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What’s not to like about a place called Mount Pleasant?

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10Palo Duro Canyon has been wowing people for at least 12,000 years, when natives found shelter within this rugged chasm in the southern high plains.

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Less than an hour southwest of Houston, the hardwood forests and alligator-rich waterways of Brazos Bend State Park create a welcome respite from big-city hustle and bustle.

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Texas’ biggest beach city (pop. roughly 313,000) seasons its mix of beachcombing, wakeboarding, sailing, and other oceanfront fun with such urban amenities as luxurious hotels and restaurants, a lively festival scene, and well-curated museums dedicated to art, science, nature, and history.

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Shaped by agriculture, steamboating, the discovery of oil, and the railroad, the city of Palestine today harbors a wealth of attractions and activities.

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With its coastal setting and intriguing history, Galveston is a favorite among readers seeking a Texas beach escape.

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1639B Courthouse“I am loving the plains more than ever it seems—and the SKY— Anita, you’ve never seen SKY—it is wonderful.”

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17On the northern fringe of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, McKinney’s historic character and natural amenities draw both tourists and a steady influx of new residents.

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1839C-Parmount20080910 004 v2Abilene won readers’ praise for its small-town feel, state park, zoo, shopping, history, and restaurants, which range from classic barbecue joints to newcomers like Abi-Haus, which makes waves with craft cocktails and modern American fare.

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19The beaches of Padre Island are so inviting that inland lakes have been known to import loads of Padre sand for their own waterfronts.

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No20Separated by 24 miles on Texas 118, the towns of Alpine and Fort Davis provide the perfect launch pad for Big Bend excursions, but you don’t have to wander far to find some fun.

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No2140B HogLocated in Van Zandt County between Tyler and Dallas, the hamlet of Ben Wheeler has come to life in the past six years as a quaint cluster of artists, craftsmen, and two eateries that also host live music.

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