Traveling Through Texas

By: Kitty Borrego

San Antonio, Texas

The first destination is San Antonio, Texas, which is in the Coastal Plains. We're going to see the Alamo, walk down the River Walk, and go to Ripley's Believe It Or Not before heading to our next city/town.

San Antonio is big on military, health care, government civil service, financial services, oil and gas and tourism sectors.

The city is home to these companies: Valero Energy Corp, Tesoro Corp, USAA, Clear Channel Communications and NuStar Energy. H-E-B, the 19th largest private company in the United States is also headquartered in San Antonio. Some of the other companies headquartered in San Antonio are: Kinetic Concepts, Frost Bank, Harte-Hanks, Eye Care Centers of America, Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Enterprises, Whataburger, Rackspace, NewTek, Carenet Healthcare Services, Nationwide Insurance, Kohl's, Allstate, Chase Bank, Philips, Wells Fargo, Toyota, Medtronic, Sysco, Caterpillar Inc., AT&T, West Corporation, Citigroup, Boeing, QVC, and Lockheed Martin.

San Antonio has lost several major company headquarters, the largest being the 2008 move of AT&T Inc. to Dallas "to better serve customers and expand business in the future," yet, San Antonio is a city that is full of many things.

We're going to drive to the Alamo first, where The Battle of the Alamo took place, from February 23 - March 6, 1836, where the Mexican troops, lead by Santa Anna, launched an assault on the Alamo Mission. The Alamo was originally supposed to be for Native Americans to learn and convert to Christianity, until the Texian army overtook it because it was surrendered to them during the Texas Revolution. When the surrender had retreated, he had left behind 19 cannon, including a 16-pounder.

Our next stop is Ripley's Believe It or Not Odditorium. People come here for lots of things, whether it's to walk through to see the crazy things people are famous for, look at Louis Tussaud's waxworks, or even get your very own wax done, right in the odditorium, it's a fun and interesting place to visit, and work!

Last but not least in the city of San Antonio, is the River Walk. The River Walk is full of restaurants, stores, hotels, arts, crafts, parades...No wonder it's the number 1 tourist attraction in Texas! It has everything! There are so many restaurants to choose from for dinner, so many things to do, just what all will you do?

Lockhart State Park

Next we are going to Lockhart State Park, which is 263.7 acres west of Lockhart in Caldwell County. The land was deeded by private owners between 1934 and 1937. The park was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps between the years 1935 and 1938 and opened as a state park in 10 years later, in 1948.


In August 1840, the Battle of Plum Creek was fought a few miles north of the park.

Lockhart State Park, Texas [Official]

Austin, Texas

Austin, in the Coastal Plains, is the next city on our list, and we're going here because it's the state's capital!

In 1835–1836, Texans fought and won independence from Mexico. Texas then became its own independent country with its own president, congress, and monetary system. In 1839, the Texas Congress formed a commission to seek a site for a new capital to be named for Stephen F. Austin. Mirabeau B. Lamar, the second president of the new Republic of Texas, advised the commissioners to investigate the area named Waterloo, noting the area's hills, waterways, and pleasant surroundings. Waterloo was selected and the name Austin was chosen as the town's new name.

Waco, Texas

We're going to Waco next, which is in the Until Waco was founded in 1849, a Wichita Native American group known as the "Waco" lived on the land of present-day downtown Waco. In 1824 Thomas M. Duke explored the area and reported to Stephen F. Austin describing the village: "This town is situated on the West Bank of the River. They have a spring almost as cold as ice itself. All we want is some Brandy and Sugar to have Ice Toddy. They have about 400 acres planted in corn, beans, pumpkins, and melons and that tended in good order. I think they cannot raise more than One Hundred Warriors." After Austin aborted the first attempt to destroy their village in 1825, he made a treaty with them. The Waco eventually moved out of the region, settling north near present-day Fort Worth. In 1872 they joined other Wichita tribes on a reservation in Oklahoma. In 1902 the Waco received allotments of land and became official US citizens.

Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth is the 16th-largest city in the United States of America and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. It's located in North Central Texas, the city is a cultural gateway into the American West and covers nearly 350 square miles in Tarrant, Denton, Johnson, Parker, and Wise counties, serving as the seat for Tarrant County. According to the 2010 census, Fort Worth had a population of 741,206. The city is the second-largest in the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area.

The city was established in 1849 as an Army outpost on a bluff overlooking the Trinity River. Today Fort Worth still embraces its Western heritage and traditional architecture, and design.

Fort Worth is home to the Kimbell Art Museum, considered to have one of the best collections in the world, and housed in what is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost works of modern architecture. Also of note are the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Amon Carter Museum. The city is also home to Texas Christian University and Texas Wesleyan University and many multinational corporations including Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, American Airlines, Radio Shack, and others.

Arlington, Texas

Arlington is our next city, in the Central Plains, which is the home of the Texas Rangers Ballpark, the AT&T Stadium (formally the Cowboys Stadium), the International Bowling Campus (which holds the United States Bowling Congress, International Bowling Museum, and the International Bowling Hall of Fame), the headquarters for American Mensa, and the theme park Six Flags Over Texas (the original Six Flags) and Hurricane Harbor.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Now that we're leaving San Antonio, we're going to the Sixth Floor Museum, at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas.

Dallas is the 9th largest city in the US, and the 3rd largest in Texas, with a population of 1,241,162, according to the 2012 census.

The museum we are going to is located on the sixth and seventh floors of an early 20th-century warehouse once known as the Texas School Book Depository. This exhibit features films, photographs and artifacts that chronically tell President Kennedy's life, death and legacy. Temporary exhibits can be seen on the seventh floor. The museum is open Monday 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.; Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Free audio guides are included with exhibit admission and are available in multiple languages, like English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Japanese and a Family version, in English only.

Denton, Texas

Denton is our final destination, and it is known as the city of performing arts in Texas.

Denton is home to several annual artistic and cultural events that cater to residents and tourists. The annual North Texas State Fair and Rodeo began in 1928 and promotes the cowboy culture of Texas. In addition to a rodeo, the event features several local country-rock performances, pageants, and food contests. Hosted by the North Texas State Fairgrounds since 1948, the fair brings in over 150,000 people during its nine-day run. The Denton Municipal Airport has hosted the annual Denton Airshow since 1998. The event includes aerial demonstrations and airplane exhibits; it attracted over 10,000 attendees in 2012. Other events in the city include an annual Redbud Festival, the Fiesta on the Square, and the Thin Line Documentary Film Fest.

The local independent music scene in Denton has emerged alongside Denton's academic music establishments, including the University of North Texas College of Music. The city's live music venues are largely supported by Denton's college town atmosphere, although show attendance is bolstered by area residents. The Dallas Observer features a column on Denton's local music scene. In 2007 and 2008, Denton's music scene received feature attention from The Guardian, Pop Matters, and The New York Times. Paste Magazine named Denton's music scene the best in the United States in 2008. The city-sponsored Denton Arts and Jazz Festival attracts over 200,000 people each year for live music, food, crafts, and recreation at Civic Center Park. Bands such as Tower of Power, Brave Combo, and Arturo Sandoval have performed at the festival, as well as jazz groups from the University of North Texas. With hopes of creating a live music event similar to South by Southwest, Denton held the first annual North by 35 Music Festival, now called 35 Denton, in March 2009.

Coastal Plains Region

The Gulf Coastal Plains extends from the Gulf of Mexico inland to the Balcones Fault and the Eastern Cross Timbers. This large area, including the Texas barrier islands, stretches from the cities of Paris to San Antonio to Del Rio but shows a large variety in vegetation. With about 20 to over 58 inches annual rainfall, this is a nearly level, drained plain dissected by streams and rivers flowing into estuaries and marshes. Windblown sands and dunes, grasslands, oak motes and salt marshes make up the seaward areas. National Parks include Big Thicket National Preserve, Padre Island National Seashore and the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site.

Central Plains Regions

The North Central Plains are bounded by the Caprock Escarpment to the west, the Edwards Plateau to the south, and the Eastern Cross Timbers to the east. This area includes the North Central Plains around the cities of Abilene and Wichita Falls, the Western Cross Timbers to the west of Fort Worth, the Grand Prairie, and the Eastern Cross Timbers to the east of Dallas. With about 35 to 50 inches annual rainfall, gently rolling to hilly forested land is part of a larger pine-hardwood forest of oaks, hickories, elm and gum trees. Soils vary from coarse sands to tight clays or red-bed clays and shales.

Great Plains Region

The Great Plains include the Llano Estacado, the Panhandle, Edwards Plateau, Toyah Basin, and the Llano Uplift. It is bordered on the east by the Caprock Escarpment in the panhandle and by the Balcones Fault to the southeast. Cities in this region include San Angelo, Midland and Odessa, Lubbock, and Amarillo. The Hill Country is a popular name for the area of hills along the Balcones Escarpment and is a transitional area between the Great Plains and the Gulf Coastal Plains. With about 15 to 31 inches annual rainfall, the southern end of the Great Plains are gently rolling plains of shrub and grassland, and home to the dramatic Caprock Canyons and Palo Duro Canyon state parks. The largest concentration of playa lakes in the world (nearly 22,000) is on the Southern High Plains of Texas and Eastern New Mexico.

Mountains and Basins Region

The Mountains and Basins Region has less than 12 inches annual rainfall. The most complex Natural Region, it includes Sand Hills, the Stockton Plateau, desert valleys, wooded mountain slopes and desert grasslands. The Basin and Range Province is in extreme western Texas, west of the Pecos River beginning with the Davis Mountains on the east and the Rio Grande to its west and south. The Trans-Pecos region is the only part of Texas regarded as mountainous and includes seven named peaks in elevation greater than 8,000 feet. This region includes sand hills, desert valleys, wooded mountain slopes and desert grasslands. The vegetation diversity includes at least 268 grass species and 447 species of woody plants. National Parks include the Amistad National Recreation Area, Big Bend National Park, Chamizal National Memorial, Fort Davis National Historic Site, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River. This area is part of the Chihuahuan Desert.