You’ve heard the saying…”Everything is bigger and better in Texas”. I didn’t know just how true that was until I first crossed over that state line and made Texas my home. In the last 20 years, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be a Texan, and thanks to this sponsored post with Ozarka® Brand Natural Spring Water, I’m bringing you the Top 6 Things Texans Love, according to a girl who couldn’t get here fast enough!
Texans Love their Big Cities and Small Towns
As the second largest state in the U.S., you’ll discover that it’s not that easy to describe Texas as a whole. It’s quite diverse. It’s landscape changes as you move east to west, north to south. And where do Texans choose to live and raise their families? Big Cities and Small Towns. And if the big city has a small town feel to it, even better.
You’ll find skyscrapers and fashion galore in Dallas. You’ll spy the center of the state government and a lively social and arts scene in Austin. You’ll enjoy the relaxing city scene bound by a rich Texas heritage in San Antonio. And when you come upon Houston, you’ll find a downtown city only 40 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, Texas cities are beautiful, lively, and full of promise. Did I mention we don’t have a state income tax? Just one added bonus.
But I’ve also had the opportunity to live in several Texas small towns. So different than it’s city counterparts, it’s here that I fell in love with Texas.
Texas small towns are undeniably charming. And though you’ll often find “city folks” wearing cowboy boots, it’s here where you’ll find those who live in them. Many have town squares where you’ll find small shops and restaurants with the center of the town square being an old courthouse. These old historic courthouses are absolute treasures and add to the charm.
I’ll never forget the first time I stopped in West, Texas for sausage kolaches, a must if traveling down I-35 between Dallas and Waco, or the time spent in Bryan/College Station where I first learned to two-step. There’s something about small towns that I can’t quite put into words. They stole my heart and though I’m a city girl through and through, I’m always itching to go back.
Texans Love their Sports Teams
Really, this is a given. No matter the sport, Texans love their teams.
While you might think well, doesn’t everybody love their team? Texans take it to a whole nutha level! I learned early on that in Texas, sports was a serious matter, not to mention business. There are legendary stories out there about Texas high school football and yes, the high school football stadiums are unbelievable! UNBELIEVABLE! In fact, voters recently approved a new high school football stadium at a cost of $63 MILLION here in the Dallas area. I told ya, it’s a serious business.
But it doesn’t stop with high school sports, as Texas college rivalries are among the biggest in the nation. You’ve got the Texas Longhorns versus the Texas A&M Aggies, a long-standing rivalry with deep roots, generation after generation. And if there’s any question, I firmly have Maroon blood running through my veins – yes, an Aggie through and through.
Well before living in Texas was even an option for my parents, we loved America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys. I might have even had a cheerleader outfit back in the day. Though we thought we were fans, let me tell you that nothing compares to the fans here in Texas. My family has been known to tailgate Thanksgiving Dinner before a Cowboys game. True story. No matter the sport, no matter the city, no matter the team, Texans love their Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Texans, etc.
Texans Love to Travel Throughout their State
The Texas landscape is breathtaking and though it takes hours and hours to drive across this huge state, there’s not a single Texan who thinks twice about making that trip. Okay, but when we do, we hop on our local Texas airline, Southwest Airlines, to do so.
When we moved to Texas over 20 years ago, I remember being shocked by the different types of landscapes I saw throughout the state, though my daughter reminds me the one thing we don’t have in Texas – mountains. It’s true. From El Paso’s desert to the beautiful rolling landscape of central Texas’ Hill Country and the unexpected Piney Woods of East Texas to the beaches of South Padre Island, there’s beauty everywhere. In fact, it’s the surprises in Texas which I love most, like this sunflower field I found along a highway south of Dallas.
Texans Love their Ice Cream
It’s no secret that Texans love their food.
The ones you hear quite often about are BBQ (oh the brisket is amazing), authentic Mexican food, Chicken Fried Steak (totally never heard of this until moving here), Sweet Tea, and anything from the State Fair of Texas – Fried Guacamole, Fried Snickers Bar, Fried Twinkies…basically anything fried. But there’s one little known thing about Texans – they love their ice cream!
It’s been said that the ice cream in Texas is so amazing that President George W. Bush couldn’t do without while in the White House and had it shipped. I can say that I totally understand why. This creamery is based in Brenham, Texas, and another example of small town goodness right there. There’s not a flavor my family doesn’t love.
Ice cream shops like Amy’s Ice Creams in Austin are incredibly popular among locals and here in the Dallas/Ft Worth area I have my personal favorite – Beth Marie’s! You’ll find two locations in Denton, Texas, but it’s the original location on the Square that is worth the trip.
Part of that small town charm, Beth Marie’s is conveniently across from the old courthouse and on summer weekend nights, you’ll often find incredibly long lines waiting for this drool-worthy homemade ice cream. My personal favorite – Cappuccino Chip! The setup is like an old fashioned ice cream parlor where you can sit at the counter and go back in time. It’s not to be missed.
Texans Love their Local Brands
Yes, Texas takes its food very seriously. From fine dining to tailgating and beyond, we love to support our local brands. Let me introduce you to a few award-winning brands from right here in Texas!
Paqui Tortilla Chips
Paqui brand offers “better-for- you” tortilla chips and tortillas. Paqui is an Aztec word that means “to be happy.” Paqui sells great tasting tortillas and tortilla chips that are crafted with unbleached, untreated flour, or by stone grinding corn and adding mouth-watering flavors using high-quality ingredients, such as fire-roasted jalapenos, fresh cilantro leaves, buttermilk, pumpkin and other spices and flavors.
Snow’s BBQ Sauce
Monthly magazine named Snow’s BBQ as the best in Texas! Since that time, the entire staff at Snow’s BBQ has been doing everything possible to keep up with the demand and most important, maintain the quality. With complex Texas flavor, Snow’s Original BBQ Sauce is excellent on any cut of beef, chicken, or pork. It’s just as good as a dipping sauce as it is a marinade or brush-on sauce during the last minutes of grilling.
Yellowbird Habanero Sauce
Totally natural, spicy pepper condiments. Made with ♥ in Austin, Tx. These are the most delicious, most versatile, most satisfying condiment that will ever hit your lips! Yellowbird Sauce goes great on tacos, burgers, wings, sushi, pasta, steak, fish, eggs, pizza, soup….anything you can think of!
The Jelly Queens Black Garlic Rosemary BBQ Sauce and Sweet & Spicy Mustard Seeds
The Jelly Queens is an award-winning, Dallas and Austin-based artisan food company that makes gourmet jams, jellies, spices, sauces and more. Each product is handmade in small batches using organic and, whenever possible, locally grown Texas ingredients. The Jelly Queens was born out of a love for sustainable food, delicious flavors and words of encouragement.
Cookwell & Company Queso
This Queso con Salsa Escabeche is built around a flavorful blend of cheddar and blue cheeses combined with fire-roasted tomatoes, onions, diced jalapeños, and fresh-squeezed lime juice to create simply the best and authentic queso you can buy. Cookwell & Company is located in the heart of Austin, Texas. These guys wear boots to work and boast three grills and a smoker at their office.
Did you know that Ozarka® Brand Natural Spring Water comes from Texas?
Unique to Texas, Ozarka® Brand Natural Spring Water comes from 3 Texas springs, giving it that incredibly fresh taste. Fun Fact – the 3 Texas springs are all within 100 miles of each other.
With our Texas summer heat, this is one thing that I have plenty of – in the refrigerator, in school lunches, in the car and on the go! Plus, I LOVE their easy to grab bottle shape – it’s the simple things that make this mom happy!
The LoneStar State is proud to have Ozarka® Brand Natural Spring Water and you can find the water in Texas and a few neighboring states. Just like me, Ozarka® wasn’t always from Texas, but they got here as fast as they could and proudly call it home!
Texans Love their People
Last, but certainly not least, Texans are among the most incredibly generous and giving people I know. There’s a rich history in Texas, but one only needs to look at recent events here in Dallas to see how Texans step up to support each other. Texans are proud. Texans are loyal. And though I’m not a Texan by birth, I can say that I’m proud to be raising one.
What do you love most about where you live? Have you ever visited Texas?