Texas Department of Transportation

 / Travel & Outdoor
Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine July 2016

Texas Highways, the official travel magazine of Texas, encourages recreational travel within Texas and tells the Texas story to readers around the world. Renowned for its photography, statewide events coverage, top weekend excursions, off-the-beaten path discoveries, and scenic destinations, Texas Highways helps readers discover the treasures of the Lone Star State.

United States
Texas Department of Transportation
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12 Issues


2 min.
thanks for the memories

As any true Texas travel-lover knows, state parks preserve some of our most scenic spots: Palo Duro’s geological spectacle, Dainger-field’s dazzling fall foliage, the primordial mystique of Caddo Lake. And for many of us, our parks also preserve travel traditions and family memories that span generations, from Garner’s jukebox dances to summer stays at Balmorhea. But travelers may not know that the Civilian Conservation Corps made many of these memorable sights and moments possible. As Julia Robinson relates in her story beginning on page 54, this New Deal program of the 1930s and early ’40s created more than 50 parks in Texas, 29 of which are still managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “The CCC boys” built roads, trails, dams, cabins, and other infrastructure, so send mental thanks to…

3 min.

The new issue of Texas Highways is making me homesick for Galveston and Corpus Christi. I need that coastal life again! @TheMermaidAg, Twitter OUR FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA OF THE MONTH... @TexasHighways: Way to recognize the Tejano Conjunto Festival [May], a great South Texas event! Long live conjunto & Tejano music, a Texas-born genre! Steven Rodriguez, @TejanoJamz I loved reading the June issue. It made me want to pack up and head for Galveston. By the way, I always stop by Nautical Antiques when I’m there—love that store! Betty Cole, Jacksonville Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Fired up for the Fourth July 4th Tips from Texas Highways Facebook friends: We love going to Hell’s Gate at Possum Kingdom Lake. They give you a hayride to where the show is. All the boats are lit up. People are friendly ……

1 min.
scenic route

30º 41’ 03.98” N 98º 21’ 03.49” W Hill Country From Burnet, take Texas 29 as it winds west for about 10 minutes, then turn south onto Park Road 4, which snakes along Inks Lake, past Inks Lake State Park, and to Longhorn Cavern State Park. Explore the park’s trails, see the Civilian Conservation Corpsbuilt structures that incorporate materials workers found inside the cave, and tour the cavern, which has served as a dance hall, underground church, and concert venue. For more information, visitwww.tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/longhorn-cavern.…

4 min.
ski waco!

ON THE TWO-HOUR DRIVE FROM Austin to the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, I’ve been chattering away about my teenage summer-camp waterskiing skills. I’m looking forward to seeing if I’ve still got the chops all these years later. “How different can waterskiing behind a boat be from wakeboarding underneath a cable that’s 30 feet in the air?” I ask my traveling companion. I’ll find out soon, we agree. Like traditional waterparks do, the 450-acre Barefoot Ski Ranch offers plenty of attractions to keep visitors busy: There’s a winding and crystal-clear lazy river for floating, a 100-foot water slide called “The Royal Flush,” a small sand beach for lounging, and a bar and grill with sandwiches, fried catfish platters, salads, and other fare suitable for bathing-suit dining. Yet it’s clear from the…

5 min.
pioneers of posh

IT’S SAFE TO SAY THAT AN ELEGANT, 19TH Century mansion was not what I was expecting to see as I drove down a breezy bay-front road in Rockport. But there it was, on the same street as low-slung souvenir shops, seafood restaurants, and coastal cottage homes: a four-story, Victorian structure with sand-colored walls, dark mocha trim, and a steep mansard roof. The grand edifice looked a bit out of place among the swaying palm trees and coastal live oaks along Fulton Beach Road. And yet, the regal abode of George Fulton, a 19th-Century cattleman, sits no more than a few dozen yards from Aransas Bay’s breaking surf, just as it has since 1877. Now open to visitors as the Fulton Mansion State Historic Site, the structure has always stood out. “It…

5 min.
sleep tight!

AFEW YEARS AGO, I TOOK A canoe trip on the Rio Grande through Big Bend National Park’s Santa Elena Canyon. Our group camped overnight at the mouth of the canyon, and in the morning, one of the guides called everyone over to see a tarantula as big as my hand. To me, this hairy spider epitomized the wildness of the Big Bend landscape. So later, when I wandered into the French Company Grocer in Marathon and saw a pillowcase bearing a life-size image of a tarantula, it resonated with me. I bought it, along with a second pillowcase printed with a horned toad, another iconic Texas creature. These pillowcases, which sell for $25, are part of Marathon resident Marci Roberts’ Desert Critter Wear collection, which also includes T-shirts, camisoles, and dresses.…