Thu September 6, 2012 11:48 pm By Jordan Breal

 

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 . . . 

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Wed August 29, 2012 10:13 pm By Jordan Breal

During a recent trip to Houston, I decided to make an early-bird dinner reservation so I could get over to the Rice University campus in time for the evening viewing of James Turrell's Light Epiphany. Open since June, the site-specific "skyspace" was commissioned to mark the university's centennial. The pyramidal structure has been outfitted with LED lights that Turrell has programmed to change in particular sequences—one just before sunrise, one just after sunset—in accordance with the solar calendar. Seeing as how the sun always sets on time, I didn't want to be late. 

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Tue August 28, 2012 12:15 am By Jordan Breal

For many travelers, this far West Texas town is a last-chance pit stop before heading south to brave the wilds of Big Bend National Park. But, this past spring, after driving 407 miles (that’s roughly 7 hours and 143 country songs) from Austin to get here, my three friends and I were perfectly content to drop anchor in this desert oasis for a few days. Our plan: to brave nothing wilder than our TV-less hotel room. And so we spent 72 hours shopping, strolling, eating, and exploring along the short stretch of Highway 90 that makes up the town’s main drag. Read on for my Marathon trip guide . . . 

 

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Mon August 27, 2012 9:26 am By Jordan Breal

In one of my favorite descriptions of Marfa, writer David McDannald points out that sometimes it's "a shadow of a town" and sometimes it's "a desert Mardi Gras." At the end of this month, West Texas's buzziest destination will be lit up like Bourbon Street on Fat Tuesday when hundreds of Austinites and Brooklynites and Portlandiers (okay, and maybe some folks from other parts too) roll in for the seventh annual Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love.

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Wed August 22, 2012 8:45 am By Jordan Breal

WHAT: Wild Boar Farms, a roadside farm stand worth pulling over for. WHERE: Stonewall, at the northeast corner of Hwy 290 and Luckenbach Road. WHY: For starters, the head farmer’s name is Daniel Bacon. That’s as good a reason as any to patronize this long, wood-paneled structure, which is less a makeshift farmstand than a mini country market. Plus, it’s open nine months out of the year. I went in thinking I’d buy a bushel of the juicy Hill Country peaches that were in season during my visit and maybe one of the watermelons out front, but once I saw the bounty inside—tomatoes, zucchini, pattypan squash, anasazi beans, jugs of peach cider, Oma’s mini cherry pies, I could go on—I started thinking of the empty refrigerator I’d be returning home to and how to fill it. BONUS POINTS: For ample parking, a public (if rustic) restroom for customers, and the sweetest hand-written note about Mama Bacon’s Mayhaw jelly.

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