In the Heart of Texas
Collected by Andi Fisher , AFAR Local Expert
Texas is massive! There are several well-known cities: Dallas, Austin, Houston and more, each with their own distinct personalities, but always uniquely Texan.
Deep Ellum, Dallas, TX, USA
One of Dallas’s earliest neighborhoods, this formerly industrial area just east of downtown has a long history as an entertainment hub, from its days as a hotbed of blues and jazz clubs in the 1920s, to the 1980s, when local bands like the...
2440 Victory Park Ln, Dallas, TX 75219, USA
Though Dallas’ public transportation network is expanding, it’s still tough to really enjoy the city without a car—which makes the W all the more appealing. Just a short stroll from the American Airlines Center, the hotel is the...
4434 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75219, USA
Here are the rules for a good diner: Breakfast served all day and extra points are awarded for thick cut bacon and crispy hash browns. Busy waitresses who never get flustered are key—ideally she'll be calling customers "honey" and keeping their...
5900 Bishop Blvd, Dallas, TX 75205, USA
Located near the entrance to SMU's campus, The Meadows Museum houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. Its works date from the 10th to the 21st century, covering a thousand years of Spanish...
108 E San Antonio St, Marfa, TX 79843, USA
A new addition to the art hub in the middle of nowhere, Marfa Contemporary occupies a former gas station. Expect to see cutting-edge works by regional and international artists. This appeared in the March/April 2013 issue.
112 Academy Dr, Austin, TX 78704, USA
A compound-like hideaway on a leafy street a block from trendy South Congress, Hotel Saint Cecilia is a retro-glam love letter to the 1960s and '70s rock music scene, named for the patron saint of music and poetry. But that doesn’t mean that...
1209 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702, USA
Hillside Farmacy is a farm-to-table restaurant in Austin built around a pharmacy theme. While it may sound odd, the execution is brilliant, with incredible food and wonderfully eclectic design. The restaurant space was formerly the home of a...
1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, USA
There is nothing like chilling on a great patio with friends on a nice afternoon. When the weather is perfect I usually rally the troupes and head to Perla's to lounge under the huge oak trees, play shuffle board, snack on great appetizers, and...
16710 Ranch Rd 965, Fredericksburg, TX 78624, USA
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is truly a mystical place, filled with Native American folklore. The Tonkawa people who inhabited the area in the 16th century thought it was special because they thought they saw ghost fires flickering at the top...
Amarillo, TX, TX, USA
CATCH (Do): You may have heard of the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo Texas: the series of painted Cadillacs, rear up and situated in a line in the middle of a field. But you've probably never seen VW Beetle Ranch in Conway, Texas, just a short...
7701 Interstate 40 Access Rd, Amarillo, TX 79118, USA
It isn’t fancy, but it is the most interesting hotel in town—all charming, if somewhat faded, classic Texas kitsch. Next door is the famous Big Texan Steak Ranch, where your 72-ounce slab of beef is free if you eat the entire meal in an hour. 7701...
6555 Burnet Rd #400, Austin, TX 78757, USA
From a metal trailer to a brick and mortar restaurant, Bryce Gilmore, owner and head chef at Barley Swine, has elevated food truck cuisine to not only compete with the best restaurants in Austin, but garner himself not one but two Beard Award...
Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, USA
The East Austin Studio Tour is held yearly, two weekends in November when local artist's open their studios and workshops to the public. It's a great way to uncover the neighborhood's concentrated talent and unlikely art scene. I came upon this...
10040 Espada Rd, San Antonio, TX 78214, USA
Mission Espada was the first mission set up in Texas, and dates to the mid 1700's. It remains an active parish today, and an interesting place to visit. Far from a relic, Espada allows visitors to experience its involvement with the local...
San Antonio, TX 78205, USA
Festive Plaza in La Villita, a complex with shops run by local artisans, offers a more unique experience than the souvenir-selling El Mercado. Aside from shopping for authentic handmade goods, you can learn about its rich history. Self-guided...
6550 Comanche Trail, Austin, TX 78732, USA
Seriously, almost every night, you can enjoy a perfect sunset here. This is one money-maker, an enormous restaurant on a hilltop overlooking Lake Travis, outside Austin. The Oasis. The drinks are cold, and there's lots of room; the drinks are...
18300 Farm to Market Rd 1826, Driftwood, TX 78619, USA
I have dreams about the family style BBQ from the Salt Lick, it's that good. Located beneath the oak trees in a sprawling space in Driftwood, Texas, it is the perfect place to gather with friends and family and celebrate all things Texan. On the...
12141 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077, USA
Crisp, homemade plantain chips with mango salsa and chimichurri is the perfect five o'clock snack. If you disagree, there are 10,000 products from over 50 countries of exotic, hard-to-find goods. The great prices they can offer come from the...
4123 Cedar Springs Rd #110, Dallas, TX 75219, USA
(note: Cedar Grove restaurant is formally known as Dish) Dish made a veritable splash upon entering Dallas' dining scene in 2009, and the fact that it's remained a culinary bright spot since is a testament to its fantastic reinventions. The...
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