With a personality all of its own, the vast state of Texas, briefly independent in the 19th century, blends a Western cowboy culture with wealthy, modern cities.
Its landscape is surprisingly diverse, from cacti-studded desert to towering mountain peaks, and this is best demonstrated in the beautiful Big Bend National Park, lying close to the Mexican border.
The dynamic music scene of Austin provides a refreshing contrast to the arid land in the west and friendly ranches make perfect bases to experience an authentic Texan lifestyle.
The stunning landscapes and ancient history of the Southwest are a draw to any visitor; a place where you can delve deep into native American culture by exploring centuries-old Pueblo settlements, visit 16th-century Spanish cities like Santa Fe, trek through the beauty of Utah's magnificent national parks, and admire the striking rock formations of Arizona's Monument Valley - the backdrop of many classic Western films.
Of course, nothing matches the staggering scale of the Grand Canyon; standing on the cusp of this spellbinding chasm is an unforgettable experience.
Best time to visit Texas
Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have a dry climate that is very hot and sunny between July and September while in winter; between November and March, there are pleasantly warm days and cold nights. The mountains are delightful to visit in July and August and although temperatures can get remarkably high; the Grand Canyon in particular gets very hot, often around 35°C (95°F). The national parks, particularly the Grand Canyon gets very busy during the summer months so are best visited in May, June, September or October.
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Our Texas & the Southwest highlights
Visit the famous Alamo
The immortalised site of a famous siege, the Alamo, is a tangible reminder of Texas’s Mexican past.
Drive through cowboy country in Monument Valley
Monument Valley is the archetypal image of the west, where the distinctive sandstone pillars have featured in many cowboy films.
Go walking in Zion National Park
The enormous scale of the sculpted rocks, such as the Great White Throne in Zion National Park are renowned for their beauty and are a wonderful backdrop for walking.
Take a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon offers a scenic flight through this natural wonder of the world and is an unforgettable experience.
Enjoy the red rock scenery of Sedona
Sedona's red rock scenery provides a beautiful backdrop to this pretty town where plenty of outdoor activities can be enjoyed.
See a recreation of the famous gunfight at the OK Corral
Don't miss a recreation of the famous gunfight at the OK Corral in the historic dusty mountain town of Tombstone, near Tucson.
Go walking in Big Bend National Park
Southern Texas's vast and little-visited treasure has a dramatic, varied landscape.