Things to Do

Texas Traveling Made Easy in 7 Regions of Texas

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The Panhandle Plains area includes the northernmost area of Texas and stretches downward to meet the Big Bend Country, Hill Country, and Prairies and Lakes regions. The region is mostly flat, treeless grassland or plains. The western and eastern parts of this region are divided by deep canyons carved by rivers and tributaries that wind their way through the plains. Palo Duro Canyon and Caprock Canyons State Park are in this region. Some of the most well-known cities in this region are Amarillo, Brownwood, Canyon, and Lubbock. From a United States’ traveler’s point of view, the best known thing in the Texas Panhandle is Historic Route 66, which runs through Amarillo. Other unique roadside attractions in this region are the famous Cadillac Ranch, Stonehenge II, and Amarillo’s Big Texas Steakhouse.

5. Piney Woods Region


Photo:  David Peacock

The easternmost region of Texas, down the Louisiana border to the Gulf Coast region, is the Piney Woods region. It is primarily a thick forest of pine trees, a woodland, which is part of a larger forest that extends into Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Swamps are common here, particularly in the southern most area of the region which is called the “Big Thicket.” The only “major” cities in the area are Conroe, Huntsville, and Tyler, but there are numerous small towns with lots of interesting history and charm, like Jefferson, Palestine and Texas’ oldest town, Nacogdoches. There is an 1890s-era steam engine train that runs between Rusk and Palestine, an attraction that draws many a visitor who enjoys the unique vantage point to tour East Texas. And when the region’s numerous beautiful Dogwood trees are in bloom, the train ride is especially popular.

6. Prairies and Lakes Region


The Prairies and Lakes region is in north central and central Texas. It includes the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, College Station, Waco, and countless other large and small cities and towns. The land here is gently rolling to hilly, and as the name implies, has lots of lakes. This is an extremely diverse region where you can go from big city Dallas business, fashion, and museums to Fort Worth Stockyards, shops, and restaurants to small town antiquing or farm life. There are numerous colleges and universities in this region. Also, this area has some very popular state parks, such as Lake Fork, Lake Ray Roberts, and Cedar Hill. It also has famous fishing tournaments, where people come from all over the state of Texas and even other states in hopes of catching the big one. Arlington is in this region, which has numerous tourist attractions such Six Flags Over Texas, Hurricane Harbor, and the home stadiums for the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers.

7. South Texas Plains Region

Photo:  Judy Peacock