I used to watch American movies where couples would hop in a cool car and travel all over the country – having adventures along the way. Then I said to myself that I really wanted to do this one day. But at the time, it was nothing more than a dream from a little kid who was living far away.
Time passed and many years later I was lucky to be able to come to the United States to learn English. It was always at the back of my mind though – to purchase a cool car and drive around America like in those movies.
Nothing was easy at the beginning. My first few years were really tough in the US. I went through some hard times just to be able to stand on my own feet in a foreign country by myself. The language barrier became stressful.
Eventually, I managed to overcome my struggles and finally bought that car. Then I began traveling around the states with my car. I took my first road trip from Washington, D.C. to Key West in Florida (round trip) back in 2015. It was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had.
Besides achieving my childhood dream, I realized how much fun it was to road trip in America. Afterwards, I decided to take more trips. My second road trip was around Northeast America and by that time my photography had improved from taking amazing photos on my adventures.
So far I have visited 40 states and my goal is to visit all 50! I can talk for hours when it comes to the Texas road trip I did. It was the longest trip of them all! But I will try my best to summarize these experiences below.
Awesome 15-Day Texas Road Trip
This whole road trip from Washington, D.C. to El Paso (and back again) took me about 32 days of traveling. Of course, I made many fantastic stops in other states along the way but the Texas part was around 15 days. I would say Texas is a unique and beautiful state in many different ways.
When people think of road trippin’ in America, everyone tends to think about California because that’s one of the most popular routes. However, I would say that a Texas road trip is great if you want to experience the US in unique ways such as through food and meeting new people.
Texas BBQ is famous and trying it yourself is such an amazing experience. They have tons of places all over the state. I loved the spots in Austin the most. That’s why Austin is one of my favorite cities in all of America not just in Texas. They have a great music scene and the BBQ is legendary.
My Favorite Places in Texas: Barton Springs, Marfa & Lajitas
One of the best places I visited on my Texas road trip was Barton Springs. It was very cool and one of my favorite spots in the state. Here you can find a natural pool with fantastic scenery in the surrounding area. It’s a must-visit!
Another special place to me, but which might not be amazing for everyone, was Marfa. It looked like my hometown in Turkey. I felt like I was visiting my town and I was thinking to myself: “I took this long journey to get to the USA and now I can take trips beyond the one that I dreamed about”.
When you drive close to the border with Mexico you feel the TEX-MEX culture. I can’t forget a town I visited called Lajitas where I experienced an interesting event. They have a beer-drinking goat for mayor named Clay Henry. Yes you read that correct: a beer-drinking goat for mayor!
I was talking with the owner of the only store in this small town and she explained the story of the beer-drinking mayor goat. We went to see Clay Henry in a cage in the middle of the town. It’s such a bizarre thing!
So here’s how the story goes. In the 1980’s, the previous owner of Lajitas invited his friends and politicians from Houston to an event. A big snowstorm hits Lajitas and all the people stay for another night. That night they decide to elect a mayor for Lajitas at the Thirsty Goat Saloon.
They elect one of his Houstonian friends as mayor at the end. After that, a local businessman named Billy Ivey contests the election and says if an old goat all the way from Houston can become mayor of this town then why can’t my local beer-drinking goat?! They start campaigning for the goat.
The story makes the news all over the US. Despite the effort, the goat loses his first election against the Houstonian. But people who support Clay Henry don’t give up. In the next election, the goat received a massive amount of support and he ended up winning by a landslide!
Not to get confused, though, the one that I petted was called Clay Henry IV. The first goat was his great grandfather but they are all the same for a reason. I told the goat not to get too crazy drinking, since it was a Friday when I visited Lajitas! It was such a funny and strange experience there.
Lastly, the San Antonio River Walk is amazing and a favorite place of mine. I have never seen something similar to this in the states. It’s a unique spot. Again, there is so much to do on a Texas road trip but below are my top 10.
Things To Do on a Texas Road Trip
- Swim in Barton Springs in Austin: A fantastic natural spa with great views of the city. Refresh yourself on a warm Texas summer day!
- Try a Texas BBQ: An essential experience when in Texas for the taste.
- Go to the buzzing 6th Street in Austin to experience parties and music venues on any given night. Drink cocktails and make new friends.
- Watch a bat show in Austin: It’s really amazing to see thousands of bats fly around and migrate to the east during every sunset there.
- Explore Big Bend National Park: This was one of the most interesting and incredible national parks I have ever visited because of all the intriguing animal fossils discovered such as the largest flying animal that has ever lived on earth (36 feet wingspan) and big predator fish.
- Discover Monahans Sandhills State Park: Great sand dunes to see and an awesome spot to take cool shots if you love the desert landscape.
- Stroll along the Antonio River Walk: Wander down the walkway and find great restaurants and places that transport you to Europe.
- Visit the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden: If you love botanical gardens then this is a fantastic spot to visit. Discover many different types of plants and trees where you can lose yourself for hours.
- Stop off at small towns close to the Mexico border: See how culturally diverse Texas is and stop at places such as Marathon, Lajitas and Marfa.
- Marvel at the Texas State Capitol in Austin: Not only one of the most beautiful buildings in the US but also a great place to learn history.
Where to Stay on a Texas Road Trip
When it comes to hotels or places to stay (since I was taking this trip with many stops), I wasn’t picky about my accommodation. But the one place I can’t forget was in Marathon. It was called Gage Hotel – a really historic and stylish spa hotel close to Big Bend National Park. I highly recommend it!
The most incredible landscapes to see in Texas can definitely be found in Big Bend because of the fascinating fossils hidden in the earth. Plus it was incredible to learn that this place was all underwater 90 million years ago.
Need to Know Before you Go
Before visiting Texas be ready for lots of driving. The state is larger than most European countries. That’s why you should hash out a plan before going so you know much time to spend in each city or destination.
For example, I recommend staying in Austin for at least two nights to get a feel for the place. The more time the better! Get ready for fantastic food, awesome culture and everything else on a wild Texas road trip!