Rodeos, longhorns, oil and big hats—so is life in Texas. The independent, Old West spirit lives in the fiercely proud, proudly fierce Texans that make up the state’s larger-than-life reputation. Sure, you can two-step with cowboys and remember the Alamo, but you can also rock out in “live music capital of the universe” Austin, arty and eclectic enough to shatter all your Texas stereotypes. You can literally taste Mexican influence and legacy in San Antonio’s renowned Tex-Mex cuisine—and experience the city’s vibrant art scene on its First Friday celebration. Toss in the fine-dining and high-end shopping of glitzy Dallas, and you’ve got a fascinating blend of Old West culture, Mexican roots and contemporary American living—in one really big state.