See what the cowboy lifestyle is all about, and enjoy the full-flavored foods of the Midsouth.
- Explore a Texas State Park
- Look for dinosaur tracks (really!) at Dinosaur Valley near Glen Rose. Check out the amazing sand dunes at Monahans Sandhills. See the Grand Canyon's cousin, Palo Duro Canyon - the second largest in the United States. Discover more great parks here.
- Eat a po-boy in Louisiana
- Locals and visitors alike adore these huge, tasty sandwiches. They're made with French bread, mayonnaise and fried oysters or shrimp (some shops use meat, but nothing says Louisiana like the seafood type!).
- Feel the beat in New Orleans
- You don't need to find a club or concert hall to enjoy amazing music in this city. Here are five places you're likely to catch great live folk, jazz, bluegrass, and more - and of course, brass bands, out in the streets.
- Chill out at a hockey game
- Most people don't think of this part of the country when they think of ice hockey, but the region actually has plenty of exciting hockey to watch. If you're in or near Dallas, you can see the Dallas Stars, the region's professional National Hockey League team. Looking for a cheaper alternative? Catch their minor league affiliate, the Texas Stars, in Cedar Park.
- Watch some top collegiate basketball
- Oklahoma and Texas are home to some of the top collegiate basketball programs in the country. Four of the top 25 teams in the nation are located in these two states. Catch a game at Oklahoma, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M and Baylor. You will not be disappointed.
- Dig into U.S. history in Arkansas
- The town of Fort Smith dates back to 1817, when the U.S. military established a base to calm conflict between two Native American tribes at the western edge of Arkansas. At the Fort Smith National Historic site, you can learn about key moments in U.S. history, including early frontier days, the Trail of Tears, the California Gold Rush and the Civil War.
- See a presidential collection
- Get an insider's look at the life of an American President at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. See replicas of the White House's Oval Office and Cabinet Room during Bill Clinton's presidency.
- Remember the Alamo
- More than 2.5 million people a year visit the 4.2 acre site where a small group of Texans withstood the attack of Mexican troops for thirteen days in 1836. Though eventually falling, the death of Alamo defenders has come to symbolize the "courage and sacrifice for the cause of Liberty." Learn more about San Antonio's most historic site.
- Meet a few cowboys
- For 50 years, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma has been wowing visitors with history, artifacts, and information about the American west, Native American culture, and cowboys. Learn about sharpshooter Annie Oakley, see what it was like to live on a ranch, learn why horses were a cowboy's best friend, and more.
- Discover Jackson Square in New Orleans, Louisiana
- Deep in the French Quarter, you'll find elegant landmarks (and a few fortune tellers), including the St. Louis Cathedral, the Presbytère (courthouse turned museum), and the Cabildo, where the Louisiana Purchase was signed.
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- Hear live jazz in New Orleans, Louisiana
Music is everywhere in the “the Big Easy.” Whether you head to a local club or watch musicians along Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, be sure to enjoy this original American art form in its native setting.
- Treat yourself to some Cajun cooking
Named for the French-speaking Acadian people deported by the British from Canada to Louisiana in the 18th century, spicy Cajun cuisine is mainstay fare in southern Louisiana. Preparation is simple, favoring locally available ingredients. Ask a local where they go for great Cajun.
- Explore the “other Grand Canyon”
Hike, bike, or drive through the country’s second-largest canyon, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, in the Texas Panhandle near Amarillo. You can even spend the night in a historic stone cabin perched near the edge of the colorful rocks.
- Step into cowboy boots
No Texas wardrobe is complete without a pair of Western boots, and Houston is a prime place to buy them. Options range from the chain store Cavender’s to celebrity custom maker Wheeler Boots, or, if you’re on a budget, find a consignment shop on Visit Houston.
- Go wild on the Creole Nature Trail
This 180-mile scenic route leads you into the splendor of Louisiana's renowned coastal wetlands, wildlife refuges, and rippling marshes. Along the way, you can see more than 400 species of birds and witness the primordial power of alligators in their natural habitat.
- Stroll among sculptures in Dallas
Located in the heart of the city’s arts district, the Nasher Sculpture Center is home to one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculpture in the world. Also, check out the monthly free event at the Nasher, featuring outdoor concerts and a movie.
- Explore an archaeological mystery
Poverty Point was part of an enormous trading network in northwestern Louisiana 3,000 years ago. Its people left behind an engineering marvel – a system of monumental mounds and ridges built into the landscape for residential and ceremonial use. You can view the 400-acre earthworks, a Unesco World Heritage Site, via a walking trail or tram tour.
- Admire a thought-provoking American elm tree in Oklahoma
The “Survivor Tree” in downtown Oklahoma endured a bomb blast 20 years ago at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, one of the worst terrorist attacks in the U.S. The tree is now part of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, which educates visitors about the impact of violence and inspires hope and healing.
- Wrap yourself around some good ol’ Texas barbecue
All across the Lone Star state, you can get your fingers messy on ribs, pulled pork, sausage, and brisket – smoked and slow-cooked to perfection. Ask locals to recommend a restaurant, or try this San Antonio resource.
- Volunteer in your local community
- Whether you prefer to walk the dogs at an animal shelter, serve food at a soup kitchen, or plant a tree with a conservation group, there are many ways to volunteer in your local community. You’ll find plenty of other opportunities at networkforgood.org/volunteer/ or volunteermatch.org/. Be sure to tag #cieegivingback when you post your photos!
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