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Texas
Despite having existed under the auspices of six different nations (France, Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America, and the Confederate States of America), Texas has maintained its fascinating independent spirit, making for a unique and unrivaled exploration ground for any intrigued and intrepid adventurer.
Texas is the second largest and second most populous state in the United States of America.
Texas borders Mexico along the Rio Grande and embraces vast mountain ranges and canyons to the west. Lakes, plantations and pine forests are found to the east; broad plains to the north; citrus groves, Gulf of Mexico beaches and low-lying alluvial plains to the south; and rolling hill country and clear natural springs at its heart. Its great wealth stems from its vast oil reserves. It has several booming cities: Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and its capital city, Austin.
Originally a trading post, Dallas has grown into an important centre for commerce and fashion. It has a glittering high-rise skyline, elegant stores, fine restaurants and a rich cultural life. Located in the Prairies and Lakes region, Dallas is a modern sophisticated city, yet still possesses the much-renowned Texan hospitality and southwestern charm. It is increasingly recognised for its cosmopolitan spirit and entrepreneurial flair.
Dallas is a city rich in historical sites and futuristic sights. The downtown area features shimmering glass towers and angled spires, whereas in the West End Historic District there are 100-year-old buildings now occupied by lively shops, restaurants and museums.
Much more ‘western’ in spirit, Fort Worth started as a military outpost and then became a cow town where cattlemen brought their herds to be shipped. Much of the Old West is preserved in Fort Worth today and it continues to be a centre for the cattle industry.
The fourth-largest city in the USA and the largest in Texas, Houston has a population of more than 1.9 million (its metro population of 4.7 million falls short of the 5.2 million in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, however). Houston has been the centre of the US oil industry ever since ‘black gold’ was discovered at nearby Beaumont in 1901. The city is named after Texas hero General Sam Houston, the first president of the Republic of Texas. It is also the space headquarters of the USA and a thriving international port, being connected to the Gulf of Mexico by the 80km (50-mile) Houston Ship Channel.