People in Texas love their football. That much is true. But they love the great outdoors just the same.
Whether your passion is golfing, hiking, hunting, boating, deep-sea fishing - or starlight shows reserved only for the widest of open spaces - then a Texas vacation should be on your next destination list.
Catch a trophy bass on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, a beautiful, 114,000-acre stretch of clear, fresh water that serves as a regular stop on the pro anglers' tour. Discover tranquility - and some of the finest golfing in the Southwest - just an hour north of Houston at Lake Conroe.
Explore the Texas Piney Woods at Lake Palestine, by boat, by foot or on an authentic steam train. Or head south to Texas' southernmost city, Brownsville, which is home to historic U.S.-Mexico battles and a hop-skip-and-a-jump from the beaches of beautiful South Padre Island.
From Hill Country lakes to national forest trails to sandy Gulf Coast shores, your Texas vacation will have a little bit of everything for those who want to commune with Mother Nature.
Wunsche Brothers Cafe and Saloon (Spring). For a true taste of classic Texas cuisine, come to frontier-styled eatery in Spring, just north of Houston. Staples include burgers and, of course, chicken-fried steak.
Fogo de Chao Churrascaria (Houston/Dallas). Perhaps one of the most revered beef-eating palaces in Texas just happens to be a Brazilian steakhouse. For some, the "gaucho way of preparing meat" is the only way.
Sweet Sue's (Tyler). There's always a buffet going at Sweet Sue's, but this is not your typical cattle trough. Here the friendly wait staff ensures you'll always have everything you need, like catfish, fried chicken, country fried steak, meatloaf - and many other rib-sticking, made-from-scratch meals.
Bob's Steak and Chop House (Dallas). A 20-ounce, bone-in rib eye, a glazed carrot and a baked potato. 'Nuff said.
Giddyup (Flint). What's a trip to Texas without some quality time in the saddle? Explore the beautiful shores of Lake Palestine via horseback, where you might just spot an armadillo or hear the call of the whip-poor-will.
Snare a trophy bass (Sam Rayburn). The largest man-made lake completely within Texas' borders, Sam Rayburn offers excellent fishing opportunities year-round. Whether your passion is largemouth bass, striped bass, crappie or catfish, you're sure to find it here.
Take a ride on the railroad (Palestine). Established in 1881, the Texas State Railroad is a historic train that takes you on a scenic stroll through the piney woods of East Texas. Board the train at the Palestine depot for a picturesque 1.5-hour trip to Rusk.
Texas Rose Festival (Tyler). Experience the beauty, pomp and circumstance - and sweet aroma - of the Texas Rose Festival, held each October in the "Rose Capital of America." According to the Tyler Rose Museum, one fifth of commercial rose bushes produced in the United States grow in Smith County.
Highland Village (Houston). If you don't mind parking your rental among the Bentleys, Hummers and Beamers, then you'll enjoy this upscale stretch of stores in this exclusive Houston neighborhood. Among the distinguished residents: Williams-Sonoma, Cole Haan, Crate and Barrel and Restoration Hardware.
Milam Street Gallery (Jasper). This popular downtown shop offers original pieces from more than 15 local artists as well as antiques, Fenton art glass, tiffany-style lamps and jewelry, just 7 miles from Lake Sam Rayburn.