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The last battle of the Civil War took place near Brownsville at Palmito Ranch, which is now a National Historic Landmark. (Photos by Eric Schlegel)

The bloody American conflict didn’t reduce demand for southern cotton at textile mills in places like England, France, and even New England. In return, the Confederacy’s cotton exports financed its war effort, supplying Rebel armies with imported guns, ammunition, swords, uniforms, and accouterments far beyond what limited Southern industry could produce. To squelch the trade, and hopefully shorten the war, the Union established blockades along the Gulf Coast, pushing foreign ships to seek ports free of interference. They found them at Texas’ southernmost tip—the destination of southbound wagons on the “cotton road.”

Published in History

The 70-foot Market Street Christmas Tree dazzles passers-by with evening light performances. (Photos by J. Griffis Smith)

Each year the hectic pace of the holiday season takes me captive, rendering the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s a breathless sprint devoid of their supposedly inherent jaoy. Every year I vow to change things the next go-round—to shop earlier, do less, enjoy more. So last December, my husband, Matt, children (Caleb, Madi, and Esther), and I took a drastic approach to carving serenity from the holiday chaos: We shoved the entirety of our to-do list to the side (even skipping Christmas-play rehearsal) and embarked on a weekend getaway to a purported winter wonderland, The Woodlands.

 

Published in TRAVEL

(Photo by Will van Overbeek)

The woman at the next table whispered something to me. “Anchovy paste,” she said.

Published in FOOD & DRINK

(Photo by Will van Overbeek)

How does one convey the breadth of King Ranch in the annals of Texas history?

 

Published in CULTURE & LIFESTYLE

(Photos by Will Van Overbeek)

The woman behind the registration desk at the Hotel Galvez glanced at the number as she handed me my keycard. “Oh, you’re staying in our special room,” she said, eyebrows raised. “Did you know that?”

Published in TRAVEL

Illustration by Michael Witte

We teach our children to share our world by involving them in our interests. For this columnist that meant making travel a keystone in her son’s life.

Published in Family Travel

© Hogaboom Road Inc.
On the southern edge of Texas, along the Gulf of Mexico, there’s a town that defies the typical “Texas” stereotypes. And while South Padre Island may have a reputation as a party town, in truth it’s a laid-back island paradise, a place where you can escape the world—without ever leaving the Lone Star State.

Published in Daytripper

(Courtesy www.txgenweb.org)

The newest addition to Galveston’s shoreline, the $60 million Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier is futuristic by boardwalk standards, with 16 rides, various carnival games, and dazzling LED light displays. But the history of the island’s seaside amusement park dates to the 19th Century.

Published in TRAVEL

Kayaking on Buffalo Bayou offers a natural respite from the city bustle of Houston. (Photos by Will Van Overbeek)

The Houston Astros got things on the right track back at the turn of this century, when the ball club abandoned the Astrodome’s unnatural indoor confinement for the refreshing outdoor playing field
at Minute Maid Park. Swapping synthetic turf that can make balls bounce funny and players’ knees balk for real grass was maybe the smartest trade the baseball club has ever made.

Published in TRAVEL
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