Love for the Lone Star State
Collected by Bronwen Gregory, AFAR Local Expert
You'll be surprised by how much you'll love Texas, especially the Hill Country. You know you're curious. You've heard Austin is the 'Live Music Capital of the World', that the Keep Austin Weird Campaign keeps creative and locally owned businesses thriving and that the no shortage of hiking, running and biking trails in the heart of the city limits makes this hub one of the most fit towns in America. Come and find out why everyone is so darn happy and boot scoot the night away.
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...
114 Linden St, Austin, TX 78702, USA
Lustre Pearl had me immediately upon entry, with the neon sign above the fireplace reading 'ici tout est bon' (here, all is good). The space is hugely appealing, especially the exterior with ping pong tables and rocking chairs galore. With bars...
1522 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, USA
When you're hitting the food truck or restaurant scene on South Congress, be sure to head in to Allens (look for the big red boot) to be wowed by the craftsmanship and the selection. The minute you open the entrance door, the smell of leather hits...
3201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704, USA
This Texas Dancehall will have you two stepping the night away, in the the spirit of the musical history that dates back to Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys. There's traditional country music played by true country musicians and autographed photos...
4515 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78745, USA
This live music venue, in the self-proclaimed capital of exactly that, is a great way to finish an evening in the South Congress area of Austin. I recommend staying across the street at the modern, cozy and cool Hotel San Jose so that you can...
57629 Luckenbach, Germany
If you're in the Texas Hill Country, Luckenbach is a non negotiable stop on any road trip. Founded by German settlers in the 1840's this small town (population 3), aims to please and man, do those peeled potato fries ever hit the spot. There's a...
2918, 407 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701, USA
1600 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, USA
Hands down... my favorite place for Sunday brunch in Austin is the South Congress Cafe (note that they serve brunch every day of the week). The restaurant is also a great place for lunch or dinner, but I love hitting the SoCo Cafe late Sunday...
4901 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA
This is the home, to the best hamburger in Texas and something that was my family's Saturday tradition growing up. I still wake up on Saturday's craving Kincaid's, especially during football season. Kincaid's Hamburgers was established in 1946 as...
756 Houston St, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Aggieland: Home of the 12th Man and arguably one of the most committed and spirited student bodies in America. College Station is home to Texas A & M University (the oldest public school in the state of Texas) and an evening football game at Kyle...
0001, 3700 W Berry St, Fort Worth, TX 76129, USA
I loved growing up in Fort Worth and I'm convinced it's the 'next Austin'. The parks, the modern art scene, the Trinity River, the growing gourmet food scene are all such hits. Don't forget Sundance Square, Cowtown, Billy Bob's or the Bass Hall....
2131 William Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78746, USA
Texas summers are hot! When the heat hits, the people of Austin flock to the Barton Springs Pool to cool off and chill out. The $8 summer entrance fee (for nonresidents) buys you a whole day of fun. Get your hand stamped for reentry if...
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...
1950 S IH 35 Frontage Rd, Austin, TX 78704, USA
I think that the Whip In is my favorite place in all of Austin. Anyone who knows me can probably guess this. I am biased, as our house is only a few blocks away (and I often joke that the main reason we bought the house was its proximity to the...
1900 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704, USA
The Bouldin Creek Coffee House has become a South Austin staple. The entirely vegetarian menu is still diverse and the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Bouldin Creek is a big hangout for the "Keep Austin Weird" community and...
178 Landa Park Dr, New Braunfels, TX 78130, USA
Wurstfest is an epic "10 Day Salute to Sausage" held every November in New Braunfels, Texas, about an hour outside of Austin. Run by a local non-profit aimed at promoting local commerce and preserving the community’s German heritage, these...
307 University Dr, College Station, TX 77840, USA
Since 1974 the Dixie Chicken has been THE place in College Station, Texas for a serious burger and a cold beer, before or after any Texas A&M sporting event. Home to one of the largest undergraduate populations in the United States and Texas'...
Fredericksburg, TX 78624, USA
Yes, Texas! Kick up those boots and soak up the live music, the BBQ, the Premiere hotels and those glorious stretches of cycling roads that only the Texas Hill Country can offer. Spend time in Austin before Backroads scoops you up and fall in love...
Marfa, TX 79843, USA
I have to say I had my doubts when, in search of a lunch spot during our final day in Marfa, a local shop owner sent us to Fat Lyle's. I didn't know what to make of the unique name of the food stand. But I would put my preconceptions aside and...
802 S Highland Ave, Marfa, TX 79843, USA
I fell in love. I fell in love with the town of Marfa. Safari tents. Stand alone bathtubs. Vintage trailers. Twinkle lights. Hammocks. An off the beaten path campground takes you to another world. You can choose to stay in one of their hip vintage...
Valentine, TX 79854, USA
So bizarre to stumble across a Prada store in the middle of the desert. This art installation by Ballroom Marfa depicts a life-size Prada store. Look closely and you'll find that only one shoe of each pair is displayed and that the store is...
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.
1720 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704, USA
This mural on the exterior of Todd Sanders 'gallery Roadhouse Relics is in the running for THE image most often associated with Austin. Originally made in 1998, it attracts hundreds of locals and visitors alike each day. Currently, Todd Sanders,...
1010 S Pearl Expy, Dallas, TX 75201, USA
The lines are long (expect to wait at least an hour) at this young barbecue joint tucked inside the Dallas Farmers' Market—but the tender, perfectly smoked meats are worth the wait says Daniel Vaugh, barbecue editor of Texas Monthly. "They have...
201 N Main St Ste. 700, Fort Worth, TX 76102, USA
Named after the Sundance Kid, this 35 block residential, entertainment and commercial retail district in Fort Worth has an open, European plaza feel with a twang. There are courtyards and fountains for strolling and cafes and bars for community...
525 Commerce St, Fort Worth, TX 76102, USA
Did you know that Fort Worth, Texas has the nation's third largest cultural district, right in the heart of downtown and Sundance Square? The Bass is the stunning epicenter for the movement that revitalized this downtown area and a spectacular...
206 Avenue D, Marathon, TX 79842, USA
Yes, in the middle of sleepy, little Marathon, TX you will find a place that's open when the gas stations and cafes are not. I thought it was a mirage at first and then walked in and couldn't believe I'd hit the jackpot in the farthest corner of...
1 Cavalry Row,Marfa,TX,79843, Marfa, TX 79843, USA
Dan Flavin's large scale neon works in six works on the grounds of the magical Chinati Foundation will impress you, as will the entire selection of works you are able to view based on which guided tour you decide to join. Donald Judd's vision is...
207 Highland St, Marfa, TX 79843, USA
I couldn't be a bigger fan of hotelier Liz Lambert and all that she's done at El Cosmico. My last minute choice to head to Marfa meant that they were all booked up and I headed to the Paisano Hotel for a lovely, old school experience and one heck...
215 Highland St, Marfa, TX 79843, USA
Make sure that you 'Squeeze' in some beautiful coffee, chocolate and food at SQUEEZE in Marfa, TX to fuel your artsy endeavors. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 am to 3 pm, you'll be impressed by the selection. Originally a juice bar founded in...
909 W San Antonio St, Marfa, TX 79843, USA
All that art at the Chinati Foundation and walking through Marfa to check out the art installations will leave you hungry. Do yourself some good and hit the Food Shark food truck Wednesday through Saturday from 12 noon to 3 pm under the pavilion...
111 S Highland Ave, Marfa, TX 79843, USA
While you are certain to be spending many a mile driving those big, beautiful, 'wide open spaces' (thank you Susan Gibson and Dixie Chicks for that) kinds of roads in West Texas, be sure to tune into the NPR Marfa Public Radio station on KRTS 93.5...
Big Bend National Park, TX, USA
I am utterly smitten with Big Bend National Park and it's varied, stunning landscape. In early September I headed down to get in some quiet road cycling and exploring, since the busy season (and vehicle traffic) doesn't pick up until the October...
2001 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201, USA
It seems wrong to call this Renzo Piano–designed complex a museum—it’s more like a “sculpture safari,” on which you get to experience the pieces in their intended habitat. Opened in 2003, the Nasher Sculpture Center...
Willow City Loop, Texas, USA
Texas cyclists will often claim that this is their favorite bike ride in Texas. It's a classic 55 mile ride aimed to please and aimed to make you work. There are some seriously steep grades, great descents and endless rolling hills. Pack those...
- 1 Weekend Getaways This Coastal California Getaway Is the Big Sur You Haven’t Heard of . . . Yet
- 2 Air Travel Want a Free Volunteer Vacation? JetBlue Has Your Ticket
- 3 Travel News 10 Reasons to Go to London This Fall
- 4 Travel News Greece Bans Anyone Over 220 Pounds From Riding Santorini’s Donkeys
- 5 Travel News New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Train Ride Is Reopening in December