A Fort Worth native, Jordan Breal is a graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and joined Texas Monthly in February 2005. As the magazines resident travel writer, she spends most of her time on the road in search of Texass most interesting sights, best hotels, and notable eats.
Jordan chronicles her adventures in her monthly column, The Wanderer, as well as a blog of the same name. She has also written about her home state for Fast Company, National Geographic Traveler, and Whole Living, among other publications.

Articles by Jordan Breal

Bar None

Nov 16, 2013 By Jordan Breal

Houston’s Market Square is one of the state’s most historical spots. Lately it’s also one of the hippest places in the country to get a drink.

Come Padre

Jul 15, 2013 By Jordan Breal

Whether man-made or natural, the charms of South Padre Island are pretty much impossible to resist (especially after a couple of turbo piña coladas).

Treasure This

Mar 11, 2013 By Jordan Breal

Every spring and fall, thousands of buyers head to Round Top Antiques Week, looking for the object of their dreams—or just a cheap doodad to hang from the rearview mirror. A field guide to separating the corny dogs from the nineteenth-century armoires.

Sneak Peek: In March, The Wanderer Goes To . . .

Feb 19, 2013 By Jordan Breal

Sometimes the best vacations are staycations. Though I didn’t have to travel very far to get to my March destination—East Austin—it was a welcome change of scenery. There are far too many shops, restaurants, bars, and other discoveries in the neighborhood to hit them all in a…

Calling All Weekend Wanderers

Jan 30, 2013 By jordanbreal and Jordan Breal

In Texas Monthly’s inaugural issue (forty years ago this month, in February 1973), writer Richard West exhorted “weekend wanderers” to pack up and embrace the three-day vacation. “With a little imagination, planning, and a basic Texas road map,” he wrote, “a very real quality of leisure…

Travaasa Austin, Austin

Jan 21, 2013 By Jordan Breal

A mere fifteen minutes after being buzzed into this secluded wellness resort about thirty miles northwest of downtown, I was floating in an infinity-edge pool with a margarita in hand. As I looked out over the wooded hills surrounding scenic (if drought-depleted) Lake Travis, I struck up a conversation with…

The Inn at Dos Brisas, Washington

Jan 21, 2013 By Jordan Breal

This secluded country escape roughly halfway between Austin and Houston should have a warning posted at its entrance: “Caution: Guests may become incurably spoiled. Stay at your own risk.” Once inside its gates, you’ll wend your way along a narrow road through acres of bucolic farmland, passing organic gardens, pastures…

Hotel Zaza, Houston

Jan 21, 2013 By Jordan Breal

Every square inch of this 315-room hotel in the Museum District exudes the look-at-me personality of a Kardashian sister. Formerly the famed Warwick Hotel (which opened in the twenties), the twelve-story building was transformed into the glitzy ZaZa in 2007 (a sister property of the same name opened in Dallas…

Hotel Galvez, Galveston

Jan 21, 2013 By Jordan Breal

Opened in 1911 as a triumphant symbol of Galveston’s rebirth after the devastating 1900 hurricane, the coast’s premier beachfront hotel unveiled an $11 million face-lift last year on the occasion of its hundredth anniversary. So while you’ll find much-needed upgrades throughout, the Queen of the Gulf still radiates the same…

Rancho Loma Restaurant + Rest, Talpa

Jan 21, 2013 By Jordan Breal

The first thing I noticed as I pulled into this middle-of-nowhere retreat an hour south of Abilene was that I had no cell service (though Sprint customers should have better luck). The second thing I noticed was the achingly pastoral scene surrounding me: an organic garden verdant with heirloom tomatoes…

Riven Rock Ranch

Jan 21, 2013 By Jordan Breal

The most strenuous task you’ll have to accomplish during your stay at this 210-acre working ranch may be uncorking the bottle of Texas wine that’s been set out for your arrival. Unless you consider strolling through a garden or floating the Guadalupe River (bring your own tube) to be unnecessarily…

The Joule, Dallas

Jan 21, 2013 By Jordan Breal

Housed in a twenties-era downtown high-rise, this boutique hotel boasts the only underwater bird’s-eye view of the city. That’s right: if you’re daring enough to swim to the glassed-in edge of the Joule’s heated rooftop pool, which juts out a dramatic eight feet beyond the building’s facade, you can peer…

El Cosmico, Marfa

Jan 21, 2013 By Jordan Breal

The first time I drove by hotelier Liz Lambert’s high-desert “kibbutz,” which sits on a large, flat plot of dusty land just off U.S. 67, I mistook it for a trailer park. Which it basically is, except instead of dumpy double-wides, it’s strewn with seven sleekly restored vintage trailers, from…

Hotel Saint Cecilia, Austin

Jan 21, 2013 By Jordan Breal

Is that Mick Jagger taking an evening swim? It’s hard to tell in the glow of the neon “SOUL” sign that illuminates the tree-lined pool at this coolly decadent boutique hotel, but spotting rock royalty here is about as surprising as encountering a lion while on safari in the Serengeti.

Straight From the Art

Jan 21, 2013 By Jordan Breal

From Fort Worth’s Kimbell to Houston’s Menil, Texas’s museums are home to some of the world's most important paintings and sculptures. To devise a list of our ten greatest works on view, we asked more than sixty curators, gallery owners, critics, and other insiders for their favorites.

The Old-Fashioned Drive

Jan 21, 2013 By Jordan Breal

ROUTE: Paris to DecaturDISTANCE: 148 milesNUMBER OF COUNTIES: 6WHAT TO READ: Michael Andrews’s Historic Texas Courthouses Whenever I start to suffer the ill effects of traffic overload and endless status updates on my smartphone, I set out for a quieter, quainter place that has at least two…

The Art Lover’s Companion

Jan 21, 2013 By Jordan Breal

More than sixty art insiders gave us their list of favorite works of art to see in Texas. So grab your notepad, sketchbook, or iPad and take the ultimate tour of must-see art in Texas.

Gruene

Jan 20, 2013 By Jordan Breal

1. Alibi Boutique Gruene’s unofficial motto may be “Gently Resisting Change Since 1872,” but a new(ish) retail spot southwest of the town’s historic heart has shoppers altering their usual itinerary. This fashionable women’s shop could double as the personal closet of an eco-minded, paparazzi-aware young actress. Decked out in an…

Downtown Nacogdoches

Jan 20, 2013 By Jordan Breal

1. Olde Towne General Store After learning about Nacogdoches’s colorful past at the visitors center across the street, stop in at this down-home deli for sustenance. The chalk-board menus list appetizing offerings—corned beef sandwiches, deviled eggs, loaded baked potatoes topped with barbecue sauce—that’ll bring you back to your grandma’s kitchen.

Marfa Best Western

Jan 20, 2013 By Jordan Breal

In Donald Judd’s last interview before his death, in 1994, the artist explained that he’d first come to Marfa two decades earlier because he “just wanted a place in the Southwest for the summertime.” Whether he intended it or not, this far West Texas town has since become the…

Breaking Away

Jan 20, 2013 By Jordan Breal

Quick! You still have time to get in a great vacation before school starts and summer ends. And with this handy—and extremely thorough—guide to five perfect trips, all you need to do is fill up the tank, buckle up the kids, and go.