Online Atlas > Texas > Museums • Photographs
Texas facts and history plus travel and tourism information.
The state of Texas has Spanish and Mexican roots. Spanish settlers were the first Europeans to live in Texas, and Mexico, after becoming independent of Spain, ruled Texas until 1821. Battles led by Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston eventually gained Texas independence, despite the loss at the Alamo. Texas later joined the United States as the 28th state on December 29, 1845, contributing over 260,000 square miles to the growing nation.
About 660 miles wide by 790 miles long at its most distant extremes, Texas is the largest of the lower 48 states. Texas' vast lands include mountains, deserts, farmland, cattle ranches, and beaches. West Texas is arid and hot desert, whereas north Texas is cattle country. East Texas features pine forests and good bass fishing, while south Texas has Tex-Mex cuisine and a distinctly Latino atmosphere.
The urban cities of Austin, Dallas, and Houston host technological corporations and oil companies, while Fort Worth and San Antonio are rich in culture and traditions. In the southwest, the Mexican border stretches for miles, while in the southeast, beaches along the Gulf of Mexico are popular vacation spots.
Map of Texas
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Texas History and Geography