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Written by Lois Rodriguez

30 SausageSpoetzl Brewery, founded in 1909 and now the fourth-largest craft brewery in the United States, has made quite a name for the Central Texas town of Shiner.

28 PieCoPie captured my heart decades ago, when it was a menu staple of the small-town cafeteria where my extended family frequently gathered.

60-61 Hippo

Sunburst glitters across a creature-filled pool on a bright afternoon, piercing the ripples and illuminating the aqua depths.

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Dawn has just broken above the new Davis Mountains State Park wildlife-viewing station, an L-shaped timber and stucco structure with peek-a-boo portals overlooking a water feature, and birds are everywhere.

No20Separated by 24 miles on Texas 118, the towns of Alpine and Fort Davis provide the perfect launch pad for Big Bend excursions, but you don’t have to wander far to find some fun.

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No2140B HogLocated in Van Zandt County between Tyler and Dallas, the hamlet of Ben Wheeler has come to life in the past six years as a quaint cluster of artists, craftsmen, and two eateries that also host live music.

22Between San Angelo and Abilene, about 12 miles north of Bronte, lies a remarkable fort with the only fully restored Butterfield Stage Stop in Texas.

 

 41A-fort

23Readers not only raved about Kerrville as a place to visit, but they also praised the city as a place to live, citing the rolling hills that frame the city, the Guadalupe River flowing through the center of town, abundant wildlife and outdoors opportunities, live theater, restaurants, art centers and galleries, and friendly people.

Contrary to popular belief, summer vacation did not originate as a time for rural schoolchildren to take an extended break to help out on the family farm.

If you’re interested in learning more about the ancient canyon-dwellers and rock art of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands, here are some online resources to get you started:

Illustration by Michael Witte

Almost 30 years ago, I drove every mile of Texas’ interstate highways in search of something to eat. Every mile. And not only did I drive those 3,232 miles, but I stopped for a bite approximately every 30 miles along the way.

In the far reaches of East Texas where the Sabine River flows, there is an oasis of culture, nature, and food. It’s a place where swampy lowlands meet towering pines, locally famous cuisine meets world-famous art, and the sour flavors of life disappear into something much sweeter. It’s a place called Orange.

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