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Written by Texas Highways

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Although we live in the very modern 21st Century, most people still retain some 19th-Century traits. Among them, consider our Charles Dickens-like fondness for seasonal celebrations around blazing fireplaces, whether they resemble Tiny Tim’s humble inglenook alongside the Cratchit family hearthstone or the fires roaring in Mr. Fezziwig’s office, transformed into a festive dancehall by holly and tinsel.

02 KLEPPER snow west tx

Snow in West Texas, while usually as fleeting as a sandcastle in the surf, tends to imbue the landscape with a diffused, quiet melancholy.

Waxahachie59Have you ever noticed that, come December, we tend to focus on pursuits like buying and baking for those we love to the extent that we neglect actually spending quality time together?


Houston businessman J.P. Bryan had been searching for the perfect site for a museum to showcase his immense collection of artifacts and artworks chronicling the history of the American Southwest. When he first stepped through the grand entrance of the former Galveston Orphans Home in the summer of 2013, he knew that he had found the right place.

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It’s 30 minutes before sunset and the crowd outside the gates of the Amarillo Botanical Gardens is stirring with anticipation. Tens of thousands of Christmas lights string the garden’s four-and-a-half acres, providing a colorful backdrop for at least three photographers who’ve entered early to shoot family portraits and a small video crew filming a model’s promotional portfolio.


The Houghton Mifflin Company made history in 1952 with the publication of a novel called Sironia, Texas. At 840,000 words, the book’s two volumes made up what was believed to be the longest novel in the English language at the time, dwarfing both Gone with the Wind (500,000 words) and War and Peace (670,000 words).

26 KLEPPER texas horseback adventures

What I love most about this ranch,” says horseback guide Missy Cantrell as a wasp lands on the wide brim of her cowboy hat, “is the stewardship of the land.

camelCamels played important supporting roles in the Christmas story, carrying the storied kings and their gifts to the Christ child. Like all travelers, the entourage presumably paused en route to rest and restock supplies.

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The East Texas city of Tyler has changed since I was a youngster, when only a few places served a bland version of the richly spiced cuisine favored south of the border. An influx of Hispanic families in recent dec-ades, however, has spawned a variety of quality Mexican eateries.


After a vigorous romp around Centennial Gardens in Houston’s Hermann Park, my husband Marshall and I eagerly join a handful of local pals for a refreshing sustenance break at Local Foods. We’re pleased that our friend Mark has chosen a place where my outfit of yoga pants and tennis shoes fits in.

Rockport CrabWhile the bayfront community of Rockport-Fulton is actually two separate towns, it packs a coastal-combo punch unlike any other. And while many tourists flock to the beach during the summer months, a different sort of migration happens each winter, attracting trippers of all types. I decided to join them in going coastal in the cold, and I’ll never be the same again.

Capturing the rich, rich colors of a Texas fall, Texas Highways readers are generous with sharing their beautifull fall foliage photos.

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