Getting rained out isn’t necessarily a bad thing—and not just in times of drought. On my recent trip to the quiet coastal town of Palacios, a pop-up afternoon thunderstorm postponed a bicycle ride along the seawall lining Tres Palacios Bay. But the nature delay allowed for some indoor time—and time travel—in The Luther Hotel, whose core structure dates to 1903. The hotel’s small history room includes volumes of historical documents, letters, and records, along with photographs of such notable 1940s guests as Rita Hayworth, Carole Landis, Shirley Temple, and jazz bandleader Artie Shaw. Lyndon Johnson once walked these halls, as well.

While the hotel’s heyday has been lost to time and weather, current owner Jack Findley welcomes new generations of guests who don’t mind the quirks of the historic seaside property, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. He also ex- tends an invitation to groups who just want to stop in for a look to imagine the glamour that once was. Give Jack a call at 361/972-2312 or email [email protected] to set up an appointment. If October has you in a spooky mood, ask about his ghost tours.

There’s no time like fall for a peaceful retreat to the Texas coast—from South Padre Island’s timeless white sands to the newly reopened Sea Rim State Park, near our border with The Pelican State. In fact, autumn is TH columnist Babs Rodriguez’s favorite time to travel anywhere in Texas. In this month’s Travel Matters (see page 76), Babs lines out a worthy road-trip checklist, including a shared sunrise and sunset, an impromptu park campfire, and a cheeseboard and paring knife for the perfect picnic. See her expanded take on the topic at texashighways.com.

Also in this issue, beginning on page 46, we feature an excerpt of On the Road With Texas Highways: A Tribute to True Texas, a compilation of images from former TH Photography Editor Griff Smith’s 30-year career with the magazine (visit texashighways.com for information on book or­ders, as well as upcoming signings and exhibits). And turn to page 38 for a collection of images from sites that hold the promise of awe-inspiring fall foliage-weather conditions willing, of course.

Regardless of nature s plans, we hope you venture out to explore the Lost Maples, hike the Guadalupe Mountains, paddle Caddo Lake, or oth­erwise seek the colorful scenes of the season. You never know what other cool discoveries await.

From the October 2014 issue
The September 2022 cover of Texas Highways: Visual Wonders


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