Tall green pine trees grow from a dense green floor, with brightly colored clouds above in sunset

Big Thicket National Preserve in the Piney Woods encompasses 113,000 acres of forests, swamps, and prairie. Photo by Will van Overbeek

Each January, our staff takes time to set travel resolutions for the year ahead. This year I’m looking forward to introducing my family to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. While I’ve visited twice now, the rest of my family has yet to view the majestic vistas of the country’s second-largest canyon. Here’s where some of our other staff members are heading:

Tyson Bird, digital strategies manager: My parents recently sold their house and became full-time RVers. In their travels around Texas, they speak most highly of their time in East Texas, specifically the Big Thicket—a place I’ve never gotten to see. This year, I hope to finally explore that part of the state for myself.

Julia Jones, associate editor: Of all the places I haven’t been in a while, I miss the coast most. When I have a free weekend, no matter the season, I hope to take a road trip to Padre Island National Seashore to smell the fishy air and hang around with the wildlife that calls the beach home.

Danielle Lopez, senior editor: This year I plan to reach the very top of Texas: Guadalupe Peak. My best friend, Rachel, and I take an annual trip to West Texas, historically in the Big Bend area. But this year we want to head further north to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It’s a difficult hike that climbs nearly 3,000 feet, and I’m not a big hiker—so I’d better get to training. Who wouldn’t want to see Texas from up above?

Sarah Thurmond, web editor: I recently traded in my old car for a new one and am looking forward to gathering a few friends and taking road trips in it. We plan to check out towns we’ve never visited and stay at newly renovated historic hotels, like the Crazy Water Hotel in Mineral Wells and the P.A. Smith Hotel in Navasota.

Where are you headed this year? Share your travel resolutions at [email protected].


Emily Roberts Stone
Editor in Chief

From the January 2023 issue

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