The arrival of summer inspires mixed emotions in Texas. There’s no getting around the heat of our most extreme season, a months-long series of blistering days that test the endurance of even the proudest and most stoic among us. But it’s the high summer temperatures—along with late sunsets, school vacations, and a blessed number of swimming holes—that also make the season special. For generations, Texans have embraced the summer not because it’s inevitable, but rather because it’s packed with opportunities for recreation, travel, and fun. It’s in that resilient spirit that we scoured the state to bring you our list of unbeatable activities to shunt the summertime blues and enjoy your best summer ever.
Thanks to his involvement with three baseball teams, two ranches, and a variety of other business interests, Texas pitching legend Nolan Ryan crisscrosses the state regularly. Three of his favorite vacation spots are Big Bend, Palo Duro Canyon, and the Laguna Madre.
For Texas Rangers and Houston Astros fans, April brings the sweetest of sounds—the first crack of the bat at the season opener. For a group of history-loving fans, a new season for 1860-vintage “base ball”—as the game’s name was spelled during its 19th-Century origins—sounds just as sweet... something like this:
Hubbard native Tristram E. Speaker overcame a serious childhood injury to become one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Born on April 4, 1888, Tristram–"Tris" for short–started life as a right-hander. At the age of 10, he suffered a broken right arm and collarbone when a horse threw him. The accident forced him to begin throwing left-handed. Amazingly, this adjustment did not derail his budding baseball career.