Travel & Outdoor
Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine September 2019

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
Read More
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
the world at our feet

Texas has always served as a cultural crossroads. Before it was the longest stretch of the United States’ southern border with Mexico, it was a boundary between Spain and French Louisiana. Long before that, it was home to a number of diverse indigenous tribes. Our name, even, derives from a Spanish interpretation of a Caddo greeting meaning “friend.” And the value of the state’s most prolific commodities—cattle, cotton, and oil—has been dependent on links to the world at large. For the past 300 years, people from all over the world have come to settle here. It’s why Texas boasts the most ethnically diverse county and large city—Fort Bend and Houston, respectively—and is the second most diverse state in the country. For the past 300 years, people from all over the world have…

2 min.
behind the story

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. Normally when writer José R. Ralat explores a taco destination, he plans an itinerary that allows “at least a little time for the food to settle.” But on Southmost Boulevard in Brownsville—featured in “Welcome to the Taco Capital of Texas” (Page 42)—the concentration of amazing taquerias was so dense “the trip nearly broke my spirit,” he jokes. Ralat, the author of the upcoming book, American Tacos: A History and Guide to the Taco Trail North of the Border, says his Southmost experience outdid other memorable reporting adventures, including a weeklong trek through Denver, Phoenix, and Tucson that involved a surprise snowstorm, altitude sickness, and a lost wallet; and even an El Paso visit during which he tried 17 taquerias in…

3 min.

I have traveled all over the world, and one of the best trips I have taken was through rural Texas—from El Paso to Galveston. Sometimes it was so remote I couldn’t get anything on my car radio. A great state.Tom Jeffris, Janesville, Wisconsin KATHERINE ANNE PORTER’S TEXAS I took my Hamilton High School students to Indian Creek. We sat by Katherine Anne Porter’s grave and read one of her stories. Donna Anglin, Hamilton FRIO 101 I grew up in Texas but never made it to Garner State Park. Made my first trip this Memorial Day. It was fantastic, and the Frio River was so beautiful. The trip sparked an interest to rent a camper for our next trip in the fall. Gina Bischoff Ferriera, The Woodlands Small Town Talk I was so excited that Orange made the list…

3 min.

“People automatically associate Kilgore with oil and Rangerettes,” says Shelley Wayne, who should know. Wayne’s husband works in the petrochemical business, her daughter was a Rangerette, and Wayne herself was a member of Kilgore College’s world-famous drill team before becoming its choreographer. But she adds, “There is much more to this town.” Founded in 1872 by the Great Northern Railroad, Kilgore changed dramatically with the discovery of oil in 1930. Derricks soon crowded downtown, comprising the “World’s Richest Acre”—today a collection of restored derricks along a manicured downtown strip. Kilgore College opened in 1935, and in 1940, the newly formed Rangerettes took the field at halftime of Kilgore Rangers’ football games, establishing a precedent for drill teams and precision line dancing. After serving as captain of her high school drill…

14 min.
the magic of a hotel bar

Outside, the night is humid and flat. But inside, it feels like the setting of a Raymond Carver story. Standing by the stone archway entrance to the bar, like two cylindrical centurion guards, is a pair of 10-foot rusted tanks. They face a hotel lobby full of old-fashioned leather chairs and couches and checkered tile mixed with exposed industrial beams and pipes and valves. Through the archway is a huge Castilian chamber, a sort of steampunk-chic bar and lounge with tall cement pillars, an arched cement ceiling, an unfinished wooden floor, and a faintly glowing brick fireplace. In the corner, a man in a pink polo shirt talks quietly into his phone. Two other men, still wearing their golf clothes, share cocktails and laughs on the couches by the entrance. Behind…

5 min.
bhutan in a border town

In 1914, National Geographic published an article about the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, a remote Buddhist country tucked between India and China. El Paso resident Kathleen Worrell, who was married to the dean of the college that became the University of Texas at El Paso, was intrigued by the photographs of Bhutanese fortresses and monasteries. She also noted a resemblance between the rugged Himalayas and the Franklin Mountains that soar over El Paso. Three years later, as the college’s new campus was being built in the Franklin foothills, Worrell saw an opportunity. She asked her husband: Why not construct those buildings in the Bhutanese style? More than a century later, her idea is reflected in almost all of the buildings at UTEP. Their sloping walls are accented near the roof with…