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Davis Mountains State Park in West Texas will close for six months following Labor Day weekend to upgrade the park's utility system and add six new miles of trails.

The closure, which is scheduled for September 3 to March 1, will include the park's campgrounds, trails, and interpretive center. Indian Lodge, the park's hotel, and Black Bear Restaurant will remain open during the closure.

Refried Deep-Fried Blog

Written by | Published August 21, 2013

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I’m not sure I understand the competition to come up with the next best fried thing, and I’m not here to judge, but every year, when the State Fair of Texas (Sept. 27–Oct. 20) announces its list of fried food offerings, my ears perk up. I am excited to know what’s being tossed into the vat next.

Recipes:  Corn dogs, fried coke, funnel cakes and more. Try these fair faves at home.

Hot Chocolate

Written by | Published August 16, 2013

I know it sounds crazy to drink hot chocolate when the temperature is still regularly above 90 degrees. But on a recent trip to Houston, I couldn't resist the chocolate confection with chocolate made in-house from cocoa beans imported from Oaxaca at Hugo's, which serves its frothy cup with fresh, hot Mexican churros. Look for our story on Hugo's and its terrific hot chocolate in the Drink section of the December issue. Until then, do you know of any other spots in Texas that serve amazing hot chocolate?

Hot Chocolate at Hugo's, with ice cream and churros; Photo by Lori Moffatt Hot Chocolate at Hugo's, with ice cream and churros; Photo by Lori Moffatt

A visit to the Texas Masonic Grand Lodge in Waco

Written by | Published August 13, 2013

Lodge exteriorRight or wrong, the Freemasons are sometimes stereotyped as a closed group, characterized by secrecy and backroom power brokering. But when you come upon the massive Memorial Masonic Grand Lodge Temple in downtown Waco, it's hard to imagine the fraternal organization as a group of shrinking violets.

Tourism by Bus: A visit to San Antonio

Written by | Published August 6, 2013

When I got to thinking about the concept of sightseeing by bus in Texas, San Antonio was one of the first destinations that came to mind. Not only does San Antonio have a walkable downtown with a dense concentration of tourism sites, its intercity bus-line stops are conveniently located in the city center. Still, I wasn't sure whether it would be practical or enjoyable to take a sightseeing trip by bus and foot. So I decided to give it a shot, purchasing a round-trip ticket between Austin and San Antonio for a 10-hour daytrip.

The Owl in Elgin

Written by | Published August 2, 2013

I recently made the short drive from Austin to Elgin, a town about 25 miles east of the city via US 290. I’d heard about a new wine bar and home décor shop on the town’s historic downtown strip, and I realized: While I frequently pass through Elgin on my way to Houston, I’d never really explored the town except to stop for barbecue at Southside Market or Meyer’s.

American Museum of Agriculture on the Grow

Written by | Published July 24, 2013

There's a new museum taking root in Lubbock.

There's a new resource for Amarillo tourism information and it comes from an interesting group of locals.

A Visit with the Vintner

Written by | Published July 3, 2013

For the August 2013 print issue of Texas Highways, I wrote about a Madeira tasting, held at Austin's Red Room speakeasy, which featured the wines of Haak Vineyards in Galveston County. Haak is the only Texas winery that makes Madeira a richly flavored fortified wine that is usually produced on the Portuguese islands of Madeira.

Freedom Over Texas, Houston's Fourth of July celebration, includes a huge firworks show over downtown. (Photo by Richard Carson)

From big-name concerts to small-town celebrations, there are plenty of places to celebrate America's birthday Texas-style this Fourth of July. Here are my top three picks for sure-fire fun this weekend:

Use Your Noodle!

Written by | Published June 21, 2013

The nightlife scene continues to heat up on Austin's Rainey Street, a former residential byway in the shadow of downtown. Transformed in recent years with bars, restaurants, and food trucks, Rainey Street draws crowds interested in craft cocktails, local beers, and food ranging from authentic Oaxacan fare (at El Naranjo) to Indian (at Raj Mahal). And now, Rainey Street boasts Austin's first food truck devoted to Southeast Asian Noodles, DFG Noodles.

Texas river conditions mixed for floating

Written by | Published June 21, 2013

Some Texas rivers are running too low for good floating, but a few waterways are flowing well enough for tubing or boating, according to the National Weather Service’s Texas River Recreation Advisoryfor this weekend.

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