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Written by Lois Rodriguez

ACLIf the “Made in the USA” stamp is hard to find, products made in Texas may seem even more elusive. Never fear, brave travelers! Numerous events across the state offer the Lone Star faithful a place to find their calling, celebrating the state’s creations from fine art to home cooking.

Camping cmyk

I’ve explored many remote locales across Texas, so most people assume that I’m a seasoned camper. But here’s the real story: The closest I usually come to camping involves listening to nature sounds from an app on my phone.

15 MuseumFront cmykAs a crossroads city at the southernmost tip of Texas—and the state’s closest point to the interior of Mexico—it’s fitting that Brownsville would have a memorable train station. The city’s Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, built in 1928 in the Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style, is a beauty.

11 Hummer cmykResting in the shade next to a pool of clear water, I could almost forget that miles and miles of West Texas desert surround me. But in fact I was in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert, one of the most biologically diverse arid regions in the world.

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In the 1960s, when former Nokona CEO “Big Bob” Storey was asked why he wasn’t buying from overseas to make his sporting equipment, he famously said, “If I have to import and send my employees home, I would rather just quit and go fishing.”

Illustration by Michael Witte

I was in Tucson’s international airport circa 1984 on my way to Mexico to join a press trip being hosted by a new beach resort. I was young and delighted to be earning something close to a living writing about food and travel.

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You can’t blame folks for donning coonskin caps and partaking in the tourist tradition that is San Antonio’s River Walk. However, if the Alamo and surrounding area are all you ever see of the “Alamo City,” you’re missing out. I embarked on a southbound adventure, and my view of San Antonio will never be the same.

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2Forty minutes north of the rapidly growing cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, the college town of Denton (population 121,000, more or less) enjoys a relaxed vibe that some admirers liken to “Austin in the old days.”

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3For those unfamiliar with Waco, the little city in the heart of Texas might be tough to decipher.

Government Canyon State Natural Area in Bexar County has more than natural beauty on its side, it has natural history, too. In an area that was once the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico, 110-million-year-old dinosaur tracks, possibly the only known dinosaur footprints on public land, have been discovered.

fried-food1Does it make sense to batter and fry a perfectly delicious loaded baked potato? If you’re at the State Fair, the “Fried Food Capital of Texas,” would you have it any other way?

 

Big Bend rewards patient travelers. “Patient” because not only does it take a long time to get here from most everywhere in the state, but also because it can take some time to fully relax into Big Bend’s transformative pleasures.

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