Texas is a place with many misconceptions.
It’s not all rednecks and cowboys, there are tons of people who come from other states to visit Texas, people who have lived here for years, even some celebrities!
Everyone thinks that Texas is just one homogenous entity when in reality it’s made up of many different types of interests, landscapes, and personalities!
Check out this article for things that no one tells you about Texas!
Things No One Tells You About Texas History
Everyone knows that Texas was an independent nation for a brief year in its past, but they might not know all the hidden history in between!
For instance, did you know that William Travis is buried here in Austin?! He’s the Texan Hero who died at the Alamo and inspired so many people!
William Travis was the commander of the Texan forces in the Battle of Alamo and died defending the famous building along with Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and many others.
Speaking of James Bowie, he designed the first bowie knife, and it is named after him!
Texas lost the Battle of Alamo, it was won by Mexican forces.
The state actually won its independence in the Battle of San Jacinto which occurred just a month after the Battle of Alamo.
Since most heroes of the Texas Revolution died at the Alamo, victory at the Battle of San Jacinto seemed very unlikely and was entirely possible due to the strategic leadership of Sam Houston.
After independence, Sam Houston went on to become the first President of Republic of Texas.
You can learn all about the Battle of San Jacinto at the San Jacinto Monument near the Houston Ship Channel!
Things No One Tells You About Central Texas
When most people think about Texas, they remember its arid deserts and hot weather.
And yes, most of the state is actually an arid desert!
However in Central Texas you will find an oasis of turquoise rivers, sparkling waterfalls, and natural swimming holes surrounded by lush greenery that will remind you of Costa Rica or Bali, Indonesia!
One of the most popular is Hamilton Pool Preserve, which has a 50-foot waterfall surrounded by lush greenery!
The water flows out from underwater springs and deposits into a naturally formed pool under overhanging rocks!
It’s absolutely gorgeous, you’d never guess it was in Texas!
Another popular spot is Jacob’s Well which has a deep well with water flowing out through the rocky ground.
Gorman Falls located deep within the Hill Country is a pretty waterfall surrounded by tall bluffs and is a very serene spot for hiking!
At 70 feet high, it is also one of the tallest waterfalls in Texas.
Central Texas is also home to wineries and charming small towns that look straight out of Europe.
Also Read: Ultimate Texas Hill Country bucket list
Things No One Tells You About the Music Scene
People might think of Texas as a place where people just play country and leave it at that, but there is so much more to the music scene!
Elvis Presley was actually born in Mississippi but spent a considerable amount of time in Texas performing in Texas.
Elvis even performed at the Houston Rodeo in 1970.
During Elvis’ time, he could be found performing and hanging out at clubs and bars around the Beaumont/Port Arthur area.
Few people know that after being inducted into the Army, Elvis was stationed at Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas.
During his time there, he frequented Storm’s Drive-In in Lampasas for strawberry milkshakes!
Texas is the birthplace of Western Swing music. The genre was a combination of Jazz and Country music that was popular in the 1930s and 1940s.
Texas is also popular for honky tonk which you can still enjoy in Fort Worth Historic District.
Texas is also famous for blues, gospel, and jazz.
Tejano music is also a popular genre in Texas that was influenced by the Mexican and Native American cultures.
Texas produced a wide number of incredible musicians and bands.
There were singers like: Roy Orbison, Janis Joplin (also from Texas), and Selena; and iconic country music stars like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and George Strait!
Texas has an excellent musical history and is home to some great music venues today.
Things No One Tells You About the Bats of Texas
Did you know that Texas is a very important environmental habitat for bat colonies?
Bats in Texas play an important role in insect control.
Every night, over millions of Mexican free-tailed bats fly out from the state’s bridges like the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin and the Waugh Street Bridge over Buffalo Bayou in Houston.
It’s quite a site to see millions of these little creatures flying together at dusk!
Texas has bat caves tours, bat cave hikes, and even an artificially engineered bat cave!
… And other wildlife!
The Lone Star State is also home to a wide variety of other wildlife.
Texas has over 300 species of birds!
The Gulf Coast birding trail is your go to spot to see birds species such as pelicans, herons, seagulls, and more!
Texas is also home to the official State Reptile which is the Texas Horned Lizard. It’s notable for having two distinct horns on its head that are often extended for display!
Out on the Gulf Waters, you can see dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine creatures.
Texas is as famous for its alligators as Florida or Louisiana.
In fact, during hurricanes gators have been spotted on the streets of Houston and waking up to a gator in their swimming pool is a common occurrence for Texans!
One of the most interesting things about Texas is that it has a huge rattlesnake population!
While you’ll usually find them in the desert.
If you’re not into snakes, then there are plenty of other things to spot like butterflies, horned lizards (which can shoot blood out of their eyes), armadillos, javelina (a type of wild swine), elk, wild pigs, bison, and the famous longhorns.
Texas has several drive through safaris where kids can feed and get up close with an assortment of animals.
Texas is home to tons of amazing species and wildlife that you can see if you know where to look!
Very few people associate dinosaurs with Texas.
However, the Lone Star State has some of the oldest dinosaur fossil records in America.
The state is home to several world class museums dedicated to paleontology that have some excellent exhibits on dinosaurs.
One of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered was found just outside of Fort Worth, Texas at a place called Duck Creek Village and its more than 65 million years old!
Not too visitors know that they can walk and touch preserved dinosaur footprints as several places in Texas including the famous Dinosaur Valley State Park.
Things No One Tells You about the Arty Side of Texas
Texas has an excellent number of art museums, art festivals, craft fairs, and mural events.
From museums such as the Fort Worth Art Museum, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Dallas Museum of Art to art galleries and outdoor sculpture gardens, there are lots of attractions in the state for art lovers.
Street art fans should drive to the small towns in Texas and check out the amazing murals and sheer talent on display.
Wish to know facts about the Texas weather and traffic? Read our post on Things to Know before moving to Texas!
Things No One Tells You About the Gulf Coast
The Texas Gulf Coast is an area that stretches from the Louisiana border down to Brownsville on the Mexican Border.
It’s a major center of culture and has some amazing features for tourists and visitors ranging from beaches, museums, state parks, birding trails, zoos, aquariums, national seashores…
There truly is something here for everyone!
From quirky beach towns to beaches where you can camp for free to wildlife refuges to lighthouses, the Gulf Coast has it all.
… And the Border
The Texas Mexico border is a fascinating place. It is more than a political entity.
It is a place where two cultures meet and coexist with harmony.
It’s a place where cross border trade occurs on daily basis.
Its also a place where the Rio Grande flows through deep canyons, where waterfalls and hot springs are common, and where the night sky is lit with millions of stars.
The people who live along the border, know it best.
They know all about the problems and dangers of life by the border and they also know all about preserving their culture.
There are several great museums that offer insight into the lives of Mexican Americans in Texas.
Or visit the Big Bend National park to experience it all for yourself.
Things No One Tells You About the Texas Cuisine
People might think that people in Texas just eat barbecue, Tex-Mex, or chicken fried steak all day, every day but that’s not true.
Some of the most famous chefs in the country were born and raised here in Texas!
There are many different types of cuisine in Texas and with so many great restaurants around, it would be a shame to just stick to barbecue and Tex-Mex.
One of the best things about visiting Texas is getting to try all the different dishes and types of food.
From banh mi, to pho, to Tex-Mex tacos; you can find it all here in Houston and beyond!
If you’re thinking about moving to Texas, you need to know everything from the weather and traffic to art museums and cuisine.
And off course, the dinosaurs!
Whether you want to live by the border or deep inland, there’s something for everyone in Texas.