Summer is coming up and you may want to travel the world…but honestly a 20+ hour flight is no one’s favorite part of a trip, and using new currencies is always difficult. So to avoid airports and save you time, here’s a way you can travel the world…while staying in Texas. Here’s a list of Texas cities with names of different countries and the best part is that they are only a day trip away!
Want to take a trip to Canada, but don’t want to deal with the cold? Well you’re in luck. Almost two hours away from Amarillo is Canadian, TX. Contrary to what you might think, this town wasn’t named after Canada or its residents at all. It is actually named for the Canadian River that runs through town. And while you probably won’t be able to perfect your French speaking here as these are a different kind of Canadians, you can spend your time hiking the 3,225 ft. Canadian River Walking Bridge. There’s also a 50 ft. dinosaur statue in town named Aud.
You won’t find the Great Wall of China in this town that’s just 20 minutes outside of Beaumont, but you will find a big grove of chinaberry trees. The Texas and New Orleans Railroad ran through China, TX when this town was established in the late 1800s and it was named for the grove of chinaberry trees that grew near the town’s water stop. And strangely enough, just like Rice Farming is a booming industry in the China of East Asia, rice is also a huge aspect of China, Texas’s economy.
You don’t have to travel to the Middle East to find Palestine…no, you just have to travel to the middle of East Texas and an hour away from Tyler is Palestine, TX. This town actually wasn’t even named for the Palestine across the sea, it was named after Palestine, Illinois. Here, you’ll find all kinds of crazy things like Curious which is a hands-on museum for anyone who’s ever been curious (so basically everyone) and the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, where NASA creates giant balloons to study space.
Ireland, TX sits just over an hour from Waco. And sadly, it wasn’t named after the magical land of four leaf clovers that we all want to visit. It was actually named for John Ireland, the governor of Texas in the 1880s. And while it reached its peak population in 1920 of 400 people after the railroad was built, everyone left once the railroad was abandoned. It is now a ghost town with a population of 60. You won’t find any leprechauns here, but you can still see the dilapidated post office, gas station and general store.
You can say “ciao, bella” to the “Biggest Little Town in Texas” that’s only 45 minutes away from Dallas. Italy, TX (pronounced IT-LEE, ya’ll) got its name because the postmaster who named it thought this little Texas town had the same sunny, warm weather as Italy. There may not be a Roman Colosseum in the middle of town, but don’t despair, there’s something cooler to take a selfie with…The Starship Pegasus. It was built in 2005 as a tribute to the Star Trek ship “The Starship Enterprise,” and was supposed to become an arcade and restaurant, but that never stuck. Even though it sort of looks like a spaceship crash site now, it wouldn’t be highly illogical for you to take a trek to it for a picture.
Stop in for crumpets and tea with the Queen in London, TX which is just east of Austin. Actually you’d be hard-pressed to find a queen or crumpets in this small unincorporated community in Kimble County, but I bet you’ll still find some friendly folks. According to the historical marker where London Town Square used to be, it was almost called “Bettie Lewis” after the postmaster’s wife. But since no one but the postmaster and his wife liked that name, the town was named after London, Kentucky.
“Bonjour, y’all!” That’s what they say in Paris, TX which is just northeast of Dallas. This town actually was named for Paris, France when it was first settled in 1945. And just like its French counterpart, Paris, TX has its own Eiffel Tower. That’s right, we’ve got a Eiffel Tower right here in Texas…but ours is wearing a cowboy hat! And you can take a “tour de Paris” by riding your bike on the Trail de Paris which is a 5.94 mile trail that winds through the town.
This town that is just an hour outside of Houston was originally called “Mercer’s Crossing” but the name was changed when a severe drought hit in the 1800s, killing crops in the surrounding communities. Only Mercer’s Crossing was able to supply the surrounding towns with corn, causing people to start calling it the biblical name of “Egypt” (Gen. 41:54), and it stuck. Now most people think of ancient ruins when they think of Egypt, and if you go to Egypt, TX, you won’t be disappointed. You won’t be able to tour Egyptian pyramids in this town that’s just an hour outside of Houston, but instead you can tour the historic Egypt Plantation which was built by the Northington family in 1830 when Stephen F. Austin first called for colonists to move to Texas.