Enjoy your stay, then participate in our survey again. Go to southernliving.com/ readerschoice before 11:59 p.m. CT September 17, 2007, and name your favorite cities, restaurants, inns, and more. Who knows? You may win a luxury golf and spa weekend.
1. San Antonio: Sip and Sample a City
What a great city to taste! Cool a summer day with the Menger Hotel's famous mango ice cream. Sip a Prickly Pear Margarita at Boudro's, a River Walk eatery. Other don't-miss dining spots here include Biga on the Banks, The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, and a local favorite, Los Barrios. On Sunday indulge in brunch at Las Canarias in the Omni La Mansión del Rio. Before leaving town, experience the noon Mariachi Mass at San Jose Mission. Visit www.sanantoniocvb.com, and watch for our story about San Antonio in the upcoming October issue of Southern Living.
2. Austin: A Texas Crossroads and More
One intersection symbolizes this city's lifestyle. At West Sixth and Lamar Boulevard, you'll find Waterloo Records (featuring the latest in Texas music), BookPeople (author signings galore), and Whole Foods Market (store and headquarters). Elsewhere, South Congress Avenue boasts fun shops such as Uncommon Objects and Vivid. Party at Continental Club, sleep in 50s chic at the restored Austin Motel, and enjoy breakfast pancakes at Magnolia Cafe South. Visit www.austintexas.org.
3. Houston: Big City, Cozy Getaway
Houston? Cozy? It certainly feels that way at several boutique hotels. Hotel Indigo Houston at The Galleria changes its artwork, music, and flowers to match the season. Hotel ICON renovated the classic 1911 First Union National Bank Building. Sports fans love the Inn at the Ballpark, a block from Minute Maid Park. At hip, contemporary Hotel Derek, the staff leaves Texas-made candies on your pillow. The more expansive but secluded Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa rises as an urban woodland retreat. Visit www.visithoustontexas.com.
4. Dallas: Wonders of West Village
Visitors and residents mingle outdoors in this neighborhood, between Blackburn Street and McKinney and Cole and Lemmon Avenues. You'll love the sidewalk dining at Tom Tom Asian Grill (try the blackberry mojitos) and the Texas-size sweet treats at Petit Fours, a great place for afternoon tea. For a Western wardrobe, try on boots and hats at Cowboy Cool. Visit www.westvil.com.
5. Fort Worth: Sundance, Moon Glow
Fun in Fort Worth goes on all day into late night. In downtown's Sundance Square, you can shop and dine and then see the stars at Bass Performance Hall. August's bill features Kenny Rankin and Tony Bennett. If Bass Hall is too tame, get rowdy at Billy Bob's Texas, the world's largest honky-tonk down in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. While in the area, treat yourself at Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, where chef/owner Tim Love cooks in his cowboy hat. Save an afternoon for the museums in the Fort Worth Cultural District. Note: the Amon Carter Museum is closed through summer for renovations. Visit www.fortworth.com.
6. Galveston: Time and the Sea
Four hotels span the legacy of this venerable city. The Hotel Galvez, recently restored to its early 20th-century elegance, looks again to the Gulf. Take tea or coffee in the sun-dappled, four-story atrium at The Tremont House, named for a hotel that opened its doors in 1839. On Galveston's Historic Wharf, the 42-room Harbor House has renovated a warehouse into a casual inn. Set among 242 acres, the Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa, and Convention Center combines 428 guest rooms with a huge aquarium and an IMAX theater. Visit www.galveston.com.
7. Corpus Christi: Seaside, City Streets
This city sparkles with sun and water. Stay downtown at Omni Corpus Christi for a splendid view of the bay and the aircraft carrier (now museum) USS Lexington. Stroll through 2,000 orchids at South Texas Botanical Gardens. Drive the loop that takes you to the beaches of Mustang Island, the fishing and vacation village of Port Aransas, and Rockport-Fulton, an artists' colony of stores and galleries. You may want to schedule a trip for Rockport-Fulton's annual Hummer/Bird Celebration, September 13-16. Visit www.corpuschristi-tx-cvb.org and www.rockport-fulton.org.
8. San Angelo: Jewel of West Texas
Downtown you'll find art, apparel, fine dining, and the city's own brands of jewelry. Artisans at Legend Jewelers craft beautiful settings for locally harvested Concho Pearls. Holland's, another jeweler, offers its own brands of Western buckles and accessories, including its famous "Spur Clip" for the tie. J. Wilde's creates an avant-garde line of fashions.
Stroll through San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, also downtown, with its astounding 20th-century ceramics collection, and see buffalo soldiers on parade during special events at Fort Concho National Historic Landmark. Hungry? Find Texas favorites at Miss Hattie's Café & Saloon and international flavors at Peasant Village. Visit www.sanangelo.org.
9. Tyler: Africa, Azaleas, Roses, and Wine
Grab a chili dog from Chakula Café, have a seat under a shady arbor, and watch Africa for a while. Giraffes, elephants, and other mammals roam the excellent Caldwell Zoo. Elsewhere Tyler abounds in flowers, with spring's Azalea Trail that winds through fine neighborhoods and fall's famous Texas Rose Festival, this year October 18-21. In the near countryside, you can buy native plants and other flowers for your garden at Blue Moon Gardens. For exquisite dining and lodging, head to the winery, Kiepersol Estates. Visit www.tylertexas.com.
10. Lubbock: Worth a Closer Look
This city's even better through a pair of big black-framed glasses like the ones Buddy Holly wore. A sculpture of those eye pieces recall Lubbock's famous musician at the Buddy Holly Center. You'll hear his legacy there. Each night in the Depot District at spots such as Cactus Theater, you can listen to live music. Around town, explore three wineries (Cap*Rock, Llano Estacado, and Pheasant Ridge), stroll through the National Ranching Heritage Center, and watch air itself high in the windmills at American Wind Power Center and Museum. Visit www.visitlubbock.org.