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Written by Texas Highways

A kayak on the Angelina River

Paul Smith, co-owner of La Paz Bed and Breakfast in Jasper, turns his pontoon boat off the main stretch of the Angelina River, where his inn is stationed, into an offshoot called Ward’s Branch.

Inside the Bend Store

Bob Fullerton, known to most as “Bad Bob,” was hunting wasps the first time I visited the general store he owned in the rural village of Bend, just upriver from Colorado Bend State Park. Fullerton didn’t use bug spray or a tennis racket. Instead, he took a BB gun in hand as he stalked the winged insects colonizing the eaves of Bad Bob’s Bend Store. Past the front screen door and the cedar posts that hold up the building’s rusted metal roof, he pumped his gun and took aim in the vicinity of firewood being sold by the bundle.

Sunset on the Pecos River

When you launch a kayak on the lower Pecos River, you’ve made a five-day date with Mother Nature.

Fireworks at Addison Kaboom Town

Everything's bigger in Texas, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to celebrating our nation’s independence. We've compiled the ultimate guide—more than 100 events—to help you plan the perfect red, white, and blue holiday weekend.

Texas Book Festival Poster 2018

Readers rejoice: the Texas Book Festival has announced the full list of 250 authors for its 2018 event. The field of writers represent a diversity of genres that will draw in all types of readers, from young adult fiction addicts to nonfiction obsessives, and pave the way for dialogues on tough issues, from race to addiction to natural disasters.

Sotol in a glass

Ingredients:
2 oz. Desert Door Original Sotol
.3/4 oz. fresh
grapefruit juice
.1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
.1/4 oz. agave nectar
Splash of grapefruit soda

Directions:
Combine all ingredients except soda into shaker.
Add ice and shake vigorously for 8-10 seconds, then fine strain in a rocks glass with fresh ice, and top with soda. 
Garnish with a grapefruit wheel. 

Illustration of a grape

Yield: one dozen muffins:

MUFFINS
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg, beaten
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

In a mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Add egg; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in vanilla. Fold in blueberries. Fill 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

STREUSEL
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter or margarine

In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly, then sprinkle mixture over muffins. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned; test with toothpick.

A pier on the coast in Rockport

Along the Texas coast, telltale signs of past storms endure in the occasional skeletal remains of piers jutting into the Gulf and bays.

Kids running on the beach on St. Jo

When Hurricane Harvey struck last summer, it made landfall on San José Island, a coastal retreat where U.S. presidents have come to fish and fundraise, and everything but a broad and empty beach is owned by a family of billionaires.

 Mattress Mack illustration

Jim McIngvale moved to Houston in 1981 with $5,000 and a dream to build a furniture empire. Within a few years, the founder of Gallery Furniture had become a local household name as “Mattress Mack,” the pitchman featured in the retailer’s zany low-budget commercials.

Chet Garner on the beach on North Padre Island

Few know that the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world is just beyond Corpus Christi. And while its southern counterpart may get more attention, North Padre Island provides the perfect mix of fun and middle-of-nowhere abandon. I followed the sun in search of a little bit of both.

Coastal Comeback

We’ve been tested time and again, from despotism to depressions, oil busts to dust bowls—and now by Hurricane Harvey. But as in past trials, Texans have found a way to turn obstacles into opportunity and seize the chance for renewal. Consider Lee Roy Hoskins, owner of Port Aransas’ venerable Tarpon Inn, who labored for months to rebuild after the hurricane. “We had a lot of things we needed to work on anyway,” Hoskins says with a smile.

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