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No. 37Every Texan should experience the primordial mystery of Caddo Lake State Park. With its ghostly, century-old cypress trees draped with gray-green Spanish moss, cozy cabins built in the 1930s, and a history that encompasses pearl hunting and steamboating, a Caddo getaway works efficiently to re-set your perspective. Stay at the park, or find lodging and dining in the nearby towns of Uncertain, Marshall, and Jefferson.

Published in TRAVEL

The Texas Highways Magazine Readers' Choice Top 40 Travel Destinations

Last fall, we asked Texas Highways readers to share their favorite places in the state for our Texas Top-40 Travel Destinations. And share you did—by phone, email, Facebook, and through many amazingly detailed letters. Thousands of TH readers helped to shape the final list, which we will divulge throughout 2014, Texas Highways’ 40th-anniversary year.

Published in TRAVEL

Bald cypress  trees flourish on Caddo Lake, as seen near Big Pines Lodge. (Photos by J. Griffis Smith)

My boyfriend seems unusually skittish as he peers into the utter blackness beyond our cabin door at Caddo Lake State Park. I’ve prepared two hot cups of ginger tea for us to sip on the porch in the crisp night air. But Marshall, willing only to open the door a crack, suggests that we enjoy our tea in the cozy confines of the cabin’s interior.

Published in TRAVEL

The Best & Sweetest 12 Weeks of Summer

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.

Published in TRAVEL

Although most Caddo were forced out of their East Texas homeland by the late 1830s, a series of earthen mounds at Caddo Mounds State Historic Site near Alto bears witness to the Caddo presence here more than 1,200 years ago. The mound in the foreground is a burial mound. (Photos by Kevin Stillman)

Long burined beneath mysterious earthen mounds and lost within dense forests and hidden glades, remnants of an ancient mound-building civilization have slowly come to light in the Piney Woods of East Texas. In recent decades, archeologists, historians, and the descendants of this Native American culture have unearthed, chronicled, and retold the centuries-old story of the Caddo tribes.

Published in TRAVEL

Wildflowers along Texas 71 near Ellinger. (Photo by J. Griffis Smith)

For the enlightened and adventurous traveler, serendipity transforms every trip: Hiking a new trail and rounding a bend to encounter an unexpected vista, journeying to a destination you’ve heard about—or visiting a familiar place with someone who’s never been—without an agenda. Or, in the case of pursuing Texas wildflowers, finding yourself surprised with the splashes and brushstrokes of red, blue, orange, and purple that appear in the landscape.

Published in TRAVEL

It wasn’t as big as the Gold Rush of 1849, but Caddo Lake, which spreads across the Texas-Louisiana border, experienced a miniature rush of its own in the early 1900s. The discovery wasn’t gold, but pearls—freshwater pearls in the lake’s mussels.

Published in History
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