Texas can be divided into four natural regions. The largest natural region is the Coastal Plains, which lies along the Gulf of Mexico. About two out of three Texans live and work here. Major cities in the Coastal Plains include Dallas, Austin, Pasadena, San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Victoria, Beaumont, and Laredo. These cities are centers of manufacturing, trade, and education.
Inland from the Coastal Plains lies another region of Texas, the North Central
Plains, traditionally known as "where the West begins." The small
population in this region reflects its mainly rural, agricultural nature. The
largest city here is Fort Worth, while other cities include Abilene, Wichita
Falls, and San Angelo.
Farther west, the Great Plains region includes the Edwards Plateau, the Llano
Basin, and the High Plains. The Great Plains, often called a "sea of grass," were once home to immense herds of buffalo. Today much of the land is used to grow
cotton and wheat. Much of the Great Plains fulfills the traditional image of
the Old Westas a land of sprawling ranches and isolated farms.
The Mountains and Basins region is part of the Rocky Mountain system that begins in Canada and extends into Mexico. This westernmost region of Texas is mostly a desert area. Of the few people who live here, nearly two-thirds live in El Paso. This part of Texas maintains close economic and cultural ties to Mexico. The highest mountain in Texas, Guadalupe Peak, is located in this region.