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Written by Texas Highways

Tres leches cake served with ice cream and a berry glaze

On a typical Saturday night in Meridian, a town of some 1,500 people about 50 miles northwest of Waco, the Cactus Grill’s shoebox-shaped dining room hums with conversation.

Thousands of antiques, ranging from milk-glass lamps to vintage medicine bottles, inspire lunchtime conversation. The honey for sale at Nostalgia comes from a local beekeeper.

I’m standing with my wife and young son in front of Nostalgia Antiques/Soda Fountain in Bowie, a town some 47 miles west of Gainesville, when it hits me: Should we really take our eight-year-old into an antiques shop?

St. Arnold Brewing Company, Houston

Located in a warehouse district just beyond the northern edge of downtown Houston, a 101-year-old brick building that once served as a storage warehouse now draws hundreds of visitors six days a week.

Lake Somerville

On a late spring day in a quiet corner in south-central Texas, wispy clouds saunter across a stark blue sky over Lake Somerville.

The bronze Sam Houston Monument, created in 1925, stands at the head of a reflecting pool at the park’s main entrance. You’ll encounter another water feature at the main entrance to Centennial Gardens.

Making my case for Houston as an outdoors destination comes with its challenges. Though many people think of the city as a concrete metropolis, those intimate with the southeast corner of Texas understand how verdant our nation’s fourth-largest city is, and how effortlessly and generously the nearby forests spill their natural beauty into this urban center.

Black Chinned Hummingbird

The 10-minute drive from our house in McAllen to Quinta Mazatlan, one of the most popular sites in the Rio Grande Valley’s World Birding Center network, takes us past historic downtown, the airport, and the shopping mall—not exactly what you’d expect for a trip to a lush nature center.

Armadillo World Headquarters Grand Opening

During Austin’s counterculture heyday, from the opening of the Vulcan Gas Company in 1967 to the closing of the Armadillo World Headquarters in 1980, a concert wasn’t a reality until it was advertised with a mind-blowing poster. The images and information went together like words and music to create a siren song for fans.

Roy Orbison Museum

It’s not likely that many people stumble on Wink. the tiny Permian Basin town (population 940) is indeed “the middle of nowhere, 500 miles from everywhere,” as Roy Orbison, Wink’s most famous son, once said.

Alvis Dorsey and Flo Stevenson work on a quilt at the historic Pleasant Hill School.

LaJoyce Flanagan is sitting in the Linden schoolhouse where she taught more than 50 years ago, recalling the tiny desks and chairs, the children who stayed late for sewing lessons, and the day the radio delivered news of President Kennedy’s assassination.

Illustration by Mike Lowery

In a few weeks, I’ll become a first-time grandmother when my daughter gives birth to a son, who will go by the name of Bowen. In 1833, his sixth-great-grandfather was born in Arkansas; but as they say, he got here as quickly as he could.

South Padre Island

In a family-vacation photo taken in the early 1900s, a family of seven poses at the edge of the surf at South Padre Island.

Photo © Hogaboom Road, Inc.

Lubbock earned its nickname as the “Hub City” by being the center of activity for generations of Texans living in and passing through the Panhandle. To this day, the city remains vibrant with life, art, and food, all of which I was ready to experience on my own trip to “LBK.” 

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