Photo: Gallemore photography via Larry Joe Taylor's Texas Music Festival

You Haven't Been to the Real Texas Unless...

by Tanner Saunders Sep 19, 2016

You’ve caught a rattlesnake in Sweetwater.

Okay, maybe you didn’t catch one yourself, but you at least experienced the event where over 20,000 pounds of rattlesnakes were captured. And as if the snakes weren’t enough, you stuck around for the glitz and glamour of the Miss Snake Charmer Pageant and, wait for it, a snake eating competition.

You’ve tied up and partied at Hell’s Gate.

When the Texas heat becomes unbearable, you’d better find yourself out on the water. If you’re looking for a party on the water, you’d better get out to Hell’s Gate. Every summer thousands of Texas’ most rowdy cruise into the cove, tie their boats together, and party like nobody’s business. Bonus points if you stuck around for Red Bull’s Cliff Diving World Series.

You’ve gone junkin’ in the Roundtopolis.

In Texas junkin’ means you went down to Roundtop (population 90) for one for the world’s premier antique festivals. But this is more than just junk, it’s a party running for miles down the usually sleepy highway 237. A proper trip includes running into Miranda Lambert, dinner at Royers Cafe, and catching some unlikely queens at the Junk Gypsy Prom.

You’ve cheered your way through a college football game.

Be it College Station, Austin, or Lubbock, you haven’t experienced the true energy of the Lone Star State until you’ve cheered along with thousands of rowdy fans, their grandparents, parents, pastors, bankers, postmen, and pets. Football is life and you’d better live it here. Bonus points if you visit Texas A&M’s midnight yell, one of the most unique traditions in all of college football.

You’ve snapped a selfie with the Lighthouse in Palo Duro Canyon.

Smack dab in the middle of some of the flattest land you’ll ever find is Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the United States and one of the most beautiful geological structures around. You can spend a whole day hiking the beautiful canyon, but it doesn’t count if you don’t selfie your way up the Lighthouse Trail.

You’ve search for aliens on Highway 90.

Marfa may be famous for its eclectic art and celebrity sightings, but people have been seeing more than “stars” for decades. A real trip to Texas isn’t complete without a stop at the official Marfa Lights Viewing Area to search the wide open Texas sky for zooming lights believed to be from outer space (or maybe just a Ford F150).

You’ve gotten just a little too trashy on 6th street.

There’s honestly not too much to it. Every self-respecting Texan has made the mistake, and then probably made it again. Hopefully you did this on your sophomore spring break, but either way, you probably should remember that you don’t remember a night down dirty sixth.

You’ve watched a bunch of kids wrestle calfs then sat through an Ariana Grande Concert.

The Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo is something you shouldn’t miss and the calf scramble is something you just have to see to understand. At this rodeo you’ll see a real professional rodeo, a hysterical fight between high schoolers and calfs, and then end the night with some of the world’s best entertainers in one of the nation’s biggest cities.

You’ve floated the river with a cooler full of beer.

It doesn’t matter which river, as long as you were floating in tandem with a big ass red cooler full of ice cold beer.

You’ve clogged your arteries at the Texas State Fair.

People still claim that Big Tex went up in flames because of all the fried goodies he consumed during the month long affair. Hopefully you don’t go up in smoke, but it’s not a real visit if you don’t try a lollipop fried bacon wrapped qual breast on a stick, deep fried pulled pork “funyun” dings, or at least some fried Jell-o.

You’ve sat through a concert with 104,793 of your closest friends.

How many times do you have to hear it… everything is bigger in Texas, especially our stadiums, and nothing compares to AT&T Stadium in Arlington. You haven’t experienced Texas, hell, you haven’t experienced music, until you’ve been to a concert in this spaceship like venue. In fact, ATT and the real King George, hold the world record for largest indoor concert held in North America.

You’ve boozed and belted at the Larry Joe Taylor Texas Music Festival.

For a magical few days the very best of Texas Country Music converge in one place for the ultimate fan experience. Here you can sing along with the legends, camp with your buddies, and revel in the notion that you’ve truly experienced Texas.

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