Family Travel

It’s a Brave New World at These Forward-Thinking Libraries

It’s a Brave New World at These Forward-Thinking Libraries

A leader of the renaissance is the new, $125 million Austin Public Library’s Central Library, completed in 2017. This LEED Platinum-certified building—meaning it’s “green”—is outfitted with a bicycle corral for 200, a “tech petting zoo” for visitors to interact with new technology like 3-D printers, an art gallery, a native-plants rooftop garden, and a farm-to-table café. In 2018, Time magazine included the library on its list of the World’s Greatest Places. Austin’s showpiece is representative of a golden age of library innovation across the state. Here are three more libraries boasting smart, beautiful changes. Read More »

15 Small Texas Towns to Visit Now

15 Small Texas Towns to Visit Now

There was a time when most Texans lived over yonder. But over the past century, the percentage of Texans living in rural areas versus urban areas flipped: Today, 85 percent of us live in cities, while only 15 percent live in the country, according to the Texas Demographic Center. Read More »

Here’s How We Picked Our 15 Small Towns to Visit Now

Here’s How We Picked Our 15 Small Towns to Visit Now

Our aim was not to present a definitive ranking of best small towns (that would take us years to agree on) but a collection of under-the-radar places that are forging new identities through revitalization, reinvention, or recovery from big setbacks. We wanted our list to inspire discovery, so we skipped the small towns that already have well-established claims to fame—Lockhart for barbecue, Round Top for antiques, Fredericksburg for wine and peaches, Bandera for cowboy culture. Read More »

Frio 101: Everything You Need to Know for a Trip to Texas’ Favorite River

Frio 101: Everything You Need to Know for a Trip to Texas’ Favorite River

If you love Texas outdoors, how could you not know the Frio? Well, maybe you’re one of the millions of newcomers who just got to Texas. Or perhaps you’ve lived in Texas your entire life and, unlike all those people whose families have been vacationing on the Frio for generations, you have no clue what or where they are talking about. Never stepped foot in Garner State Park? Think Concan is in Mexico? Well, pull up a chair and scoot closer. Read More »

Rent a Kayak for a New Perspective on Austin’s Bat Flight

Rent a Kayak for a New Perspective on Austin’s Bat Flight

Each evening between late February and late October, as the sun hits the horizon line, experts estimate that somewhere between 750,000 and 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats leave the nooks and crannies of this downtown bridge’s interior to go a-hunting. And each evening over that same eight-month span, hundreds of people line the bridge’s walkway, as well as any open spaces nearby, to take it all in. Most locals suggest claiming space hours before sunset in order to get a good view. But a few hours in the hot sun with nothing to do but wait? That seemed like a situation that would violate all three of our family getaway hopes fairly quickly. Read More »

Horse Racing, Ferris Wheels, Dancing—Find it All at the Gillespie County Fair in Fredericksburg

Horse Racing, Ferris Wheels, Dancing—Find it All at the Gillespie County Fair in Fredericksburg

The fairgrounds draw horse racing fans from El Paso to Beaumont and Amarillo to McAllen. “People like watching the races here because they can get so close to the track,” says Billy Roeder, who recently retired after 28 years as a Gillespie County commissioner. Read More »

Hitch a Ride on the Texas State Railroad from Rusk To Palestine

Hitch a Ride on the Texas State Railroad from Rusk To Palestine

Join Amberly, Rich, and Luke as they head to the Piney Woods of East Texas in the June edition of "A Piece of Texas". Read More »

A Road Trip to Utopia, Complete with Wildflowers and the Rugged Wonders of the Hill Country

A Road Trip to Utopia, Complete with Wildflowers and the Rugged Wonders of the Hill Country

Garner State Park, Lost Maples State Natural Area, and the surrounding Hill Country take you away from it all in the May edition of "A Piece of Texas" video series. Read More »

How to Make the Most of Texas Peach Season

How to Make the Most of Texas Peach Season

As summer begins, so will annual pilgrimages to roadside stands and farmers markets where popular varieties of Texas’ succulent freestone peaches arrive in successive waves through Labor Day. Those peaches set a national standard for sweet-ness, and—here’s the really good news—they are mostly reserved for Texans. Read More »

Texas Parks & Wildlife’s Texas Outdoor Family Program Caters to Rookie Campers

Texas Parks & Wildlife’s Texas Outdoor Family Program Caters to Rookie Campers

Texas Parks & Wildlife ranger Immanuel Salas assists Texas Outdoor Family campers in building a fire. Photo: Tiffany Hofeldt Read More »

Balmorhea State Park is Ready for Summer Visitors

Balmorhea State Park is Ready for Summer Visitors

Sometimes the best summer moments are unplanned—a spontaneous road trip, a lazy day at the lake, or an impromptu backyard barbecue. But some of our state’s most memorable summer diversions require advance planning. Balmorhea State Park's star attraction, the pool, reopened March 1 after being closed nearly 10 months for repairs, and visitors are already returning in droves to cool off in the aquamarine water of the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. Read More »

Book it to the Big Country for The Children’s Art and Literacy Festival in Abilene

Book it to the Big Country for The Children’s Art and Literacy Festival in Abilene

My children stepped foot in Abilene for the first time in their short lives last June for a quick three-night visit. Now, even though it’s been a year, mention Abilene to them and you’ll get a happy earful of stories. This fond association traces directly to the Children’s Art & Literacy Festival, an annual celebration of all things picture books. Most people know Abilene as the capital of the Big Country, a dusty railroad outpost thick with steakhouses and Churches of Christ. But for three days every June, the festival (known as CALF) cloaks downtown Abilene in an imaginative world of colorful characters and fanciful tales—and ice cream vendors aplenty. Read More »

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The September 2022 cover of Texas Highways: Visual Wonders


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The September 2022 issue of Texas Highways Magazine


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The September 2022 cover of Texas Highways Magazine


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