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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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22Between San Angelo and Abilene, about 12 miles north of Bronte, lies a remarkable fort with the only fully restored Butterfield Stage Stop in Texas.

 

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23Readers not only raved about Kerrville as a place to visit, but they also praised the city as a place to live, citing the rolling hills that frame the city, the Guadalupe River flowing through the center of town, abundant wildlife and outdoors opportunities, live theater, restaurants, art centers and galleries, and friendly people.

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We used to call Port Aransas a sleepy fishing village.

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Far enough from DFW to feel like small-town Texas but close enough to draw on the Metroplex’s economic vitality, Granbury offers a slate of enticing options for tourists.

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It would be understandable for Texans to grow weary of their capital city’s popularity and outsized national reputation as a funky cultural mecca.

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Sportfishing rules at Lake Fork. In fact, the reservoir—which lies on the Sabine River 70 miles east of Dallas—ranks among the country’s top trophy bass lakes.

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