A view of Big Bend National Park. Photo by Michael Amador

As the end of 2023 approaches, it’s fitting we take stock of what readers enjoyed the most from Texas Highways this year. From daring adventures to explorations off the beaten path, these are the stories readers couldn’t get enough of.

 

Braving the Narrows, One of Texas’ Most Mythic and Wild Oases

By Bobby Alemán

On the Blanco River, a hiker takes a “water walk” to pay homage to an essential natural resource in short supply.

 

Prehistoric Rock Art Tell Cryptic Tales of Texas’ Past

By Amanda Ogle

From the Rio Grande to the Panhandle, pictographs and petroglyphs from prehistoric artists are etched on remote cliffs and rock shelters, inside caves, and along rivers. Over time, some of this rock art has been lost to flooding, erosion, and vandalism. But various sites are open for visitors to see stories of the distant past.

 

Bob Owens drives his rebuilt 1956 Ford Customline. Photo by Dave Shafer

Owens Salvage in the Panhandle Pays Homage to the Hotrod

By Ian Dille

Classic car aficionados converge at an expansive Panhandle junkyard—arguably the best collection of classic cars and car parts remaining in Texas—where each car harbors automotive history.

 

Five Albums That Defined Outlaw Country

By Michael Corcoran

We reflect on albums from artists, like Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson, who bucked Nashville’s music row and birthed a movement.

 

A First-Timers Guide to Big Bend National Park in West Texas

By Pam LeBlanc

How to get there, where to stay, what to bring, and everything else you need to know to enjoy the largest park in Texas.

 

 

In Praise of Magnolia, the ‘Greatest Little Town’ in Texas

By Meadow Chase

Car collector and Christmas lights aficionado Tony Gullo has called the community near Houston his hometown since 1968. He calls it “the greatest little small town in the United States.”

 

The Eternal Springs of Balmorhea State Park Pool in West Texas

By Katie Gutierrez

More than just a tourist destination, San Solomon Springs has preserved communities in West Texas for centuries.

 

The Fate of Jacob’s Well Remains Uncertain

By Ian Dille

In the over-loved and under-protected Wimberley Valley, this spring seems destined to disappear. Since 2000, Jacob’s Well has ceased flowing four times, most recently in the oppressively hot summer of 2022. Advocates of the swimming hole are leading the fight to keep the freshwater flowing.

 

Photo shows underneath the bridge, with a band playing in the distance at the base of an arch, with trees on the sides of the arch. Clouds in the sky are pink from the setting sun.

Concerts at Echo Bridge commence two hours before sunset. Photo by Justin Parr

In Appreciation of Echo Bridge, the Coolest Music Venue in Texas

By Joe Nick Patoski

Set on the San Antonio River, where live oak, pecan, mesquite, and willow trees line the banks and create a shady, bucolic scene, Echo Bridge in San Antonio is the coolest music venue in Texas you’ve never heard of.

 

Roadside Oddity: The Mysterious Tower Along I-35 Takes Inspiration from Inventor Nikola Tesla

By Andrea Luttrell

About 50 miles south of downtown Dallas on Interstate 35—when the strip malls of the metroplex give way to cornfields—a strange tower stands sentry over an empty field.

 

At This Historic General Store Near Brenham, You’ll Want to Overstay Your Welcome

By Kristen O’Brien

Former Luckenbach talent booker Abbey Road revamps Welcome General Store with live music and Louie Mueller Barbecue.

The March 2024 cover of Texas Highways Magazine

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