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Written by Texas Highways

A dining room inside Mattie's

The first time I visited Green Pastures Restaurant, as a new Austin resident in the early 1980s, it felt like going to dinner with relatives—if mine had been well-to-do. That feeling came from the restaurant’s setting in a grand 1890s home on spacious, oak-shaded grounds as well as the warm atmosphere and general good mood of everyone there.

Map from 1701 by French court cartographer Nicolas de Fer

Wherever life has flourished across the vast territory of Texas, someone early on blazed a trail to get there. A new exhibit at The Witte Museum in San Antonio—Connecting Texas: 300 Years of Rails, Trails, and Roads—illustrates through a collection of more than 40 historic maps how people journeyed across Texas over the ages and laid the groundwork for the state as we know it today. 

Polka player.

The big, expensive festivals touting electronic dance music, Radiohead, and Jay-Z get most of the media attention, but a number of more intimate Texas festivals have thrived without the hype. These may not be trendy, but they’re definitely cool and worth your consideration as the spring and summer concert seasons approach.

Abandoned barn in a field near Amarillo

Amarillo is located in northwest Texas


35o 12' 23.69" N
101o 28' 17.63" W

Enjoying roadside attractions while traveling Route 66 is a time-honored tradition.

Flowers on South Padre Island

South Padres Island is in far south Texas

South Padre Island

26o 08' 43.42" N
97o 10' 12.29" W

Flowering railroad vine and morning clouds present a delightful display along sand dunes near Beach Access No. 3 on South Padre Island.

Ferns in Bastrop State Park

In September 2011, the most destructive wildfire in Texas history raged through the loblolly pines of Bastrop State Park. The deadly fire burned 32,000 acres in the area—including 96 percent of the 6,565-acre park.

A ladybug crawls on a bluebonnet.

At Texas Highways, we’ve learned a few things over the years about spring wildflowers in Texas: We have lots of them, many kinds, all over the place. We’ve learned this, too: Once Mother Nature shakes off winter’s chill, there’s no better way to celebrate the new season than with a wildflower-focused road trip. 

Lukas Nelson Illustration

Lukas Nelson comes by his success honestly; never mind that his father happens to be one of Texas’ most beloved musicians. The son of Willie Nelson and Annie D’Angelo, Lukas grew up just outside of Austin in Spicewood before moving to Maui, Hawaii, at age 10. He picked up the guitar at age 11, and by 13 was joining his father on stage for performances.

Illustrated map of Weatherford

For a small-town girl like me, big-city living can feel a bit stuffy. That’s why I call Weatherford home: It’s far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Dallas-Fort Worth to evoke that small-town feel, yet close enough for the occasional “big city” dinner. 

Azaleas on the SFA campus

In early spring, Nacogdoches wears its azaleas like a princess wears her jewels: always and everywhere. It’s hard to find a corner of this small East Texas city not bedecked in plump, round blossoms of purple, pink, red, yellow, orange, and white.

Sleeping in a hammock outside.

The sky’s a bruised black and a north wind scatters leaves as I step inside the Kammok Gear Shop at the corner of E. 7th Street and Navasota in Austin. I’m a devoted hammock-camper, and I’m here to accessorize for the elements. 

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