Texas Department of Transportation

Travel & Outdoor
Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine March 2015

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

in this issue

2 min.
thank you, goodnight

As a lifelong Texan and a lucky Texas Highways staffer for more than two decades, I have reveled in some amazing Lone Star travel experiences over the years: gator-spotting from an airboat near Beaumont, rafting the Rio Grande through sheer-walled Santa Elena Canyon (gourmet all the way), mountain-biking the Lighthouse Trail at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, and cruising with a motley crew on a pirate ship in the Laguna Madre. But I’ve never been to a chuck-wagon race. Photojournalist Julia Robinson, whose chuck-wagon story begins on page 52, calls this practical invention of cattleman Charles Goodnight “an unsung contribution to humanity.” Julia crisscrossed the state last year to cover cook-off s in Lubbock and Fort Worth, and also headed to the Palestine area for the 1836 Chuckwagon Race, held annually around…

2 min.

GOT SOMETHING TO SAY? Got my Texas Highways, and lo and behold, on page 35, there’s my husband Brian’s sculpture Marching to Fort Stockton! He so enjoyed Fort Stockton and made lots of good friends there! KAREN NORWOOD, Jal, New Mexico Out West In May 2014, my wife and I went to Fort Davis, Marfa, Big Bend, etc., and wanted to see some of the old hotels. Our trip pretty much paralleled yours [February]. These are all wonderful, historic hotels, each with its own story and flair. The Gage Hotel was our favorite. We stayed in the Los Portales section: simple, quiet, and peaceful. Thanks for your article. It brought back pleasant memories. PHILLIP & CAROLYN HERBST, Rockwall Home Away from Home I love getting my Texas Highways, since I can’t get enough of Texas. My…

1 min.
gulf coast

South of I-10 on the west side of Houston, Terry Hershey Park offers visitors an urban escape that spreads along Buffalo Bayou from Texas 6 to the Sam Houston Parkway. Parking is available near several access points to the park’s 10.42 miles of hike-and-bike trails. The park also has a canoe launch, butterfly garden, playground, wildflower areas, wetland habitat, and other amenities. 29º 46’ 04.11” N 95º 34’ 53.22” W For more park information, visit www.pct3.hctx.net. To order a print of this photograph, call 866/962-1191, or visit www.texashighwaysprints.com.…

5 min.
a tuneful tour

To order a print of this photograph, call 866/962-1191, or visit www.texashighwaysprints.com. IT’S THE SMELL THAT FIRST GRABS YOU WHEN you enter the Collings Guitars Factory in southwest Austin—that heady intermingling of hand-milled spruce, mahogany, rosewood, maple, and other high-end tonewoods, layered with the pungently pleasing odor of varnish and lacquer. This is the birthplace of every stringed instrument conceived by master luthier Bill Collings over the past 10 years. The 28,000-square-foot facility employs nearly 100 people and is Collings’ third shop since he moved to town in the mid-1980s. It produces some of the finest handcrafted guitars, mandolins, and ukuleles on the planet. An occasional picker himself, the Ohio native originally planned to be a doctor, but after fashioning his first guitar from a cigar box and rubber bands at age 14,…

4 min.
mission: kayak

THE RIVER ROUNDS A BEND AND SIX MOSSY-BACKED turtles sunning on a row of rocks drop into the water— plop, plop, plop, one after the other, as if in a water ballet. Ahead, the shores pull farther apart and I see several bright white egrets and yellow-crowned night herons standing statue-like at the waterline. A breeze ripples the tall grasses around them. I almost forget that I’m paddling a kayak on the San Antonio River just a few miles from bustling downtown San Antonio. While most people are familiar with the city’s River Walk—that horseshoe-shaped bend of the river lined with restaurants, shops, and hotels—fewer know this stretch, dubbed the Mission Reach. It runs eight miles from Roosevelt Park, just south of downtown, to Mission Espada, passing Missions Concepción, San José,…

5 min.
bet on bluff dale

TWELVE YEARS AGO, MY SUBURBANite parents got a wild hair and bought five acres of rugged terrain in Bluff Dale, a stoplight-free, unincorporated community 58 miles southwest of Fort Worth. Back then, a filling station and a deer processor were the extent of area attractions. Today there’s still no stoplight, which means unassuming travelers cruising US 377 between Stephenville and Granbury may miss one of the state’s most delicious destinations—one that usually inspires first-time visitors to wonder, “Why haven’t I been here before?” The transformation of Bluff Dale into a worthy daytrip started with the opening of Bluff Dale Vineyards in 2004. That’s where I’m sitting now with friends, in a wrought-iron chair on a tree-shaded patio deck overlooking rows of grapevines and what could be mistaken for a Hill Country…