Texas is big--266,805 square miles including inland water area--and it has something to offer nearly everyone all year long. From the Red River boundary on the north, to the Rio Grande border on the south, Texas cradles lakes and rivers that total more than 4,790 square miles of watery playgrounds. Fishermen, boaters, tubers, and whitewater enthusiasts all enjoy Texas' waters. Near Burnet, the Vanishing Texas River Cruise offers scenic views and opportunities to photograph wildlife. The barrier islands, including Galveston, Padre, and Mustang Islands, in the Gulf of Mexico are also popular.
Texas' 23 million acres of woodlands include four national forests and 125 state parks. The Piney Woods of eastern Texas connect the state to the westernmost edge of the great pine forests of the South. In fact, the eastern third of the state is covered with woods--a shock to those who expect nothing but prickly pear cactus and cowboys. The Big Thicket is also here and is home to a portion of the more than 100 species of animals and 500 species of American birds that live in the state. Situated on the Mississippi Flyway, Texas has established wildlife refuges which draw bird watchers from around the world.
West Texas beckons those who seek adventure. Rock hunters seek blue topaz and plume agate treasures. Spelunkers tunnel through countless caverns and caves. Skiers slide down sandy dunes on plastic saucers. From mountain climbing to river rafting, it's all there. Nestled in its own remote corner of the state is rugged, rocky Big Bend National Park.
Present-day Texas is both agricultural and urban, criss-crossed by 76,952 miles of modern highways. Three of the nation's largest cities, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, anchor the north, east, and center of the state respectively, and provide fine lodgings and amusements.
From sea-shell collecting on sandy beaches to duding it up on horseback at a western ranch, from the big sky of the panhandle to the big oil cities, it can all be found in the Lone Star State.