As 2018 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at the 10 most-read stories of the year on texashighways.com.

These 10 Texas Nature Conservancy Preserves Offer Public Access—and Plenty of Awe-Inspiring Sights

Waltz across Texas and you’ll find coastal marshes where alligators lurk, spring-fed pools in the middle of the desert, and green-blue...

Cast Away Your Cares on Six Texas Islands

“Islands will always be places we project onto,” writes Judith Schalansky, the German author and designer of Pocket Atlas of Remote Islands. Their inaccessibility is part of their allure, the crossing over water a literal rite of passage—the more remote, the more deserted, the better. And Texans have options: From my experience, you can pitch a tent on the mud, sand, and weeds of islands in East Texas rivers; string up a hammock between bald cypress trees on a crescent-shaped gravel bar on a Hill Country stream; and lug your gear across the wooden footbridge at Martin Creek Lake State Park near Tatum to spend a night among the pines on an island ringed by a short hiking trail.

Why Every Woman Should Take a Solo Road Trip

One sunny morning in July, on an otherwise unremarkable Wednesday, I slide into the driver’s seat of my car and head south. I pull onto the highway, a map of Texas in the passenger seat, like an ancient rune from a time before GPS, and I watch as the billboards turn unfamiliar and disappear. Big-box stores and strip malls turn to metal silos, oil refineries, and wheat fields.

Ray Wylie Hubbard Revisits the Snake Farm That Inspired His Famous Song

Any good songwriter knows when the muse strikes, write it down. For Ray Wylie Hubbard, it was maybe the 10,000th time he was driving southbound on Interstate 35 from New Braunfels toward San Antonio, passing Exit 182 at Engel Road and the so-big-you-can’t-miss-it sign that screamed “SNAKE FARM” in red and black letters. The words, meant to entice drivers to stop at the long-running roadside attraction, conjured the image of a farm full of snakes, and Hubbard physically shuddered.

3 Places to Eat Barbecued Crab in Texas This Summer

Barbecued crab, a coastal delicacy born in a tiny corner of Southeast Texas, is tender, juicy, and laced with spice. This misnamed meal isn’t barbecue, though, which I realized some years ago when my friend Carolyn invited me home from college to visit her family in Beaumont, promising we’d eat something not found anywhere else.

Inspired by John Graves’ “Goodbye to a River,” a Writer Returns to Her Roots on the Guadalupe

For three days, the blue heron leads us downriver. In the mornings we push off in canoes through the olive green...

Trust Us: There’s More Than Big Steaks and Buried Caddys in Amarillo

When I think of my Amarillo childhood, I think about Boots’n Jeans. Not the attire, but the retail store. The rustic wooden doors of Boots’n Jeans once beckoned shoppers beneath a life-size sculpture of a wild, rearing horse. Every year, for my birthday, my grandparents took me there for a new pair of ropers.

That was then. In the decades since, the store sold to a big corporation, transformed into a national Western-wear chain, and finally closed for good in 2016 after 43 years. A Jimmy’s Egg opened in its place a few months ago.

Find Rustic Relaxation on the Nueces River at Camp Wood in the Hill Country

The Nueces River valley plummets from the Edwards Plateau with the abruptness of a summer squall. The topography plunges from dry to drenched when you cruise south from Rocksprings on State Highway 55, blank skies giving way to blue-green canopies of oaks and pecans as the road abandons the grassless flats for glimpses of resplendent waters that seem to chase canyon twilight into the brightness of day. Here, the Nueces River finds its voice: a convergence of forks, prongs, creeks, and springs that begin their last odyssey to the Gulf of Mexico as one.

Has Brenham Become the Hamptons of Texas?

There aren’t enough synonyms for “quaint” in describing Brenham, that rare landlocked town that feels like it should have a lighthouse. Arranged around an Art Deco courthouse which, built in 1939, is one of the newer buildings downtown, Brenham keeps history in its place.

Scale Five Peaks in One Week on This Epic West Texas Road Trip

A mile or two into my hike to the top of Mount Livermore in the Davis Mountains, I stepped to the side of the trail as two speedsters overtook me on the uphill slope. “I guess that’s where we’re headed,” I said, nodding to a rocky outcrop on the horizon far above. “Nope,” one of them responded. “Baldy Peak is beyond that—you can’t see it yet.”


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November 2019 cover of Texas Highways Magazine


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November 2019 cover of Texas Highways Magazine


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