Downtown Boerne

1. Most modern toy stores bombard customers with a cacophony of electronic beeping and whirring, but at  MILK and HONEY, you’ll be greeted with the tranquillity of imagination at work. In addition to cribs (outfitted with custom-made sheets), clothing, and paper goods, the children’s gift boutique features items from a bygone era, like wooden train sets, barnyard animal puzzles, and charming Victorian dollhouses. Best of all, no batteries required. 101 S.

Frontier Chic

Name a college town with lots of public art, scenic riverside trails that run for miles, a thriving live-music scene, and bats roosting under a bridge. No, not Austin. Try San Angelo, a town I’ve dismissed all these years as a place to loop around to get to New Mexico. But once I finally shot straight to its heart, I discovered an almost urbane ticker, boasting cosmopolitan shopping, art galleries, museums, nightclubs, and a lily garden that wowed me.

Water World

I went to Athens to check out Ray Price’s tour bus. Of course, Ray wasn’t in this particular bus, since it broke down long ago and now sits at the bottom of a 35-foot-deep, eight-acre reservoir at Athens Scuba Park, along with a triple-decker houseboat, a space capsule, a military transport jet, and dozens of other wrecks. Left on land, such machinery is junk. Sunk in a former clay quarry that closed more than half a century ago, such machinery is an adventure.

Downtown Galveston

1. Due in part to a mandate that requires homeowners to renovate instead of rebuild, Galveston harbors the most spectacular collection of historic Victorian buildings in Texas. For a sampling, start at the Landes-McDonough House and stroll down Postoffice Street, keeping an eye out for plaques commemorating Great Storm survivors. Postoffice and Sixteenth

Take Me to the River

My recent canoe trip on the Colorado River at Columbus was so effortless it seemed more of a thought than an action. For one thing, right at the put-in sat Howell Canoe Livery, whose cheerful proprietor outfitted me with a pristine canoe, carried it down the hill, held it steady at the dock while I stepped in, and fetched me at nearby Beason’s Park when I was finished.

Downtown Brenham

1. April in Texas means roadsides and pastures gloriously awash in bluebonnets—and no more so than in and around Brenham. Tool around for that perfect photo op, then pick up a few Lupinus texensis trinkets at the Texas Store, where you’ll find mugs, tea towels, jewelry, and silk ties bearing our official blossom. Can’t get enough? Head to nearby Chappell Hill for the annual Bluebonnet Festival (April 12 and 13,

New Chinatown, Houston

1. Yes, Lee’s Sandwiches hails from California, but that just means it’s a spot where you can experience Melting Pot America in its myriad glory. Your order is called in Vietnamese and English; it’s a little like being in a train station in seventies Saigon. The baguettes and croissants are made on the premises, as are the Vietnam- ese sandwiches. The grilled pork is, at $2.50, a cheap ticket to heaven. 11210 Bellaire Blvd., Suite 113; 281-933-9988


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