Texas, the “Lone Star State” (state of the lone star), is the second largest state in the USA. Its geography is characterized by huge mountain ranges, vast plains, beautiful beaches and rolling landscapes. Although Texas is primarily associated with its Wild West past and cowboys, it also has a number of cosmopolitan cities to offer. Dallas is a sophisticated city with glittering skyscrapers, elegant shops, fine restaurants and a rich cultural life. Austin is characterized by an eclectic music scene and a young retro culture, which says “Keep Austin Weird” is its motto, but there are also plenty of boutiques. A distinctly Western vibe can be found in Fort Worth, where Saturday nights, Old West-style rodeos and cattle drives entertain the crowds. Visitors can also saddle up at a working ranch, relax on sunny Gulf of Mexico beaches, visit Houston’s many galleries, or spend time with family at one of the many amusement parks, zoos and aquariums.
- Travelationary: Covers basic information about Texas geography and economy.
Arriving by plane
American Airlines (AA), United (UA) and Lufthansa (LH) offer direct flights from Frankfurt/M. to Dallas. United (UA) and Lufthansa (LH) fly non-stop from Frankfurt/M. and Munich to Houston and Lufthansa (LH) from Frankfurt/aM to Austin.
Dallas/Fort Worth – Austin: 50 Min.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Miami: 2 Std. 30 Min.; Dallas/Fort Worth – New York: 3 Std. 10 Min.; Houston – London: 7 Std.; Houston – Miami: 2 Std. 10 Min.; Houston – New York: 3 Std. Dallas/Fort Worth – Frankfurt: 9 Std. 20 Min.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Wien: 12 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Zürich: 10 Std. Houston – Frankfurt: 9 Std.; Houston – Wien: 12 Std. 10; Houston – Zürich: 12 Std.
The Jet Blue Airpass lets you book 3 or more flights across the entire Jet Blue network in the US at once. The Jet Blue Airpass is valid for 90 days, can be changed flexibly, and luggage is included. For more information on availability of limited contingents, contact STA Travel at +49-69-255 150 000. In Texas, Jet Blue flies to Houston and Austin.
Arrival by car
By car: Texas is well connected to the neighboring states via various interstate highways; the I-40 runs from New Mexico in the west to Oklahoma in the east, the I-35 from Oklahoma in the north via Dallas and San Antonio to the Mexican border in southern Texas. The road network is in very good condition. Border crossings into Mexico are at McAllen, Brownsville, Laredo and El Paso. You should be prepared for very long waiting times at the border crossings. Tolls: Texas has more toll roads than most other states in the United States. The Texas Department of Transportation provides an online map of Toll Roads and Toll Bridges in Texas showing all toll roads. Alamo and National offer the TCC-TollPass Automatic when renting a rental car for the use of certain toll routes. With this pass, the ‘Fast Lanes’ of the provider TollPass can be used. Otherwise, the toll fees are to be paid directly at the toll booths – mostly by credit card. Bus: Greyhound runs regular services to Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and other major cities in Texas and neighboring states. Flixbus goes to Houston and San Antonio. With this pass, the ‘Fast Lanes’ of the provider TollPass can be used. Otherwise, the toll fees are to be paid directly at the toll booths – mostly by credit card. Bus: Greyhound runs regular services to Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and other major cities in Texas and neighboring states. Flixbus goes to Houston and San Antonio. With this pass, the ‘Fast Lanes’ of the provider TollPass can be used. Otherwise, the toll fees are to be paid directly at the toll booths – mostly by credit card. Bus: Greyhound runs regular services to Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and other major cities in Texas and neighboring states. Flixbus goes to Houston and San Antonio. San Antonio and other major cities in Texas and neighboring states. Flixbus goes to Houston and San Antonio. San Antonio and other major cities in Texas and neighboring states. Flixbus goes to Houston and San Antonio.
Note on arrival by car
Durchschnittliche Pkw-Fahrzeiten: Dallas/Fort Worth – Oklahoma City und Houston: je 4 Std. 30 Min.; Dallas/Fort Worth – San Antonio: 6 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Little Rock: 7 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Amarillo und Kansas City: je 7 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Jackson: 8 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – New Orleans: 10 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – El Paso: 12 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – St. Louis: 13 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Denver: 16 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Chicago: 19 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Mexico City: 24 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Miami: 28 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Los Angeles: 29 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – New York: 33 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Seattle: 44 Std. Houston – San Antonio: 4 Std.; Houston – Brownsville und New Orleans: je 7 Std.; Houston – El Paso: 15 Std.; Houston – Chicago: 24 Std.; Houston – Miami: 25 Std.; Houston – Los Angeles: 31 Std.; Houston – New York: 36 Std.; Houston – Seattle: 49 Std. Durchschnittliche Busfahrzeiten: Dallas/Fort Worth – Oklahoma City oder Houston: je 4 Std. 30 Min.; Dallas/Fort Worth – San Antonio: 6 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Tulsa: 7 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Amarillo: 8 Std.; Dallas/Fort Worth – Memphis: 13 Std. 30 Min.; Dallas/Fort Worth – New Orleans und El Paso: je 13 Std. Houston – San Antonio: 4 Std.; Houston – Dallas: 4 Std. 30 Min.; Houston – New Orleans: 8 Std. 30 Min.
Traveling in the city
City traffic Dallas/FortWorth: The bus networks are consistently good. Greyhound operates between Dallas and Fort Worth. Almost all car rental companies have branches in both cities. Caravans can also be rented. The four lines of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) offer convenient rail service north-south, across downtown and to the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. DART also offers the Trinity Railway Express, a commuter service between Dallas and Fort Worth. Houston: Metropolitan Transport Authority (METRO) buses run at reasonable prices. Taxis are expensive. Rental cars should be ordered well in advance.
Arrival by train
There are few Amtrak connections. Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio are on the Los Angeles – San Antonio – Fort Worth/Dallas – St. Louis – Chicago route (Texas Eagle), Houston and San Antonio are on the Los Angeles – New Orleans route (Sunset Limited). From Oklahoma City there is a connection to Fort Worth (Heartland Flyer). There are only long-distance trains and no local transport connections. Contact Amtrak for more information.
The Amtrak USA Rail Pass is valid on the entire Amtrak network. Detailed information under Arrival USA.
Arrival by ship
The major ports in Texas are Houston, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Beaumont, Port Arthur and Brownsville. The largest cruise port is Galveston; Laredo is the largest inland port in the United States.
Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line, among others, offer cruises from Galveston.
Galveston Cruises operates between Galveston and Key West in Florida. The Galveston-Port Bolivar ferries connect Galveston to the Bolivar Peninsula.
Passport and visa regulations
Entry with children
Since June 27, 2012, children need their own travel document (passport / children’s passport) for trips abroad (also within the EU). Entries of children in the parental passport are no longer possible.
Dallas has developed from a former trading post into a globally recognized business and fashion metropolis. The city has ultra-modern skyscrapers, elegant shops, excellent restaurants and a diverse cultural life. Located in Old City Park is the Dallas Heritage Village, which features historic homes, a church, a school and a main street from the settler days. The Reunion Tower has a glass elevator that goes up to the 50th floor; here there is a viewing terrace and a restaurant rotating on a platform, where dancing events are held in the evenings. Dealey Plaza was the scene of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Sixth Floor Museum exhibits evidence of the dramatic event. In the Fair Park you can visit numerous other interesting museums.
Fort Worth, originally a military post, later played an important role as a cattle market and remains a center for cattle ranching today. The spirit of days gone by comes alive as cowboys herd a herd of longhorns along Exchange Avenue through the historic part of town. The Cattle Drive takes place daily at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. The historic slaughterhouses in Northside are also reminiscent of the Old West. The Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, the Sid Richardson Museum, the Fort Worth Art Museum and the Kimbell Art Museum are not only recommended for art lovers. Don’t miss the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame: the museum is the only one in the world that honors women who pioneered America’s West.
Abilene is a replica pioneer settlement. The historic old town is north of the railway line. Historic homes include the Dodd-Harkrider House, which depicts life in America around 1915, the Paramount Theater and the former 1930s motel Abilene Courts. South of Abilene is the Buffalo Gap Historic Village, a large museum with the original 1879 Old Taylor County Courthouse and Jail at its center.
Houston has over 2 million residents. Houston has been the center of the American oil industry since black gold was discovered in Beaumont in 1901. The city is also the headquarters of American space travel and a major port city. The 50-mile Houston Ship Canal connects Houston to the Gulf of Mexico. Downtown is home to the modern Civic Center, Sam Houston Historical Park, Tranquility Park and Old Market Square. The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center shows films about NASA’s programs, spacecraft and astronaut equipment. The San Jacinto Battleground Monument in La Porte near Houston not only offers a wonderful view over Houston, but also commemorates the battle of 1836 in which the Texans fought for their independence. The old warship ‘Battleship Texas’ is anchored here.
Between Dallas and Fort Worth, the Six Flags Over Texas Theme Park has over 200 different rides, roller coasters and related features. The park has Texas’s largest and fastest roller coaster, ‘Titan’. Throughout the year, the theme park hosts great festivals with concerts and shows. In October, houses are set up for Fright Fest, where haunted houses and ghouls roam the park.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
In far north Texas, near Amarillo, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is set in the stunning scenery of the second largest canyon in the United States. It is ideal for hiking, horseback riding, picnicking and camping. The Panhandle Plains Museum in the nearby town of Canyon charts the history of this region’s development from early Native American history through pioneer days to the present day. The Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian in Amarillo is all about the history and preservation of Native American culture.
Galveston Island, southeast of Houston on the Gulf of Mexico, has quite a colorful past. Pirates are also said to have been up to mischief here. Today the island is better known for beautiful beaches, historic houses built at the turn of the century, excellent water sports and fishing waters. A tip is the Lone Star Flight Museum, which has the nation’s finest collection of restored aircraft.
Rodeos are regularly held in all major Texas cities. A particular highlight is the annual Houston Rodeo and Cattle Show, which runs from late February through mid-March. Here the world’s best cowboys compete in various disciplines such as bull riding, bull wrestling and lasso throwing. The daily program includes colorful western shows, fast-paced chariot races, exciting equestrian competitions and cattle auctions.
A modern and prosperous city, San Antonio cannot deny its Spanish past, which is evident in its fiestas, architecture, rodeos and of course its lifestyle. The romantic River Walk along the San Antonio River with numerous shops, countless restaurants and bars is famous far beyond the borders of Texas. The former Mission Alamo is a National Historic Monument commemorating the bravery and patriotism of the Texans. German traces can be found in the King William Quarter. Other attractions include five other Spanish Missions, the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA), the Buckhorn Museum, La Villita Historic Arts Village, nearby Sea World and Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park.
The Hill Country west of San Antonio is ideal for hiking. You can spend an active holiday on a farm at numerous ranches in the area. New Braunfels, between Austin and San Antonio on the edge of the Hill Country, was founded by German immigrants in the mid-19th century. The Guadalupe River flows through New Braunfels and is a popular destination for canoeists, rafters and anglers. Fredericksburg was also a stronghold of German immigrants. Their descendants still celebrate traditional German festivals today. Interesting attractions in the Hill Country include numerous caves such as the Cascade Caverns and the Caverns of Sonora, as well as Garner State Park, which has campgrounds, and Enchanted Rock State Park. There are 42 beautiful wineries along the Texas Wine Trail.
- Usaers: Provides a full list of major rivers and mountains in Texas.
Body of Christ
Corpus Christi on the Gulf of Mexico was an ideal pirate hideout in the 19th century and is now a well-known seaport and vacation spot. The city’s most popular attractions include the USS Lexington museum ship and the Texas State Aquarium. The Museum District is home to the Museum of Asian Cultures, the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, the South Texas Institute for the Arts, and Heritage Park with historic homes. Closer to shore is Padre Island, a narrow but 170 km long sandbar ideal for fishing and all kinds of water sports. A causeway connects the island to Corpus Christi.
The beautiful Texas capital of Austin is the gateway to the Hill Country and Highland Lakes. The Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, the Texas Confederate Museum and the 1856 built Governor’s Mansion are on the University of Texas campus. Sights also include the Texas State Capitol, the Texas Memorial Museum and the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Music lovers will find countless music bars in the American capital of live music. Every evening in summer, more than a million bats start their nocturnal hunt for insects at the Congress Bridge.
In central Texas, the 150-mile-long chain of seven Highland Lakes stretches along the Colorado River and is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts, anglers and bird watchers. A trip to the scenically beautiful surroundings is very worthwhile. In the area is Longhorn Cavern State Park and the Eagle Eye Observatory.
El Paso is located in the far west of Texas on the Mexico border formed by the Rio Grande, amid the dramatic Franklin Mountains. The closest Texas city is further away than the cities of New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California. El Paso International Airport is eight miles east of town and is a convenient gateway for trips to the mountains and canyons. El Paso has a wide range of cultural and sporting leisure activities such as symphony concerts, theaters, museums, libraries, horse and dog races. Annually several music festivals take place. The Sun Bowl Stadium is also located in El Paso.
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is south of El Paso. Deserts, dense forests, high mountains and the deep canyons furrowed by the Rio Grande form an impressive landscape right on the border with Mexico. The national park is a biosphere reserve recognized by UNESCO. A portion of the Chihuahuan Desert, home to agaves, mesquite trees, and yucca plants, is in Big Bend National Park. Bird watchers will find a variety of bird species in Big Bend National Park. Among other things, roadrunners and turkey vultures can be observed here. Popular sports include hiking and whitewater rafting, particularly in the dramatically beautiful Santa Elena Canyon. The Boquillas Canyon is also worth seeing.
130 miles long and 2 miles wide, Padre Island is Texas’ Gulf Coast playground. The sand dune island, divided into two parts, can be easily reached by car from Port Isabel via the Queen Isabella Causeway and from Corpus Christi via the JFK Causeway. In the northern part of the island is Padre Island National Seashore. Nature lovers, bird watchers, fishermen, water sports enthusiasts and sun worshipers all get their money’s worth here.
Ranches and cowboys
Southfork Ranch was one of the filming locations of the famous American TV series Dallas. The ranch is open daily throughout the year and offers guided tours. Bandera, located in the Hill Country, has been nicknamed the ‘Cowboy Capital of the World’. Here, vacation on the ranch as a cowboy is possible. Numerous ranches offer activities such as horseback riding (including cattle drives), golf, ATV touring, fishing and hunting, and have swimming pools, fitness programs and farm animals.
Southwest of Odessa there are five meteorite craters to explore. The largest of these five craters has a diameter of 168 meters, making it the second largest meteor crater r in the United States. The circular impact craters were formed when numerous meteorites crashed into the earth 20,000 and 30,000 years ago. A small museum informs visitors on site about what happened a long time ago.
Cheer on basketball players
Along with baseball, hockey and football, basketball is one of the most popular sports in the USA. When the San Antonio Spurs play a home game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, there’s a real buzz, fueled by the San Antonio Spurs cheerleaders Silver Dancers.
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
In the far south of Texas is the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, a paradise for bird watchers. Different climatic conditions meet here such as subtropical climate, the climate of the Chihuahuan Desert, the Gulf Coast and the Great Plains. The migratory birds pass here from South America and Central America along the Central Flyway and the Mississippi Flyway. Spot osprey, yellow whistling geese, giant mudcreeper, hen harrier and hummingbird, among others.
Dallas/Fort Worth: The elegant and unique Neiman Marcus department store is a must-see. The Dallas Market Center offers world class restaurants and wholesale shops. Both cities have excellent specialty shops. Houston: More than 300 shops are available at the Galleria Shopping Center. Typical souvenirs include cowboy attire, boots, hats, saddles, and equestrian equipment.San Antonio: A wide variety of Mexican handicrafts are available in numerous shops and malls.
Dallas: Dallas Music Hall in State Fair Park hosts concerts, musicals and operas. A wide variety of stage plays are performed at the Dallas Theater. There are numerous nightclubs, cabarets, singles bars and corner pubs. You can listen to classical, jazz, country and western music there. Some “private clubs” are in a “dry zone,” ie alcohol may only be served to members. For a few dollars, however, one can become a member immediately.Fort Worth: The William Edrington Scott Theater shows plays, musicals and films. Casa Mañana hosts Broadway musicals during the summer. There are numerous nightclubs where mostly country and western music is played. Houston: The Jesse H Jones Hall for the Performing Arts is home to the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Ballet and the Grand Opera. Notable events are also performed at the well-known Alley Theater, the Miller Theater in Herman Park (an outdoor theater) and the Music Hall. The range of nightclubs ranges from singles bars to street cafés and discotheques to supper clubs with international entertainment programs. Austin: The Paramount Theater hosts musicals, comedies, concerts and plays. The Zachary Scott Theater and the Zilker Hillside Theater are also known for musicals. Austin is also world famous for its music venues. 6th Street is home to numerous pubs offering country and western, soul, blues, jazz and other live music venues.San Antonio: The San Antonio Symphony Orchestra is based in the Majestic Theater. The Arneson Theater is an open-air theater on the banks of the Paseo del Rio. There are also numerous musicals performed and there are countless Dixieland, jazz, country and western and classical concerts.
Dallas/Fort Worth: Steaks and other beef dishes are of course at the top of the menu at Rinderland. Numerous European, Oriental, Spanish and Mexican dishes are also offered. Dinner theaters, where you can dine while watching a performance, are very popular. Dallas has over 5000 restaurants and there are countless cafeterias and coffee shops. Houston: Specialties include seafood, Mexican and Spanish dishes. A dining guide is available from the Convention & Visitors Bureau. Austin: 1,500 restaurants offer a variety of Texas steak and grill options, as well as Mexican, Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
Best travel time
The climate is warm and dry. In summer it can get very hot. Occasional showers with squalls. The hurricane season on the coast lasts from early June to late November.
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