TEXAS: The all-American state that's like a whole other country

Thu.15.Feb.2007 - 16:00 GMT

America has long been a popular destination for Brits but there is more to the USA than tried and tested destinations like Florida and New York. In 2007 Texas is emerging as the place with something for everyone, with over 500 cities in 7 regions, from Big Bend Country in the West to the Gulf Coast.

Those looking for cowboys, ranches, the oil industry and the western experience will not be disappointed. But there are hidden delights too: Texas has more than 624 miles of coastline and great sandy beaches. Houston is the largest city in Texas and the first word that Neil Armstrong spoke when he landed on the moon. Space Centre Houston is the perfect tourist attraction for those dreaming of being the next astronaut.

If shopping is your game then Dallas has to be the first port of call. The home of JR Ewing boasts more shopping centres per capita than any other US city, including America's oldest one, Highland Park Village. All this and the aptly named Dallas Cowboys in the NFL.

In Big Bend Country, the sky's no limit. Nowhere else in Texas do the stars at night shine quite so bright or the sunsets seems quite so rosy. Here, too, you'll see the American landscape at its most dramatic. Prickly pear cacti bloom with fuschia ferocity and golden exuberance as desert vistas shimmer far into the distance. Nomadic tumbleweeds bounce erratically across lonesome prairies like a scene out of a thousand movies.

It's like a whole other country. What are you waiting for?

Eve Gardiner, Texas Tourism Expert joined Keith Betton online on Thursday 15th February.