“Maybe you want something a little less steep.” The ranger spoke in a neutral tone, but her words sounded like a challenge. As I contemplated the more than forty miles of multiple-use trails that crisscross the limestone-pocked Hill Country SNA, I was not about to admit defeat—at least not…
The names on our boat say “Lester”and “Danny,” but that isn’t us. We don’t bother to correct all the people who call out in our direction as we wait in the middle of a crowd of canoes and kayaks at the Aquarena Center, in San Marcos. We’re at the…
Here is absolutely nobody in the parking lot, nobody on the trail, despite it being a magnificent spring day: blue sky, mild morning sun, and dogwood blossoms floating ethereal beneath the big pines. I’m with my best friend from high school, Kirby—a Houston suburbanite—and his youngest son, Cade, age…
When your guide is a Vietnam veteran who lets it slip that the wooded waterways of East Texas remind him of the missions he led as an elite Army Pathfinder in Southeast Asia, it pays to be ready for anything. If one such waterway is the Neches River, whose…
Canoeing across Caddo Lake, my seven-year-old daughter, Ursula, and I were struck by its eerie beauty. Spanish moss hung from the limbs of centuries-old bald cypress like a shroud. We’d spent the night in one of the air-conditioned log cabins at Caddo Lake State Park, even roasting marshmallows before…
As I trekked along the shady portions of Trail 3, a 6.5-mile route in the Caddo National Grasslands WMA, trying my best to avoid poison ivy, it occurred to me that you don’t necessarily have to head west to find the Texas frontier. The rolling hills and broadleaf forest…
The dunes were aglow in the afternoon sunlight, as though the sand itself were luminescent. A batch of kids charged uphill dragging plastic snow disks behind them, excited for another chance to swoop down the slopes. A roadrunner sat atop a pickup truck, surveying the scene. The 3,840-acre Monahans…
It’s one of those lovely West Texas spring days, when the rain has washed the air clean and the desert is in bloom. My wife and I are hiking along the floor of Palo Duro Canyon amid chinaberry and sotol and juniper, following a small, clear stream with the…
The aoudad ewe poked her head above the thorny mesquite and waving ocotillo, watching as I plodded up toward the ruins of Mariscal Mine. Then the shaggy-bearded goat, a sandy-brown species native to the mountains of North Africa, ducked out of sight. I felt the impulse to double-check where…
It took an arid two-hour drive from the Guadalupe Mountains National Park headquarters, but as we finally pulled into Dog Canyon one April morning, its exquisitely alien splendor left us speechless: the whispering pines, the quartz-specked rocks in a dry creek bed, the broad-tailed hummingbirds, the fields of bear…
Texas may have wild, wide-open spaces, but that doesn’t mean the public has access to them. Ninety-two percent of the state’s land is, in fact, privately owned, which means that some of our most scenic spots are hidden from view. This can present a challenge to the explorer—unless you…
I scratched off the consummate trip on every outdoors-loving Texan’s bucket list—a catered float down Santa Elena Canyon on the Rio Grande—a few years ago, so this spring I returned to Big Bend National Park to tackle the longest and deepest of its canyons, Boquillas. The eighteen-mile chasm…
If you’re a solitude seeker, then the Black Gap WMA is paradise: it has no potable water, no bathrooms, no cell reception, and no other services. Located just east of Big Bend National Park, this sprawling 103,000-acre preserve, which includes a federally protected stretch of the Rio…
A bearded man was busy trapping small birds in a cage. They were brown-headed cowbirds, brood parasites that leave their chicks to be raised in others’ nests. The man was Corbin Neill, the manager of Independence Creek Preserve, a 20,000-acre area about halfway between San Antonio and El Paso…
The Devils River has a reputation as the loneliest, prettiest, most dangerous, and best damn fishingest waterway in all of Texas. I’ll leave it to others to debate these superlatives, but here’s what I do know: coming upon this Caribbean-blue stream amid a rocky landscape that has barely changed…
Most of Texas may be privately owned, but that doesn't mean it's tame. From McKittrick Ridge and the Guadalupe River to Maravillas Canyon and Lake Crockett, here are eighteen places where you can revel in the most natural, untouched—and, yes, savage—aspects of our state.
The state's top offerings, from the papers of a Pulitzer Prize winner to Funny or Die's version of a comedy fest.
What no one says about the most-talked-about city in Texas.
The state's top offerings, from awe-inspiring architectural design to a fantastically far-out film festival.
The state's top offerings, from glorious grape stomping to glory for the Longhorns.
The state's top offerings, from Don Henley's favorite place to the world's biggest dinos.
The state's top offerings, from Shooter Jennings paying tribute to a country music hero to Salvador Dalí's works in 3-D.
The state's top offerings, from a sneak peek of Robert Rodriguez's latest film to the healing power of creativity on display.
The Dallas-based national bus line got its start in 1914 transporting iron ore miners in Minnesota.
The state's top offerings and events, from a tribute to the legendary Candy Barr in Dallas to an ode to aspiring home chefs in Austin.
Ten Instagram photos taken by you, dear reader.
O taste and see that the land is good.
The state’s top events and offerings, from the 75th anniversary of Marvel Comics to the 75th birthday of Billy Joe Shaver.
The state’s top offerings and events, from a photography exhibit about stray dogs to a race for the fastest horse in Texas.
The seaside charms—and plentiful seafood platters—of a small coastal town.
The state’s top offerings and events, from attending a David Lynch retrospective to celebrating the moon.
The state's top events and offerings, from seeing Texas music's next big thing to learning more about the time that Austin "got weird."
Even with the bigger crowds, Port Aransas remains a fisherman's paradise.
Mucking about on the Gulf Coast.
The state's top offerings, from celebrating the 4th of July with Willie in Fort Worth to delving into the mind of a mystery writer in Austin.
The state's top offerings, from iconic album covers in Lubbock to a tepee work of art in San Antonio.
The state's top offerings, from dancing frogs in Dallas to the sounds of a supergroup in San Antonio.
The state's top offerings, from Centro-matic's last tour stop in Dallas to a soapbox derby for grown-ups in Marble Falls.
On June 21, 1974, on a strip of ranchland alongside Interstate 40, an American icon was born.
Because on the journey of life—and say, I-10—everyone needs a pit stop.
The state's top offerings, from death-defying dives in Fort Worth to gator-wrestling in Beaumont.
The state's top offerings, from a unique perspective on meat in Dallas to summer camp for grown-ups in Marfa.
Merchant Mariner John Dunaway shepherds the world's goods across the high seas, chronicling his journeys on Instagram. His stunning images are oceans apart from the average user's. Here are some of his favorites.
The state's top offerings, from iconic pop art in San Antonio to a fiddling extravaganza in Athens.
Its unofficial slogan, “East of Weird,” may be a cheeky nod to its location thirty miles east of Austin, but Bastrop, has plenty of its own character and characters.
Drifting down the river—and through the shops and restaurants—in quiet but quirky Bastrop.
Hear Neil deGrasse Tyson wax philosophical about our bizarre solar system or take a bite from a world-record-setting strawberry shortcake.
The state's top offerings, from seeing celebrity softball in Round Rock to hearing the harrowing tale of a Navy SEAL in Houston.
Plan a weekend hiking mysterious piney paths and playing in the Angelina River using this guide with tips on what to do, where to eat, and where to stay.
Plan a summertime weekend glitzing it up using this guide with tips on what to do, where to eat, and where to stay.