Texas is known as the Lone Star State. Residents are fiercely patriotic, and Lone Star beer labels claim it’s the national beer of Texas. Shiner beer may be more qualified for that title, and its brewery in Shiner gives informative tours with a nice selection of samples. There’s also a fine Czech church in town. San Antonio has the scenic River Walk, and the historic former mission and fortress that was called…oh yeah, the Alamo. That’s Something to Remember. The Drag is a strip of interesting restaurants and shops on one edge of the University of Texas-Austin campus. You can easily refresh and refuel yourself after a visit to the LBJ Presidential Library at UT. A little over an hour away from both San Antonio and Austin is The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park which contains the former president’s ranch in Stonewall where he was born, as well as his gravesite in nearby Johnson City.
Unusual sights enjoyed by locals and others are the gathering of Mexican bats under Austin’s Congress Ave. Bridge around sunset, and the self-proclaimed World’s Largest Pecan in Seguin. Even stranger, the site of the big nut is dedicated to a Spanish explorer named Cabeza de Vaca who lived on a diet of pecans while he was a prisoner here on the Guadalupe River for ten years. Speaking of water, German immigrant-founded community New Braunfels is known for great whitewater rafting, tubing, spring-fed pools, and an enormous water park called the Schlitterbahn, which literally means waterslide auf Deutsch. There are now four other park locations on both the Texas Gulf Coast and in Kansas. Great natural, outdoor activities include exploring Big Bend National Park way out West near the Mexican state of Chihuahua, or the large and impressive Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio.
Texas has great BBQ, the famous King Ranch Chicken, grass-fed beef, and much, much more. You can get surf tacos in New Braunfels, authentic Creole seafood dishes in Port Arthur, or shrimp corn dogs in Houston. There’s Thai food and veggie burgers in Abilene, or you can chow down on black bean hummus at a quirky bar with live music in Amarillo. Fort Worth has vegan organic curries and all-you-can-eat pancakes, or vegan pizza at a brewery; Plano has vegan pizza and chicken parm; Denton has organic juices and soba noodle salads with fresh veggies and seaweed; and Lubbock has a cereal lounge with flax milk, gluten-free options, and wi-fi. You can make your own sushi or grab some healthy soup and salad bar offerings in College Station, and you can select vegan or gluten-free options at a Greek restaurant in Galveston.
Houston has organic raw food, vegetarian vietnamese sandwiches and bubble teas, organic juices and soups, and organic Mexican takeout and watermelon gazpacho. In Dallas, there are also raw organic restaurants and vegan Vietnamese food; macrobiotic food; Kosher pizza, refreshing Mediterranean salads, and pomegranate eggplant; and vegan Salvadoran pupusas. San Antonio has Kosher vegetarian Southern comfort food and organic coffee, serious raw food, organic cold pressed juices from mostly local produce, and a veggie burger you can grab as you enter or exit the car wash next door. In Austin, you can go to a vegan BBQ food truck that uses a smoker, an organic raw restaurant with great desserts, or a non-profit macrobiotic community center whose delightful restaurant serves seasonal specialties. For a bit of a kick, try some jalapeno soup at a pub in Big D, or poblano soup at a healthy-Mex restaurant in San Antone. Yee haw!