texas top 40

Comfort Food: Pies

October 21, 2015 | By

Notice there is no category called “Dessert.” No category for cake, cookies, ice cream, or candy.

Comfort Food: Tex-Mex

October 19, 2015 | By June Naylor

It’s a Texan birthright to argue for a favorite Tex-Mex plate and place. What all Texans seem to agree on is that Tex-Mex is simply the finest variation of Mexican food in existence.

Comfort Food: Kolaches

October 16, 2015 | By June Naylor

Of the many treasures bequeathed to Texas by European settlers who began arriving more than 200 years ago, perhaps the single most beloved is the kolache.

Comfort Food: Mac ‘n’ Cheese

October 16, 2015 | By

Never underestimate the comfort factor in a bubbling-hot crock of cheese-cloaked noodles pulled right from the oven.

Comfort Food: Fish & Shrimp

October 16, 2015 | By June Naylor

More than 600 miles of Gulf Coast landscape shapes one long, arching side of the state.

Comfort Food: Chicken-Fried Steak

October 16, 2015 | By June Naylor


The most popular dish among cowboys driving cattle to market, the chicken-fried steak began as a simple pounded steak—usually a cheap cut that the chuck-wagon cook tenderized with a good walloping—that was cloaked in flour, salt, and pepper, and then fried in a skillet.

State of the Plate

October 13, 2015 | By Robb Walsh

Texas comfort foods come in an amazing array of flavors. They also trigger a wide range of emotions.

Comfort Food: Burgers

October 13, 2015 | By June Naylor

If you’re a recent arrival in Texas, you may not have heard that our state gave birth to the hamburger, but now you know: Allegedly created in the late 1880s at an East Texas café owned by a man named Fletcher Davis, the hamburger was introduced to a larger audience at the 1904 St.

Comfort Food: Barbecue

October 13, 2015 | By June Naylor

Few topics in the Texas food world get people more excited than barbecue.

Readers’ Choice: Texas’ Top 40 Comfort Food Hot Spots

October 12, 2015 | By June Naylor

Asking readers for their favorite comfort foods seems a lot like asking someone to name a favorite grandchild—the answers frequently come in a flood of options, as they have since we put out the call early this year.

Viva San Antonio!

November 13, 2014 | By Matt Joyce

You could argue that San Antonio had a head start in Texas Highways’ countdown of the Texas Top 40 travel destinations.

Texas Top 40 No. 2, Denton

October 3, 2014 | By

Forty minutes north of the rapidly growing cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, the college town of Denton (population 121,000, more or less) enjoys a relaxed vibe that some admirers liken to “Austin in the old days.”

Texas Top 40 No. 3, Waco

October 2, 2014 | By

For those unfamiliar with Waco, the little city in the heart of Texas might be tough to decipher.

Texas Top 40, No. 4 Big Bend

September 22, 2014 | By


Big Bend rewards patient travelers. “Patient” because not only does it take a long time to get here from most everywhere in the state, but also because it can take some time to fully relax into Big Bend’s transformative pleasures.

Texas Top 40, No. 5 Hill Country

September 15, 2014 | By

With a bounty of small towns, sparkling lakes and rivers, and wildflower-splashed pastures in spring, the Hill Country has inspired countless road trips for Texas travelers.

Texas Top 40 No. 6, Rockport-Fulton

September 9, 2014 | By

The barrier islands that shelter Aransas Bay from the Gulf of Mexico also buffet the bayside community of Rockport-Fulton from the crush of tourists that flock to some other beach resort towns.

Texas Top 40, No. 8 Nacogdoches

August 1, 2014 | By

You probably learned in school that six flags have flown over Texas: French, Spanish, Mexican, Lone Star, Confederate, and United States.

Texas Top 40, No. 7, Fredericksburg

August 1, 2014 | By

If only the German immigrants who first settled Fredericksburg in 1846 could see what they started.

Texas Top 40, No. 9 New Braunfels

August 1, 2014 | By

The allure of a New Braunfels getaway is particularly strong during these dog days of summer, when the town’s two scenic rivers—the Comal and the Guadalupe—beckon for a refreshing dip.

Texas Top 40, No. 11 Mount Pleasant

July 7, 2014 | By

What’s not to like about a place called Mount Pleasant?

Texas Top 40, No. 10 Palo Duro Canyon

July 7, 2014 | By

Palo Duro Canyon has been wowing people for at least 12,000 years, when natives found shelter within this rugged chasm in the southern high plains.

Texas Top 40, No. 12 Brazos Bend State Park

July 7, 2014 | By

Less than an hour southwest of Houston, the hardwood forests and alligator-rich waterways of Brazos Bend State Park create a welcome respite from big-city hustle and bustle.

Texas Top 40 No. 13, Corpus Christi

June 9, 2014 | By

Texas’ biggest beach city (pop. roughly 313,000) seasons its mix of beachcombing, wakeboarding, sailing, and other oceanfront fun with such urban amenities as luxurious hotels and restaurants, a lively festival scene, and well-curated museums dedicated to art, science, nature, and history.

Texas Top 40, No. 14, Palestine

June 9, 2014 | By

Shaped by agriculture, steamboating, the discovery of oil, and the railroad, the city of Palestine today harbors a wealth of attractions and activities.

Texas Top 40 No. 15, Galveston

June 9, 2014 | By

With its coastal setting and intriguing history, Galveston is a favorite among readers seeking a Texas beach escape.

Texas Top 40 No. 16, Canyon

May 6, 2014 | By

“I am loving the plains more than ever it seems—and the SKY— Anita, you’ve never seen SKY—it is wonderful.”

Texas Top 40 No. 17, McKinney

May 6, 2014 | By

On the northern fringe of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, McKinney’s historic character and natural amenities draw both tourists and a steady influx of new residents.

Texas Top 40 No. 18, Abilene

May 6, 2014 | By

Abilene won readers’ praise for its small-town feel, state park, zoo, shopping, history, and restaurants, which range from classic barbecue joints to newcomers like Abi-Haus, which makes waves with craft cocktails and modern American fare.

Texas Top 40 No. 19, Padre Island

May 6, 2014 | By

The beaches of Padre Island are so inviting that inland lakes have been known to import loads of Padre sand for their own waterfronts.

Texas Top 40 No. 23, Kerrville

April 7, 2014 | By

Readers not only raved about Kerrville as a place to visit, but they also praised the city as a place to live, citing the rolling hills that frame the city, the Guadalupe River flowing through the center of town, abundant wildlife and outdoors opportunities, live theater, restaurants, art centers and galleries, and friendly people.

Texas Top 40 No. 22, Fort Chadbourne

April 7, 2014 | By

Between San Angelo and Abilene, about 12 miles north of Bronte, lies a remarkable fort with the only fully restored Butterfield Stage Stop in Texas.

Texas Top 40 No. 21, Ben Wheeler

April 7, 2014 | By

Located in Van Zandt County between Tyler and Dallas, the hamlet of Ben Wheeler has come to life in the past six years as a quaint cluster of artists, craftsmen, and two eateries that also host live music.

Texas Top 40 No. 20, Alpine/Fort Davis

April 7, 2014 | By

Separated by 24 miles on Texas 118, the towns of Alpine and Fort Davis provide the perfect launch pad for Big Bend excursions, but you don’t have to wander far to find some fun.

Texas Top 40 No. 24, Port Aransas

March 4, 2014 | By

We used to call Port Aransas a sleepy fishing village.

Texas Top 40 No. 25, Granbury

March 4, 2014 | By

Far enough from DFW to feel like small-town Texas but close enough to draw on the Metroplex’s economic vitality, Granbury offers a slate of enticing options for tourists.

Texas Top 40 No. 26, Austin

March 4, 2014 | By

It would be understandable for Texans to grow weary of their capital city’s popularity and outsized national reputation as a funky cultural mecca.

Texas Top 40 No. 27, Lake Fork

March 4, 2014 | By

Sportfishing rules at Lake Fork. In fact, the reservoir—which lies on the Sabine River 70 miles east of Dallas—ranks among the country’s top trophy bass lakes.

Texas Top 40 No. 30, Garner State Park

February 7, 2014 | By

One of Texas’ most popular parks, Garner State Park enchants visitors with its dramatic scenery on the southwestern edge of the Edwards Plateau—high mesas, steep canyons, and hilltop vistas.

Texas Top 40 No. 29, Lockhart

February 7, 2014 | By

Named by the 76th Texas Legislature in 1999 as the Barbecue Capital of Texas, the Central Texas town of Lockhart lives up to the honor with some of the best-regarded ’cue joints in the state.

Texas Top 40 No. 28, Possum Kingdom Lake

February 6, 2014 | By

Some 90 miles west of Fort Worth, Possum Kingdom Lake sparkles along the upper reaches of the Brazos River.

Texas Top 40 No. 31, Dallas/Fort Worth

February 4, 2014 | By

Like fraternal twins with different personalities, the North Texas cities of Dallas and Fort Worth—roughly 30 miles apart by car or train—offer almost everything a traveler could want in an urban vacation, from outdoors adventures to art, history, fine dining, nightlife, and museums.

Texas Top 40 No. 32, Dalhart

January 7, 2014 | By

Dalhart, named for its location on the Dallam and Hartley county line, originated as a railroad town and developed as a shipping center for area ranches, including the renowned XIT Ranch.

Texas Top 40 No. 33, Marfa

January 7, 2014 | By

Ah, mysterious Marfa. Founded in 1883 as a railroad water stop, Marfa existed as a remote West Texas ranching town until James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor arrived in 1955 to make the movie version of Edna Ferber’s epic novel Giant, kicking off a slow trickle of tourism.

Texas Top 40 No. 34, Amarillo

January 7, 2014 | By

Not many places have the distinction of inspiring a George Strait hit such as “Amarillo by Morning.” 

Texas Top 40 No. 35, Glen Rose

January 7, 2014 | By

Travelers make tracks to this idyllic hamlet to view prehistoric footprints in the Paluxy River at Dinosaur Valley State Park and the native and non-native species that roam the rolling hills at nearby Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.

Texas Top 40 No. 40, Lubbock

December 31, 2013 | By

Those who take time to explore the “Hub City” will find a notable wine scene, thanks to the High Plains’ bounty of vineyards, an influential music scene, and a fascinating selection of museums.

Texas Top 40 No. 36, Houston

December 5, 2013 | By

A longtime hub for innovation in energy and medicine, Houston has come into its own as a vacation destination in recent years.

Texas Top 40 No. 37, Caddo Lake State Park

December 5, 2013 | By

Every Texan should experience the primordial mystery of Caddo Lake State Park. With its ghostly, century-old cypress trees draped with gray-green Spanish moss, cozy cabins built in the 1930s, and a history that encompasses pearl hunting and steamboating, a Caddo getaway works efficiently to re-set your perspective.

Texas Top 40 No. 38, Bastrop

December 4, 2013 | By

The same natural beauty and fertility that first attracted Native Americans and some of Texas’ earliest settlers to the pine forests on the Colorado River still make Bastrop a welcoming escape today. Bastrop capitalizes on its rich heritage with historic neighborhoods and a downtown full of restored buildings that house charming shops and cafés.

Texas Top 40 No. 39, Marble Falls

December 4, 2013 | By

Marble Falls’ picturesque setting along its namesake lake proves enticing enough, but travelers stick around this Hill Country town for the live music, classic cafés, art galleries, intriguing shops, and annual events that range from a soapbox derby to drag-boat races.

Texas Top 40 Travel Destinations

December 3, 2013 | By


Last fall, we asked Texas Highways readers to share their favorite places in the state for our Texas Top-40 Travel Destinations.

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