Because of this, by the early 1900s, the city became the spa of the southwest, attracting Hollywood celebrities and other rich and famous patrons. The idea for the world-recognized Hollywood sign is supposed to have originated in Mineral Wells, an imitation of the welcome sign the city has on the borders of the town.

This part of the state is growing rapidly, with San Antonio and Austin being two major centers of activity for both locals and visitors. San Antonio boasts the Alamo, the River Walk, Mission Trails and the Spanish Governors Palace Market Square. Austin is the former capital of the Republic of Texas, where groups can visit the Governor’s Mansion, the Lyndon Johnson Library and Museum and Lady Byrd Johnson Wildflower Center.

Originally, looped driving trails throughout the state were divided into ten groups and labeled along the road in order to enable visitors to the World’s Fair to view Texas more comprehensively than just San Antonio. In 1997 the Texas Historical Commission set out to extend these regions beyond their highways to include the communities themselves. We are promoting the real deal: rural Texas, its culture and heritage beyond the highway, said Janie Hendrick, the state program coordinator.

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