Best Things to do in Glen Rose, Texas — Dinosaurs, Wildlife, History

Paluxy River in Dinosaur Valley State Park with text overlay: Discover all the best things to do in Glen Rose, Texas

When I made my trip from California to Texas last year, Glen Rose was one of my stops in Texas (see Oakdale Park below). While I was there on that trip, it rained most of the time. In fact, the weather was so stormy that I extended my stay by a couple of days to avoid driving in the bad weather conditions. I wanted to add Glen Rose to my itinerary on this trip because there are so many interesting things to see and do that I missed on my last trip. Glen Rose is a great getaway from the Dallas/Fort Worth area or well worth a detour if you are passing nearby. Best Attractions in Glen Rose, Texas Fossil Rim Wildlife Center Fossil Rim…

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Exotic Resort Zoo — Wildlife Safari Experience in Johnson City, Texas

When I travel, I try to balance seeing some well known attractions with a few things off the beaten path. On my list of things to do while I was in Fredericksburg was visiting wineries, walking around the historic downtown, experiencing the bat emergence at Old Tunnel State Park and seeing the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch. When I woke up on the morning I planned to visit the LBJ Ranch, I just wasn’t feeling like being a tourist and was wishing for something a little different to do. I was in the office of my RV park picking up a package when I saw a flyer for The Exotic Resort Zoo in Johnson City, Texas, and thought that could be just what I was needing.…

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Old Tunnel State Park — What’s the Draw of this Smallest Texas State Park?

Tunnel entrance at Old Tunnel State Park

Although the 16.1-acre Old Tunnel State Park in Fredericksburg is the smallest state park in Texas, it serves a very important function. There’s no camping and only limited hiking. It’s main function is to protect and preserve the colony of up to 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats and 3,000 cave myotis bats that live in the old railroad tunnel. Old Tunnel State Park History Over 100 years ago, on August 16, 1913, the first train steamed it’s way through the Old Tunnel. The farmers of Fredericksburg wanted a faster method to get their goods to market and were looking to the railroad. The businessmen of Fredericksburg were disappointed when a spur was built only as far as Kerrville so they decided to take matters into…

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Where to Eat in Harlingen — Readers’ Choice Best Places

a seafood dinner with text overlay: Best places to eat in Harlingen, TX Readers' Coice Awards Valley Morning Star

I don’t eat out a lot so, when I do, I look for restaurant recommendations from locals-in-the-know wherever I am. Review apps can be helpful but those reviews are often by tourists who may not know about local favorites. Checking out the “Best of” winners in local newspapers is a good resource. Therefore, I always looked forward to the Best of Orange County when I lived in southern California. So, when the Readers’ Choice Winners for the Valley Morning Star came out, I was eager to learn who won for the best places to eat in Harlingen. Would they be the same as the top restaurants on TripAdvisor and Yelp or would they be hidden gems? How are the Readers’ Choice Winners Selected? The Valley…

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Authentic Texas Barbecue — What it is and where to find it in the RGV

typical authentic Texas barbecue plate with text overlay: Authentic Texas Barbecue Where to find it in the RGV

I have to admit, when I was growing up, barbecue was not one of my favorite foods. Barbecue, to me, always brought to mind neighborhood parties with chicken on the grill with burnt on barbecue sauce. Or maybe it was dry baby back ribs, which don’t have enough meat on the bones to be worth the effort, with that same burnt on sauce. The only kind of barbecue I was even remotely fond of was a pulled pork sandwich with sweet barbecue sauce. Even in my adult life, it is not a food group I seek out. This lack of desire for barbecue was cemented in my mind even further when, a few years ago, I went to a barbecue joint in southern California with…

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Indoor Activities in Harlingen – When it’s just too hot outside!

large aquarium and bowling lanes with text overlay: Best indoor activities to beat the heat in Harlingen, TX

The Rio Grande Valley has wonderful sub-tropical weather which makes for enjoyable outdoor activities — most of the time. Some days during the summer, though, it’s just too darn hot to go outside, except in the early morning. If you are still itching to get out and explore, that’s when it’s time to find some entertaining indoor activities. Here are my recommendations for the best indoor activities in Harlingen, Texas. Best Indoor Activities in Harlingen Texas Travel Information Center – Find all the Best Indoor Activities in Texas I told you about this awesome location in a previous post. It’s the perfect place to visit to learn more about the whole state of Texas and what there is to do anywhere in the state. They…

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Port Isabel — What to See and Do in this Charming Bayside Town

View of Port Isabel from Pirate's Landing Fishing Pier

12 Best Things to See and Do in Port Isabel, Texas Port Isabel is a charming town on Laguna Madre on the very southern tip of Texas where you’ll find history, adventure, nature and lots of fun things to see and do. Like many towns, it has had several names over the years, including Point Isabel. The town was incorporated in 1928 and its name was changed to Port Isabel. These 12 things to see and do in Port Isabel are truly in Port Isabel. This list does not include attractions on South Padre Island like some lists of best things to do in Port Isabel. Yes, South Padre Island is just across the causeway but there are plenty of interesting things to see and…

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Alligators Find a New Home at South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center

Boardwalk and bird blind

South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center The lower Rio Grande Valley in south Texas is a mecca for birders. Two major flyways converge there and bring an abundance of migrating species. South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center is the easternmost of the nine properties that make up the World Birding Center in the Valley. It is located near the tip of South Padre Island, the longest barrier island in the world. In May, the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center became the new home of some rescued alligators. This was my third World Birding Center to visit and each is very special in its own way. Nothing makes me feel more at peace than being around or on the water and South…

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Freddy Fender Museum is Just One of the Museums of San Benito

Sign at entrance of Museums of San Benito

Moving to Texas has been an eye opener in many ways. For example, I wrote about how surprised I was when I learned the difference between Mexican and Tex-Mex food. And I can’t forget learning that alligators are native wildlife here! A few days ago, I went to the Freddy Fender Museum in San Benito, and besides learning all about Freddy’s life, I learned about a music culture that I didn’t know much about. Although I had heard the music, I knew nothing of its origins or history. I’m talking about the unique style of American folk music called conjunto that was founded in south Texas. I’ll tell you more, but first, some background on the  Museums of San Benito. Related: I Had to Know:…

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Estero Llano Grande State Park — My First RGV Birding Experience

Ibis Pond at Estero Llano Grande State Park with text overlay: World-renowned birding

I have always been fascinated with birds. Years ago, while living in Nevada, I took a falconry class and became a licensed falconer. I put brush piles and water all over my property to lure birds to watch from my living room window. When I moved back to California, I volunteered with the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center helping rehab birds and other wildlife. Now that I’m in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) in Texas, one of the foremost birding locations in the world, I wanted to continue learning about birds. Lucky for me, an experienced birding couple lives in my park and agreed to take me under their wing. The first time they took me out birding was to Estero Llano Grande State Park,…

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