It is the farthest corner of Texas, if not physically then at least in spiritual and psychic terms. Here, where the mighty Rio Grande pirouettes upward, shifting its trajectory from the south toward the east, cutting through ancient mountains on its six-hundred-plus-mile run to the Gulf of Mexico, is the big bend that defines this majestic, stark land, a country whose lofty peaks and dramatic canyons and dazzling striations beg exploring and belong to no one. Though people have passed through these reaches for more than 10,000 years, from Clovis-era tribes and nomadic bands of Chisos Indians to the Comanche and eventually Anglo ranchers, the area defies all human claims on it. It’s of no surprise that sixteenth-century Spanish explorers, confronted with the region’s vastness, labeled it el despoblado. The uninhabited.
The best of Texas travel including news, trip guides and destinations.
The joy of riding through Hermann Park on a miniature train never grows old, even if you have. You pay your $3.25,climb aboard, and—whether it’s your first time or your fifty-first—feel a kick of childlike enthusiasm as the wheels start. The 445-acre park is the queen of Houston’s green spaces.
Big Bend National Park first appeared as a cover story in April 1980, in which Stephen Harrigan celebrated, among other things, the wonders of Santa Elena Canyon, Emory Peak, and the South Rim. This month’s cover story on Big Bend National Park, written by a team of authors, also celebrates, among other things, the wonders of Santa Elena Canyon, Emory Peak, and the South Rim. I suppose we can be forgiven for covering the same ground, so to speak.
As anyone who lives in Dallas or Fort Worth knows, these two cities have distinctly different personalities. But they’re always lumped together, whether it be people referring to the area as DFW or—to the chagrin of some—calling the whole sprawl the Metroplex.
Willie and Merle
The Lighthouse, Palo Duro Canyon State Park
The Capitol, Austin
Everyone loves this building, even if they don’t love politics. Luckily for you, the Legislature meets in regular session for only 140 days every other year, leaving you plenty of time to explore without the crowds. Yes, the dome is fifteen feet higher than the U.S. Capitol’s, and yes, it is the largest state capitol complex in the country. What else would you expect?