Getaways

Aransas Pass Makes a Perfect Summer Weekend Getaway

Aransas Pass Makes a Perfect Summer Weekend Getaway

Could there be a better way to experience a town comprised of at least 70 percent saltwater than to get to the water as fast as you can? With 41 square miles of Redfish Bay inside its city limits, Aransas Pass offers just that— a self-described “Saltwater Heaven” building on its revival after Hurricane Harvey’s destruction in 2017. 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 »

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 »

A Palo Duro Canyon Community Offers More Than Meets the Eye

A Palo Duro Canyon Community Offers More Than Meets the Eye

Your first time in Canyon, you’ll be forgiven for wondering where this Panhandle community of about 15,000 gets its name. Heading into town, you pass beehives from a local honey farm, the sprawling campus of West Texas A&M University, and tidy brick houses. What you won’t see is anything resembling a canyon. Read More »

Photographer Captures the Evening Light of Texas’ Blackland Prairie

Photographer Captures the Evening Light of Texas’ Blackland Prairie

On most evenings, as the sun sinks below the horizon in the Blackland Prairie, photographer Andy Sharp is in his aged Honda chasing the light somewhere on a country road or in a small town. Sharp has rambled about for 10 years, since he and his wife moved to Taylor in Williamson County. Read More »

In Ennis, Wildflowers Beckon Weekenders in Pursuit of Small-Town Charm

In Ennis, Wildflowers Beckon Weekenders in Pursuit of Small-Town Charm

Founded in 1872 by the Houston and Texas Central Railway, Ennis is a product of two pillars of Texas’ 19th-century economy: cotton and the railroad. While Ellis County is no longer a top cotton producer, the railroad still plays a role in connecting Ennis’ thriving manufacturing industry with the world. Read More »

A Tropical Winter Weekend Getaway in Harlingen

A Tropical Winter Weekend Getaway in Harlingen

The business loop of US 77 running through Harlingen is called Sunshine Strip, and the name couldn’t be more accurate. Harlingen boasts February highs of around 73 degrees and an average of only three days of rain for the entire month. For decades, snowbirds from across the United States and Canada have made the city a winter home; the airport even has seasonal direct flights from Minneapolis, Chicago, and Denver. Read More »

Fort Worth Makes List of ‘Underappreciated’ Cities to Visit

Fort Worth Makes List of ‘Underappreciated’ Cities to Visit

We wouldn't exactly call Fort Worth "underappreciated." With its cowboy culture and world-class museums, ... Read More »

A Weekend Getaway in Bell County

A Weekend Getaway in Bell County

Located in the heart of Texas, just off I-35 between Waco and Austin, Bell County is far enough from hipster joints and the urban hustle to provide a dose of small-town Texas—but close enough for a weekend getaway. For barbecue enthusiasts, Belton’s stellar smoked meat purveyors provide reason enough to exit the interstate. But the area’s appeal goes well beyond brisket: There is camping, fishing, and boating on Lake Belton; hiking in state parks; craft beer, and a free-spirited creative community; and plenty of shopping in nearby Salado. It’s a diverse community where the camouflage population of Fort Hood intermingles with co-eds. Early on, Belton’s location on Nolan Creek fueled its growth. In the 1870s, most businesses were devoted to cotton and the numerous cattle drives on the Chisholm Trail. After a fire destroyed Belton’s business district in 1879, locals rallied to build the town’s first cottonseed oil mill (and more gins to follow). The best way to appreciate the area’s charms and understand its rich history is to spend a weekend soaking it all up. Read More »

A Weekend Getaway in Goliad

A Weekend Getaway in Goliad

Remember Goliad? It’s one of the oldest towns in Texas, originating in 1749 as a Spanish colonial mission and presidio where the San Antonio River flows through gently rolling coastal plains a little more than 45 miles inland from San Antonio Bay. Read More »

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. Read More »

Texas History and Pride Combine in Gonzales

Texas History and Pride Combine in Gonzales

When you’re known as “the birthplace of Texas freedom,” you have a lot to live up to. Gonzales doesn’t disappoint, celebrating its past like Austin does its live music scene. This town of 7,628 has the only state-designated Texas History Museum District, plus there’s a Pioneer Village of cabins, blacksmith shops, a barn, a church, and a smokehouse that embodies the 1800s. A few miles outside of town, a monument marks the site of the battlefield where the first shots of the Texas Revolution were fired in 1835. The actual cannon is on display at the Gonzales Memorial Museum; flags depicting it with the defiant “Come and Take It!” slogan, which taunted Mexican troops, are omnipresent reminders that Gonzales might as well be nicknamed the “Live Texas History Capital of the World.” Read More »

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The February 2021 cover of Texas Highways Magazine, The Return of Car Culture


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