Texas occupies 7% of the land and water area in the United States. Texas has a total area size of 268,581 square miles and 254 counties, more than other states in the United States. The Texas landscape is diverse, and each part of Texas has a distinctly different climate. But how many parts of Texas are there?
Texas has seven parts, which are also referred to as regions. These parts include Big Bend Country, South Texas, Hill Country, Panhandle, Piney Woods, Gulf Coast, and Prairies and Lakes. Each area has a unique landscape, exciting attractions, and vibrant cities.
The Seven Regions Of Texas
Many people are puzzled by the number of regions in Texas. Most assume that four parts make up this state, while others argue that there are seven parts of Texas. Both are, in fact, correct.
The four regions are referred to when talking about the geology of Texas. These four regions include the Interior Lowlands, Basin And Range, Great Planes, and the Gulf Coastal Planes.
But more importantly, the seven regions of Texas are used to describe the people, attractions, and tourism of Texas. These seven parts include:
Big Bend Country
Texas Big Bend Country was named after Big Bend National Park. This part of Texas is located in the west and is filled with mountain peaks, wilderness, and captivating canyons. Big Bend is also home to the highest mountain in Texas, and some parts of these regions resemble the wild west, with rolling tumbleweeds and the endless desert.
A total of 9 cities form part of Big Bend Country; these include Alpine, Del Rio, Fort Davis, El Paso, Marathon, Marfa, Midland, Lajitas, and Presidio. Big Bend Country boasts a range of attractions, and many of them are centered around the natural beauty of this part of Texas. The most widely visited places in Big Bend include:
- Big Bend National Park
- Guadalupe National Park
- Davis Mountains
- Ross Maxwell scenic drive
- Santa Elena Canyon
- Stargazing at McDonald Observatory
- Art galleries
- Hot springs in the Rio Grande
- Historic sites
- Black Jack’s crossing
South Texas is a cultural hot spot and starts from the San Antonio River to the borders of the Rio Grande Valley. The largest and fastest-growing city in South Texas is San Antonio. South Texas is a historic part of Texas filled with stunning beaches, natural wonders, and enchanting wildlife. South texas is known for its Tex-Mex cuisine and its small-town feel.
There are 20 cities in South Texas, but the most popular are San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, and Houston. The people in South Texas are friendly and welcoming, and this inviting atmosphere draws people to visit South Texas.
The south of Texas has 367 miles of coastline, yielding an array of freshly caught seafood like shrimp, oysters, and snapper. South Texas is bustling with charm and attractions.
Some of the best activities in South Texas are:
- San Antonio River Walk
- Tour the Moody Mansion
- San Antonio Missions Heritage Site
- Gladys Porter Zoo
- Visit the NASA space center
- Visit the Cradle of Texas Independence
- Port Isabel Lighthouse
- Bird and wildlife watching
- Padre Island National Seashore
- Palo Alto Battlefield
- Bass Fishing in Falcon Lake
Texas Hill country falls in the central and south of Texas. Hill Country has many natural resources, culinary experiences, museums, and historical sites. If you love wine and shopping, Hill Country has some of the best wineries and exquisite boutique shops. Hill Country is also the second largest wine producer in the United States.
Hill Country has one of the fastest-growing economies in the U.S. There are many towns and cities that makeup Hill Country including San Marcos, Fredericksburg, Kerrville, and Blanco.
A rare species of gopher known as the Llano Pocket Gopher can be found in the Texas Hill Country. There are so many attractions in this part of Texas, some of the most exciting include:
- Hamilton Pool Nature Reserve
- Fall Creek Vineyards
- Tres Lunas resort
- Take a scenic drive down highway 16
- Kayak on the Medina River
- Enchanted Rock
- Garner State Park
- Natural Bridge Caverns
- Explore German Heritage in Fredericksburg
- Stonehenge II
- Hike to Gorman falls
The Texas Panhandle is located in the northernmost part of Texas. The Panhandle has 26 counties and is 25,610 square miles. This part of Texas is abundant in art and natural beauty but is also susceptible to scorching temperatures.
The Panhandle is flat and dry and can occasionally experience dust storms. The Panhandle is also filled with music history and is celebrated with numerous music festivals.
The biggest cities in the Panhandle are Abilene, Wichita Falls, San Angelo, Amarillo, and Lubbock. The Texas panhandle is home to rare animals, including the Black-footed ferret, Texas Kangaroo, and the Palo Duro mouse.
There is so much to explore in the Texas panhandle and lots of activities for those who love adventure. Some of the most thrilling attractions in the Panhandle are:
- Cadillac Ranch
- Route 66
- Wonderland Amusement Park
- Bob Wills Museum
- Palo Duro Canyon State Park
- Hike the tunnel trail
- Panhandle plains historical museum
- Amarillo Livestock Auction
- American Windmill Museum
- Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo
- Buddy Holly Center
The Piney Woods is also called East Texas and gets its name from all the piney woods in this region. The Piney Woods is also known for the great oil boom, lakes, unique ecosystems, and wildlife. Some of the animals you may see in the Piney Woods are cottonmouth snakes, opossums, and rabbits.
The Piney woods also has low-lying wetlands and swamps. Moderate rainfall in the Piney Woods ensures the forests stay evergreen all year round. The Piney woods are also a great place to grow vegetables and flowers.
This part of Texas has eight cities, including Gladewater, Kilgore, Longview, Huntsville, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Texarkana, and Tyler.
Most attractions in the Piney Woods are outdoor attractions and include hiking, biking, and watersports and a few other attractions like:
- Fishing at Lake Fork
- Visit a national forest
- Caldwell Zoo
- Zipline in Nacogdoches
- Swamp tour
- Mission Tejas State Park
- Longview Museum Of Fine Arts
- 8th Air Force museum
- Train Ride between Palestine and rusk
- Haunted tour of Jefferson Hotel
- Harrold’s Model Train Museum
The Gulf Coast part of Texas has an array of quaint coastal towns, seaside activities, and never-ending dunes. The Gulf Coast has the perfect mix of art, culture, and busy city life. The best coastal cities in this region include Corpus Christi, Galveston, and Rockport.
The Gulf Coast’s humid subtropical climate makes it an ideal summer vacation destination. The Gulf Coast is also a central hub for economic activity, especially in the fishing industry. This part of Texas is vulnerable to floods and hurricanes, but these natural weather conditions are restricted to the inland parts of the Gulf Coast.
The Gulf Coast is also commonly known as America’s third coast. The largest town in the south part of the Gulf Coast is Corpus Christi, and the biggest city on the Gulf Coast is Houston.
The Gulf coast is home to fishing piers, restaurants, live theatres, and water parks. Some of the most exciting attractions on the Gulf Coast are:
- Dolphin watching
- Pleasure Pier Amusement Park
- Horseback riding in Corpus Christi
- Space Center Houston
- Texas State Aquaurium
- Museum of Fine Arts Houston
- Red and Black Dragon Pirate Cruise
- Moody gardens
- Battleship Texas
- Deep Sea Fishing
Prairies And Lakes
The Prairies and Lakes part of Texas is located in central and north central Texas. This part of Texas lies between the Panhandle and the piney woods. The prairies and lakes in the second largest region in Texas and boasts many agricultural activities. The north-central section of the prairies and lakes has many horse farms and horse enthusiasts.
This region was also home to dinosaurs, and to date, 21 dinosaur fossils have been found in this region. There are 50 counties in the Prairies and Lakes part of Texas. Some of these counties include Austin, Rockwell, Dallas, Franklin, Hamilton, and Montague. Dallas is the largest metropolitan in this area and has almost 7 million residents.
Popular activities in this region include camping, RV’ing, and water activities. The Prairies and Lakes region have many parks, including Bonham, Cedar Hill, and Palmetto state park. This part of Texas has a few rare animals, including the Houston toad, the Golden-cheeked warbler, and the black-capped vireo. The Prairies and Lakes have a wide variety of vegetation like Pecan trees, Burr Oak, Button Bush, and Black walnut.
When visiting the prairies and lakes regions, you can expect to find a few unique attractions like:
- Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
- BSR Cable Park and Surf Resort
- Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.
- Dinosaur Valley State Park, Glen Rose
- Cedar Hill State Park
- Carleen Bright Arboretum
- Mandalay Canals
- Fort Worth Water Gardens
- Line dancing at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth
- Ride the giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas
- Texas regions: tpwd.texas.gov
- A quick guide to parts of Texas: matadornetwork.com
- Texas travel guide: roughguides.com
Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.