Getaways

Fall Getaway: Follow the Butterfly Trail in the Valley

Fall Getaway: Follow the Butterfly Trail in the Valley

The Texas Butterfly Festival promises visitors “the best butterflying in America.” It might seem like hyperbole were the claim not backed up by the fact that the Rio Grande Valley contains a greater diversity of butterflies than anywhere else in the country—more than 300 species and counting, or roughly 40 percent of the butterflies in North America. You can see a great deal of them at the festival, which takes place the first week of November at the National Butterfly Center in Mission. All of those butterflies—condensed within a region that’s easy to traverse over a weekend—make a fall tour of the Valley a must-do on any Texas bucket list Read More »

Historical Treasures Await on This Rarely Traveled Stretch of Big Bend’s River Road

Historical Treasures Await on This Rarely Traveled Stretch of Big Bend’s River Road

Drive west along Farm-to-Market Road 170 from the border town of Presidio, leaving all convenience stores and gas stations behind, and you’ll travel two slim lanes of humped, serpentine blacktop, its edges collapsing like desert crust. The road’s convolutions mirror the Rio Grande to the left but after just a few miles, the river’s water diminishes, occasionally disappearing altogether. In its place, dense mesquite thickets and catclaw thrive along its dry bed, a thorny border wall of its own making. Read More »

Getaway: A Weekend in Lubbock

Getaway: A Weekend in Lubbock

Lubbock may not be the first city that comes to mind when considering the arts in Texas, but maybe it should be. The High Plains town that nurtured many of Texas’ most exalted musicians—Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, Joe Ely, Terry Allen, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore to name a few—must have some creative fairy dust blowing through its Caprock winds. The visual arts are now finding fertile soil here, too. Just walk through the galleries and workshops of the Lubbock Cultural District, and you’ll get a whiff of the artistic freedom inspired by the city’s wide-open spaces and 265 days of sunshine a year—a freedom that also comes from a cost-of-living low enough that artists don’t sweat the rent. Like the wildly spinning wind turbines you pass on the drive into town, the “Hub City” is generating energy worthy of attention. If you are one of those travelers who buzzes through Lubbock on your way to New Mexico or Colorado, consider staying for the weekend to see what you’re missing. Read More »

Summer Getaway: A Weekend in Wichita Falls

Summer Getaway: A Weekend in Wichita Falls

Growing up in Wichita Falls, I noticed my hometown didn’t attract many visitors. Downtown was full of empty aging buildings. Restaurants opened and closed every other year, and stores in the mall changed constantly—none offering the fashionable choices found in bigger cities like Dallas. Locals were content with driving more than two hours to Dallas for entertainment or one hour north to Oklahoma to Read More »

Summer Getaway: A Weekend in Seguin

Summer Getaway: A Weekend in Seguin

Seguin’s mix of Hispanic and Czech/German culture can be heard in the Mexican polka “Viva Seguin,” made famous in the early ’40s by Santiago Jiménez Sr. It’s an instrumental about a lyrical town, with a beat everyone can dance to. Read More »

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 »

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