Skip to content

Written by Texas Highways

Designs1The architectural styles found along Texas main streets stack together like a timeline of the state’s historical development and shifting tastes. In four towns in particular—San Elizario, Tyler, Waco, and Dallas—building shapes and facades illustrate specific chapters of Texas history, from the early 1800s to the present. From squat adobe structures to towering glass skyscrapers, the buildings on these central thoroughfares resonate with distinctive aesthetics of time and place.

friedPie1Browsing the stands at a new farmers market in Fort Worth, I was slowly making my way through roduce and cheese offerings when a friend grabbed my arm. “Come look at this,” she said. “Lindsey has fried pies!”

DasPeachHausInside Das Peach Haus’ weathered wooden storefront off US 87 in Fredericksburg, the shelves lining the store’s perimeter overflow with dozens of brightly colored jars of salsas, jams, and jellies. Overhead, old-fashioned roadside signs advertising fresh produce decorate the walls from floor to rafters.

RanchmansMy dining party is enjoying our cobbler when a clang pierces the hum of lunch conversations at Ranchman’s Cafe in Ponder, a small North Texas town 10 miles west of Denton. “He just got his bell rung,” chuckles Dave Ross, the owner and patriarch of Ranchman’s. He points to a nearby customer who is polishing off his chicken-fried steak. There is much to celebrate at Ranchman’s, a restaurant also known as the Ponder Steak House.


Music has drawn people to the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas since the 1920s, when Leadbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and other country-blues guitar greats played for tips on street corners, and ebony divas Bessie Smith, Ida Cox, and Lillian Glinn sang in the clubs and theaters.

Daves Pawn shop El Paso KBS110Everyone loves a good story, particularly when it involves Pancho Villa, gunslingers, and border crossings. Such is the legend-soaked history of South El Paso Street in El Paso. Here, Pancho Villa once entertained admirers at the long-gone Roma Hotel, sharpshooters like the lawman Dallas Stoudenmire once gunned down four bad guys in five seconds, and jumbo speakers now pump Mexican hip-hop and Norteño tunes from the many stores serving shoppers up from Mexico for the day.

Houston Cistern03I’m huddled with a half-dozen strangers in Houston, shouting into the darkness. The echo, which turns our calls into an eerie, multi-tonal melody of high-pitched peaks and low moans, stretches for 17 seconds.

emoryLocated between the angling hotspots of Lake Tawakoni and Lake Fork, the northeast Texas town of Emory is like a favorite secret fishing hole for fishermen, who stop by to fuel up on comfort food and stroll the quiet courthouse square. The lakes and their abundant wildlife, including bass, catfish, and crappie, also draw a different and notably iconic type of angler—bald eagles.


What better way to escape the winter doldrums than to watch outrageously dressed athletes on roller-skates race around a track, shoving and hitting each other along the way?

09 KLEPPER hotel saint george and marfa hotel exterior 031116

There’s no doubt that Texas contains an ever-evolving mix of people and ideas. And with changing times come new offerings for travelers to explore the state’s fascinating history, environment, and culture. Looking ahead to 2017, we’ve scoured the state for 17 new or refreshed attractions. From the recently updated Landmark Inn in Castroville, which first opened to guests in 1853, to a striking new aquarium exhibit at Corpus Christi’s Texas State Aquarium, these enticing new destinations will stretch the boundaries of your own Texas experience.

Back to top