Needing an escape from city stress, I packed a bag and drove 45 minutes west of my hometown of Fort Worth for a stay at the new Double J Hacienda, a 12-acre retreat just outside Mineral Wells. Almost as soon as I arrived, I realized I had found a favorite getaway destination.
There’s an essential, all-purpose shirt that every Texas man should have in his wardrobe. It’s one that can be worn casually, with shorts or jeans, or worn more formally with slacks, to weddings—or even to funerals. It’s the guayabera, and its origins lie in the Mexican state of Yucatán, or in Cuba, or even in the Philippines, depending on who is trying to sell you one. And since I was trying to buy one, I found myself headed to San Antonio, Texas headquarters for all things tropical, and to the venerable Penner’s, an Alamo City landmark.
If you ask Luke Tips, a popular concierge at San Antonio’s century-old Fairmount Hotel, to reveal his favorite thing about his job, he’ll tell you—with a certain oscillation of his eyebrows and a long satisfied sigh—that he adores sprawling on the cool tile floor in the foyer and greeting guests from his bed in the well-appointed lobby. Well, he won’t tell you this in so many words, exactly. This loveable lug is the hotel’s canine concierge (his business card reads “Director of Pet Relations”), and he’s but one sign that the Fairmount is no ordinary place to rest your head in San Antonio.
I love my old friends, but that doesn’t keep me from making exciting new ones. I wish I had more time to spend with all of them. So it goes with travel: I’ll never quit staying, eating, and playing at my old favorites, but I always try to work in a few new ones, too. And we all know what that means: The list of old friends grows longer and longer...
For a relaxing break from city hustle, venture down the following urban trails…and learn about nature along the way. Regulations vary, but everywhere, follow the hiker's credo: Take only photographs and leave only footprints. Stay on marked trails to prevent erosion. Wear sturdy walking or hiking shoes. Carry insect repellent, sunscreen, and plenty of water, plus a camera and binoculars.