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Written by Texas Highways

A diver jumps off the diving board at Balmorhea State Park

Balmorhea State Park in West Texas is celebrated for having the world’s largest spring-fed pool. Unfortunately, on May 14, the park announced that the pool will be closed indefinitely due to structural damage of the concrete beneath the diving board, which supports the walls of the pool.

Joe Lansdale at a book signing in Kilgore in May

Nobody writes like Joe Lansdale, because Lansdale writes like everybody he knows is dead. Tempering his twisted imagination with a strong social conscience, the wildly inventive and rapid-firing East Texas storyteller is the author of nearly four dozen genre-defying novels and more than 400 short stories. On average, he says, it takes him just three to four months to write another book—and if he could pick up the pace, the rest of us would be obliged.

People enjoying sunset on the beach in Port Aransas

Port Aransas likes a party, and residents won’t let the effects of Harvey interfere with that tradition. April brought the annual SandFest, one of the nation’s largest native-sand sculpture competition, and before that, February’s Whooping Crane Festival drew birding enthusiasts from around the world.

Men working on boat designs at Farley Boat Works

Hurricane Harvey’s Category 4 winds, along with a 6-foot storm surge, met their match in the backyard of Farley Boat Works. While countless boats across the island were strewn far from their moorings by the hurricane or sunk in waterways, a 60-foot schooner named Lydia Ann moved less than a foot in its construction cradle, its hull, deck and “doghouse” cabin largely intact.

Diners outside La Playa Mexican Grille

“Tacos + Margaritas = Happiness”

So says the handwritten sign that greet post-Harvey diners at La Playa Mexican Grille, a testament to owner Greg Villasana’s optimism. 

Feet hang over the water at Camp Tonkawa Springs

Austin photographer Kenny Braun’s first book was a sumptuous portrait of surfer culture on the Texas coast. Published in 2014, it was aptly titled Surf Texas. So when Braun decided his next project would travel farther inland to explore the spectacular scenery of the state—from Big Bend to Caddo Lake and high-plains panoramas then back to his beloved ocean horizons—he figured the book could be called Turf Texas.

Follow along on Instagram this week as Kenny Braun takes over and shares photos & stories from his new book.

2018 Texas State Travel Guide

Whether you enjoy communing with nature in a state park or perusing cultural artifacts in a museum, the 2018 State Travel Guide can help you plan a top-notch Texas trip. Order a free copy of the guide today to get ideas on how and where to experience our beautiful Lone Star State and have the best summer ever.

Order your 2018 Texas State Travel Guide »


Kids dive into the lake at Daingerfield State Park

Independence Creek Preserve is located in southwest Texas

Daingerfield State Park

33o 00' 29.25" N
94o 41' 53.53" W

Chet Garner eats pecans by the Pecan Capital of Texas sign

Nestled in the northern reaches of the Texas Hill Country is the laid-back town of San Saba, also known as the “Pecan Capital of the World.”

Illustration of Aimee and Jolie Sikes

For sisters Aimee and Jolie Sikes, it all began with a patch of green shag carpet.

The front of a vintage Piper L-4 Grasshopper airplane

On a clear Saturday morning, I find myself perched in the glass nose cone of a World War II bomber, barreling through the sky at about 200 miles per hour.

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