If Mirabeau B. Lamar had had his way, we’d be able to travel the four hours from Amarillo to Santa Fe without crossing a state line. But when the Republic’s second president dispatched an expedition in 1841 to claim the New Mexican city—and its lucrative frontier market—things didn’t go quite as planned. The Texans were marched off to prison in Mexico City instead.
On a summer day, there’s nothing better than the ocean. Unless you’re sharing it with a teeming throng of thonged humanity. So this hot season, skip the South Padre scene (unless you’re into that kind of thing) and head for the charming coastal enclave of Rockport. Flanked by Copano and Aransas bays, the fifteen-square-mile town is as cozy as the rooms at the waterfront Lighthouse Inn and the historic Hoopes House.