Don't Mess With Tex

Big Tex towers over competition for America's Best Quirky Landmark

Big Tex towers over competition for America's Best Quirky Landmark

Big Tex, State Fair of Texas
Big Tex is leading the competition by a large margin in USA Today's poll to determine the Best Quirky Landmark in the United States. Photo by Marc Lee
Prada Marfa
Prada Marfa, the art installation just outside of Marfa, Texas, is also among the 20 quirky landmarks on which you can vote. Wikipedia
Places-Unique-Beer Can House
Houston's Beer Can House got a lot of notoriety in 2013, but it doesn't appear to have a chance in this poll. Courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Cadillac Ranch
If voting trends continue, Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo could make the top five. Photo by Dawn McMullan
Big Tex, State Fair of Texas
Prada Marfa
Places-Unique-Beer Can House
Cadillac Ranch

There's no debate that Texas has a lot to offer in terms of jobs, housing and entertainment. But a new poll from USA Today looks beyond conventional attractions, and Texas is still tops. According to a 10Best readers' choice poll on Best Quirky Landmarks, a local icon is head and shoulders above the competition. 

Dallas' Big Tex has a sizable lead, with Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska, and the Longaberger Home Office in Newark, Ohio, coming in a distant second and third, respectively. The race isn't over yet, though; readers can vote daily through Monday, June 23, at noon EST. 

Although the popularity of Big Tex is no surprise — especially given the outpouring after he burned down in 2012 — it is interesting to note that the large cowboy is the only landmark among the 20 on the list that is not on permanent display. He is, of course, only put up during the month-long State Fair of Texas, which starts up again this year on September 26.

Other Texas landmarks on the list include the Beer Can House in Houston, Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo and Prada Marfa in Marfa. Only Cadillac Ranch appears to have a prayer of making the top five, as it comes in at No. 5 right now, just behind Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in Bemidji, Minnesota.

The Quirky Landmark poll is the most recent one from USA Today in which Dallas and/or Texas has ranked highly. Texas won for Best State Slogan — which, for the record, is "It's Like a Whole Other Country" not "Don't Mess with Texas" — and the Dallas Zoo finished at No. 9 on the Best U.S. Zoo list. Remarkably, the Fort Worth Zoo didn't even make the top 10 on that one.