Quintessentially Texas! Lone Star State Experiences

The Lone Star State is as big and bold as an entire country, so it’s no surprise it is home to both can’t-miss, internationally renowned attractions as well as off-the-radar gems. Check out these SPG Weekends highlights.

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Devour delicious barbecue in Houston
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The same tasty places show up on every end-of-the-year, best of list — The Brisket House and Gatlin’s in downtown are always at the top of the heap — but since it opened in suburban Pearland in 2014, Killen’s Barbecue, frequented by Texans’ superstar defensive end, J.J. Watt, also tops the charts.

Where to stay:

Discover San Antonio’s historic missions, including the Alamo
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Once you visit these historic sites, you’ll remember more than just the AlamoSan Antonio Missions National Historic Park boasts four of the southernmost Spanish colonial missions in the United States: Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan and Espada. Along with the Alamo, these are World Heritage Sites, and visitors can explore them all via the Mission Reach, an 8-mile stretch of trails, picnic sites and more.

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Explore historic downtowns
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These Main Streets really puts the Tex in Texas, and the area’s preservation efforts have succeeded in maintaining and revitalizing the region’s deep roots. Just outside of Austin, Georgetown is home to the “Most Beautiful Town Square” in the state; McKinney boasts one of the oldest thriving historic downtowns in all of Texas, 30 miles north of Dallas. Both towns are celebrated for their charm, character, shopping, art galleries, live entertainment and restaurants — as well as delivering on the promise of being all-around enjoyable destinations.

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Enjoy live music at Austin’s best honkytonks
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Austin is known around the world as one of the best cities in which to see live music, but its honkytonks are in a league of their own. Perhaps the best loved is The Broken Spoke, a legendary country music dance hall, but right there with it are The White Horse, The Rattle Inn and the Continental Club, which has been open since 1957 and is known as the “granddaddy of all local music venues.”

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Celebrate Texas’ natural wonders at the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge
Image Courtesy of L. Sallee on behalf of The Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge

A “Hidden Jewel” deep in the heart of Texas, the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge boasts more than 3,500 acres comprised of forests, prairies, wetlands, over 20 miles of hiking trails, and a wildlife sanctuary and nature preserve. The refuge is open year-round, hosting events and tours, as well as a summer camp for the kids.

Where to stay: Sheraton Fort Worth  

Visit The Star and shop the boutiques of Plano
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The Dallas Cowboys’ brand new world headquarters and training facility The Star is Frisco’s hottest destination, boasting 91 acres of athletic space for the Cowboys and local high schools alike. Bonus: The mile stretch is ripe with restaurants and retail to hit pre- or post-game, too. Nearby in downtown Plano, the fun continues with a wealth of unique shops and restaurants, performing arts venues, historic buildings and more.

Where to stay: The Westin Stonebriar Hotel & Golf Club

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