Drive-in theaters have been part of the American landscape for nearly a century. The first one opened in New Jersey in 1933, and by the 1950s, Texas had nearly 400, with outdoor screens blossoming across the landscape like massive sails on an armada of landlocked schooners. Today, with a health crisis worthy of a sci-fi thriller threatening to crush summer fun in its path, drive-in screenings are the season’s hottest ticket for those hoping to practice social distancing while still getting out of the house.
When the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily closed the doors of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, it also prematurely shuttered the museum’s new exhibit, The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion. Luckily, a documentary of the same name about the creation of the exhibit is now available to stream on Amazon Prime.
Every day, from April through mid-July, the Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery at the Padre Island National Seashore combs 80 miles of Padre Island’s beaches in search of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles–the most critically endangered sea turtle in the world–coming ashore. It’s nesting season, but things are a bit unusual this year due to COVID-19.
From frosé to brosé to “rosé all day,” pink wine has moved from fad to favorite among summertime libations. It’s only right—given the light, refreshing wine pairs perfectly with Texas heat—that our state’s vintners are producing rosés that any oenophile would be proud to pour.
Two Brownwood restaurants—one the city’s oldest and one of its newest—have received overwhelming customer support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The two establishments, Underwood’s Cafeteria and Teddy’s Brewhaus, each face unique challenges at the moment, but have risen to them to provide care and comfort for their community of nearly 20,000 located about 70 miles southeast of Abilene.
Fredericksburg, one of the most tourist-heavy small towns in Texas, has understandably been affected by lack of travel and commerce during COVID-19. One of the area’s biggest industries, wine, has been hit hard as it’s a significant attraction in these parts—more than 50 of the 100-plus Hill Country wineries are in town or the surrounding Gillespie County. Thankfully, wineries are coming up with creative solutions to connect with customers and boost morale.
“It’s not ideal to launch Rio Jade in a global pandemic,” says Emily Hoyle, Lone Star’s brand manager. “But if we can bring something positive to Texans and give them something to look forward to, then our day is made.”
Just southwest of Dallas/Fort Worth, Granbury—a lakeside town typically bustling with shoppers crowding its charming downtown—finds its streets quiet at the moment. But residents are finding ways to continue the convivial nature of the small community at home.
In Abilene, the heart of the region known as Big Country, a manufacturer called Tigé Boats has shifted its focus from making boats to producing personal protective equipment. The PPE, crafted from materials typically used in boat building, are going to local medical workers fighting COVID-19.
While Texans remain at home, zoos, aquariums, and wildlife sanctuaries are creating and sharing educational videos and virtual entertainment. Many also offer remote learning opportunities for teachers and parents to use with their students, akin to taking a field trip from the couch.
In the East Texas town of Tyler, spring is usually a hopping time. Flowers bloom spectacularly throughout the historic district. The annual Azalea and Spring Flower Trail lures thousands of visitors who come to experience the area’s beautiful gardens, elegant homes, local eateries, and quaint brick streets.
While it’s more important than ever to support local restaurants, this is also an opportune time to improve your skills in the kitchen. These five cookbooks are by Texans, for Texans, and explore a wide range of cuisine, from barbecue to Tex-Mex to Southern. Not only do these books break down the recipes, they include tips, techniques, and suggested tools, so even beginners can create culinary masterpieces.