I mean, ya have to admit--just saying "Texas" makes ya feel kinda good, doesn't it?

When people ask you where you're from, don't you love saying..."Texas..." Nice. And I'm pretty sure we're the only state that can boast an "x" in its name.

Well, one more thing that makes us so very unique--in addition to the diversity of our regional landscapes and people, roads that go on forever, the best food, and the friendliest and, dare I say, most beautiful people.

So although I love many of the states in this grand nation of ours, Texas clearly has the coolest name of them all. And just prior to becoming known as "Texas," our state had been a province of Mexico, and the area was called Coahuila y Tejas.

So where did it come from? (Yes, you may have learned this in your middle school history class, but adults tend to forget those things, don't we? At least I did.)

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And I'll tell ya why it's even more astonishing that I'd forgotten--because the name we love so dearly had its beginning right here in EAST Texas. How bout that?

Yep, it was around the year 1540 when explorers from Spain encountered the Caddo Indians. After a time, the Caddos began referring to the Spanish as "tayshas." Guess what that means in English? "Friends." Or alternatively, "allies."

When the Spanish explorers translated "tayshas" into Spanish, it became "Tejas." And from there it evolved into the name "TEXAS," that we know and love so much today.

Now, if you're ready to get out and explore this great state of ours a bit more, this will help.

Visit SEVEN Epic Texas Landmarks in This One Long Weekend Road Trip

It won't come as a surprise to any native Texan, but the Lone Star State is chock-full of iconic places to visit. This road trip will show you SEVEN of them.

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Devils River State Natural Area: One of the Most Beautiful Places in Texas You've Likely Never Experienced

Whether solo or with the family, if you're into exploring the natural beauty of Texas by foot, bike, kayak, or otherwise, you oughta check this place out. 

Gallery Credit: Tara Holley

Road Trip Love: Take a Look at TEN of the Prettiest Little Towns in Texas

Ever find yourself staring out the window and wishing you could hop in the car and just drive away? Here are some ideas of where you might wanna go in Texas.

Gallery Credit: Tara Holley

EDIT: This story was updated February 2023.

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