The Wanderer

Ask the Wanderer: South Congress And Beyond

Jul 19, 2013 By jordanbreal and Jordan Breal

  Jordan, Hey. I’m heading to Austin at the end of July and—having worked at Philadelphia magazine for a few years—I figured reaching out to you would be the best way to figure out what to do. A few college friends and I will be visiting a…

Ask The Wanderer: Weekend in San Antonio

Mar 13, 2013 By Jordan Breal

I'm always fielding questions from my friends and family about the best things to do and see in Texas. (There's a lot.) So, I thought, why not share some of these exchanges with you? This week: a weekend in San Antonio.

Ask The Wanderer: Hill Country Antiquing & BBQ

Mar 6, 2013 By Jordan Breal

Coming to Austin and want a break from SXSW's landscape of rock shows and long lines? Here are a few small towns, just a stone's throw away, offering some of the state's best barbecue and most charming pieces of the past. 

Ask The Wanderer: What To Do In McKinney

Feb 27, 2013 By Jordan Breal

I'm always fielding questions from my friends and family about the best things to do and see in Texas. (There's a lot.) So, I thought, why not share some of these exchanges with you? First up: McKinney.

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…

Sneak Peek: The Wanderer Goes To…

Dec 13, 2012 By Jordan Breal

While the first issue of 2013 is en route to newsstands and your mailbox (because you are a Texas Monthly subscriber, right?), here's a little preview of some of the sights, sounds, and tastes I discovered while on assignment in...can you guess which Texas town? (Click through to find out.)

The State Fair of Texas: Football + Fried Food

Oct 13, 2012 By Jordan Breal

This time last year, I was leaving the Cotton Bowl along with thousands of football fans who'd made the annual pilgrimage to watch the 106th Red River Rivalry, one of the highlights of the State Fair of Texas. While throngs of UT fans were making a beeline for the parking lot, dejected after their loss (a scene that was played out again today), I noticed many of the OU faithful heading straight for the fried food stands, eager to celebrate their victory by eating something—anything, everything—dipped in batter and dunked in hot oil. Naturally, I joined them. (Full disclosure: Although I am a native Texan and, thus, feel obligated to root for the home team even though I did not attend UT, my brother is a faithful OU alumnus, and I feel obligated to extend my unconditional sibling support even though he decided to go to school in Oklahoma. Plus, I went to school in Illinois, so I have no room to talk.) In between yells of "Boomer!," the celebratory Sooners popped doughy balls of fried beer into their mouths and hoisted paper boats filled with golden Oreos into the air like they were brandishing the Golden Hat itself.

Where To Stay Now 2012: The Ten Best New (Or Improved!) Texas Hotels

Oct 12, 2012 By Jordan Breal

As a recent study of hotel booking trends pointed out, us Texans prefer to vacation in Texas. Since our last roundup of the state's most notable lodgings was in 2004, I thought it was high time to revisit the subject. So I drafted a list of 44 hotels that have opened or undergone significant renovations in the last 8 years. I then winnowed that list down and booked rooms (anonymously) at 24 properties across the state to determine my favorites. Although my full reviews will be available next week (the November issue goes live on TexasMonthly.com on Wednesday and hits newsstands on Thursday), I wanted to go ahead and share my ten favorites (plus the five that nearly made the cut) . . . .   

Coming Soon: Where To Stay Now 2012

Oct 11, 2012 By Jordan Breal

So I’ve been MIA from the blog lately, but I think I have a pretty good excuse, as I’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on a Texas travel feature for our November issue. For the latest installment of “Where To Stay…

Sneak Peek: The Wanderer Goes To . . .

Sep 17, 2012 By Jordan Breal

For the October installment of the Wanderer, I spent three days exploring a Houston hood with a colorful history (a 1973 Texas Monthly article called it “the strangest neighborhood in Texas”) and a colorful array of shops, restaurants, and watering holes. Can…

Spotted in Bandera

Sep 17, 2012 By Jordan Breal

  For my first official outing as the Wanderer, I got to play cowgirl for a few days in Bandera, the (self-proclaimed) Cowboy Capital of the World. As I was busy riding horses, two-stepping, and eating fried delicacies, I managed to…

Choose Your Own Texas Adventure

Sep 6, 2012 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 . . . 

Houston: James Turrell’s Skyspace

Aug 29, 2012 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…

Marathon: Get Outta Town

Aug 27, 2012 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…

Marfa: Trans-Pecos Gathering of Music + Love

Aug 27, 2012 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…

Roadside Attraction: Wild Boar Farms

Aug 22, 2012 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,…

Wandering Around the Great State of Texas

Aug 22, 2012 By Jordan Breal

If you’ve already picked up your copy of Texas Monthly‘s September issue, you’ve noticed that the magazine has undergone a top-to-bottom redesign. In the new Touts section, you’ll find the debut of my Texas travel column, the Wanderer (or, as my colleagues like to…