The Daytripper’s Top 5 Things to Do in Pflugerville

The Daytripper’s Top 5 Things to Do in Pflugerville

Known for being stuck between a rock and a weird place (Round Rock and Austin), Pflugerville may seem like just another suburb. But hidden among the urban sprawl is a small town full of budding entrepreneurs working to make this pfunnily named community a deluxe daytripper destination.

Downtown Christmas Lights in the Capital City in 1947

Downtown Christmas Lights in the Capital City in 1947

Austin had a population of about 115,000 when photographer Neal Douglass took this picture of Congress Avenue looking north to the Texas State Capitol on New Year’s Day 1947. The streetscape has changed over the past 71 years, and Austin has grown 10-fold to about 1 million people. But the electric Paramount Theatre sign, which was replaced in 2015, and the State Capitol building, which was completed in 1888, still anchor the storied strip.

Things Lose Their Luster Fairly Quickly, While Memories of Experiences Brighten With Time

Things Lose Their Luster Fairly Quickly, While Memories of Experiences Brighten With Time

On my son’s third birthday last year, he received a gift we’ll probably never top: snow in Austin. The 4-inch snowfall provided enough white powder for all the winter fun he’d only seen in cartoons or picture books until then. For two magical hours, he ran around our yard making snowballs and snow angels and catching snowflakes on his tongue. Nearly a year later, he still brings it up on a regular basis—the night so cemented in his mind, I’m betting it’ll be one of his first recallable memories. The toys and clothes he got for gifts that year, not so much.

Photo: A Male Cardinal Adds a Splash of Color to a Cold Day

Photo: A Male Cardinal Adds a Splash of Color to a Cold Day

Scarlet possumhaw berries and the bright plumage of the male northern cardinal add a splash of warmth to an otherwise cold winter day. While possumhaw is found in Central and East Texas—sprouting berries in fall and winter­—northern cardinals can be spotted year-round through most of Texas. Like this iconic winter bird, other songbirds, gamebirds, opossums, and raccoons all dine on the possumhaw’s conspicuous berries.

An Unplugged Travel Challenge Through the Rio Grande Valley  Leads to Unexpected Detours and Rewards

An Unplugged Travel Challenge Through the Rio Grande Valley Leads to Unexpected Detours and Rewards

After U-turns on the edges of grapefruit groves, repeated pullovers to study our Rio Grande Valley street guide, and a precarious three-point turn on the narrow levee road where a border patrol truck blocks our path, we are really lost. Like so many wanderers before us, we are searching for La Lomita Mission, which a local history buff named Frank told me about at an Edinburg bar the night before. “Just travel the Old Military Highway that goes along the Rio Grande,” Frank said. What Frank didn’t say was that Military Highway, much like the river it runs along, is a trickster that stops, starts, and twists in unexpected ways.

Scale Five Peaks in One Week on This Epic West Texas Road Trip

Scale Five Peaks in One Week on This Epic West Texas Road Trip

A mile or two into my hike to the top of Mount Livermore in the Davis Mountains, I stepped to the side of the trail as two speedsters overtook me on the uphill slope. “I guess that’s where we’re headed,” I said, nodding to a rocky outcrop on the horizon far above. “Nope,” one of them responded. “Baldy Peak is beyond that—you can’t see it yet.”

The Daytripper’s Top 5 Things to Do in Bellville

The Daytripper’s Top 5 Things to Do in Bellville

There’s something special about small towns and the folks who live there. You can do things in the country that aren’t possible in the big city, like build castles, throw fireballs, and hang out in jail (on purpose). All of these things and more lured me to Bellville for a day trip unlike any other.

Home on the Texas Range, Where the Longhorns and Bison Play

Home on the Texas Range, Where the Longhorns and Bison Play

An up-close visit with a Longhorn or bison can be humbling. The animals’ large chestnut-brown eyes reveal a complex blend of wild animal and domesticated stock. It’s hard to know whether they’re plotting an aggressive charge or happily anticipating a bucket of feed.

Where to See Spectacular Monarch Migrations Along the Coast

Where to See Spectacular Monarch Migrations Along the Coast

Early one morning on Trinity Bay, the autumn sky began to glisten. Myriad monarchs unfurled in clouds from the shoreline, fluttering overhead, some landing on our boat, on our fishing rods, and even on me and my husband. We watched, enchanted, as they danced ever-southward, propelled by a light north wind and their biological imperative.

Photo: The Guadalupe Mountains Tower Above the West Texas Desert

Photo: The Guadalupe Mountains Tower Above the West Texas Desert

Range Roving

Rising from the Chihuahuan Desert north of Van Horn, the Guadalupe Mountains crest at the four highest elevations in the state—Guadalupe Peak, Bush Mountain, Shumard Peak, and Bartlett Peak. Though slightly shorter, El Capitan stands out as a distinctive limestone cliff towering some 3,000 feet above the road—making it a popular stop for photographers. The range contains some spectacular geological features, including part of the fossilized Capitan Reef, much of which can be seen within Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

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