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 / Travel & Outdoor
Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine September 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.

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Texas Department of Transportation
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12 Issues


1 min.
it’s all about the experience

WHEN SUGAR LAND RESIDENT Sandy Levin donated a series of bronze sculptures to the city earlier this year, including a whimsical depiction of two teenagers taking a selfie, he inadvertently ignited a conversation about public art and millennial self-absorption that went viral. Is it art? Does it validate youthful narcissism? Or does it, as the donor intended, simply portray a common activity at Sugar Land Town Square, one of the city’s most popular tourist hubs? As anyone who travels knows, when the vacation’s over and the realities of daily life encroach, a photo—selfie or not—can help you re-live those invigorating experiences over and over again. Our September issue, in fact, is all about experiences. We’ve even refreshed the design and added some new stories to our lineup to keep the good…

2 min.

GOT SOMETHING TO SAY? To this day, I have to eat a ham sandwich and chips with a Coke when on a road-trip vacation. Thank you Daddy & Mama! TERESA PARKINSON ARMSTRONG, TH FACEBOOK FAN OUR FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA OF THE MONTH I don’t remember any of the movies I have seen at the drive-in [August], only the fun experiences I had as a kid. DEBBIE BUNTON PARKER, HOUSTON Blue skies and black tops #texashighways. @jwadehoward, TAHOKA Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Texas Pearl Michael Corcoran’s article on Janis Joplin’s Texas roots [August] brought back many fond memories. I’ve had many a good conversation and good home cooking at Threadgill’s on North Lamar in Austin. You can’t help but escape back to the old days when you look at the memorabilia on the walls. Just for old…

6 min.
live from the hills

FROM A RISE OVERLOOKING THIS Hill Country valley, the elements that create Utopiafest’s celebration of music and place come into focus: A band rocks a stage to the cheers of a bobbing crowd. Nearby, mountain-bikers saddle up for a ride and disc-golfers navigate a rocky hillside course. Hemming the festival grounds, campers lounge around their tents in live-oak groves that stretch to the valley’s edge. Utopiafest strives for music-festival bliss worthy of its name, which it takes from the neighboring hamlet of Utopia. Happening September 29-October 2 this year, the festival features about 25 bands on two stages over two days (along with a Thursday night pre-party). The eclectic lineup showcases independent bands in genres ranging from rock to hip-hop, folk to funk, and bluegrass to soul. This year’s performers include…

6 min.
a place of refuge

FROM A LIMESTONE PRECIPICE AT THE CREST OF THE RIMrock Trail, I catch my breath and gaze across an unspoiled vestige of the Texas Hill Country. The only sliver of civilization in sight is the ranch road that delivered me to this peaceful refuge. Verdant hills stair-step like balconies above a grassy, oak-dotted valley. When Spanish explorers saw hills like these in the 1750s, they described the terraced terrain as “los balcones,” a region we now call Balcones Canyonlands. I’ve come to Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, an hour’s drive northwest of booming downtown Austin and beyond the city’s suburban sprawl, to explore Hill Country hiking trails and find refuge in the fullest sense of the word. “People sometimes refer to this as a park, but it’s not a park. Parks are…

5 min.
a painter’s plantings

PAINTER DOUGLAS CHANDOR WAS AS CHARMING as he was creative. I’m standing in the foyer of the prestigious artist’s historic Weatherford home, a 5,600-squarefoot dwelling adorned with his sketches, prints, and original works. Staff docent Martha Lott tells me that Chandor, whose paintings of Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill hang in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, was at a dinner party in New York City in the early 1930s when a striking Texan with red hair and a provocative dress caught his eye. Chandor Gardens is a popular spot for parties and wedding receptions. “He said, ‘You have a lovely back. I’d love to paint it sometime,’” Martha tells me. The redhead was Ina Kuteman Hill, a Weatherford socialite, and she was immediately enamored with the tall English gentleman. After a…

4 min.
handsome hides

ENSCONCED AT HIS RANCH IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA, legendary leather wizard Al Stohlman was focused on his leather craft. Really focused. “There was only one day a week when he would take phone calls,” says Charlie Davenport, curator of the Tandy Leather Museum in Fort Worth. “And if we needed to see him in person, somebody had to go up to Canada. He had everything he needed there, and he was engrossed in his work.” The museum showcases the works of 18 artists and chronicles the development of modern leatherworking over the past century. Stohlman’s craftsmanship is a centerpiece of the Tandy Leather Museum, located at the headquarters of Tandy Leather, a company that sells leather and leather-crafting tools and supplies. The 2,200-squarefoot museum showcases the works of 18 artists and chronicles the…