A cover of Texas Highways with a blue background and large sand dune on the cover

Cover photo by Jack Lewis

Monahans Sandhills State Park
The state park in West Texas was featured on our September 1977 cover. The cover story by Bob Parvin probed the “sand-locked myths and mysteries [of] … America’s easternmost desert playground,” according to the cover credit. In the story, Parvin described Monahans as “a sea of sand, vast miles of it and not unlike the Sahara, ever shifting, covering and uncovering, trackless and tricky. A soft barrier poised across the prickly hardpan.”

I asked my kids recently about their favorite places we’ve visited in Texas. They quickly rattled off four state and national parks—Big Bend, Caddo Lake, Longhorn Cavern, and Monahans Sandhills. We traveled to the latter for spring break this year. After stopping by park headquarters to rent discs ($6 each) and pick up two copies of the free Junior Ranger Activity Journals, we headed for the dunes where my kids, 11 and 9, spent a happy few hours finding the best spots to slide down for maximum velocity.

When we got back into the truck to continue our drive across the state, after dumping about a quart of sand out of our shoes, I thought about how the state’s varied landscapes have helped engender my children’s love of the natural world. As more of an indoor person, I’ve been pushed to explore much more of the outdoors due to my family’s infectious enthusiasm for it.

For the past year, our staff has been curating and debating a list of 50 True Texas Adventures—for outdoor and indoor enthusiasts alike—in celebration of our 50th anniversary this month. As you can imagine, it’s been a difficult task to distill the best of Texas into 50 experiences. While the resulting story is by no means definitive, it reflects the richness of the state’s culture and landscapes—from natural wonders, to iconic attractions, to historical landmarks. We hope it inspires you to revisit some old favorites and check new items off your Texas bucket list. Please share your adventures—and places you would add to the list—at [email protected].

Emily Roberts Stone
Editor in Chief

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