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Written by Texas Highways

Historical photo of oil derricks in the town of Ranger

Driving east on Interstate 20, I crest an incline in the rolling landscape between Abilene and Fort Worth. In the valley below, a brick smokestack cuts a dramatic profile against the surrounding hills. The tower rises from the horizon like a sentinel, watching over the site where the bustling town of Thurber stood at the turn of the 20th century.

Outside Murphy's Steakhouse

There’s not much to do in Winchester, population 50, on the western lip of Fayette County. So when someone in neighboring Bastrop or Lee Counties says, “Let’s go to Winchester,” they’re talking about eating at Murphy’s Steakhouse.

Freshly made chocolates at Wiseman House

I’m standing inside the Wiseman House chocolate-making studio in downtown Hico, and the chocolately, slightly salty aroma reminds me of a mug of hot cocoa.

Oysters coming off a grill

Oysters have the reputation of being an expensive delicacy—high-end fare offered at fancy eateries with prices to match. Not so at Gilhooley’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar.

Rider at the Houston Rodeo

From its humble beginnings in 1932 as a cattle showcase, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Feb. 27-March 18, has evolved into a 20-day bonanza filled with the usual rodeo offerings like bull riding and steer roping, but with the addition of amusement park rides, deep-fried treats, shopping, and big-name concerts—this year, two-time Grammy winner Garth Brooks performs on opening and closing nights.

Big Bend National Park

There is a place out west where the phrase “Everything’s Bigger in Texas” comes into its full meaning.

Horseback riding on the beach

Indulging in the age-old Texas tradition of riding a horse may be the best way to experience the untouched natural beauty of Matagorda—a secluded sandy treasure on the Gulf of Mexico.

Laura Wilson illustration

For more than four decades, photographer Laura Wilson has been documenting the American West—and Texas in particular.


I remember learning the thrill of the road trip as a child. Back then, my parents would load us up in the wee hours of the morning to trek hundreds of miles across Texas or to far-flung parts of the U.S.

Horses with riders in trail ride One of Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's most iconic events ends before the rodeo even begins.

Horseback riders in a field

Was there ever a better way to see the Texas countryside than from horseback? Even before cowboys became synonymous with the Lone Star State, the great Comanche horsemen of yesteryear discovered the advantages of riding steeds liberated from the herds that arrived in the desert Southwest with Spanish conquistadors.

Bonnie and Clyde plaque at the Stockyards Hotel

More than a century’s worth of time travel awaits guests at the Stockyards Hotel in Fort Worth, which opened in 1907 at the fabled junction of  Main Street and Exchange Avenue.

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