Is the Lone Star State calling you home? True to its motto, everything is bigger in Texas—including the decisions you need to make before you move there. From the sprawling Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex to the desert of El Paso, there are so many great cities and towns to call home, but wherever you end up, the whole state is yours to explore. Here’s what to expect when you do:
Texas is More Than Just Oil Fields and Prairies
Despite the repeated reminders of how big everything is, people who don’t live in Texas often write it off as a place where everything is the same. That’s a bit silly, considering that Texas fills an area of 268,820 square miles, making it the second biggest state in the country (we’re coming for you, Alaska). Within that space, you’ll find a lot of geographic diversity. Want mountains? Head to Big Bend National Park and climb 7,825-foot-tall Emory Peak. Missing the ocean? Spend a weekend on the beaches at Galveston. From the rolling hills around Fredericksburg to the swamps at Caddo Lake, there’s something for everyone.
It’s All About Texas-Style Barbecue
Leave your love of Carolina-style barbecue behind when you move to Texas. Here, it’s all about mesquite, pecan, vinegar and a slow (but totally worth it) approach to brisket and ribs. Stand in line at the famous Franklin Barbecue in Austin, or find your favorite local spot.
Don’t Mess With Texas Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means
The phrase certainly sounds like something a tough talkin’ Texan would spit out when approached in a rodeo parking lot, but the iconic catchphrase was actually created by the Department of Transportation as an anti-littering campaign. Don’t worry, your t-shirt is still cool.
You’ll Find Plenty of Affordable Places in Texas to Call Home
If you’re moving to Texas from a more expensive state (*cough California cough*), the lower cost of living will feel like a breath of fresh air. San Antonio regularly shows up as one of the cheapest U.S. cities to live in (home prices are a tenth of the cost of most major cities). You can also enjoy an affordable cost of living in many Dallas Fort Worth suburbs.
The Only Acceptable Ice Cream is Blue Bell
Blue Bell is the best ice cream in the world. Period. After a few months in Texas, you will recite this fact to anyone who mentions lesser brands like Ben and Jerry’s. Launched in Brenham in 1907, Blue Bell is known for its classic flavors like Cookie Two Step and Pecans Pralines ‘n’ Cream and its seasonal flavors like Christmas Cookies.
Cattle Drives and Rodeos Are Commonplace
Have you ever seen a cattle drive? If you move to Fort Worth you can see one twice a day. In fact, you might see cattle drives so often that the sight of longhorn starts to seem quite ordinary to you. The same goes for rodeos, which are everywhere. Mesquite is the rodeo capital of Texas. Head there in the summer for bull riding, barrel racing and more.
You Will Always Remember the Alamo
Texas history is rich and complex—but how many people actually know what the phrase “Remember the Alamo” actually means? If you move to Texas, you’ll eventually learn (spoiler alert: It’s a Spanish mission where an important battle took place). And if you don’t know, head to the Alamo in San Antonio and find out. It’s free to visit!
You’ll Develop Some Serious Texas Pride
When you first move to Texas, you will likely notice that the state flag is everywhere. Give it a few months, and you’ll have one outside of your house along with a tattoo in the shape of the state and a “Texas Forever” bumper sticker. The state pride is real in Texas—so order a Texas-shaped waffle and a Lone Star beer and join in on the fun.