35 Things That You Can Only Find In Texas
The State of Texas is a world in and of itself and the people who live there can seem quite foreign to the rest of Americans. In fact, it might as well be its own country. Residents of the Lone Star State have a unique culture and many unusual customs. We’ve scoured the internet and racked our brains to find you the most interesting and unique things that people do in Texas that’ll make you say “only in Texas!” If you’re a Texan, read on for some good ol’ nostalgia and a laugh. If you’re a non-Texan, read on to learn about what you’re missing out on!
1. Erratic Weather Patterns
Texas weather is as fickle as they come. Most people just think that Texas is one big hot desert but that’s just a rumor spread by people who have never been there. Temperatures in the state have been recorded as low as -23°F and as high as 120°F.
It can easily blizzard for a few days then return to t-shirt weather in the same week or turn from terrible tornados with softball sized hail to a pleasant spring day within just hours. And let’s not bring up the hurricanes… So, if you’re on your way to Texas or already live there, be prepared to batten down the hatches at the drop of a hat!
2. A Tempting Proposal
Don’t you just hate buying gifts for other people when you could be getting something for yourself? Well, worry no longer. At this Texas store, you get a free hunting gun with the purchase of a diamond. Marriage proposals probably sky-rocketed in this town.
After the proposal, they probably went to go celebrate by going out to the woods to hunt some deer. This store clearly knows its local red-blooded clientele very well. Read on! You won’t believe the next ‘only in Texas’ story.
3. Hotter’N Hell (not the bike race)
The heat in the Lone Star State is intense — so intense that you can actually fry eggs on the sidewalk. Shade is a valuable commodity, especially in the tree-sparse areas like the plains, prairies and desert.
No, those mesquite trees do not provide adequate shade, particularly seeing as they’ll stab you. They’re good for BBQs, bad for shade. With temperatures up to 120°F, you better head over to Schlitterbahn — if you don’t know what that is then you must not be Texan. Read on to find out!
4. Wind Farms
Yeah, it finally got so hot out that someone decided to install fans outside. And you know what? It works. Not in the traditional fans sense, but by producing renewable energy that can be used to power your A/C.
Out of all the US states, the State of Texas produces the most wind power. In fact, wind power produces 12.63% of its total yearly electricity. As a whole, the wind industry has created over 24,000 jobs for local residents. The wind farms are located mostly in the western part of the state but more and more keep popping up in other areas.
5. Sticking Out Like A Sore Thumb
Not all Texans are the same. Actually, the state is quite diverse, but some things are quite consistent, like in this photo for example. When everything is bigger, you either go big or go home. This person and their average-sized car are obviously out of towners, or worse, Yankees.
Native Texans can spot an out-of-stater from a country mile away. And be warned, if you have a particularly heavy northern accent then you will likely run into folks who just won’t understand a word of what you say.
6. Homecoming Mums
One tradition that seems to bewilder out-of-staters is the homecoming mum. No, the tradition doesn’t have anything to do with mothers (although they are the ones who purchase or make them). It has to do with school spirit.
During homecoming, it becomes a competition for who wears the biggest, most beautiful mum with the most bells, whistles and ribbons. They are only worn once and can be incredibly expensive. The word itself is a shortened version of the word chrysanthemum and the top of a mum is usually in the shape of the flower.
7. Texas Means Friends
Texans stick together and will do anything to help a friend out. Even if that means sticking their necks on the line like in this picture. You’ll never need to hire movers or a U-Haul in this state because at least half of your friends will already own a pickup truck.
The name Texas is even derived from a Native American word meaning allies. We do not, however, endorse risking lives on the freeway while holding a mattress. Also it’s most likely illegal… so there’s that too.
8. Helping Thy Neighbor
All that heat means that during the summer months Texans love to get outdoors and spend time at the lake or in the ocean. And when disaster hits the heartland, Texans step up and help out. Most recently, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, residents from around the state came to help.
As people that love summer fun on the water, many of those with boats and jet skis came to assist in the rescue of residents trapped by flooding. Some folks even drove down from other parts of the state, all just to help their fellow Texans in need.
9. Lost In The Lone Star State
With bigger cars came bigger roads. With millions of people living in sprawling metropolitan areas, next came confusing road engineering. This labyrinth of an interchange is known as the High Five Interchange and should be feared by all who dare traverse it.
The High Five is located in Dallas and we advise proceeding with caution. There is nothing more nerve-wrecking than “not exactly” knowing where you’re going and coming up on a six-way split in the freeway. One wrong turn and your trip to DFW may take you to Oklahoma, and NOBODY wants that.
10. The Texas Way
They say “when in Rome, do as the Romans do,” and the same goes for Texas. So when you’re there, you better be nice and use your manners. Saying “Yes, Ma’am” and “Yes, Sir” is still the custom, even to those that may be younger than yourself. And as far as driving, slow cars stay to the right and always let someone over when they signal.
As far as honking… don’t even think about it! A friendly beep of the horn is acceptable if the person clearly didn’t notice the light changed to green, but anything more than that will be taken as a personal insult. And Texans are VERY serious about their polite manners. Trust us when we say you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a Texan’s grudge. They know people… usually the whole town.
11. Snow Days
Some may not associate the Lone Star State with snow, but it does occasionally happen. And when it does, it’s a snowpocalypse of epic proportions. Stores run out of bread and milk, school is preemptively closed and martial law is practically declared.
Snow falls so infrequently in the state that people can never quite seem to get the hang of driving in the snow. Major streets close and there are car accidents littering the roads that do remain open. Some school districts go as far as canceling school even if snow is only predicted in the forecast.
12. Beer Is The State Drink
Yes, sweet tea certainly has a very special place in the heart of all Texans but the official state drink is beer. And they don’t need a special occasion to crack open a cold one. It’s always Miller time, or whatever other brand you drink.
Bonus points if you’re drinking beer while on or in the water. Nothing beats the Texas heat like a cold beer while floating down a cool river or chilling in a lake. Read on to find out the official religion of the Lone Star State.
13. Football Is Everything
It might be a stereotype, but it’s one that is completely true. Football is life and if you’re not at the game on Friday then you may be accused of blasphemy. Many smaller towns completely shut down on Friday nights during football season.
Also, traffic is a nightmare. If you head out on the town on a Friday evening, just steer clear of any and all stadiums. If that doesn’t paint a clear enough picture of how much Texans love football then just watch the movie Friday Night Lights.
14. Historical Monuments
Yes, everything is bigger in Texas. The San Jacinto Monument, located just outside of Houston, is taller than the Washington Monument. The San Jacinto Monument was built on the historic battlefield of the Battle of San Jacinto.
The battle was fought in 1836 between Texans (under the command of Sam Houston) and Mexican soldiers, lead by General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Texan victory at the battle lead to the formation of the Republic of Texas, an independent sovereign nation.
15. Six Flags
If you’re American, you have most likely been to a Six Flags Theme Park. But have you ever stopped and thought about where the name comes from? Well, it’s from the south obviously. The theme parks originated in Texas.
The name “Six Flags” comes from the six different national flags that have flown over the state of Texas. The flags, in historical order, are: Spain (1519-1821), France (1685-1690), Mexico (1821-1836), the Republic of Texas (1836-1845), the United States of America (1845-1861; 1865-present) and lastly, the Confederate States of America (1861-1865).
16. Longhorn Country
Every sports team has a rival, but few compare to the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry, also known as the Red River Showdown. The game is held annually between the University of Texas Austin and the University of Oklahoma. Choose your side wisely.
If you’re in Texas and an OU fan… you had better watch out. If you are wearing OU gear then don’t be surprised if random people approach you in public to exchange some harsh words. Out of all 112 games played in the Red River Showdown, University of Texas currently leads over OU 61-46.
17. Coke, Soda or Pop?
Texan English might take some getting used to. It is a dialect of its own. Apart from the stereotypical “y’all” and “howdy”, Texans use the word “coke” as a general term for all carbonated beverages. So if you try to order a coke at a restaurant, don’t be surprised if they ask you what kind of coke you want.
Dr. Pepper might have originated in the state, but the word coke is one of the terms used to describe it. Another popular phrase is “fixin’ to” which is used in place of “going to do something,” not the actual act of fixing something that is broken. So you could say you’re “fixin’ to mow the yard” and you will fit right in.
18. You Might Be A Texan If…
Many city names in Texas come from Spanish or Native American origins, and others were named by some of the first German settlers to the region. Meaning, in short, a lot of the cities are difficult to pronounce. For example the cities Balmorhea, Nacogdoches and Pflugerville.
If you can pronounce the cities of Texas correctly, you just might be a Texan. To a local’s ears, there is nothing funnier than hearing a news reporter try to say the names Waco, Dumas or Waxahachie. And be careful because Texans have their own way of pronunciation.
19. Most Expensive Crack In Texas
No, this isn’t a professional football team’s stadium. This is a high school stadium. The stadium, named Eagle Stadium, serves as the playing field for Allen High School in the northern DFW area (that’s Dallas-Fort Worth for you non-Texans). That’s right, just one high school. The stadium can hold up to 18,000 fans and cost around $60 million to build.
If you think that’s impressive then you should know that Eagle Stadium is only the fifth largest high school stadium in Texas. Just two years after Eagle Stadium opened in 2012, it had to be closed due to cracking and it quickly became referred to as “the most expensive crack in Texas.” The stadium was repaired and reopened in 2015.
20. Bluebell Ice Cream
Nothing says Texas more than Bluebell homemade ice cream. The company was founded way back in 1907 in Brenham, TX and is currently the fourth highest-selling brand of ice cream. If you’re Texan, you might be surprised to hear that it isn’t sold in every state.
Bluebell can be found all over the Lone Star State and only in a number of other southern states. Some of their most famous ice cream flavors include: buttered pecan, Dutch chocolate, banana pudding, moo-llennium crunch, banana split sundae and southern blackberry cobbler.
21. Moon Pie
Ok, moon pies are not technically only in Texas, but it is definitely a southern thing that lots of Americans won’t get. The bakery that started making the delicious snacks started in Chattanooga, Tennessee in the year 1917.
The marshmallow sandwiches come in a variety of flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, banana, strawberry and salted caramel. During Mardi Gras season you can also find orange and coconut flavors. Moon pies are most commonly eaten together with a cold RC Cola.
22. Don’t Mess With Texas
Every American has heard the phrase “Don’t mess with Texas” before but do you know where it comes from? It’s actually the slogan for an anti-littering campaign by the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDoT). The phrase can be found on signs throughout the state.
Fines for littering in the Lone Star State can be VERY hefty, so, think twice before you mess with Texas. The phrase became wildly popular and somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. The phrase is also a federally registered trademark and TXDoT has gone after those who try to use it without authorization, including the University of Texas Austin.
Bluebonnets are inherently Texan and if you’re from a different state you might not understand the importance of the flower. The beautiful blue flowers start blooming as early as February and last for around six weeks. People flock to the blue fields to take pictures.
The bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas and they are treasured by the locals, so much so that there is an urban legend that it is against the law to pick them. Most native Texans shy away from doing so to avoid bad karma and the police. As one famous historian once said, “The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.”
California has In-N-Out Burger, the Midwest has Steak ‘n Shake, but Texas has Whataburger. For those of you non-Texans, it’s pronounced “waterburger,” NOT “what-a-burger.” The burger chain was founded in Corpus Christi in 1950 and is known for its iconic orange and white colors.
Whataburger is also well known for its A-frame restaurant design. The very first A-frame Whataburger restaurant was built in Odessa, TX and is now a historical landmark. The company currently operates over 805 locations across the Southeastern and Southwestern United States.
25. Texans Don’t Mess Around
Everyone knows that Texas is very serious about its gun laws and that everything is bigger in Texas. This man or woman from the Lone Star state took it to the next level. Or maybe a little too far. We’re not sure what the laws say about artillery.
Not only is the open carry of firearms legal in the state, congress also just passed a law for legal open carry of blades longer than 5.5 inches. So now, residents are able to carry around daggers, throwing knives, swords, machetes and spears—you know, just in case you forgot your gun at home.
26. Das Schlitterbahn
In case you were still wondering what a Schlitterbahn is, well, it’s a massive water park! The first park opened in New Braunfels in 1979 and the name means “slippery road” in German. Since opening, they’ve become a fixture of Texas summers.
People living in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex sadly miss out on visiting the parks, unless they’re willing to drive for hours. Currently, there are Schlitterbahn parks in New Braunfels, South Padre Island, Galveston, Corpus Christi and talks are currently going on about opening a Schlitterbahn in Cedar Park, near Austin Texas.
27. Remember the Alamo
The Alamo is a big deal in the Lone Star State and an important part of the state’s history. Mexican troops laid siege on the Alamo Mission in modern-day San Antonio for 13-days, resulting in a defeat for the Republic of Texas.
After word of the battle spread, including the extreme level of cruelty by Mexican General Santa Ana, Texans raced to join the army in search of revenge against the Mexican forces. The very next month, after the Battle of the Alamo, the revolution ended in an overall victory for the Republic of Texas.
28. Frito Pie
The very first known Frito pie recipe was published in Texas in 1949. Basically, it’s kind of like making nachos but with Frito corn chips. The Fritos generally make up the bottom layer, then you add chili, cheese, sour cream and, of course, jalapenos.
But as with any type of nacho dish, you can really just add whatever you like to it and it will turn out great. If you want to be super classy, then you can just make the pie in the Fritos bag. Hey, why not? That’s recycling… right?
29. The City of DISH
Yes, there is a city in Texas that changed its official name to DISH, in all capital letters. Why, you ask? Just to get free DISH satellite TV for ten whole years for its residents, as well as a free digital video recorder for everyone.
The name of the town was originally Clark, after the city’s founder Landis Clark. Wonder how he would feel about the change if he was still around? The city is located in Denton County, just outside the northern DFW area.
30. Norwegian Slang
Throughout the years, the word Texas has become synonymous with a number of different things, some of them less flattering than others. In Norway of all places, the word Texas has come to mean “crazy” or “bonkers.” The phrase is used to describe events, not people.
The first use of the Norwegian slang term “Texas” was recorded in 1957. It’s believed that local Norwegians started using the phrase after Wild West movies became popular. According to one Norwegian, the phrase makes him “think about a lot of action, a lot fun and a lot of things going on.”
31. World’s Largest Urban Bat Colony
One resident that you wouldn’t expect to find in metropolitan Austin is a colony of bats. In fact, Austin Texas is home to the largest urban bat colony in the world! It’s become so popular that the bat colony is now a tourist attraction.
There are around 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats that live during the day under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Crowds gather nightly to watch the majestic bats. And just a warning to the wise, if you are going under the bridge, wear a hat!
32. Official State Sport Of Texas
Do you know what the official state sport of Texas is? No, it isn’t football. It’s actually rodeo. The 75th Legislature of the State of Texas declared rodeo the official sport of the state in 1997. The governor signed the resolution into law.
Can you guess who that governor was? None other than then-Governor George W. Bush, who later become the 43rd President of the United States of America. Rodeo events include: tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding and barrel racing.
33. Texas Seccession
Texas is a very unique place and in many ways its own country and there are still people who want to make the State of Texas its own independent country again. At moment, the movements are still small and the majority of Texans oppose seccession from the Union. But…
Support for becoming an independent nation has been rapidly growing in the past few years. Between 2010 and 2016, support for seccession grew by an estimated 11%. Around 48% of Texas Republicans support the idea. As far as global GDP goes, the state of Texas alone has about the tenth largest GDP in the world. So economically the US probably wouldn’t let Texas go without a fight.
34. Texas Capitol Building
As far as square footage goes, the Texas State Capitol building in Austin is the largest capitol building in the US. The building is also taller than the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Everything is bigger in Texas!
But that isn’t the only interesting fact about the capitol building in Austin. There are also rumors that the building is haunted. Numerous visitors have claimed to see people roaming the halls in period-appropriate clothing or seeing other misty apparitions.
35. Texas BBQ
If you live in Texas then you know that there is nothing better than a good ol’ fashioned Texas BBQ. And if you’re going to visit Texas, then you will soon find out. You can expect to find just about all types of meat at these places.
Brisket and sweet pork ribs are among the favorites at a Texas-style barbeque. Oh, and bring a bib — things get quite saucy. Favorite side dishes include: fried okra, green beans, sweet beans, potato salad and don’t forget the mac & cheese.
If you enjoyed this list of things that’ll make you say “only in Texas,” please SHARE this list!!
Sources: the Texan author of this article, www.buzzfeed.com
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