Texas is a state unlike any other. The second largest state in the United States, behind Alaska, Texas is bigger geographically than many countries in the world. And for many proud people from the Lone Star State, Texas practically could – or maybe even should – be its own country. So naturally, with such an identity and sense of state pride, you’ll find lots of unique souvenirs from Texas you can buy to remember your travels to the Lone Star State.
With its recognizable shape and so many fun cities to explore, Texas is no doubt one of the best states to visit in the USA. Depending on where you go in the state, you’ll find different parts of Texas have their own unique and diverse micro-cultures. In fact, different parts of the state are known for vastly different things. For example, Austin is known for its “weird” hippy vibes, San Antonio for its Latin American influence, and Fort Worth is known for its cowboy culture.
This guide to the best souvenirs from Texas lays out the top 15 things to buy in Texas and provides information and details as to which part of the state each of the best Texas souvenirs is associated with.
Quick Facts about Texas
- Capital City: Austin
- Established as a state: December 1845
- Population: 28.64 Million
- National Parks: 2 – Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe National Park
- Texas State Flower: Bluebonnet
- Texas State Bird: Northern Mockingbird
- Known as: Lone Star State
15 Awesome Souvenirs from Texas to bring home
Whether you’re planning your trip to Texas or have already visited and want to buy some Texas souvenirs online, we’ve created a list of the best souvenirs from Texas that will give you the feeling of traveling to Texas every time you see them in your home.
As a Texas native who called Texas home for two decades, lived and traveled all over the state, these are some of the most authentic and “Truly Texas” souvenirs and Texas-themed gifts you can buy for yourself or your loved ones.
There is no other single article of clothing that is seemingly synonymous with a state like the cowboy hat is with Texas. Although not everyone in Texas owns or wears cowboy hats, if you visit cities like Fort Worth or go on a West Texas road trip, you will surely see a fair amount of people in cowboy hats. These wide-brimmed, high-crowned hats evolved from the Mexican sombrero, and actually served an important purpose in the days of cattle driving. The cowboy hat offers shade and protection from the hot Texas sun, but nowadays, it is also simply a fashion statement.
If you’re looking to buy a Texas cowboy hat, there are two brands that are considered most respectable – Stetson and Resistol. Be forewarned, a true cowboy hat is a pricey investment, but you can find fun cowboy hats online that are perfect for an outdoor barbecue, a day at the lake, or a Texas country concert that come with a much more modest price tag.
Even more popular than a cowboy hat, cowboy boots are a staple in the wardrobes of many in Texas. From the hipsters in Austin who wear them with skirts and shorts to the true cowboys who work on ranches and farms, cowboy boots are a versatile part of a Texas wardrobe.
Other leather goods
Boots may be the most popular Texas souvenir made from leather, but it is far from the only leather product you can buy in Texas. Belt, with an authentic Texas belt buckle, purses, and even cowhide rugs are all leather-made Texas gifts that make for unique keepsakes from your time in the Lone Star State.
Texas shaped anything
Of all the states in the USA, Texas undoubtedly has the most recognizable shape. And for this reason, you’ll find necklaces, wall art, and even cutting boards and waffle makers in the shape of Texas. These Texas-shaped items not only make great gifts, but you’ll find so many people in Texas love their state so much that they decorate their homes and dress in Texas apparel.
You’ll find Texas-themed gifts all across Texas, from the far southwest corner and Big Bend National Park to the North Texas city of Denton, to the capital of Austin, items shaped like Texas are easy to be found in stores and online, too.
Like the state’s shape, the Texas flag is a recognizable symbol of the state. From the charming small towns, to the major cities in the state, you’ll see the Texas flag flying alongside the US flag. Giving the state its nickname “The Lone Star State” the flag features a blue stripe consuming a third of the flag with a single star in the center of the stripe. The other two thirds of the flag are divided in half with white and red horizontal bars.
There are a few states that have an ongoing rivalry when it comes to the best barbecue. North Carolina, Tennessee, Kansas and Texas will all lay claim to having the best barbecue in the world.
Texas barbecue, or barbecue, is generally more smokey, cooked over mesquite, and the sauce is thicker than barbecue sauce you’ll find in other parts of the USA. Although you can order and eat Texas BBQ throughout the state, you can also bring home the flavor of Texas by buying barbecue seasoning or BBQ sauce as a souvenir from Texas. And if you try it and love it, you can also find some of Texas’ best barbecue sauces online to order time and time again.
Hot Sauce or Salsa
Barbecue isn’t the only cuisine Texas is known for. In fact, it has its own style of Mexican food, known as Texas-Mex. This isn’t quite like the foods you’ll eat in Mexico City though. Tex-Mex generally uses a smaller array of ingredients, it’s heavy in cheese, beans, chicken, and beef, and more often is served with or uses flour tortillas instead of the traditional corn ones used in Mexico.
Texas-style salsa and hot sauce are also different from what you will find in Mexico. They also differ depending on the area of the state you visit. In East Texas, “hot sauce” often has a Cajun influence and is more like Tabasco sauce. In West Texas, salsa has a New Mexican influence, and might even feature hatch green chilies like the food common to New Mexico.
But when most Texas think of salsa, it is a red, tomato-based dip served with tortilla chips. It can be mild or rather spicy, chunky or runny. If you want to try it before your visit, there are a few Texas-made salsa brands you can buy online, like Clint’s Texas Salsa or Mateo’s Gourmet Salsa.
Some of the best, family-friendly wineries in the US are found in the Texas Hill Country between Austin and San Antonio. Around the German settlement of Fredericksburg, you’ll find more than 50 wineries. And going on a wine tasting tour is one of the best things to do in and around Fredericksburg.
The state is home to approximately 500 wineries spread across the 268,597 square miles within its borders. Brennan, Becker, and Llano are all popular wineries found in Texas and make for great Texas souvenirs for wine-lovers.
As prevalent as wineries are throughout the state, Texas has its fair share of breweries, as well. Whether you’re looking for a Texas souvenir for a beer lover or a good travel gift for dad, a beer sampler from Texas, paired with a vintage Shiner Beer sign, and a Texas koozie, and you’ve got yourself a great souvenir from the Lone Star State.
Sports Team Apparel
Texans are die-hard sports fanatics, especially when it comes to the sport of football. You are sure to see lots of people wearing jerseys and shirts with logos of the Dallas Cowboys or the Houston Texans, as well as numerous Texas college teams. In Texas, as well as neighboring states like Oklahoma, college sports are just as popular as professional ones. So whether you catch a game in Dallas during your Texas travels or not, a t-shirt or jersey representing one of Texas’ many professional or university teams makes for a great Texas souvenir.
For the coffee-lover, a souvenir mug to take home from your travels is always a great gift. If you’re buying a travel gift for mom, or one for yourself, look for a mug with a popular Texas phrase, like “y’all”, or one that celebrates the region of Texas that you visited or the state as a whole. A Texas mug makes for a great Texas souvenir that you can use over and over again while remembering your travels.
One of the most popular souvenirs from Texas for an affordable price, Texas magnets are the best souvenirs you can buy during a trip. Easy to pack in a carry-on bag, and a great way to display your adventures, a magnet from Texas is a fun memento to take home. Place it on your fridge or buy a magnetic board to display all of your magnets from your trips around the United States or the world.
Texas is home to one of the best Christmas destinations in the world. The town of Grapevine is known as the Christmas capital of Texas. Each holiday season, the city is blanketed in millions of lights, larger-than-life decorations, and hosts numerous Christmas and winter events.
Take a stroll down the charming streets of downtown Grapevine, duck into a local Christmas shop and buy a Texas ornament for your Christmas tree. If your Texas travels aren’t taking you to the North Texas city of Grapevine, you can find Texas Christmas ornaments online, as well.
The Texas state flower, the bluebonnet, makes a beautiful addition to a flowerbed. This hardy wildflower, now native to Texas, can grow in a lot of different climates. It grows wonderfully in an Oklahoma wildflower meadow, and as far north as Wyoming. You can even find flower species of the same family growing all over Iceland.
So, purchasing Bluebonnet seeds can be a great way to bring a corner of Texas home with you. In Texas, every spring there are trails and festivals, like in Ennis, Texas, dedicated to the lovely and fragrant blue and purple Bluebonnets. If you don’t want to try to grow bluebonnets yourself, you can always purchase something bluebonnet-themed. Whether it is a framed photograph or a Texas bluebonnet apron, there are lots of different souvenirs from Texas that celebrate the state’s favorite wildflower.
A good Texas cookbook gives you the opportunity to take all your favorite Texas flavors home with you. Recreate the best Texas dishes or desserts like old-fashioned peach cobbler in your own kitchen with a cookbook of Texas recipes. A cookbook makes for a wonderful souvenir from Texas because you can continue to learn about the state’s cuisine and experience Texas long after you’ve returned from your trip.
Where to find the best Texas souvenirs
When you travel to Texas, be sure to look for local gift shops or Texas souvenir shops. You can often find them in touristy areas and towns. However, if you can’t find exactly what you are looking for, you can always find Texas gifts online, as well.
So whether you’re visiting Texas on weekend getaways from nearby cities like Albuquerque or Oklahoma City or you’re planning road trips to different parts of the state, you’ll have great souvenirs from Texas to bring home with you.
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Have a question or comment about these souvenirs Texas-style? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your thoughts or your own Texas gift ideas in the comments below.