by Bailey LeRoux
While there might not be any reason to experience culture shock as you drive from one side of the Texas to the other, there are plenty of experiences unique to each area of the great state. So much discovery can happen in your home state. Why not contribute to the state economy by being a part of Texas tourism?
West and East Texas may share a state capital and the lone star, but there are some pretty big differences that can make a trip (or five) to the Piney Woods feel like an adventure.
- Spanish History
The Spanish were the first to view the Texas shore from the Gulf of Mexico. Their occupation of Texas during the 1700s led them to set up various forts and missions to maintain a buffer between Spanish Tejas and French Louisiana.
- Antebellum History
There’s no doubt that the history surrounding West Texas is more John Wayne’s “The Cowboys” than Vivian Leigh’s “Gone with the Wind,” but East Texas has remnants of a time and culture that has long since disappeared. East Texas is on the edge of the region that boasts that “Old South” history. A Plantation home tour? Maybe a Mint Julep? Please and thank you!
- Plants…and plenty of them.
Tyler, Texas, is home to one of the largest rose gardens around. Dogwoods, Azaleas and flowers abound in the whole area. Not to mention you can see a fairly obvious change in surroundings as you enter the piney woods. We don’t generally know what real trees look like out here in West Texas.
This one isn’t hard. It doesn’t take whole lot to be more humid the desert that is West Texas. East Texas, however, is approaching the bayous of Louisiana, making that difference in humidity noticeably significant. It might take some adjustment, but a change in humidity could revitalize your skin and hair. Especially after a West Texas winter.
- Lakes and Bayous
Fisheries and water sports are popular pastimes, but in this part of Texas there isn’t always easy access to the bodies of water that facilitate these hobbies. Close to 27 different lakes and bayous freckle the East Texas landscape. Few things say “spring break” more than a trip to the lake.
Whether you prefer Lufkin, Nacogdoches or Tyler you can find specific locations and travel ideas in our East Texas travel piece in Abilene Scene magazine. Don’t forget to follow our #EventsToBeScene posts and stay up to date on Abilene activities.