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Written by Texas Highways

victoria

These days, whenever I bump into someone from my hometown of Victoria, the conversation inevitably turns to Bloody Mary shrimp shooters. On the menu at the Pumphouse Riverside Restaurant & Bar, a hangout that is breathing fresh air into the culinary landscape of South Texas, these wee hybrids of a Bloody Mary and shrimp cocktail are tasty morsels that you savor in one spicy swig.

Wyler-Top-22

While the westernmost city in Texas may be outside the “day-trip zone” for many Texans, a trip to this border-bound metropolis is an experience as rewarding as Texas is wide. So saddle your horses and head west.

Present-FinishMore and more I try to travel during the Christmas season. Even if it’s just a daytrip, I like to blast away from the clatter and take a few deep breaths somewhere the trees don’t have lights on them. I highly recommend any sort of outdoors getaway to urban dwellers overwhelmed by stress. A spare winter landscape regenerates the spirit like nothing else I know.

A water-pumping windmill and electricity-generating wind turbines punctuate this amazing view near Vega as the sun sets.

Blanco County CourthouseJohnson City flips the switch on its annual Lights Spectacular November 28, turning on more than 100,000 lights that drape the Blanco County Courthouse.

Port of HoustonThe Houston Ship Channel opened 100 years ago this November, connecting the Port of Houston and the Gulf of Mexico for trade ships.

Rick Gardner/Museum of Fine ArtsAt the Beeville Art Museum, Made in Texas: Art, Life & Culture 1845-1900 transports visitors to 19th-Century Texas with a display of the remarkable implements and craftsmanship of the day.

(Photo courtesy of The Daytripper with Chet Garner)

It’s Burn-et, Durn-it! Can’t you learn it? So goes the popular saying in the town of Burnet, as natives poke gentle fun at out-of-towners and the dreadfully incorrect pronunciation—“Burr–nette.” But however you say it, this Hill Country burg near the Highland Lakes makes for a great destination.

Courtesy National Museum of Funeral History

Capitalizing on its naturally spooky atmosphere, the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston is holding a series of special events to celebrate Halloween and el Dia de Los Muertos.

Courtesy EnPleinAirTexas

Taking its name from the French expression for painting “in the open air,” the inaugural EnPleinAirTEXAS in San Angelo (Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014) features 33 selected artists competing for $13,000 in prize money.

Monarch Butterfly Image courtesy Theresa DiMenno.

Theresa DiMenno first noticed the plump caterpillars in her backyard a few years ago, voraciously eating newly sprouted milkweed plants.

Photo by Will van Overbeek.Prepare to pop a cork in historic downtown Grapevine for GrapeFest, which bills itself as the largest wine festival in the Southwest.

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