Wednesday, August 24, 2011


(includes Central, East, North, Northeast, Northwest, South, Southeast, Southwest & West Texas; does not include Amarillo, Austin, Beaumont, Big Bend, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Galveston, Hill Country, Houston, Lubbock, Padre Island, Panhandle, San Antonio or Third Coast)

Texpert Tours – 2802 Oak Park Drive (Austin); 512-383-8989;

Sights & Sites
Far West Texas Wildlife Trail –‎.


BASTROP COUNTY (includes Bastrop & Smithville)
Hyatt Lost Pines – 575 Hyatt Lost Pines Road (Lost Pines – between Austin and Bastrop); 512-308-1234 or 888-591-1234;; horse-back riding, kayaking, movies-under-stars; nature walks, and skeet-shooting.
Maxine’s on Main – 905 Main Street; 512-303-0919;; southern dishes like catfish & collards, plus breakfast, are served in cozy, brick-walled cafe.
Roadhouse – 2804 Texas Highway 21 East (across from Bastrop State Park); 512-321-1803;; burgers.
Lost Pines Art Bazaar – 603 Chestnut Street; 512-985-6403;; everything from art to homewares; also Persian carpets.
Sights & Sites
Bastrop State Park – 3005 Highway 21 East; 512-321-2101;; hike the 8.5 mile “Lost Pines Trail,” which will take you past creek, toad pond, through rock outcroppings, mini-gorges, and wooded ravines, filled with oaks and loblolly pines.
Historic Home Walk – 702 Main Street; 512-303-0057;; 1308 Main Street (Otto Amthor House – 1911), to 1307 Main Street (White-Turner House – 1890), 1403 Main Street (Brooks-Wilbarger House – 1842), 1402 Main Street (Cayton Erhard House – 1855), 1401 Church Street (Harriet Erhard House – 1890s), 1402 Church Street (H.P. Luckett House – 1892), 1408 Church Street (Allen-Bell House – 1850s), 1501 Church Street (R.A. Green House – 1851), 1508 Church Street (B.D. Orgain House – 1881), 602 Cedar (Sarah Orgain House – 1867), 1402 Wilson (Crocheron House – 1857), and 1307 Church (Hall Sayers Perkins House – mid-1800s); last house historically has maintained huge herb garden.
Lake Bastrop South Shore Park – County Road 352-South Shore Road;; low traffic park; 3 pine-padded trail miles.
McKinney Roughs Nature Park – 1884 Highway 71 West (next door to Hyatt Lost Pines); 512-303-5073 or 888-591-1234;

Zimmerhanzel’s BBQ – 307 Royston Street (Loop 230); 512-237-4244;

BELL COUNTY (includes Belton & Salado)
Lone Star Cabin at Summer’s Mill – 7441 FM 1123; 254-939-6194;; secluded cabin in country; shower for 2 & Jacuzzi; old fireplace; fully equipped kitchen.
Miller’s Smokehouse – 208 North Penelope Street; 254-939-5500;; cooking originally done in front part of meat-processing & taxidermy establishment; now just restaurant; notable for sausage and brisket.

Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Salado Vintage Cakery & Bistro – 21 North Main Street, Suite 4; 254-247-9358;; cakes, cupcakes, German Cheese Cake, wedding cakes, etc.
Bars & Nightclubs
Barrow Brewing Co. – 108 Royal Street (Salado); 254-947-3544;; micro-brewery; rotating food trucks on grounds.
Johnny’s Steaks & Bar-Be-Que – 301 Thomas Arnold Road; 254-947-4663;; specializes in Mesquite-grilled steaks & Texas pit BBQ; great for breakfast.
Salado Vintage Cakery & Bistro – 21 North Main Street, Suite 4; 254-247-9358;; burgers, fries & shakes; also Monte Cristos & soups.
Ro Shaw Clay Studio – 2 Peddler’s Alley; 903-456-8348;; can speak with potter; worth special trip.

BRAZOS COUNTY (includes Bryan & Wixon Valley)
Bryan (includes College Station & Wellborn)
Bars & Nightclubs
RX Pizza – 200 West 26th Street; 979-721-9158;; craft cocktails.
Abigaile’s Treehouse – 1015 East 24th Street (Bryan); 979-229-7032;; set in quiet neighborhood on lovely, wooded lot; 3-story structure, top of which is “Eagle’s Nest,” suite with jacuzzi, fire-place, reading nook, and balcony; ambience is quiet and elegant; owner is lovely, hands-off yet ready to address every concern woman; this should be your 1st choice in area.
Cafe Eccell – 4401 South Texas Avenue (Bryan); 979-599-7929;; continental; among local favorites.
Chicken Oil Co. – 3600 South College Avenue (Bryan); 979-846-3306;; claim to fame is “Death Burger”; menu also includes Buffalo Ranch sandwich, Mesquite grilled chicken salad, chef salad, and chicken fried steak.
Christoper’s World Grille – 5001 Boonville Road (Bryan); 979-776-2181;; best restaurant in town but expensive; fine dining in turn-of-century ranch house.
Dixie Chicken – 307 University Drive (Northgate area, College Station); 979-846-2322;; nationally celebrated for being among America’s top bars (really?); 10am-2am, 7 days weekly.
Dry Bean Saloon – 305 University (Northgate area, College Station); 979-846-4300;; located next to Dixie Chicken; while can get beer at this shotgun style bar, drinks and specialty shots are notable; Monday-Saturday 4pm-2am and Sunday 7pm-2am.
La Familia – 300 North Texas Avenue (Bryan); 979-822-9192; great breakfast tacos.
Fargo’s Pit BBQ – 720 North Texas Avenue (Bryan); 979-778-3662;; spectacular spareribs and well-seasoned pork; brisket among best in Texas.
Hullabaloo Diner – 15047 FM 2154 (Bryan); 979-690-3002;; old-fashioned diner, newly presented; breakfast, lunch, and supper.
Madden’s Casual Gourmet – 202 South Bryan Avenue (Bryan); 979-779-2558;; very highly regarded; open for breakfast.
Must Be Heaven – 1136 East Villa Maria Road (Bryan); 979-731-8891 or 877-566-7321;; great for lunch (especially sandwiches) & pies.
Must Be Heaven – 100 South Main Street (Bryan); 979-822-7722 or 877-566-7321;; great for lunch (especially sandwiches) & pies.
Must Be Heaven – 1700 Rock Prairie Road West (College Station); 979-764-9222 or 877-566-7321;; great for lunch (especially sandwiches) & pies.
Ohana Korean Grill – 2501 South Texas Avenue, Suite D-102 (College Station); 979-680-9911;
Republic – 701 University Drive East, #406 (College Station); 979-260-4120;; steakhouse; expensive.
RX Pizza – 200 West 26th Street; 979-721-9158;; brick oven pizza.

Wixon Valley
Joe’s Place – 9376 State Highway 21 East; 979-589-2693;; fabled hole-in-wall since 1940; order cheeseburger basket.

CALDWELL & GUADALUPE COUNTIES (includes Lockhart & Luling)
Black’s – 215 North Main Street; 512-398-2712;; barbecue.
Kreuz Market – 619 North Colorado Street; 512-398-2361;; massive, cathedral-like structure and for the devotion with which its supplicants line up outside on Saturdays as if for church service; you get no sauce or even utensils here; flavor derives from oak chips that seal in pork chops’ and ribs’ juices and softly rendered fat with wonderfully thick, black smoke ring.
Smitty’s Market – 208 South Commerce Street; 512-398-9344;; Kreuz Market underwent name change in 1999 when Nina Schmidt-Sells (Edgar “Smitty” Schmidt’s daughter) allowed her brother Rick to take original Kreuz name (and some of its coals, from fire said to never die) and open “new” Kreuz Market down street; Smitty’s still occupies same century-old store in which Charles Kreuz 1st began smoking meat in 1900; share communal tables under smoke-stained, pressed-tin ceilings; have to pay with cash (or check).

City Market – 633 East Davis Street; 830-875-9019;; barbecue.
Luling Bar-B-Q – 709 East Davis Street; 830-875-3848;; barbecue; great pork ribs.
Boat Rentals/City of Luling – 512-227-1724 or 830-227-1724 (call at least 24 hours ahead);
Sights & Sites
San Marcos River – US 90 to Zedler Mill; easy paddling; 6 miles, 2-4 hours.

Bars & Nightclubs
Eola School Restaurant & Brewery – 12119 Farm-to-Market 381 Road; 325-469-3314;; craft beers.

CORYELL COUNTY (includes Gatesville)
El Tapatio – 1509 West Main Street (between North 15th & Park Streets); 254-865-5726;; Mexican food.

FALLS COUNTY (includes Marlin)
Whup’s Boomerang Bar-B-Que – 1203 Bennett Street; 254-883-5770; ribs are stars here.

GONZALES COUNTY (includes Gonzales)
Belle Oaks Inn – 222 St. Peter Street; 830-857-8613;; elegant B&B offering rooms with antique furniture & free WiFi, plus outdoor pool; 7 rooms; lush grounds.
Discovery Architectural Antiques – 409 Saint Francis Street; 830-672-2428;; huge warehouse packed with flooring, old doors; also has mill, retail shop, and workshop.
Sights & Sites
Palmetto State Park – 78 Park Road (Highway 11 South); 830-672-3266;; so cool, so tiny.

LAMPASAS & SAN SABA COUNTIES (includes Bend, Lampasas & San Saba)
Sights & Sites
Colorado Bend State Park – County Road 446 (Bend, in San Saba County); 325-628-3240 or 512-389-8900 (reservations);; hike to Gorman Falls, like Pacific Rim rainforest.

Storm’s Drive-In – 201 North Key Avenue; 512-556-6269;

San Saba
Dofflemyer Hotel – 108 South High Street; 325-372-5614;; 3 rooms (with 2 queen beds in each) & 3 rooms (with king beds); each room uniquely decorated & equipped with desk, seating, television & wardrobe; all rooms have private bathroom; bathrooms have “retro” feel with distinct blend of marble & subway tiles; luxury bath products, bath robes & hair dryer; complimentary coffee bar in upstairs lobby & complimentary Wi-Fi; bistro serves breakfast & lunch.

LEE COUNTY (includes Giddings, Lexington & Serbin)
City Meat Market – 101 West Austin Street; 979-542-2740;; sausage is main specialty here; great ribs, too.

Snow’s BBQ – 516 Main Street; 979-773-4640;; among Texas’ top barbecue purveyors.

Sights & Sites
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – 1578 County Road 211; 879-366-2218;; painted church.

LIMESTONE COUNTY (includes Mexia)
Jim’s Krispy Fried Chicken – 312 East Milam Street; 254-562-5035.
Kirby’s Barbeque – 4592 Texas Highway 14 North; 254-562-5076; excellent barbecue.
Sights & Sites
Navasota River – Fort Parker State Park to Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site; easy paddling; 6 miles, 2-4 hours.

McCLENNAN COUNTY (includes Waco & West)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Alpha Omega – 929 Franklin Avenue; 254-732-7506;; Greek & Mediterranean; good coffeeshop.
Common Grounds – 1123 South 8th Street; 254-757-2957;; coffee shop.
Dichotomy Coffee & Spirit – 508 Austin Avenue; 254-214-7410;
Bars & Nightclubs
Brazos Bar & Bistro – 211 Clay Avenue (at Hotel Indigo); 254-754-7000;; good liquor and average wine selection.
Dichotomy Coffee & Spirit – 508 Austin Avenue; 254-214-7410;
Hotel Indigo – 211 Clay Avenue; 254-754-7000 or 877-270-1392;
Brazos Bar & Bistro – 211 Clay Avenue (at Hotel Indigo); 254-754-7000;; good liquor and average wine selection; among best bets in Waco for civilized meal and salad.
Clay Pot – 920 South Jack Kultgen Expressway; 254-756-2721;; Vietnamese.
Cupp’s Drive Inn – 1424 Speight Avenue; 254-753-9364;; 8:30 to 3:30; breakfast & lunch; chicken-fried steak sandwiches; where firemen & EMTs go for breakfast so good coffee.
DiamondBack’s – 217 Mary Avenue; 254-757-2871;; steak & sushi.
Elite Circle Grill – 2132 South Valley Mills Drive; 254-754-4941;; since 1919; family cooking.
1424 Bistro – 1424 Washington; 254-752-7385;; small, family-owned, casual; bistro fare.
George’s Restaurant & Bar – 1925 Speight Avenue; 254-753-1421;; chicken-fried steak since 1930.
Health Camp – 2601 Circle Road; 254-752-2081;; old-fashioned burger & shake joint.
Kitok – 1815 North 18th Street; 254-754-1801;; primarily for burgers.
Manny’s on River – 1620 North Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard; 254-757-1617;; average Mexican food on riverside patio; breakfast, lunch & supper.
Real Deal Soul Food – 201 South Loop Drive; 254-412-1277;
135 Prime – 1201 Hewitt Drive, Suite 1; 254-666-3100;; steaks.
Poppa Rollo’s Pizza – 703 North Valley Mills Drive; 254-776-6776; pizza; eat in secret room behind non-working pay phone.
Vitek’s BBQ – 1600 Speight Avenue; 254-752-7591;; standard barbecue favorite but tolerable setting; notable for “Gutpak” - cornchip & beef dish.
Sights & Sites
F. L. Carroll Chapel & Library (at Baylor University, also referred to as Texas Collection) – One Bear Place, #97142; 254-710-1268;; has portrait of portrait of R.E.B. Baylor by Tom Lea.
Dr. Pepper Museum – 300 South 5th Street; 254-757-1025;; original 1906 bottling plant.
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame – 100 Texas Ranger Trail; 254-750-8631;; displays “Little Shade” (1965) & “Yonder’s Fort Fisher and Here’s Recruit” (1968) by Tom Lea.

Style Station Vintage – 17265 North Interstate Highway 35 (West); 254-829-0447;; vintage Texas threads.

McCULLOCH COUNTY (includes Melvin)
Jacoby’s Cafe – 101 North Main Street; 325-286-4242;; try Keltz Burger.

REAL COUNTY (includes Camp Wood & Rio Frio)
Camp Wood
Big Oak River Camp – 32598 Texas Highway 55; 830-597-5280;; log cabins with red roofs, some with A/C; all full kitchen & bath facilities; kitchens fully stocked with all pots/pans, dishes & cooking/eating utensils; microwave, coffee pot & Direct TV; Queen size bed, full size futon & small dining table; no linens so bring own; BBQ Pit, fire ring, picnic table & porch swing; swimming pool.
Mill Wheel on Nueces Guest Cottages – 698-614 North Nueces Street; 830-597-4411;
River House – 254 Leon Klink Street; 830-597-2310 or 830-597-6310;
Rocky River Camp – 751 River Road; 830-597-4239;; campground with 2K' river access on crystal clear Nueces River portion; fishing, hiking & swimming; ruggedly, picturesque location; 6 cabins, some of which sleep up to 6 people (if you like coziness).
Sunshine Cottage (Mill Wheel on Nueces) – 604-610 Nueces Street; 830-597-2310;; porch across front with swing for relaxing; big oak trees; tin roof; working fireplace flanked by 2 windows; sleeps up to 6 people.
Sights & Sites
Mill Wheel Swimming Hole.

Rio Frio
River Bluff Cabins – 389 Cooper Mountain Road; 830-232-5775;
Sights & Sites
Quince – River Road (off Texas Highway 55);; swimming hole.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY (includes Georgetown, Round Rock & Taylor)
Georgetown (includes Walburg)
Monument Cafe – 500 South Austin Avenue; 512-930-9586;; try classic chocolate or coconut cream pie.
Walburg German Restaurant – 3777 FM 972 (Walburg, 11 miles east of Georgetown); 512-863-8440;; originally dry-goods store from 1882.
Sights & Sights
Blue Hole – 3rd & Rock Streets; 512-930-3595;; swimming hole and park.

Round Rock
Round Rock Donuts – 106 West Liberty Street; 512-255-3629;; opens at 4 a.m.; .55 for cake donuts and .75 for jelly-filled (try cherry Bismarck).

Louie Mueller BBQ – 206 West 2nd Street; 512-352-6206;; barbecue cooked same way since 1949.


CHEROKEE COUNTY (includes Jacksonville)
Ritual Luncheonette – 214 South Main Street; 903-284-6880;; French-inspired luncheonette; amazing food.

HENDERSON COUNTY (includes Athens)
Athens (includes Canton, Eubanks, LaRue & Mineola)
Palms’ Cabanas – 542 East Highway 64 (Eubanks-Canton); 214-202-7706;; 12-room mountain lodge with unique décor, kitchenettes, and private porches.
Tara Inn – 8603 CR 3914; 903-675-7023;; 4 rooms with wraparound porches overlooking Henderson County’s oldest winery.
East Texas Burger Co. – 126 East Broad Street (Mineola); 903-569-3140;; try apricot fried or peanut butter pies, and sweet potato fries, as well as burgers.
Ochoa’s Mexican Restaurant – 205 North Murchison Street, #103; 903-677-1316; family-operated local chain with queso and salsa “to die for.”
Railway Cafe – 210 North Palestine Street; 903-264-7245;
Sights & Sites
Athens Scuba Park – 500 North Murchison Street; 903-675-5762;
NY-TX Zipline Adventures – 7290 CR 4328 (LaRue); 903-681-3791;; get panoramic East Texas’ rolling hills view.
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center – 5550 FM 2495; 903-676-2277;; 300K gallon aquaria with native Texas fish, daily dive show, alligator exhibit, and wetlands trail.

HILL COUNTY (includes Whitney)
Arrowhead Resort – 106 Arrowhead Road; 254-694-3044 or 888-412-3044;
Sights & Sights
Lake Whitney State Park – FM 1244; 254-694-3793;

HOUSTON COUNTY (includes Alto & Grapeland, Kennard & Ratcliff)
Alto & Grapeland
Sights & Sites
Caddo Mounds State Historic Site (also known as George C. Davis Site) – 1649 Texas 21 (Alto, near its intersection with US Route 69, in Piney Woods region); 936-858-3218;; archaeological site in Cherokee County; used by Caddoan Mississippian culture; composed of ceremonial center & prehistoric village; located on original El Camino Real de los Tejas trail, dating before European exploration; 2 platform mounds & 1 burial mound; founded in approximately 800 CE, with most major construction taking place between 1100-1300 CE; museum exhibits approximately 200 artifacts, including pottery, tools & weapons; visitors can walk .7 miles self-guided interpretive trail to see low burial temple & ceremonial mounds; additional trail along El Camino Real is also available.
Mission Tejas State Park – 120 Park Road 44 (Grapeland); 936-687-2394;; 660-acre state park developed by CCC; where 1st Spanish mission located originally; representation onsite.

Larry Bruce Gardens – 3198 County Road 4600; 936-655-4025;; Sunday buffet worth special trip; great food.

Wildflours – 18644 Texas Highway 7; 936-655-2203;; great burgers.

JASPER COUNTY (includes Jasper)
Jasper (includes Zavalla)
Billy’s Old Fashion BBQ – 1601 North Main Street; 409-384-8384; thick, fatty, brisket slices; also, heft pork ribs.
Sights & Sites
Angelina National Forest – 111 Walnut Ridge Road (Zavalla); 936-897-1068;; 1 of 4 U.S. National Forests in Texas; 153K acres; extends through Angelina, Jasper, Nacogdoches & San Augustine counties; lies in Neches River Basin & on north and south shores of Sam Rayburn Reservoir; principal game in area is deer, squirrel, wild turkey, woodcock, quail, dove & duck; wintering habitat for Bald Eagle; Red-cockaded Woodpecker found throughout; make sure to see Boykin Springs Recreation Area.
Boykin Springs Recreation Area – 111 Walnut Ridge Road (Zavalla, within Angelina National Forest); 936-897-1068;; dammed springs create 9 acre swimming hole.

MARION COUNTY (includes Jefferson)
Jefferson (includes Karnack & Uncertain)
House of Seasons – 409 South Alley Street; 903-665-8000;; lovely, old mansion.
Excelsior House Hotel – 211 West Austin Street; 903-665-2513;; in business since 1850.
Stillwater Inn – 203 East Broadway Street; 903-665-8415;; owner is former Adolphus Hotel French Room chef; one cottage.
Austin Street Bistro – 117 East Austin Street; 903-665-9700;; easily best food in east Texas.
Hamburger Store – 101 South Market; 903-665-3251.
Joseph’s Riverport Barbecue – 201 North Polk Street; 903-665-2341; no trimming here so crust and fat everywhere; worth special trip.
Stillwater Inn – 203 East Broadway Street; 903-665-8415;; owner is former Adolphus Hotel French Room chef; one cottage.
Sights & Sites
Caddo Lake State Park – 245 Park Road 2 (Karnack); 903-679-3351;; 1 of Texas’ few natural lakes; created by gigantic log jam known as Great Raft created as result of 1812 New Madrid earthquake (earthquake’s seismic waves caused ground to sink, which filled up and became lake, then causing large log jam that blocked Red River and acted as natural dam; sprawling maze of bayous and sloughs covering 27K acres cypress swamp; 71 fish species, stately cypress trees, American lotus, water lilies, waterfowl, alligators, turtles, frogs, snakes, raccoons, mink, coypu, beavers, squirrels, armadillos, and white-tailed deer.
Goat Island – Carter’s Chute (Karnack); 903-679-3351;; to get to Goat Island, from Marshall travel 13 miles north on Texas Highway 43, then right on FM 2198, then continue 1/2 mile to Caddo Lake State Park headquarters for canoe rentals; then, to get to Carter’s Chute, travel mile north on Texas Highway 43, right on FM 805 East, then follow CR 3444 to lake.

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY (includes Nacogdoches)
Butcher Boys Smokehouse & Deli – 603 North Street; 936-560-1137;; barbecue, steaks & homemade pie for dessert.
Nacburger – 3205 North University Drive, Suite O; 936-205-9835;; average burgers.

PANOLA COUNTY (includes Deadwood)
Sights & Sites
Republic of Texas Boundary Marker – Texas Farm-to-Market Road 31/Louisiana Highway 765 (on Louisiana/Texas state line, 6 miles from Logansport, Louisiana & 10 miles from Deadwood, Texas);; last remaining Republic of Texas international boundary marker.

POLK COUNTY (includes Livingston)
Hitch-N-Post BBQ – 1880 Farm-to-Market 350 South; 936-967-0161; owner is former Polk County sheriff; everything is great but leave room for buttermilk pecan pie.

HENDERSON COUNTY (includes Calvert)
Cocoamoda – 518 Main Street; 979-364-2190;; upscale chocolate shop & French bistro offering light lunches & BYOB, set-price dinner menus.

RUSK & SMITH COUNTIES (includes Henderson, Overton & Tyler)
Bob’s Bar-B-Que – 1205 Pope Street; 903-657-8301;; ask pitmaster to leave on crusty edges; great boudin and cobbler, too.

Overton (includes Arp)
High Hill Farm – 12626 County Road 217 (Arp); 903-730-5055;; 75-acre spread overgrown with hardwoods; 3 pastel bungalows outfitted with small, private yards; pool & vineyard; bar (Napoleon) & restaurant (Côte); miles of nature trails.

Bars & Nightclubs
Grove – 3500 Old Jacksonville Highway; 903-939-0209;; cocktails.
Kiepersol Bed & Breakfast – 21508 Merlot Lane; 903-894-3300;; 5 rooms; fine linens, king beds & private baths.
Grove – 3500 Old Jacksonville Highway; 903-939-0209;; farm-to-table ethos but also barbecue.
Kiepersol Restaurant – 21508 Merlot Lane; 903-894-3300;; fine dining destination; steaks; call ahead because not always open (to public).
Stanley’s Famous Pit Barbecue – 525 South Beckham Avenue; 903-593-0311;; baby back ribs & smoked turkey.
Villa Montez – 3324 Old Henderson Highway; 903-592-9696;; inventive Latin food; must have lobster tacos.
Julian’s Asian Diner – 5201 South Broadway Avenue, #122; 903-509-8833;; inventive New American; try Basa (Vietnamese white fish, wok-seared and served in sweet, soy-based sauce).

SABINE COUNTY (includes Jacksonville)
Lonesome Pine Mercantile – 150 Main Street; 214-697-3338;; menswear shop.

TYLER COUNTY (including Colmesneil & Woodville)
Sights & Sites
Lake Tejas – 157 Lake Tejas Loop/Texas Highway 256 East; 409-837-2063;; people have flocked to this swimming hole for decades; diving board, slide & plenty of places to cool off; pine trees surrounding lake make it peaceful, relaxing place to cool off in summer.

Elijah’s Café – 810 South Magnolia Street; 409-331-9090; try catfish.

WALKER COUNTY (includes Huntsville & New Waverly)
New Zion Missionary Baptist Church Barbecue – 2601 Montgomery Road; 936-294-0884;; tiny spot, started as fund-raising project 20 years ago; brisket, chicken, and ribs smoked over hickory, mesquite, and pecan mix.
Sights & Sites
Lake Raven – 565 Park Road 40 West (in Huntsville State Park); 936-295-5644;
Sam Houston Memorial Museum – 1836 Sam Houston Avenue (at Sam Houston Memorial Museum complex); 936-295-1832;
Steamboat House – 1836 Sam Houston Avenue (at Sam Houston Memorial Museum complex); 936-295-1832;; Dr. Rufus W. Bailey built in 1858 by as wedding gift for son, but couple refused to live in it because of unusual architecture, which caused locals to nickname it “steamboat”; where Sam Houston died July 26, 1863 (funeral held in upstairs parlor); Bailey died shortly before Houston & son, Frank Bailey, inherited & then sold to A. C. McKeen, who sold to Pleasant Kittrell in 1866; Kittrell died in 1867 as result of same yellow fever epidemic that claimed life of Margaret Lea Houston; thereafter, numerous owners until purchased in 1933 by businessman J. E. Josey, who deeded to Texas Historical Commission; moved to Sam Houston University grounds in 1936.

New Waverly
Sights & Sites
Sam Houston National Forest – 394 FM 1375; 936-344-6205; and; make sure to visit Little Lake Creek Wilderness; 4K-acre wilderness, 2nd-smallest & geologically youngest east Texas wilderness area, located in southwestern corner Sam Houston National Forest; practically every acre serves as feeding habitat for dense population of endangered red-cockaded woodpecker; 7 miles north of Montgomery (on Highway 149) is Lone Star Hiking Trail, which traverses roller-coaster stream branches & ridges to reach Red Loop, which follows creek itself for about 1 mile; Red Loop continues to Twin Ponds, where green-backed herons live, and proceeds uphill to large open grove of black walnuts.


BAYLOR COUNTY (includes Seymour)
Sights & Sites
Post Office – 210 North Washington Street; 940-889-3560; “Comanches” by Tom Lea.

COLLIN & DALLAS COUNTIES (includes Garland)
Prairie Dog Drive In Restaurant – 1933 East Main Street; 972-262-0646; also good for breakfast.
Theo’s Drive-in – 2626 East Main Street (near MacArthur & Main Street intersection); 972-262-3309; open since 1958; after dark, brilliant neon sign lights up old Highway 80; easy to imagine pilots, from Naval Air Station Dallas, stopping by after F8 Crusader training run, in 1963; pull into parking spot under awning; car hop comes to your window (flash lights when ready to order; burgers as well as sandwiches (BLT, ham & cheese, steak, fish, and chicken); indoor dining available.

HOOD COUNTY (includes Granbury)
Inn on Lake Granbury – 205 West Doyle Street; 817-573-0046 or 877-573-0046;; award winning B&B offers 14 luxury guest accommodations on manicured grounds; expanded & renovated in 2005 & 2009; traditional Hill Country style; 200 year old oak trees overlook Lake Granbury; saltwater pool and cascading waterfall; short walk to dining & shopping and dining on Square.
Nutt House – 119 East Bridge Street; 817-279-1207;; historic building on old town square; lists extensive accommodations in area.
Hoffbrau Steaks – 315 East Texas Highway 377; 817-776-4982;; chain.
Sights & Sites
Brazos Drive Theatre – 1800 West Pearl Street; 817-573-1311;; movies.
City Beach Park – 623 West Pearl Street; 817-573-1114;; Lake Granbury has own sandy beach, perfect for swimming & picnicking; includes spray park, SUP/volleyball/bicycle concessionaire, kayak rentals in summer & thatched roof picnic pavilions available on 1st-come, 1st-served basis; can access boardwalk; within walking distance to our historic downtown square.
Granbury Opera House – 116 South Houston Street; 817-573-9191;
Historic Downtown – bounded by Bridge, Crockett, Houston & Pearl Streets;; started as log cabin & square; many buildings now registered historic landmarks, including Granbury Opera House, which still hosts Broadway productions.

LAMAR COUNTY (includes Paris)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Paris Bakery – 120 North Main Street; 903-784-1331;; imaginative sandwiches & Saturday night pizza.
Crawford’s Hole In Wall Cafe – 202 3rd Street Northwest; 903-737-9025;; burgers to salads to sandwiches; people swear by bread pudding.
Sights & Sites
Caddo National Grasslands Wildlife Management Area – 525 Madewell Road; 903-328-9597;
Evergreen Cemetery – 500 Evergreen Street (intersection of Business Highway 19/24); 903-784-6750;; see Jesus in cowboy boots (enter on south side of Evergreen Street, between 5th & 6th Streets Southeast, then drive straight in; Jesus will be at 2nd block in, on left, southwest corner on North Main, Block K).
Trail de Paris – 10.5 picturesque linear miles (21 mile round trip) of contiguous surfaced trail through Paris, Reno, Lamar County, and Blossom; 903-517-9778;

St. Jo
Davis & Blevins Gallery – 108 South Main Street (St, Jo); 940-995-2786;; art by Donna Howell-Sickles & others.
Panache – 201½ East Howell Street; 940-995-4000;; clothing, furniture & home decor.

PALO PINTO & PARKER COUNTIES (includes Mineral Wells, Mingus, Strawn & Weatherford)
Mineral Wells
Double J Hacienda & Art Ranch – 133 Seybold Road; 940-325-1813;
Hashknife on Chisholm – 8131 North US Highway 281; 940-325-5150;; great ribs, burgers, and chicken-fried steaks.
Rochelle’s Canoe Rental – 7024 FM Road 2353 (Graford); 940-659-3341;
Sights & Sites
Brazos River – Highway 16 (below Possum Kingdom Reservoir Dam) to FM 4, near Mineral Wells; moderately difficult paddling; 20 miles, 2-3 days.

Greystone Castle – 65756 IH-20; 254-672-5927 or 800-399-3006;; old English castle with ivy-covered turrets on 6K acres; lovely.

Mary’s Cafe – 119 Grant Avenue; 254-672-5741; notable hamburgers.

Pecan Bottom Ranch – 801 North Lake Drive; 817-797-3477;; new, fully furnished cottage located on 15-acre horse ranch, overlooking native pecan bottom & spring fed pond; spectacular sunsets, with sunrise bringing deer eating in wheat field; continental breakfast included; 1 bedroom with gorgeous king-size bed, 1 full bath, completely equipped den & kitchen (flat screen television, dish, internet); sofa makes into full-sized bed allowing for family of 4.
Fire Oak Grill – 114 Austin Avenue; 817-598-0400;; beautifully restored, 2nd Empire, former courthouse; cocktails & chops; excellent chef.
Sights & Sites
Chandor Gardens – 711 West Lee Avenue; 817-613-1700;; designed by Douglas Chandor, English-born portraitist; small but lovely.
Old City Greenwood Cemetery – corner of Front & North Rusk Streets; 817-598-4000 (city);; famous graves include those of Oliver Loving & Bose Ikard (on which characters Larry McMurtry based 2 of his Lonesome Dove characters).

SHACKELFORD COUNTY (includes Albany)
Nail Ranch Adventures – 5546 North US Highway 283; 325-762-2974;; working cattle ranch for well over 100 years; 30K acres of prime habitat to many native species; fishing & hunting destination; typical 3-day hunt will allow you to see 300 deer, several 100 wild hogs, turkeys, quail, ducks, coyotes, bobcats, and many other non-game animals.
Stasney’s Cook Ranch – 441 South 2nd Street; 325-762-2999;; “land of monster hogs”; hunting destination.
Fort Griffin General Merchandise (Beehive) – 525 US Highway 180; 325-762-3034;; best steaks between Fort Worth & Lubbock.
Sights & Sites
Aztec Theater – 141 South Main Street; 325-762-3818;; built in 1927 as western movie theater; now hosts various entertainments, including musical concerts & plays.
Fort Griffin State Park – 1701 US Highway 283; 325-762-3592;; 506 acres, with 1.5K' riverfront; Shackelford County deeded land to state in 1935; Civilian Conservation Corps built many of park’s facilities before opened to public in 1938; within park, partially restored ruins of Old Fort Griffin (1867-1881) are on bluff overlooking former Fort Griffin townsite and Brazos River valley’s Clear Fork; ruins include administration building, barracks, cistern, enlisted men’s huts replicas, 1st Sergeant’s quarters, ghost building, hand-dug well, hospital, library, mess hall, officers’ quarters (foundations), powder magazine, restored bakery, rock chimney & store; official Texas Longhorn herd resides in park.
Old Jail Art Center – 201 South 2nd Street; 325-762-2269;; art center; remarkable collection worth special visit.

SOMERVELL COUNTY (includes Glen Rose)
Glen Rose (includes Buffalo Gulch & Nemo)
Hideaway Ranch & Retreat – Private Road 1250 (Buffalo Gulch, off Erath County Road 196); 254-823-6606 or 866-609-4433;
Inn on River – 205 Southwest Barnard Street; 254-897-2929;; meticulously restored, romantic getaway on gently flowing river.
Paluxy River Cabins – 1319 FM 205 (1/4 off junction with Highway 67); 254-897-9425;
Rough Creek Lodge & Resort – 5165 County Road 2013; 254-488-4753 or 800-864-4705;; pool; spa.
Hammond’s B-B-Q – 1106 Northeast Big Bend Trail; 254-897-3008;
Loco Coyote Grill – 1795 County Road 1004; 254-897-2324;
Silver Dollar Steakhouse – Private Road 1250 (Buffalo Gulch, at Hideway Ranch & Retreat, off Erath County Road 196); 254-459-0545;; reservations recommended.
Rhodes Canoe Rental – 7075 US 67 (Nemo); 254-897-4214;; also rent tubes.
Sights & Sites
Acton Cemetery – Acton (3 miles west of Glen Rose, off Highway 67); 817-897-2690;; see Davy Crockett’s widow’s grave.
Dinosaur Valley State Park – 1629 Park Road 59; 254-897-4588;; just over 1.5K acres; hike around dinosaur footprints.
Fossil Rim – 2299 County Road 2008; 254-897-2960 or 888-775-6742;; wildlife reserve.

WICHITA COUNTY (includes Archer City & Wichita Falls)
Archer City
Spur Hotel – 110 North Center Street; 940-574-2501;; originally built in 1928, preserved & renovated in 1990; no phones or televisions.
Booked Up – 216 South Center Street; 940-574-2511;; Larry McMurtry’s book store.

Wichita Falls
Gene’s Tasty Burger – 2310 Holliday; 940-767-1921;; burgers.
Willie’s Place – 3135 10th Street; 940-687-2271;; burgers; also offers brisket sandwiches & homemade fruit cobbler.

WISE COUNTY (includes Decatur)
Whistle Stop Cafe – 904 South Highway 81-287; 940-627-7785;; breakfast and brunch.
Sights & Sites
Petrified Wood Station – 904 South Highway 81-287; C.F. Boydston built gas station in 1927; in 1935, covered its exterior with petrified wood chunks, and then covered walls of his next-door cafe and motor court, as well (1 of which reportedly rented by Bonnie and Clyde weeks before they died); cafe closed in 1964, cabins around 1970, gas station in 1989; they all passed to grandchild Nancy Rosendahl; she and her husband spent decade restoring entire complex to 1945 glory; gas station now private office.

YOUNG COUNTY (includes Graham)
Wildcatter Ranch – 6062 State Highway 16 South; 940-549-3500 or 888-462-9277;

Bars & Nightclubs
Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards – 658 County Road 1334; 903-855-1769; Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards; sample wines on outdoor deck, which overlooks vineyards (live jazz on weekends).

FANNIN COUNTY (includes Bonham)
Sights & Sites
Lake Davy Crockett – Texas FM 409 (30 miles outside Bonham); 940-627-5475; and; from Bonham, travel 16 miles east on US Highway 82 to Honey Grove, then 12 miles north on FM 100, then left on FM 409 for 2 miles; make sure to hike Trail 3, 6.5 mile route.

GREGG & HARRISON COUNTIES (includes Longview & Marshall)
Fritz’s – 105 Ruthlynn Drive; 903-553-1161; date-night spot with strict no-children policy; must have shrimp toast and fried oysters.
Goung Zhou Asian Bistro – 2002 Judson Road; 903-247-8000;; believe it or not, good sushi and roast Cantonese-style duck.
Johnny’s Custom Hatters – 317 East Cotton Street; 903-753-4600;

Green Frog Grill – 101 West Austin Street; 903-923-9500;; organic ingredients.
Sights & Sites
Old Stagecoach Road – 5.5 miles northeast of Marshall at Texas Highway 43 & Pine Bluff Road;; before Civil War, was main transportation artery between Marshall & Shreveport, providing link with New Orleans & distant markets; extending northeast from Marshall, stage road paralleled later route of Texas Highway 43; merging with route from Jefferson, turned southeast toward Waskom; can follow all way to Caddo (but not necessarily by car).


BROWN COUNTY (includes Brownwood)
Brownwood (includes Early)
Star of Texas B&B – 650 Morelock Lane; 325-646-4128;
Steve’s Market & Deli – 110 East Chandler Street; 325-646-5576;; perfect sandwiches; limited seating.
Taquito Millonario – 811 Early Boulevard (Early); 325-646-4442; open for everything from breakfast burritos to ribeye steaks.
Turtle – 514 Center Avenue; 325-646-8200;; great Italian food & dessert; totally unexpected for this region.
Underwood’s Cafeteria – 404 West Commerce Street; 325-646-1776;; this family has been selling barbeque since 1930s & at this location since 1951; barbeque just okay but very good chicken fried steak and cobbler.

TARRANT COUNTY (includes Arlington & Mansfield)
Damien’s Cajun Soul Cafe – 185 South Watson Road #101; 817-649-7770;; great fried chicken and beef tips.
Olenjack’s Grill – 770 Road to 6 Flags East (Lincoln Square, Suite 100); 817-226-2600;; lamb lollipops and flash-fried antelope ribs; excellent steaks.
Potager Café – 315 South Mesquite Street; 817-861-2292;; from-scratch food, for which you dictate serving size; etouffe, quiche, and salads.

Our Place Restaurant – 915 West Debbie Lane; 817-473-9996;; breakfast destination stop.


Sights & Sites
Beeville Art Museum – 401 East Fannin Street; 361-358-8615;; in 1910 Victorian-style house with 2-story wraparound porches; features Texas art.

BROOKS COUNTY (includes Falfurrias)
Sights & Sites
Don Pedrito Jaramillo Shrine – 1936 FM 1418; 361-325-2907; before modern medical practices, Texans looked to curanderos; 1 of most recognized was Don Pedrito Jaramillo, known throughout Texas as “Healer of Los Olmos”; he came to Texas in 1881 after his mother died, residing on Los Olmos Ranch (near Falfurrias); his use of natural emetics and infusions resolved many symptoms, if not cause, of ailments); as result, his services remained in demand until his death in 1907; today, his resting place serves as shrine.

GOLIAD COUNTY (includes Fannin & Goliad)
McMillan’s Bar-B-Q – 9913 US Highway 59 North; 361-645-2326; excellent barbecue but no need to try St. Louis ribs.
Sights & Sites
Fannin Battleground State Historic Site – 734 Farm-to-Market 2506; 512-463-7948;; formerly called Fannin State Park; less than mile south of US Highway 59 in eastern Goliad County; encompasses Battle of Coleto grounds; defeated Texans surrendered at this site on March 20, 1836 and later were executed in Goliad Massacre; small museum.

Ervie Jay’s Beer Garden – 137 East Franklin Street; 361-645-3133; open Tuesday-Friday.
Sights & Sites
Goliad State Park & Mission Espiritu Santo State Historic Site – 108 Park Road 6; 361-645-3405;
Markethouse Museum – 205 South Market Street; 361-645-8767;
San Antonio River – US 59 to Goliad State Park and Historic Site; easy paddling; 6.6 miles, 2-4 hours.

HIDALGO COUNTY (includes Pharr)
Sights & Sites
Old Hidalgo Pumphouse Museum & World Birding Center – 902 South 2nd Street; 956-843-8686;; beautiful place to take family & bird.

Junction Cafe – 11 South Cage Boulevard (near railroad junction); 956-783-4885; for over 20 years, local landmark; diner; primarily Mexican food (great migas).

KLEBERG COUNTY (includes Kingsville)
Butch’s Steakhouse – 200 East Yoakum Avenue; 361-592-8824; steaks; German and seafood, also.
El Dorado Mexican Restaurant – 704 North 14th Street; 361-516-1459; Mexican food.

Sights & Sites
King Ranch Museum – 405 North 6th Street; 361-595-1881;
King Ranch Visitor Center & Tours – 2205 Texas Highway 141; 361-592-8055;; call ahead to arrange bird-watching (ask for Norias Division tour).

STARR COUNTY (includes Rio Grande City)
Rio Grande City
La Borde House – 601 East Main Street; 956-487-5101;; old, restored, Victorian accommodations.
Caro’s Restaurant – 607 West 2nd Street; 956-487-2255; Mexican food.


ANDERSON COUNTY (includes Palestine)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Oxbow Bakery – 215 East Crawford Street; 903-723-5100;; great pies.

AUSTIN COUNTY (includes Cat Spring, Sealy & Wallis)
Cat Spring
Blisswood Bed & Breakfast Ranch – 13205 Frantz Road; 713-301-3235;; 12 cabins spread out in corner of 500 acre working ranch; fishing, picnics on island in lake on property.

Hinze Barbeque Restaurant & Catering – 2101 Texas Highway 36; 979-885-7808;

Sights & Sites
Guardian Angel Catholic Church – 5610 Demel Street; 979-478-6532;; historic church built in 1913 & added to National Register of Historic Places in 1983; notable among Texas’ painted churches.

CHAMBERS COUNTY (includes Wallisville)
Sights & Sites
Trinity River – access at Cedar Hill Park, Lake Charlotte Road, near Wallisville; tours can be arranged through Houston’s Sierra Club,; ask for Tom Douglas.

COLORADO COUNTY (includes Eagle Lake)
Eagle Lake
Austin’s BBQ & Catering – 507 East Main Street; 979-234-5250; make sure to order brisket fatty and with crust.

FAYETTE COUNTY (includes Ammansville, Dubina, Ellinger, Fayetteville, Flatonia, La Grange, Round Top & Schulenberg)
Sights & Sites
St. John Baptist Catholic Church – 7745 Mensik Road; 979-743-3117;; 1 of Texas’ painted churches.

Sights & Sites
Piano Bridge – Highway 480 (also known as “Piano Bridge Road,” dirt road connecting FM 615, paved), which will take you to Highway 77 (between Schulenberg & Weimer, off Highway 90, going towards Dubina);; erected in 1885 & named for twanging sound made when crossing bridge in original form; spans Navidad River & connects communities of Dubina & High Hill, Texas’ 1st Czech community.
Old Peter’s Family Store – Piano Bridge Road; historic monument on endangered list.
Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church – Farm-to-Market Road 1383 at County Road 480 (Piano Bridge Road); 979-725-8461;; simple & small, but elegant, executed in Carpenter Gothic style; symmetrical form, wood-frame church featuring projecting central bell tower topped with steep spire; rectangular nave with steeply pitched gable roof & buttressed walls; polygonal apse at rear, flanked by small square wings with hipped roofs; nearly all openings have pointed arch tops, and simple wood brackets line building’s classical cornice; interior mimicks traditional European cathedral form, albeit on much smaller scale; entry is at sanctuary back; nave is divided into 3 vaulted sections; religious statuary found throughout; adorned with decorative interior painting; colorful, stenciled patterns of stylized vines & flowers trace arches & windows, with geometric patterns also used along outer walls; unique paintings occupy prominent interior spaces, with angels above each column & emblem of parish in central nave vault above apse; all interior paintings covered with solid white paint in 1952, but their existence was never forgotten & faint traces remained visible; after over 30 years, church’s parishioners decided to uncover & restore in 1983; Fayette Grasslands occupy approximately 15 acres just west of church, stretching from County Road 480 to Navidad River valley.

Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Hruska’s Store & Bakery – 109 Texas Highway 71 West;; 979-378-2333; kolaches.
Hruska’s Store & Bakery – 109 Texas Highway 71 West;; 979-378-2333; burgers.

Rolling 7 Guest Cottage – 1377 East State Highway 159; 979-250-3720;

Sights & Sites
St. Mary’s Church of Assumption – 821 Farm-to-Market Road 1295; 361-865-3560;; 1 of Texas’ painted churches.

La Grange
Bars & Nightclubs
Rohan Meadery – 6002 Farm-to-Market 2981; 979-249-5652;; in addition to beer & mead, also has chickens, donkeys & Nubian goats.
Sights & Sites
Chicken Ranch – 1629-2099 Rocky Creek Road;; ruins of original Chicken Ranch Bordello; cannot enter property.

Round Top (includes Winedale)
Bars & Nightclubs
Prost Wine Bar – 112 Bauer Rummel (Round Top); 979-249-5981;
Stone Cellar – 550 North Washington Street; 979-249-3390;; century-old dance hall.
Prairie by Rachel Ashwell – 5808 Wagner Road; 979-249-3611;; shabby-chic cottages.
Rancho Pillow – 11222 Schuster Road; 512-422-0009;; can opt to stay in climate-controlled teepee, 18th Century Dutch barn or tower house, among other historic structures; stand-alone houses start at $450 per night & teepee rents for $200 per night.
Vintage Roundtop – 1450 Texas 237; 713-859-5993;; near town center; 2.7' square home with creatively repurposed decor.
Royers Café – 105 Main Street; 979-249-3611;; famous for pie (in particular, cherry), as well as steak dinner.
Junk Gypsy – 1215 Texas Highway 237 South; 979-249-5865;; t-shirts, etc.
Lark – 102 East Mill Street; 512-695-4386;; artful mini-emporium; jewelry & homewares; gift shop.
Round Top Mercantile – 438 North Washington Street; 979-249-3117;; good place for provisions & sandwiches.
Sights & Sites
Bethlehem Lutheran Church & Cemetery – 412 South White Street; 979-249-3686;,_Texas); historic, stone Lutheran church built in 1866; used for services continuously since construction & oldest Lutheran church sanctuary in Texas; nearby cemetery & garden grounds make for lovely stroll.
Henkel Square – 102 North Live Oak Street; 979-249-5840; or; shopping village.
Round Top Festival Institute – 248 Jaster Road; 979-249-3129;; concerts.
Winedale Historical Complex – 3738 FM 2714; 979-278-3530;; includes several outstanding examples early Texas architecture (e.g., Samuel K. Lewis house, 8-room & 2-story frame house with galleried porch across front & dogtrot (open hall) through center, remarkable interior decoration includes painted ceiling, borders & overmantel panels); other buildings include Hazel’s Lone Oak Cottage (typical Texas dog-run house), Lauderdale House (Greek-revival farmhouse), McGregor-Grimm House, & Wagner Store; events hosted by center include Winedale Spring Festival, Weekend Farmers’ Seminar, Winedale Octoberfest, Eeyore’s Birthday, Gardeners’ Seminar, Christmas Open House, and various craft shows; Theatre Barn home to Shakespeare at Winedale (6-week performance workshop).

Schulenberg (includes Ammannsville, Dubina, High Hill & Praha)
Garden Co. Marketplace & Cafe – 217 Kessler Avenue; 979-743-4677;
Sengelmann Hall – 531 North Main Street; 979-743-2300;; restaurant and dance hall.
Schulenberg Painted Churches – unimpressive from outside but beautiful stained glass and stenciling within; arrange through Schulenberg Chamber of Commerce, 618 North Main Street; 979-743-4514 or 866-504-5294;
Sights & Sites
Nativity of Mary, Blessed Virgin – 2833 Farm-to-Market 2672 (High Hill); 979-561-8403;; built in 1906 & painted in 1912; one of Texas’ painted churches.

HARRIS COUNTY (includes Baytown, Seabrook & Sugarland)
Sights & Sites
Fred Hartman Bridge (Baytown Bridge) – State Highway 146 (between Baytown & La Porte, alternative address for GPS is 5471-5527 Bayway Drive); 281-420-5343 (Baytown Visitor Center);; cable-stayed bridge spanning Houston Ship Channel, carrying 2.6 miles of State Highway 146 between Baytown & La Porte; named for Fred Hartman, Baytown Sun editor & publisher from 1950-74; longest cable-stayed bridge in Texas; 1 of only 4 such bridges in state (others being Veterans Memorial Bridge in Orange County, Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas & Bluff Dale Suspension Bridge in Erath County); 77th largest bridge in world; replaced Baytown Tunnel (of depth clearance 40 feet or 12.2 m).[5] The tunnel had to be removed when the Houston Ship Channel was deepened to 45 feet (13.7 m), with a minimum 530 feet (161.5 m) bottom width, to accommodate larger ships. The last section of the Baytown Tunnel was removed from the Houston Ship Channel on September 14, 1999, with removal of the tunnel being the responsibility of the Texas Department of Transportation.

Tookie’s – 1202 Bayport Boulevard; 281-942-9334;; burgers; slice of Americana you’ve got to experience; all but destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008, has rebuilt & returned in full force; try #99 & add side of Mo’ Bettah Beans.

Texas Brisket – 7822 US-90 Alternate; 281-242-1200;; great breakfasts, too.

LAVACA COUNTY (includes Shiner)
Sights & Sites
Sts. Cyril & Methodius – 306 South Avenue F; 361-594-3836;; painted church.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY (includes Conroe & Magnolia)
Conroe (includes Lake Conroe area)
Deer Lake Lodge – 10500 Deer Lake Lodge Road (Montgomery); 936-647-1383 or 800-961-4210;; eco-friendly, destination spa; minutes from Houston.
Burger Fresh – 804 Gladstell Road; 936-756-4414;; not healthy burgers; just good.

Haras Hacienda – 26427 Peden Road; 281-259-4861;; regal Spanish Colonial-style estate (once private horse-breeding ranch); 4 rooms & spa; can arrange dinner.
Crawfish Shack #2 – 38925 FM 1774; 281-789-4555;

VICTORIA COUNTY (includes Victoria)
Bars & Nightclubs
77901 – 221 South Main Street; 361-582-4222;; lovely bar in old building; cocktails and wine.
Mumphord’s Place BBQ – 1202 East Juan Linn Street; 361-485-1112;; cowboy-style barbecue, where would burned to coals and then transferred to pits where meat placed on grates about 4' above heat source; not as flavorful and tender as indirect heat barbecue but still very good.
Pump House Riverside Restaurant – 1201 West Stayton Avenue; 361-572-9800;; 250 year-old iron & teak gates are unique to this restored historic building compound, overlooking river; pecan-crusted chicken & fried macaroni and cheese.
Sendera – 101 West Goodwin Avenue (One O’Connor Plaza, 12th Floor); 361-573-9700;; considered best restaurant in town; steaks; view.
Sights & Sites
Museum of Coastal Bend – 2200 East Red River Street; 361-582-2511;; displays 13K years Texas history, from 1st Coastal Bend region inhabitants French, Spanish & Mexican colonial efforts; must see La Salle’s French settlement relics.

WALLER COUNTY (includes Hempstead)
Sights & Sites
Liendo Plantation – 38653 Wyatt Chapel Road; 979-826-3126;; historic cotton plantation added to National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
Peckerwood Gardens – 20571 FM 359; 979-826-3232;; must arrange appointment prior to visit.

WASHINGTON COUNTY (includes Brenham, Navasota & Washington)
Ant Street Inn – 107 West Commerce Street (Brenham); 979-836-7393;; small, boutique hotel; in 2-story, 1890s-era building; Old World-style rooms have antique furnishings, stained-glass windows, flat-screen TVs & free WiFi; some en suite bathrooms have separate showers & 2-person tubs; some rooms have exposed brick walls & some have 4-poster or canopy beds.
Sights & Sites
Wesley Brethren Church – 9643 Wesley Church Lane; 979-836-0672;; among Texas’ painted churches.

Chappell Hill
Southern Rose Ranch Bed & Breakfast – 8580 Dairy Farm Road; 979-251-7871 or 979-251-4028;; located on lush ranch, this rustic B&B is set in quaint house; 2 warmly decorated suites have separate entrances & dining rooms; 1 has kitchen; both offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs & wood floors; daily gourmet breakfast features farm-fresh eggs & is served in unique stone outdoor kitchen with attached hot tub.

Red Velvet Inn – 803 South La Salle Street (Navasota); 979-777-5584;

Inn at Dos Brisas – 10000 Champion Drive; 979-277-7750;; spectacular country restaurant and retreat tucked in rolling green meadows between Houston and Austin.
Sights & Sites
Barrington Living History Farm – 21300 Park Road 12; 936-878-2214;
Washington-on-Brazos State Historic Site – 21300 Park Road 12; 936-878-2214;

WHARTON COUNTY (includes Wharton)
Teepee Motel – 4098 US Highway 59 Business; 979-282-8474;; 10 individual teepees.


HARDIN COUNTY (includes Kountze & Lumberton)
Sights & Sites
Big Thicket National Preserve – 6102 FM 420; 409-951-6700;; heavily forested area with no exact boundaries (occupies much of Hardin, Liberty, Tyler, San Jacinto & Polk Counties); roughly bounded by San Jacinto River, Neches River & Pine Island Bayou; to north, blends into larger Piney Woods terrestrial ecoregion of which it is part; among most biodiverse areas in world outside tropics; consider paddling down Neches River (or arranging guide).

Lumberton (includes Silsbee)
Eastex Canoe Trails – 1698 US 96 Business (Silsbee); 409-385-4700;; rents canoes & kayaks & provides shuttle to Village Creek Paddling Trail.
Sights & Sites
Village Creek Paddling Trail – 8854 Park Road 74; 409-755-7322;


COLEMAN COUNTY (includes Coleman, Talpa & Valera)
Owl Soda Fountain & Grill – 312 South Commercial Avenue; 325-625-4514;
Owl Drugstore – 312 South Commercial Avenue; 325-625-4514;
Sights & Sites
Heritage Hall & Coleman Museum – 400 West College Avenue; 325-625-2000;

Rancho Loma Restaurant + Rest – FM 503 (at CR 422); 325-636-4556;; reservations essential; 300 acre ranch 2 hours south of Dallas; 5 room boutique inn; pool.
Rancho Loma Restaurant + Rest – FM 503 (at CR 422); 325-636-4556;; reservations essential; in mid-19th Century farmhouse; American food.

Big O’s Barbecue – 10511 US 67; 325-636-4542;

CULBERSON COUNTY (includes Van Horn)
Van Horn
Hotel El Capitan – 100 East Broadway; 432-283-1220 or 877-283-1220;; recently renovated; historic-ish.

ECTOR & MIDLAND COUNTIES (includes Midland-Odessa)
Midland-Odessa (includes Monahans)
Burgers, Fries & Cherry Pies – 5210 West Wadley; 432-617-2327;; great burgers; try French Connection.
Garlic Press – 2200 West Wadley Avenue, Suite 6; 432-570-4020;; romantic setting; try tenderloin with truffle-butter sauce.
King & I – 801 North Big Spring Street; 432-682-0988; Thai.
Wall Street Bar & Grill – 115 East Wall Street; 432-684-8686; seafood and steaks; interior needs updating.
Sights & Sites
Monahans Sandhills State Park – 2500 East Interstate 20 (Monahans); 432-943-2092;; sand dunes.
Odessa Post Office – Texas Avenue at 2nd Street (Business 20); mural ”Stampede” by Tom Lea; 16'9" x 5'7."

HOWARD COUNTY (includes Big Spring)
Big Spring
Hotel Settles – 200 East 3rd Street; 432-267-7500;; 1st opened in 1930, this 15-story hotel resurrected in 2012; spring for Tower room on higher (than 3rd, where rooms small) floor for better view.

JONES & TAYLOR COUNTIES (includes Abilene)
Abilene (includes Buffalo Gap)
Sayles Landmark – 642 Sayles Boulevard; 325-670-9402;; grand B&B; built by Judge Sayles in 1889; 3.5' square Queen Anne Victorian home; not typical doily-clad B&B experience.
Sayles Ranch Guesthouses – 1001 Sayles Boulevard; 325-669-6856;; 10 house cluster in old historic district; ask for “City Slickers” (nicest house with saltwater swimming pool & back porch).
Betty Rose’s Little Brisket – 3362 Rebecca Lane; 325-698-8000;; barbecue.
Betty Rose’s Little Brisket – 1055 North Judge Ely Boulevard; 325-672-3500;; barbecue.
Joe Allen’s Barbecue – 301 South 11th Street; 325-672-6082;; barbecue.
Lola’s Mexican Food Cafe – 2709 Farm-to-Market 89 (Buffalo Gap); 325-572-3731;; extremely laid-back; try Navajo fry bread.
Perini Ranch Steakhouse – 3002 Farm-to-Market 89 #A (Buffalo Gap); 325-572-3339;; mesquite-smoked peppered beef tenderloin in impressively authentic ranch setting gives impression that dusty cowboys fresh off trail will wander in for some fried catfish or chicken at any moment; closed Mondays; great hamburgers.
Sharon’s Barbecue – 849 East Highway 80; 325-672-3330;; barbecue; Joe Allen’s ex-wife.
Sights & Sites
Frontier Texas – 625 North 1st Street; 325-437-2800;; world-class western heritage museum.
Grace Museum – 102 Cypress Street; 325-673-4587;; permanent collection primarily includes works by American artists, focusing on American and Texas Regionalism; includes recent acquisitions by Helen Altman, David Bates, Vernon Fisher, Russell Lee, Bob Stuth-Wade, James Surls, Andy Warhol, and others.

KINNEY COUNTY (includes Bracketville)
Transition Ranch – northwest of Uvalde; 512-751-8128;; professionally managed wildlife ranch notable for bird-watching.
Sights & Sites
Fort Clark Springs (Las Moras Pool) – US 90; 830-563-2493;; on private property so, for springs access, have to reserve motel room or otherwise call; among Texas’ top 10 springfed pools.
Seminole Indian Scout Cemetery – 506 Beaumont Street; 830-563-7578;

NOLAN COUNTY (includes Sweetwater)
Big Boy’s Bar-B-Que – 2117 Lamar Street; 325-235-2700;; isolated; excellent.
Buck’s & Bar-B-Que – 103 Southwest Georgia Avenue; 325-235-4049; steaks.

PECOS COUNTY (includes Fort Stockton)
Fort Stockton
Tacos O.J. – 1305 North Main Street; 432-336-3066;; OJ refers more to Ojinaga, closest border crossing, than to former NFL player (or juice); terrific.

PRESIDIO COUNTY (includes Redford)
Sights & Sites
Ojito Adentro – From Texas Highway 170;; trailhead to Ojito Adentro not only marks trail but provides hikers with overlook of where they will end up; arroyo that travels northeast from trailhead ends in cleft populated with dense vegetation cluster, interrupting otherwise earthy colorscape with bright green sweep; Ojito Adentro Trail leads across hot but mercifully short desert stretch to shady, cool oasis.

REEVES COUNTY (includes Pecos)
Pody’s BBQ – 1330 South Cedar Street; 432-448-4635; barbecue.

TERRELL COUNTY (includes Dryden)
Sights & Sites
Independence Creek Preserve – Texas Highway 349 (22 miles south of Sheffield off Texas Highway 349, or 37 miles north of Dryden, in Terrell County); 432-345-6773 or 210-224-8774 (Nature Conservancy);; pristine waters in desert oasis; diverse and abundant flora and fauna including several rare and endangered species; while not open daily to public, does offer many activities in which public is encouraged to participate & at least twice yearly public invited to enjoy on Preserve Day; make sure to see Caroline Spring.

TOM GREEN COUNTY (includes San Angelo)
San Angelo
Miss Hattie’s Café & Saloon – 26 East Concho Avenue; 325-653-0570;; hamburgers; closed Sundays.
Sights & Sites
International Water Lily Garden (Civic League Park) – 1000 West Beauregard Avenue; 325-657-4450;

VAL VERDE COUNTY (includes Del Rio)
Del Rio (includes Comstock & Rock Springs)
Texas Hill County Historic Hotel – 200 West Austin Street (Rock Springs); 830-683-4212;
Who Cares B&B – 1683 Miers Ranch Road; 830-774-0676;; on river.
Devils River Outfitters – Hc 1 Box 513 (Rocksprings); 830-395-2133;; ask for Gerald Bailey.
Seminole Canyon Petroglyph Tours – Highway 90 West (Comstock); 432-292-4464;; Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m.
Sights & Sites
Devils River State Natural Area – HC 01 (Baker’s Crossing, Highway 163 to Blue Sage Subdivision); 830-395-2133;; Dolan Falls are Texas’ largest continually flowing waterfalls.
Lake Amistad Recreation Area – 90 West; 830-775-7491;
San Felipe Creek – swimming holes located along I-90E & Gillis Street Bridge; 830-768-2287 (friends of San Felipe Creek);; also worth seeing are Horseshoe Park & mini-falls downstream at Lions Park.
Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site – Highway 90 West (Comstock); 432-292-4464;; ancient petroglyphs, rugged limestone vistas, and spectacular canyons; guide required for canyon trail.

WEBB COUNTY (includes Laredo)
Laredo (includes Nuevo Laredo)
La Posada – 1000 Zaragoza Street; 956-722-1701 or 800-444-2099;; large, border hotel; beautiful pool.
Caffe Dolce – 1708 Victoria; 956-568-4707;; Austin-y kind of place in old house; excellent café fare; student-y crowd.
La Carreta Carnes Asadas – 9109 McPherson Road; 956-796-0338;; carne served by kilo here; for appetizer, try nopal botana.
La Carreta Carnes Asadas – 4120 San Bernardo Avenue; 956-724-1000;; carne served by kilo here; for appetizer, try nopal botana.
Cosmos Bar & Grill – 201 West Del Mar Boulevard; 956-727-3393;; dark and intimate; at first seems like sports bar, with televised games above bar, but tuck into back and enjoy major-city-type, American bistro fare.
Danny’s – 1420 North Malinche Avenue; 956-726-4491;; reliable, border-Tex-Mex fare.
Danny’s – 5920 San Bernardo Avenue; 956-726-3116;; reliable, border-Tex-Mex fare.
Danny’s – 4320 McPherson Avenue; 956-724-2003;; reliable, border-Tex-Mex fare.
La India Herbs & Spices – 1520 Marcella Avenue; 956-723-3772;; wonder herb-spice provider, as well as lunchtime teahouse.
Las Kekas – deeply-focused Mayan cuisine; try keka, quasi-gordita that is stuffable “platform” for huitlacoche, shrimp, and bacon, among other things.
Lolita’s Bistro – 6950 Mcpherson Road; 956-568-5334;; variation on Latin bar theme; excellent mole.
Taco Palenque – 4515 San Bernardo Avenue; 956-725-9898;
Taco Palenque – 5726 San Bernardo Avenue; 956-717-1888;
Taco Palenque – 1920 Guadalupe Street; 956-729-7416;
La India Herbs & Spices – 1520 Marcella Avenue; 956-723-3772;; wonder herb-spice provider, as well as lunchtime teahouse.
Sights & Sites
Plaza de Toros / Bullring “Lauro Luis Longoria” – 411 Avenida Monterrey (Nuevo Laredo); 011-52-087-127-192 & 011-52-087-127-193;; bull fights.

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