Chet Garner

The Daytripper Goes Thrifting at the ‘World’s Largest Flea Market’ in Canton

January 19, 2024 | By Chet Garner

To properly enjoy Canton, an East Texas town of 4,200 near Tyler, you should show up with two things: an empty car trunk and an empty belly.

The Daytripper Visits the Oldest Town in Texas

November 21, 2023 | By Chet Garner

You’d be hard-pressed to find a city more steeped in our state’s lore than Nacogdoches, a sleepy college town of 32,000 nestled deep in the Piney Woods of East Texas.

The Daytripper Finds Small Town Charm at the Metro’s Edge

October 24, 2023 | By Chet Garner

The town of Liberty Hill, population 8,700, has embraced the Hill Country’s rapid growth without losing its down-home vibe.

The Daytripper Visits Centerville, the Land of Beef and Blackberries

August 22, 2023 | By Chet Garner

This East Texas hamlet of 905 residents is located on Interstate 45, almost exactly between Dallas and Houston, which led to the popular assumption that the town got its name due to its place between the two metropolitan giants.

The Daytripper Digs Into Gardens and Grub in Goldthwaite

July 25, 2023 | By Chet Garner

Two hours northwest of Austin, you’ll find a town that has served as a Texas crossroads since 1885.

The Daytripper’s Picks for a West Austin Adventure

June 27, 2023 | By Chet Garner

The city of Austin is a crossroads—a place where hippies and cowboys commingle, where blackland prairie meets limestone hills, and where the eastern and western halves of the state collide.

McLean Is an Underappreciated Route 66 Getaway

March 28, 2023 | By Chet Garner

Texans have loved a good road trip at least as far back as the creation of the most iconic road in the U.S.—Route 66.

Driftwood Offers World-Class Barbecue and Classic Boot Scootin’

February 28, 2023 | By Chet Garner

If you’re traveling through the Hill Country just southwest of Austin, chances are you’ll drive right past this unincorporated town unless you’re really looking for it.

The Daytripper Finds the Color of Texas in Gruene

January 24, 2023 | By Chet Garner

Tucked along the winding Guadalupe River in the Hill Country is a town that’s much bigger in legend than in size.

It’s Fruitcake Season All Year Long in Corsicana

November 23, 2022 | By Chet Garner

Corsicana boasts 25 blocks of historical structures, but you’ll fly past town on Interstate 45 and miss it all if you’re not careful.

Paint Rock’s Prehistoric Pictographs Take The Daytripper Back in Time

October 27, 2022 | By Chet Garner

Not every Texas town is full of obvious tourist destinations. Sometimes, you’ve got to flip a couple rocks to find the good spots hidden out of sight.

The Daytripper Visits North Dallas’ Eclectic Food Scene and First-Class Museums

September 29, 2022 | By Chet Garner

The biggest challenge of visiting Dallas is that it’s big. There’s enough in this bustling metropolis to fill dozens of daytrips, so my advice is to pick a section and explore its many nooks and crannies.

The Daytripper Visits Waxahachie’s Munster Mansion

August 25, 2022 | By Chet Garner

Keep your “wax” for your candles and surfboards; the name of this town 30 miles south of Dallas is pronounced “walks-a-hatch-ee.” Dubbed “Hachie” by locals, this 40,000-person town—nicknamed the Gingerbread City for its delicately designed gingerbread-style architecture—shows its sweetness at every restaurant and small business in town.

The Daytripper Explores Castroville’s Alsatian Culture

July 28, 2022 | By Chet Garner

The Daytripper Explores Lake Jackson, the ‘City of Enchantment’

June 30, 2022 | By Chet Garner

The Daytripper Meets the Goat Mayor of Lajitas

May 26, 2022 | By Chet Garner

If you head west and keep going, you’ll end up in one of the roughest parts of Texas.

The Daytripper Drives a World War II Tank in Uvalde

April 28, 2022 | By Chet Garner

At the crossroads where the Hill Country meets South Texas sits a charming town with a history deeper than its swimming holes.

The Daytripper Visits Palo Duro Canyon

March 24, 2022 | By Chet Garner

The Daytripper Kicks it Into High Gear in Kilgore

February 24, 2022 | By Chet Garner

Kilgore is an authentic Piney Woods town boasting the “World’s Richest Acre,” a collection of oil derricks just off Main Street that memorializes the town’s oil industry.

The Daytripper Uncovers Hidden Gems in the Sprawling Houston Suburb of Spring

January 27, 2022 | By Chet Garner

About 20 miles north of downtown Houston, Spring is a charming suburban area with a remarkable history and culture.

The Daytripper Explores Asian Culture in Houston’s Chinatown

October 28, 2021 | By Chet Garner

Houston is known as the city that sent humans to the moon, but it should also be known as the place that brings the entire earth together.

North Padre Island Offers a Quieter Gulf Coast Adventure

September 23, 2021 | By Chet Garner

South Padre Island is famous for its beachside resorts and coastal tourist attractions, but the other end of the island offers a very different experience.

The Daytripper Visits the Inspiration for ‘Lonesome Dove’ in Graham

August 26, 2021 | By Chet Garner

Most travelers are familiar with the Hill Country located west of Austin, but many don’t know about the second, hidden hill country that lies west of Fort Worth.

The Daytripper Gets Back to the Basics in Luckenbach

July 29, 2021 | By Chet Garner

If you’re looking to simply kick back under an old oak tree while knocking back a cold one, then you need to join Waylon, Willie, and the boys in this Hill Country honky-tonk town 10 miles southeast of Fredericksburg.

The Daytripper Checks Out the Heart of Czech Country

June 24, 2021 | By Chet Garner

In the rolling hills and prairies between Austin and Houston, you’ll find the heart of Texas Czech country.

The Daytripper Enjoys “Mexicajun” Eats and Gulf Coast History in Port Arthur

May 27, 2021 | By Chet Garner

There’s a part of Texas where the freshwater of the Sabine River mixes with the salt of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Daytripper Journeys to the Heart of Texas

April 29, 2021 | By

Brady, a small Hill Country town smack dab in the middle of the state, claims to be the genuine “Heart of Texas.” I can believe it; Brady is exactly what you’d want our collective heart to be—full of friendly folks, country music, piles of barbecue, and plenty of stars at night.

The Daytripper Climbs Texas’ Tallest Peak

March 25, 2021 | By Chet Garner

In all of Texas’ 268,597 square miles, there are only two outdoorsy national parks: Big Bend, known far and wide for its rugged border landscape; and Guadalupe Mountains, which features Texas’ tallest peak. 

The Daytripper Seizes the Bay in Palacios

October 29, 2020 | By Chet Garner

It takes tenacity to live on the Texas coast, and perhaps nobody knows that more than the people of Palacios (pronounced Puh-lash-iss).

The Daytripper Visits the Top Three Barbecue Joints in Taylor

September 24, 2020 | By Chet Garner

The Daytripper Explores Houston’s Museum District

August 27, 2020 | By Chet Garner

“Tripping” in Houston may seem overwhelming because, well, it’s the fourth most populated city in the U.S.

The Daytripper Travels Back to the Time of Dinosaurs in Glen Rose

June 25, 2020 | By Chet Garner

A trip to Glen Rose feels like a trip back in time—and not just because its historic square is reminiscent of the pioneer days of Texas.

The Daytripper’s Top 5 in Wichita Falls

December 27, 2019 | By Chet Garner

The Daytripper’s Top 5 in Odessa

November 27, 2019 | By Chet Garner

The Daytripper’s Top 5 in Colorado Bend State Park

April 28, 2019 | By Chet Garner

No need to travel “just around the bend” when the bend itself is the main attraction. From the tops of its panoramic vistas to the bottom of its darkened caves, Colorado Bend State Park offers more than 5,000 acres of pure Hill Country heaven to explore.

The Daytripper’s Top 5 in Belton

March 19, 2019 | By Chet Garner

When cruising I-35, far too many folks fly right past this historic Central Texas town. But with a scenic lake, iconic courthouse, and charm to spare, it won’t be long before this little burg follows in the footsteps of Waco and becomes a go-to destination. Here are my top picks to get you exploring.

Chet Garner’s 10 Favorite Daytripper Destinations

March 13, 2019 | By TH Staff

With a daytrip to Sweetwater, the March 2019 issue marks Chet Garner’s 100th column in Texas Highways. Garner, who’s hosted his Lone Star Emmy Award-winning travel show The Daytripper on PBS since 2009, started writing for the magazine in 2010 after then-editor-in-chief Charles Lohrman offered him a gig.

The Daytripper’s Top 5 in Comstock

January 29, 2019 | By Chet Garner

There are places in the far reaches of Texas where few dare to travel, which is exactly what attracted me to western Val Verde County. It’s a rugged land where the jackrabbits far outnumber the people. A place where the tales are tall, the canyons are deep, and the mysteries are even deeper. If you find yourself trippin’ to the edge of Texas, don’t miss these stops.

The Daytripper’s Top 5 on Route 66

December 19, 2018 | By Chet Garner

The top stops in Texas on the ‘Mother Road of America’

The Daytripper’s Top 5 Things to Do in Pflugerville

November 30, 2018 | By Chet Garner

Known for being stuck between a rock and a weird place (Round Rock and Austin), Pflugerville may seem like just another suburb. But hidden among the urban sprawl is a small town full of budding entrepreneurs working to make this pfunnily named community a deluxe daytripper destination.

How to Spend the Perfect Day in Laredo

November 9, 2017 | By Chet Garner

Finding the boundary between Texas and Mexico isn’t as simple as locating the Rio Grande. As I discovered on my trip to Laredo, the border between these lands is more of a gradual blending, where the best parts of Texan and Mexican traditions mix and fill the area with history, food, and pride that’s truly unique.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in Hico

October 15, 2017 | By Chet Garner

This little town southwest of the Metroplex may be small but it’s not lacking when it comes to Texas-size tripping.

Daytripper: San Antonio

August 8, 2017 | By Chet Garner

If you follow my travels you know that I spend most of my time off the beaten path.

Daytripper: Hillsboro

July 17, 2017 | By

When burning up the highway between Dallas and Austin, it’s easy to pass through Hillsboro and see nothing more than modern gas stations and frontage-road shopping.

Daytripper: 12 Hours in Dallas

June 15, 2017 | By Chet Garner

I love trippin’ small towns, but sometimes a traveler has to go big. That’s exactly what I did on a recent trip to Dallas, better known as Big D.

Daytripper: New Braunfels

May 12, 2017 | By Chet Garner

Natives and visitors love New Braunfels for its crystal-clear rivers and the thrilling slides of Schlitterbahn.

Daytripper: Richmond

April 18, 2017 | By Chet Garner

On the far southwest side of Houston is a city on the Brazos River that’s much smaller than its big-city neighbor but predates it by more than a decade.

Daytripper: East Austin

March 20, 2017 | By Chet Garner

Austin is no stranger to DAY-trippin’. But while travelers in the past may have stopped their explorations west of Interstate 35, over the last few years Austin’s East Side has become a popular destination in its own right.

Daytripper: Sulphur Springs

February 9, 2017 | By Chet Garner

Back in the day, folks traveled from near and far to this Northeast Texas town to take a dip in the sulphur springs for their rumored healing powers.

Daytripper: Tomball

December 16, 2016 | By Chet Garner

Just north of Houston sits a town that’s hidden in the shadows of its mega-metropolis neighbor.

Daytripper: Grapevine

November 14, 2016 | By Chet Garner

Twas the day trip before Christmas and all through the state, the towns were decked out, and Chet could not wait.” We always say, “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” and the phrase definitely applies to the way we celebrate Christmas, especially in Grapevine, the “Christmas Capital of Texas.” Donning my best reindeer sweater and Santa hat, I pranced to the metroplex to catch the holiday spirit.

Daytripper: San Angelo

October 14, 2016 | By Chet Garner

On a map, San Angelo sits somewhere between the Hill Country and West Texas. But what the map doesn’t show is that this town also lies between its epic past and a bright future.

Daytripper: Alpine

September 16, 2016 | By Chet Garner

While Texas may not have any alpine skiing or alpine snowshoeing, it has alpine trippin’, Texas-style.

Daytripper: Blanco

August 1, 2016 | By Chet Garner

The Texas Hill Country is full of small towns that motorists can either zoom through in five minutes or choose to explore all day.

Daytripper: Athens

June 20, 2016 | By Chet Garner

Many travelers will spend thousands of dollars for a ticket to the Mediterranean to discover historic architecture, splash in blue waters, dine on amazing food, and gaze upon heart-stopping views.

Daytripper: Balmorhea

May 11, 2016 | By Chet Garner

Amid the prickly-pear cacti and rocky hills of West Texas lies a literal oasis in the desert.

Daytripper: Devils River

March 21, 2016 | By Chet Garner

In the remote reaches of West Texas lies one of the most pristine rivers in the Southwest United States.

Daytripper: Kingsville

February 10, 2016 | By Chet Garner

Typically, a kingdom can be measured in its vast stashes of gold and millions of faithful subjects.

Daytripper: Schulenburg

January 12, 2016 | By Chet Garner

In the 1800s, European settlers flocked to Texas, with many Germans and Czechs putting down roots in the vast expanse between Houston and San Antonio.

Daytripper: Monahans

December 16, 2015 | By Chet Garner

There are times when the highways of West Texas seem to go on forever. Small towns and rest stops flash by with seemingly little to differentiate one from another.

Daytripper: Doubling the Fun in Rockport-Fulton

November 10, 2015 | By Chet Garner

While the bayfront community of Rockport-Fulton is actually two separate towns, it packs a coastal-combo punch unlike any other.

Daytripper: Baytown

October 13, 2015 | By Chet Garner

Just east of Houston, where sandy soil meets swampy waters, there’s a town that thrives in the humid breezes of Southeast Texas.

Daytripper: Port O’Connor

September 15, 2015 | By Chet Garner

The vastness of Texas is no secret, but many don’t realize that within its “hugeness” lies more than 360 miles of coast and an astonishing 3,300 miles of tidal shoreline.

Daytripper: Lufkin

August 12, 2015 | By

Texas may be known as the land of wide-open skies and endless horizons, but not to those who travel east. Here, towering trees overtake sprawling prairies, and visitors spend much more time looking up rather than out.

Pie-High in Marble Falls

July 20, 2015 | By Chet Garner

The legendary “marble falls” may have been submerged in 1951 when Lake Marble Falls was formed, but the namesake town still flows with history, adrenaline-pumping adventure, and pie as high as the Texas sky.

Daytripper: Port Lavaca

May 13, 2015 | By

Port Lavaca lies on a stretch of the Texas coast between Galveston and Corpus Christi that often gets overlooked by travelers seeking refuge in the salty sea breezes.

Daytripper: Lubbock

April 10, 2015 | By Chet Garner

Lubbock earned its nickname as the “Hub City” by being the center of activity for generations of Texans living in and passing through the Panhandle.

Daytripper: Johnson City

March 10, 2015 | By Chet Garner

Texas is synonymous with big, partly because of its land mass, but also because of its big personalities.

Daytripper: Abilene

February 6, 2015 | By Chet Garner

North of the Hill Country, but south of the Panhandle; west of North Texas, but east of West Texas, is a region that can only be described as “Big Country.” It’s a land of rugged prairies and epic stories as legendary as Texas itself.

Daytripper: Mason

January 12, 2015 | By Chet Garner

Texas is chock-full of mockingbirds (our state bird), pecan pies (our state pie), and armadillos (our state small mammal), but when it comes to blue topaz (our state gem), there’s only one place to find it naturally in the Lone Star State.

Silo Diving

December 12, 2014 | By Chet Garner

I’ve always considered myself a pretty brave guy. I’ve gone hang gliding, swum with stingrays, and even eaten face-melting ghost chiles.

Daytripper: Houston

December 12, 2014 | By Chet Garner

More than any other Texas city, Houston is defined by its neighborhoods, helping to break this giant bayou buffet up into bite-size (and day trip-size) chunks.

Daytripper: El Paso

November 17, 2014 | By

While the westernmost city in Texas may be outside the “day-trip zone” for many Texans, a trip to this border-bound metropolis is an experience as rewarding as Texas is wide.

Daytripper: San Antonio

October 23, 2014 | By Chet Garner

You can’t blame folks for donning coonskin caps and partaking in the tourist tradition that is San Antonio’s River Walk.

Daytripper: Georgetown

August 23, 2014 | By Chet Garner

As travelers fly by on I-35, some may be unaware that one simple exit could take them to the heart of Williamson County and what’s known as the “Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas.” Georgetown is a place where the coffee’s fresh, the scenery’s beautiful, and the history is as rich as the enchilada gravy.

Daytripper: Arlington

July 10, 2014 | By Chet Garner

Many visit Arlington seeking the high-flying screams of a roller-coaster or the decibel-busting cheers of the home crowds.

Daytripper: San Marcos

June 15, 2014 | By Chet Garner

Archeological evidence suggests that humans have inhabited the San Marcos area for 10,000 years or more.

Daytripper: Corpus Christi

May 21, 2014 | By Chet Garner

There’s no denying that Corpus Christi is one of the most beloved destinations in Texas, and for good reason. However, among the well-known  ways to pass a day on the bay, Corpus Christi is packed with plenty of hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path surprises.

Daytripper: Orange

April 4, 2014 | By Chet Garner

In the far reaches of East Texas where the Sabine River flows, there is an oasis of culture, nature, and food. It’s a place where swampy lowlands meet towering pines, locally famous cuisine meets world-famous art, and the sour flavors of life disappear into something much sweeter. It’s a place called Orange.

Daytripper: Amarillo

March 16, 2014 | By

Some may only know Amarillo as a Panhandle cowboy town, and there’s certainly truth to that reputation.

Daytripper: Kingsland

February 24, 2014 | By Chet Garner

If I were to dream up the perfect kingdom, it would be a land of flowing rivers, abundant vineyards, smoky barbecue, and maybe even some gold.

Daytripper: Fort Davis

February 1, 2014 | By

In the Davis Mountains of West Texas lies a small town that evokes equal parts frontier days and space age.

Nacogdoches Daytripper

December 11, 2013 | By Chet Garner

Texas history runs deep, so to be the “oldest” anything in the state is a rather special feat.

Daytripper with Chet Garner: Jefferson

September 10, 2013 | By Chet Garner

While most associate Texas with the Wild West rather than the Deep South, there are towns in the Lone Star State that exude Southern charm and hospitality. To capture the genteel spirit of the South, I headed to Jefferson in the far reaches of Northeast Texas.

Daytripper with Chet Garner: Marfa

April 9, 2013 | By Chet Garner

Take a drive deep into West Texas, through the Martian landscape of the Chihuahuan Desert, and you’ll arrive at an oasis—not of water, but of art.

Daytripper with Chet Garner: Wimberley

May 7, 2012 | By Chet Garner

There’s a town in the Hill Country that calls itself “a little piece of heaven.”  Feeling the need to transcend everyday life, I drove to Wimberley in search of an absolutely heavenly day.

Daytripper with Chet Garner: Huntsville

February 7, 2012 | By Chet Garner

For some, the idea of spending time in Huntsville conjures up images of a striped jumpsuit, two matching metal bracelets, and a uniformed escort who definitely isn’t a tour guide. But for those who visit voluntarily, Huntsville makes for one incredible day trip. 

Daytripper with Chet Garner: Waco

November 12, 2010 | By Chet Garner

Unless you’re from Waco (or are a Baylor Bear), you may not have frequented this Central Texas hub off I-35. I decided to spend a day in Waco and explore beyond the access roads.

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