Articles by Suzy Banks

River Deep, Mountain High

Jan 20, 2013 By Suzy Banks

There are any number of fun, adventurous, and unexpected things to do in the Big Bend region of far West Texas. Here are fifteen of my favorites, including scuba diving in Balmorhea, gliding over Marfa, drinking a microbrew in Alpine, horseback riding in Fort Davis, and floating through the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande.

Go Wild

Jan 20, 2013 By Suzy Banks

With a little planning and these gardening tips, growing your own wildflower meadow will become second nature.

How Sweet It Is

Jan 20, 2013 By Suzy Banks

We Texans go bananas over peaches, buying them by the bushel, making pies and preserves, freezing them for the future. So what are you waiting for? Bite into summer and let the juice dribble down your chin.

Shore ’Nuff

Jan 20, 2013 By Suzy Banks

The best beaches in Texas for—among other summertime pursuits—shelling, strolling, birding, fishing, treasure hunting, turtle herding, solitude, and surfing, dude.

Hotels

Jan 20, 2013 By Suzy Banks

Big, breezy porches in Port Aransas, the only heated pool for miles in Marathon: You’ll get more than just a bed and breakfast at these ten appealing places to stay.

Home on The Range

Sep 30, 2007 By Suzy Banks

Cibolo Creek Ranch Need your space but can’t afford to buy it? You can rent it by the night at Cibolo Creek Ranch, which clocks in with a whopping 35,000 acres of desert mountains, unexpected springs, and far-reaching history. The resort’s expansive nature extends to its rooms, big…

Dinner Is Served

Sep 30, 2007 By Suzy Banks

Austin Street Cafe, Marfa This renovated adobe house, on a quiet corner a few blocks off Marfa’s main drags, is as dapper and welcoming as a fifties-era fantasy housewife in heels and starched apron holding a plate of warm cookies. The floors are glossy white, abundant windows open…

High and Mighty

Sep 30, 2004 By Suzy Banks

Every once in a while, when I come across something so outrageous, so over-the-top—like Grapevine's new Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center—I can't help myself. I just have to be snotty.

Coasting

May 31, 2004 By Suzy Banks

Since I was a kid growing up on polluted Galveston Bay, I’ve held a grudge against the watery edge of Texas—but no more. Protected wetlands! Pelicans and turtles! Historic buildings! Edible oysters! And that’s not the half shell of it.

Rio de Enero

Jan 1, 2004 By Suzy Banks

When the San Antonio River’s downtown stretches are drained for a week each January, the crowds may ebb too. But it’s a perfect time to discover the waterway’s more natural side.

Ojo Caliente, New Mexico

Jul 31, 2003 By Suzy Banks

I THINK MY AIRLINE CONSPIRED TO heighten my appreciation of Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, a venerable resort between Taos and Santa Fe. After a roller-coaster flight through turbulence east of Albuquerque, the loss of my baggage, and the always-ego-boosting search for an emergency swimsuit, I was more than ready to…

Track Record

May 31, 2003 By Suzy Banks

It's not easy, exactly, but it is possible to get from Texas to places like New Orleans and Chicago on a reasonably comfortable Amtrak train. Just don't expect to be on time.

Head for the Hills

Apr 1, 2003 By Suzy Banks

A friendly bar in Johnson City, a grand old opry in Mason, a cabin with a view of the Sabinal Canyon, and 22 other things I love about the Hill Country.

Back to the Future

Mar 1, 2003 By Suzy Banks

Lured by the lucre of tourism, many small towns can't resist quainting themselves to death—which is why true-to-itself Fayetteville is such a pleasant place to visit.

Michoacán

Sep 30, 2002 By Suzy Banks

MY HUSBAND, RICHARD, AND I were sipping margaritas on the hillside patio at the Villa Montaña hotel. The sun was setting behind the mountains on our left and a midsummer thunderstorm, complete with rainbow, brewed over the mountains on our right. Spread out below us, in all its centuries-old charm,…

My Kind of Town

Aug 31, 2002 By Suzy Banks

I’D BEMOAN THE LOSS OF the Baytown Tunnel, an icon of my childhood (on the drive through it, my sister and I kept our eyes shut and our feet off the floorboards to avoid misfortune), if its replacement, the Fred Hartman Bridge, weren’t such a marvel of engineering. A cable-span…

My Kind of Town

Aug 31, 2002 By Suzy Banks

OVER AT THE HOUSTON ARBORETUM and Nature Center, in Memorial Park, I asked Ruth Milburn, the center’s executive director, what she liked best about the place. She looked at me indulgently and said, “Why, I’m here for the trees.” As I navigated the well-marked trails and boardwalks that weave through…

My Kind of Town

Aug 31, 2002 By Suzy Banks

THANKS TO A LIGHT-RAIL PROJECT scheduled for completion in 2004, much of downtown’s historic district appears to have been rooted up by a monster armadillo. Still, with its shady parks, outdoor sculptures, busy theater district, chic restaurants and clubs, and seven miles of air-conditioned tunnels (in essence, food courts for…

My Kind of Town

Aug 31, 2002 By Suzy Banks

WILLIAMS TOWER (FORMERLY TRANSCO TOWER), a 64-story office building designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee that soars above the Galleria area, is impossible to miss even when you’re zipping down Loop 610. But you need to get out of your car to appreciate the architects’ splashiest touch, the freestanding…

My Kind of Town

Aug 31, 2002 By Suzy Banks

OKAY, SO THE HOUSTON ZOO isn’t exactly an unknown attraction, but how can I ignore this warm and fuzzy institution, especially its newest addition, the John P. McGovern Children’s Zoo? Most of the munchkins I saw scurrying around there were more interested in scaling the giant sculptures of frogs and…