East Texas is the region where the Deep South meets the Southwest. Houston, largest city by far in Texas and one of the largest in the United States, is the major city of the region. To the southeast is the gracious and more sedate port of Galveston... [More...]
East Texas is the region where the Deep South meets the Southwest. On its eastern border, it is virtually indistinguishable from neighboring Louisiana: it rises from the Gulf of Mexico in a series of low, shelving beaches, marshes, and bayous, mounting to form thick stands of oak-pine forest along the Sabine River and northward to the Red River, the border with Oklahoma. Along the way, the piney woods are dotted with farms and small cities such as Nacogdoches, Tyler, Lufkin, and Longview.
But the presence that dominates much of East Texas lies in the southern reaches: Houston, largest city by far in Texas and one of the largest in the United States. What began as a small parcel of land on Buffalo Bayou purchased by two New York entrepreneurs has become a world-class metropolis whose importance reaches literally as far as the Moon. Houston is a gigantic, sprawling, barely-contained explosion of a city: a major shipping port, the energy capital of the United States, home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other city but New York, and headquarters of NASA.
To the southeast, on the Gulf itself, is the gracious and much more sedate port of Galveston. Continuing up the coast, the so-called "Golden Triangle" of Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange is an important oil producing area: Spindletop in Beaumont was the first major American oil field, and its discovery in 1901 caused a major boom to the area, the state of Texas, and the entire United States. [Less...