Whether it’s the charm of the hill country, Dallas during the Texas State Fair, or Austin during SXSW, there’s never a shortage of things to do and discover when you’re in the Lone Star State. And that’s not even including the dozens of small towns you’ll visit along the way when you’re driving from one major city to another. In Texas, we drive. That’s just our way of life.
It’s not even a big deal to spend three to four hours driving in any given direction on any given day.
I have personally spent a lot of time traveling across Texas, trying to get familiar with all its territories and terrain. I’m nowhere near being done, but one thing is for certain, and that is that this state is full of charm and character.
Oddly enough, the places I enjoy most are those little towns seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Tucked away a few miles from the main interstate, places like Needville, El Campo, Waco, and so many others, often offer the best slice of Texas hospitality. These cities are rich in history and remind me of the simpler times in my own life. They usually have one unique thing that distinguishes them from the rest of the outlining rural areas in the Lone Star State. That’s half the fun of visiting these spots.
In Rosenberg, I love the restaurant Another Time Soda Fountain & Cafe, for example. They serve old fashioned ice cream floats and sundaes at an actual ice cream bar. In Brenham, you can’t visit without getting a tour of the Blue Bell Creameries factory. Yes, that’s ice cream also. Are you noticing a theme? I have always loved ice cream, and I have always tried to eat as much ice cream as I can every chance I get. If that’s not your speed, there are also pecans along the roadways in some towns, restaurants claiming they have the best chicken or egg salad recipes around, animal safaris and alligator farms, as well festivals and fairs for any reason under the sun.
This year, we attended a lavender festival for the first time in Blanco. In Todd Mission, we usually make it out for the annual Texas Renaissance Festival. Mardi Gras in Galveston is always a good time, as is the Dickens on the Strand annual holiday parade. The missions in San Antonio are the stuff Texas dreams are made of, with culture and heritage oozing out of every corner. They are so much more satisfying to explore than the River Walk. On the road to El Paso, I would highly recommend making a detour either to Marfa to see the Prada store installation, or to Big Bend to visit one of our most amazing natural attractions. Then you can also hit the shops along the El Paso-Mexico border to get some of the best deals around. If you’re a haggler like me, this will definitely be your speed.
On my list to visit still are Fredericksburg, Amarillo, Enchanted Rock, and the Cadillac Ranch, just to name a few.
If you visit in the summer, spring or fall bring plenty of sunscreen. You might even need it in the winter, but the last three months of the year are usually the best for comfortable weather.
I would say plan for the unexpected because that’s probably the best way to describe Texas anyway. We’re not what most people would expect, and when you really take a careful look, you’ll find out our state has so much more to offer than you might think.
So, whether you’re tubing down the Guadalupe River, kayaking up the Colorado, or hollering as you drive past Woman Hollering Creek, remember, everything might not literally be bigger in Texas, but our spirit is definitely larger than most!
Oh yes, and make sure to hit up as many Buc-ee’s gas stations as you can along the way. That’s a thing here in Texas.
Make the most of a Lone Star State excursion by staying at one of the dozens of Best Western Hotels & Resorts along the way. The locals who work here are very friendly and full of helpful advice and recommendations.