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Written by Texas Highways

No. 37Every Texan should experience the primordial mystery of Caddo Lake State Park. With its ghostly, century-old cypress trees draped with gray-green Spanish moss, cozy cabins built in the 1930s, and a history that encompasses pearl hunting and steamboating, a Caddo getaway works efficiently to re-set your perspective. Stay at the park, or find lodging and dining in the nearby towns of Uncertain, Marshall, and Jefferson.

The same natural beauty and fertility that first attracted Native Americans and some of Texas’ earliest settlers to the pine forests on the Colorado River still make Bastrop a welcoming escape today. Bastrop capitalizes on its rich heritage with historic neighborhoods and a downtown full of restored buildings that house charming shops and cafés.


Those who take time to explore the “Hub City” will find a notable wine scene, thanks to the High Plains’ bounty of vineyards, an influential music scene, and a fascinating selection of museums. Few cities honor their heritage as enjoyably as Lubbock, home to museums focused on Buddy Holly, windmills, agriculture, and—a favorite top destination nominee for a number of TH readers—the National Ranching Heritage Center.

The Texas Highways Readers' Choice Top 40 Travel Destinations

Last fall, we asked Texas Highways readers to share their favorite places in the state for our Texas Top-40 Travel Destinations. And share you did—by phone, email, Facebook, and through many amazingly detailed letters. Thousands of TH readers helped to shape the final list, which we will divulge throughout 2014, Texas Highways’ 40th-anniversary year.


In the past decade, the citizens of San Marcos have built and currently maintain more than 17 miles of trails throughout the city. Here are a few images that did make it into our print edition.

In a springtime issue of Garden & Gun magazine, I spied a recipe for a cocktail that seemed simultaneously delicious and peculiar. Created at an Alabama gastropub and dubbed the Talluluh, the drink is a sweet-and-salty mix of bourbon, Coca-Cola, and peanut orgeat. Orgeat, a concoction usually made with almonds, is a star ingredient in drinks like the mai tai, where it lends a smooth richness. Here, the orgeat is made with peanuts, and it contributes a salty and slight creaminess to a cocktail meant to conjure memories of dropping a handful of roasted peanuts into an ice-cold Coke on a summer day.

{jcomments off}Texas Highways honors the legacy of our 35th president, and we invite you to use the form below to share your memories of John F. Kennedy.





Hill Country

From Nov. 22-Jan. 1, the Marble Falls Walkway of Lights transforms the shoreline of Lake Marble Falls into a trail of twinkling sculptures, trees, and winter scenes. From US 281 in Marble Falls, turn west onto Second Street, then south onto Main Street. Follow the road to Lakeside Park. To obtain the view across Lake Marble Falls, from US 281, turn west onto FM 2147.

(Photo by J. Griffis Smith)

See our list of holiday light trails.



Hill Country

To reach Pedernales Falls State Park from US 290, take FM 2766 east (from Johnson City) or FM 3232 north (if coming from Austin), to Park Road 6026. Travel about three miles on Park Road 6026 to the park. Enter and stop at park headquarters for an entrance permit. Go to the swimming area and take the trail toward the river. At the bottom of the stairs, turn left.

(Photo © Mark Everett Weaver)



Big Bend Country

From the inter-section of Farm-to-Market Road 170 and Texas 118, travelers can either head southeast into Big Bend National Park or turn west for a different adventure. A short jaunt along FM 170
and a turn onto Ghost Town Road leads to the Terlingua Cemetery, which hosts a Day of the Dead celebration on November 2.
The Terlingua chili cook-off championships are the same weekend this year.

(Photo by J. Griffis Smith)



Gulf Coast

From Park Road 22 at Padre Island National Seashore, take Bird Island Basin Road to the Laguna Madre side of the island, where this directional sign stands outside Worldwinds Windsurfing. The sign notes the hometowns of people who have come to windsurf at this location, considered one of the best sites in the continental U.S. Expect park entrance and basin day-use fees.

(Photo by J. Griffis Smith)

Want to see more? Check out the National Park Service website on Padre Island National Seashore.


Almost-Like-Mom's Creamy Pralines

A recipe that helps writer Melissa Gaskill bring back memories from her childhood in San Saba.

© Hogaboom Road Inc.
On the southern edge of Texas, along the Gulf of Mexico, there’s a town that defies the typical “Texas” stereotypes. And while South Padre Island may have a reputation as a party town, in truth it’s a laid-back island paradise, a place where you can escape the world—without ever leaving the Lone Star State.

In the August 2013 issue of Texas Highways, writer Margaret Shakespeare explores Fort Worth’s culinary scene, which as evolved in recent years—like the dining scene in other major cities—to focus more on locally sourced ingredients and global influences. Fort Worth, once (and still!) a great place to find high-quality steaks—now offers diners a range of dining options.

In the August 2013 issue, writer Michelle Burgess visits the Hill Country town of Comfort to show us another meaning of “comfort food.” Chef Brent Ault shares his recipe for crab cakes.

Highmade Crab Cakes

  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T mayonnaise
  • 1 T whole grain mustard
  • 1 T Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 slice of toasted bread, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup celery, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • lemon zest

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

Place crab in a colander and drain excess liquid

Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add crab and gently fold into the mayo mixture. Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop crab into muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes. 

Serve with Highmade Remoulade Sauce (recipe follows).

Highmade Remoulade Sauce

  •  1 ½ cups mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup whole grain mustard
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup dill pickle relish
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  •  ¼ teaspoon salt
  • lemon zest

Combine ingredients and serve with Highmade Crab Cakes.

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