Meet Fredericksburg’s Ultimate German Souvenir Shop: Kuckuck’s Nest

July 29, 2021 | By Sallie Lewis

Celebrate Texas’ spirit with a Coonskin Cap at Presidio La Bahia

March 26, 2020 | By Clayton Maxwell

The Souvenir You Have to Leave Jefferson With

January 30, 2020 | By Clayton Maxwell

Calling on All Manner of Higher Powers, This San Antonio Shop Has Just the Thing for Your Earthly Problems

July 29, 2019 | By Asher Elbein

In the spirit room of Botanica La Caridad, a retail store in San Antonio, wooden statues of West African deities are crammed up against a bucket of sticks and machetes, garlanded with chicken’s feet and anchored by a cross. In the opposite corner stands a masked mannequin with rolled-up cash tucked discreetly beneath its long red dress and unopened bottles of wine.

Three Country Stores that Hark Back to Old-Time Texas

May 9, 2019 | By

Small country stores once dotted the state’s landscape. Today, many have either disappeared or else sit abandoned at lonely road crossings, but some mom-and-pop shops have found ways to thrive while carrying on rural commerce. Here are three such markets where travelers can drop in for a snack, some conversation, and a taste of old-time Texas.

The Blanco River May Very Well Inspire You to Take Home Local Art When Visiting Wimberley

June 26, 2018 | By Rose L. thayer

“The river was just beautiful,” he says of that first visit. “After driving in through the cypress trees for just a few seconds, I was hooked.” In 2002, Smith began building a house. Now retired, he lives in Wimberley full-time and has turned his hobby of photography into a business. His beloved river is a frequent muse, and his photos teem with intricate lines and captivating use of light and color.

Galveston’s Star Drug Store Cures What Ails You with Mardi Gras Masks and Milkshakes

May 23, 2018 | By

Customers once came to the Star Drug Store for their medicinal needs, but today they come for a different kind of pick-me-up: meals and merchandise. For more than a century, the Star has been a fixture in Galveston’s historic downtown. A glowing neon-lit Coca-Cola sign shines like a beacon above its sidewalk awning on 23rd Street, a few blocks south of the Strand, the island’s main commercial artery. This vintage porcelain sign, which dates from the late 1940s, is said to be one of the last of its kind.

At This One-Stop Shop and Community Hub in Hunt You Can Hear Live Music, Pick up a Six-Pack, and Even Mail a Letter

April 24, 2018 | By

The Hill Country town of Hunt is a place of convergence—where the north and south forks of the Guadalupe River merge, and where residents rub elbows with out-of-towners at a local establishment that has stood the test of time.

Hendley Market in Galveston is Not Your Typical Souvenir Shop

March 20, 2018 | By Heather Brand

At the eastern end of the Strand, a historic boulevard in Galveston lined with busy restaurants and souvenir shops, an unusual sign in the shape of bespectacled eyes attracts attention. 

It’s Hard to Be Stressed-Out in a Hammock

February 8, 2018 | By Susan L. Ebert

The sky’s a bruised black and a north wind scatters leaves as I step inside the Kammok Gear Shop at the corner of E. 7th Street and Navasota in Austin. I’m a devoted hammock-camper, and I’m here to accessorize for the elements. Glancing around the shop is like doing a face-plant in a rainbow: Hammocks of several sizes hang vertically against the wall in neon streams of electric orange, turquoise, gold, and purple. Against the back wall, I spot just what I need: a Koala underquilt to sling below my hammock and a Firebelly trail quilt to keep me toasty on top.

Christmas Rocks! Houston’s One-Stop Holiday Shop

November 8, 2017 | By Heather Brand

In Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale A Christmas Carol, a reformed Ebenezer Scrooge proclaims, “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” Shoppers looking to keep the Yuletide spirit in their hearts year-round need look no further than the Christmas Rocks store in Houston.

Saddle Up… and Say Cheese!

May 12, 2017 | By June Naylor

During Fort Worth’s rodeo season in January and February, I’m the most popular person in my family and circle of friends.

Hat Trick

April 17, 2017 | By Cynthia J. Drake

A customer walks into Catalena Hatters looking for a special hat to match the one his friend never takes off his head, presenting a photo from his cell phone as a challenge to the hatmaker.

Beyond the Border

March 20, 2017 | By Clayton Maxwell

While drinking coffee in my room in El Paso’s hip new Hotel El Indigo, I can feel the pull of Mexico.

Vision with Volume

February 7, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

You never know what you’ll find at South by Southwest, Austin’s annual summit of creative industries and popular culture.

Wandering Through Time

January 12, 2017 | By Jane Wu

Mention to friends that you’re going to Round Top Antiques Week and you’re likely to hear, “Ooh … ” or “Ugh … ,” depending on their interest in shopping for one-of-a-kind finds.

Pancho Villa’s Favorite Street

December 16, 2016 | By Clayton Maxwell

Everyone loves a good story, particularly when it involves Pancho Villa, gunslingers, and border crossings. Such is the legend-soaked history of South El Paso Street in El Paso.

The Dirt on the Soap

October 14, 2016 | By Cynthia J. Drake

It’s 9 a.m. on a Saturday, and most of the farm chores have already been done.

Lost – and Found

September 16, 2016 | By Cynthia J. Drake

When my family moved to Texas from Michigan in the summer of 2014, I was still reeling from the loss of my mother, gone suddenly from my life at age 64, just six months earlier.

Signs of the Times

July 18, 2016 | By

In planning my maiden voyage to the Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco, I have the good sense to enlist my friend Sherry to ride shotgun for the 90-minute trip from our homes in Fort Worth.

Sleep Tight!

June 20, 2016 | By Melissa Gaskill

A few years ago, I took a canoe trip on the Rio Grande through Big Bend National Park’s Santa Elena Canyon.

From Scraps to Souvenirs

May 11, 2016 | By Heather Brand

Galveston’s Ships Mechanic Row got its name back in the 19th Century when it was an artery of the island’s shipping industry, located just a few blocks from the wharf.

A Key to Understanding

April 15, 2016 | By Clayton Maxwell

I know a museum has triumphed when I leave a bit stunned, new realizations having just taken hold.

Pure Resolution

March 21, 2016 | By Gene Fowler

Okay, I admit it. I still like to play Cowboys and Indians. I’m fascinated by vintage images of frontier days and the Old West.

In the Bag

February 10, 2016 | By Melissa Gaskill

I do a lot of traveling and have developed a system over the years. I keep a kit packed with toiletries, a backpack stocked with such essentials as binoculars and sunscreen, and I carry my passport and emergency-contact information in a small case.

Art Within Reach

January 11, 2016 | By Jane Wu

These days, Marfa gets all the attention as an arts destination in West Texas. While the reputation is well-deserved, with the Chinati Foundation and globally recognized galleries calling Marfa home, there is also a thriving arts community in nearby Alpine.

Get Your Kicks (and Souvenirs)

December 15, 2015 | By Scott Jarrett

How can one explain the neon magnetism of Route 66? Before this summer, I could quote a few lines of the famous 1946 Bobby Troup lyric, but if pressed, I had trouble pinpointing on a map precisely where you could “get your kicks.”

Stitching the Alamo

November 13, 2015 | By Michelle Burgess

The recent bestowing of World Heritage Site status to San Antonio’s five missions—the first attractions in Texas to receive this honor—has ensured an increase in the city’s already steady pilgrimage of visitors.

The Missing Ingredient

October 13, 2015 | By Daniel Blue Tyx

Stepping into the brightly colored display area of the Melissa Guerra Latin Kitchen Market in San Antonio was like entering into the kitchen of a good friend, albeit one whose culinary expertise far exceeded that of my wife Laura and me.

A Gonzales Takeaway

September 16, 2015 | By Michelle Burgess

When empresario Green DeWitt was given approval from the Mexican government in 1825 to establish a 400-family colony in south Texas, there was no evidence to suggest that these new residents would become revolutionaries as well as pioneers.

Textile Style

August 14, 2015 | By Melissa Gaskill

A small bell tinkles as I push open the door and enter the store, worn wooden floorboards creaking beneath my feet.

Nuts About San Saba

July 16, 2015 | By Helen Anders

Pecans permeate the shady town of San Saba, emerging in pies, jams, and candies; infusing local coffee, beer, and steaks; forming a canopy over three lush parks; and providing a 1,200-trunk challenge to golfers plying the fairways of the San Saba River Golf Course.

Reflections on Glass

May 13, 2015 | By Celestina Blok

On my last day of a weeklong stay in Port Aransas, I set off to find a souvenir to remind me of the island until my next visit.

The Smallest Gifts

April 12, 2015 | By Daniel Blue Tyx

The 10-minute drive from our house in McAllen to Quinta Mazatlan, one of the most popular sites in the Rio Grande Valley’s World Birding Center network, takes us past historic downtown, the airport, and the shopping mall—not exactly what you’d expect for a trip to a lush nature center.

Pineapple Express

March 17, 2015 | By Lori Moffatt

Over lunch with some new friends from Laredo last spring, I learned of an event in the Gateway City that piqued my interest—the annual International Sister Cities Festival, which brings nearly 200 Mexican artisans to Laredo to sell their wares and show off their traditions.

Creating a Legacy

February 17, 2015 | By Julie Stratton

I started collecting travel memories in the form of jewelry when I was about eight years old.

Bowled Over

January 16, 2015 | By Andrea Abel

Most people think to visit Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in the spring, when Mother Nature rolls out her most outrageous show of color.

The Accidental Ornament

November 17, 2014 | By Sofia Sokolove

This December, when I string my lights and trim my tree and light my menorah, I have four new friends to help me ring in the holiday cheer.

Charting History

August 18, 2014 | By Gene Fowler

It could be worth another look through that musty box of family records before packing it into the corner of the attic, or worse yet, sending it off to the shredder.

A Souvenir at the Alamo: Crockett’s Coonskin Cap

July 10, 2014 | By Melissa Gaskill

The Alamo. Utter those words and nearly every Texan sees in their mind an iconic image: rugged and defiant Davy Crockett wearing buckskins and a coonskin cap.

Back to the Basics

June 21, 2014 | By Jennifer Nalewicki

What do you do when the souvenir you want is illegal? That was the question I asked myself as I drove down a narrow, two-lane road to Luckenbach (pop.

Penguin Picassos

May 21, 2014 | By Melissa Gaskill

A frequent visitor to Galveston, I’m used to sighting sea turtles, dolphins, wading birds, pelicans, and even penguins.


March 21, 2014 | By Jennifer Babisak

It was a case of mistaken identity. I thought I was Wendish, a descendant of that group of Eastern Europeans who fled religious oppression by the Prussian government in the 1850s.

Canton Trade Days

February 24, 2014 | By Lori Moffatt

The flea-market phenomenon known as Canton’s First Monday Trade Days dates to the 1850s, when traders brought dry goods , produce, and livestock to sell on the courthouse square.

A Foray into the Fray

February 21, 2014 | By

She was my last purchase of the day, though to say I bought her makes the whole thing sound tawdry and cheap.

Silver Rush

February 1, 2014 | By Kristy Alpert

I step out of the jewelry store into the sun, quite pleased with my new purchase—a pair of silver teardrop earrings that now dangle delicately from my earlobes.

Bookshop Memories

January 3, 2014 | By Anthony Head

Wherever I travel, I seek out independent bookstores. They help define a city’s character for me.

The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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