Netfixes that met with some success and increased the flow of visitors.

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