10 Films and Shows to Make You Fall in Love with Texas

Courtesy of IFC Films
Courtesy of IFC Films
Sarah Karney

While it’s no Hollywood, Texas boasts its share of great movies and TV shows shot in or showcasing the state. If you can’t make your way down to the Lone Star State soon, you can get your fix by checking out these movies and films that will make you fall in love with the state.


This biopic starring Jennifer Lopez was her breakout role and remains a classic in the hearts of many Texans. It follows the true story of Texas native Selena Quintanilla, a Mexican-American singer who grew up singing in her family band in Lake Jackson and Corpus Christi, before becoming known as the “Queen of Tejano Music.” Her career was cut short at the age of 23 when one of her staff members killed her. The 1997 movie won multiple awards and nominations, including a Best Actress Golden Globe nomination for Jennifer Lopez.

Friday Night Lights

Fixer Upper

Waco has become a destination for DIYers thanks mostly to Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. The show focuses on their business, Magnolia Homes, through which they help families turn old or rundown houses into beautiful like-new homes through renovation projects, and their eyes for potential in realty.


This classic TV show ran from 1978 through 1991, before it got a reboot for a short-lived continuation from 2012 to 2014. The soap opera centered around oil tycoon J.R. Ewing and his wealthy family, who also lived and ran a ranch in Southfork, Texas, about 25 miles north of Dallas. The show won four Emmy Awards and was one of the longest-running hour-long primetime dramas in the history of U.S. television.


This 2014 film, directed by Austin native Richard Linklater, follows the story of a young boy growing up in Texas until he graduates college. Boyhood made headlines due to the fact that it truly followed the lives of the actors and actresses in it, in that it was filmed over 11 years and used the same cast throughout. It showcases various parts of Texas, including Houston, San Marcos, and Austin, and each part focuses on the cast’s real life experiences as well as what was going on in the world at the time of filming.

Dazed and Confused

Another Linklater film, Dazed and Confused is an iconic coming-of-age story filmed in Austin. It takes place on the last day of school in 1976 when seniors haze the incoming freshmen, and all prepare for a big party that night at one of Austin’s notorious moontowers. The film features many cast members that became stars later on, including Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, and Parker Posey. You can still visit some of the filming locations in Austin, such as Top Notch Burgers in North Austin.

The Rookie

Based on a true story, this 2002 Disney film highlights the story of real MLB player Jim Morris, who quickly gets injured after making it to the big leagues, effectively ruining his career. Dennis Quaid plays Morris, who moves on to coach a high school team, before getting the chance to try once more to live his dream of being a professional baseball player. Most of the movie was shot in north and central Texas and takes place in the fictional town of Big Lake, Texas.


King of the Hill

Though this animated sitcom takes place in the fictional town of Arlen, Texas, it embodies the day-to-day lives many middle-class, small-town Texans have experienced. The show centers around Hank Hill, an average, traditional American living a mundane life selling propane, and his wacky friends and family. It was one of the longest-running shows on Fox before ending in 2010, and it now replays on Adult Swim. Creator Mike Judge also shot his movie Office Space in Austin and Dallas.

Courtesy of Adult Swim

No Country for Old Men

Based on Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same name, this 2007 Coen brothers’ thriller showcases the expansive desert landscape of West Texas. It takes place in Terrell County in the ’80s and follows the story of Tommy Lee Jones as a sheriff chasing down Josh Brolin, a welder who finds a suitcase filled with two million dollars, and Javier Bardem, a hitman also trying to recover the stolen money.

The Tree of Life

Austin-based director Terrence Malick released this experimental drama in 2011, with Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, and Sean Penn in leading roles. It reflects on the childhood memories of Sean Penn’s character, Jack, growing up in Waco and becoming disillusioned with the world and seeking the meaning of living through the series of events that have taken place throughout his life.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article