When it comes to traveling around the state, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of destinations to choose from. One of the things I love most about Texas is that you can drive a few hours (or more than a few hours) in one direction and be at, say, the beach and then head another direction and find yourself in the mountains or in the rolling Hill Country or in the Piney Woods. For the last several years, a few of my colleagues and I have been visiting small towns and exploring interesting areas of big cities in search of noteworthy things to do, see, and eat. Here's a cheat sheet guide to what you can expect to find in a few of the places we've singled out across the state recently . . .
Head WEST to . . .
Fort Davis for javelina sightings, homemade nuts, and a daily bugle retreat parade.
Midland for a 75-acre nursery, the Museum of the Southwest, and frozen pecan toffee.
Head EAST to . . .
Historic downtown Marshall for the Michelson Museum of Art, a three-story co-op, and an unusual Lady Justice.
Palestine for homemade pies, lots of antiques, and the Dogwood Trails Festival (in March).
Head to NORTH CENTRAL Texas to . . .
Grapevine for glassblowing, bowls of Original Texas Red chili, and rides on a vintage train.
Head to CENTRAL Texas to . . .
Johnson City for fresh jerky, beer flights, and tours of LBJ's boyhood home.
Kerrville for a chic department store, local arts and crafts, and a subterranean cocktail lounge.
San Antonio's North River Walk for an upscale Italian osteria, the San Antonio Museum of Art, and Melissa Guerra's modern mercado.
Head to the GULF COAST to . . .
Historic downtown Galveston for nautical antiques, samples of warm taffy, and an 1877 ship.
Old Town Spring for Delftware, live music at Puffabelly's, and fried Twinkies.
Head to the PANHANDLE to . . .
Historic downtown Abilene for the Grace Museum, a steak dinner, and a cool Texas novelty shop.
[All information was accurate at the time of publication, but please call ahead or check websites provided for the most up-to-date info.]
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