Skip to content

Written by Super User

Jill Lawless’ grade-schooler runs a tight ship. Here’s her kid’s dream day downtown.

(Photo by J. Griffis Smith)

It’s a challenge to write about the place you call home, especially when that city is as multifaceted as Austin, a bustling burg flavored by music, art, and the outdoors. In the end, our Austin story is a staff collaboration: Jill Lawless explores Austin’s kid-friendly enticements, Matt Joyce rediscovers Congress Avenue after returning to town from a nine-year hiatus, and Lori Moffatt embarks on the perfect grownup “staycation” day. We had to leave dozens of worthy experiences on the cutting-room floor, so see those here. Check the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau website  for details on hotels and tours, as well as maps and other information.

In the May 2013 issue of Texas Highways, we offer 12 ideas for enjoying your Best Summer Ever, ranging from biking the new stretch of San Antonio’s River Walk to stargazing in air-conditioned comfort in one of Texas’ many state-of-the-art planetariums. While researching the planetarium aspect, we found a great website,, which features sections on the solar system; constellations; deep sky objects such as nebulas and galaxies; astronomical events like eclipses and meteor showers; advice and information about binoculars, cameras, and telescopes; and a guide to nationwide astronomy clubs, observatories, star parties, and planetariums.

According to the database, planetariums in Texas include:

The Texas Highways Events Calendar is a free, quarterly publication that features hundreds of events happening across the state each season, expanding on the selection offered in Texas Highways magazine.

As Houston’s Hotel Derek completes the final stages of a $6 million renovation of its rooms and public spaces, we’re pleased to announce the details of a Houston getaway package created solely for Texas Highways readers. Here’s the scoop: Beginning on March 1 and continuing through March 30, go to the Hotel Derek’s Facebook page, “like” it, then post a line to the Derek’s wall identifying yourself as a Texas Highways reader who wants to rediscover Houston—and explain (in one sentence) why. Hotel Derek staff will pick a winner, who will receive a two-night weekend stay with breakfast for two, plus complimentary car service to destinations within three miles of the hotel. And if you win, let us know. We’d love to share your experience with other adventuresome readers.

We often turn to the Texas Highways community for their input on the best of Texas travel. Here's a chance for you to sound off on the topics we've been discussing on Facebook and elsewhere.

Spring Break Fix?

Don’t look now, but spring break will be here before you know it. We relish the opportunity to hit the road and get a jump-start on the Texas summer! What are your favorite Texas spring break memories and your “can’t miss” travel activities for the break?

Who Shapes Your Community?

Texas is full of interesting characters that make our state a “whole other country.” Who are the artists, musicians, chefs, and other taste-shapers in your community that set Texas apart from the ordinary?

Travel-Inspiring Views

It’s hard to believe, but Americans reportedly leave hundreds of millions of paid vacation days on the table each year. As we resolve to make the most of our time off in 2013, what are the most beautiful scenery and striking views across Texas that inspire you to get out of the office?

Most Interesting Small Town?

Texas’ small towns are cool for lots of reasons—it could be the people (or lack thereof), the location, the history, the events, or the unique establishments. What do you think is the most interesting small town in Texas, and why?

Special Kind of Quirky?

Texans are internationally known as a unique group of folks. And there are lots of eccentric Texans that add extra flavor to the mix. We’d love to hear about the quirky characters that make your town special, and why?

Your Favorite Small Town?

Playing with a new tablet or smartphone today? Stretch your fingers and social networking with Texas Highways. Here’s a fun question for the TH community: What’s your favorite Texas small town, and why do you love it?

Who Makes a Difference?

Texas is full of difference-makers that shape our communities for the better. In the spirit of the holidays, Texas Highways would like to know the difference-makers in your community that you’re thankful for, and why?

Texas Highways Events Calendar

Please complete the form below for a free subscription to the Texas Highways Events Calendar (formerly known as the Texas Events Calendar).

Up Front

Your Texas Highways

What do Texas Highways readers think are the state’s coolest small towns? The answer to that question and other reader favorites will be revealed in the upcoming September special issue. Reader feedback has always shaped the pages of TH, and that will certainly hold true with our redesign, which premieres that month. It’s not too late: Tell us your favorite town (and why) by June 15. And let us know what you’d like to see more (or less) of in your TH anytime.

 In Touch with TH

Send suggestions and recommendations to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Box 141009, Austin, TX 78714-1009. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, too!


Trip Tip:

Inside Houston

To contrast with the numerous outdoor activities featured this month, TH Art Director Jane Wu puts the spotlight on venturing inside Houston’s Museum District. The area includes 19 museums, with collections and interests ranging from The John C. Freeman Weather Museum to the Museum of Fine Arts, all within a 1.5-mile radius, a rarity in this sprawling city. Jane, a Houston native, admits “I haven’t been to most of the smaller ones, but hope to explore a few this summer, like the Center for Contemporary Craft.” Jane also suggests checking out the Museum District website for free admission days. Some, such as The Menil Collection, are always free.

 Sneak Peek:

Even More Summer Fun...

Next month, we’ll explore historic Clifton and the bounty of surrounding Bosque County, take a walking tour of downtown San Antonio, and escape to FoxFire Cabins on the Sabinal River. Plus, three locals put their spin on Austin. Summer’s in full swing! 

Bastrop State Park's resiliency underscores the spirit of True, Texas. (Photo by J. Griffis Smith)

The return of plant life to Bastrop State Park underscores the resilience that is characteristic of this year’s True, Texas, “community of the imagination.”

Subscribe to TH Extra!, Texas Highways' electronic newsletter that gives you direct access to magazine features, upcoming events, subscription offers, contests and more. Click here to subscribe.


Texas TraveLog is a free Texas travel industry newsletter, published monthly by the Texas Department of Transportation’s Travel Information Division. It is distributed to travel writers, media, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce and others.

To receive Texas TraveLog, please complete this registration form.

If you have Texas travel industry news items of interest, please send them to Texas TraveLog at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., P.O. Box 141009, Austin, TX 78714-1009. (512) 486-5874 or fax (512) 486-5879.  The deadline for each newsletter is the 11th of the month preceding the issue date.

President Lydon B. Johnson in 1965.

Few Texans have left a greater mark on the history of the United States than Lyndon Baines Johnson. (photographed above in 1965 at the "Texas White House.") Serving as the nation’s 36th president, from November 22, 1963, to January 20, 1969, Johnson guided the country through a tumultuous era of social unrest and cultural change.

Illustration by Michael Witte

We teach our children to share our world by involving them in our interests. For this columnist that meant making travel a keystone in her son’s life.

Back to top