Last year, I took a road trip to and through Texas. I’m a big fan of the US (where I lived for two years), but didn’t really know what to expect from the illustrious Texas. My imagination immediately took me to fields full of cowboys, rednecks and longhorns.
But not only Texas was new for me; I had also never taken a road trip that lasted fourteen days. It all sounded very funky: hitting the American road while playing some old-school mix tapes, driving a convertible and letting the wind flow through your hair, just like in the movies. But, we all know real life is nothing close to a movie. Road tripping also means that you have to sleep in a different hotel every night, un- and reload all your stuff day in and day out, and can’t remember which of your clothes are clean because they all smell bad from being in the same tiny suitcase. But none of that spoiled the fun I had while being there!
My trip started in Houston, where I was incredibly impressed with all the amazing architecture and imposing buildings. If you ever end up there, you should surely visit NASA. A passionate old man guided me through the building as if it was his own home.
If you, like me, love museums, you can’t miss the Rothko Chapel, which is a major work of modern art. Definitely one of my ultimate Texas highlights. Another great museum in Houston is the Museum of Fine Arts with their unique Menil Collection.
If you’d rather go for a jog, enjoy an outdoor concert, or lay down in the grass with a book: Houston’s Hermann Park is the place to be!
Our next stop was Texas’ coastline: more than 500 kilometres long, giving off a downtown LA vibe. Lots of big warehouses, vintage stores, artsy bars, nice restaurants; it’s sure hard not to fall in love with.
After that, we visited the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier that used to belong to the American marine, but is now anchored in Corpus Christi. Very impressive.
The city center of tourist spot San Antonio was too crowded for me, but apart from that, the town did lodge some fine surprises. For instance, there’s the San Antonio Mission Trail, a tour that guides you through the historical missions of Texas. Another great thing about this place is the food. I stuffed my face with the best Tex Mex I ever ate. I eventually ended up at Pearl, a former Texan brewery that now harbors a ton of nice restaurants and bars. They organize a weekly Farmers Market where local farmers can sell their own goods. I probably tasted everything there and bought a whole lot of yummy food. Pearl was much less touristy and gave me a very local feel.
Next up: the capital of Texas, also known as the music capital of the world. Oh yes, we’re in Austin, baby! The atmosphere over there is indescribable. We arrived in the midst of a musical street festival. The streets were filled with music bars, musicians, and dancing people. I seriously had to sit down for a while to take it all in. If you love music and the feeling of freedom, then you will love Austin. Could’ve stayed there for much longer than only two days…
But, we still had some stops to go, so we left the music behind and drove up to Dallas. I visited The Sixth Floor Museum, which is located on the sixth floor of the Dallas County Administration Building, overlooking Dealey Plaza. The museum is, in fact, located at the very spot from which President J.F. Kennedy was shot. This visit was very intense for me, because you felt the sadness around it.
But, Dallas also has lots of less sad spots, especially bars. And we all like those, don’t we? ;)
Our last stop was Forth Worth. And finally! Streets filled with longhorns, men and women wearing cowboy boots, talking in that typical Texan accent.
After this trip, you can sure as hell call me a big fan of The Lone Star State.
See you again soon!