An Insiders Guide To Texas – with Andrew Evans From National Geographic

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Andrew, a Houston native, shares some classic favorites along with some of the Lone Star State’s best kept secrets. 

Andrew is currently a contributing editor for National Geographic, which was founded in 1888 and is currently celebrating it’s 125th anniversary. In addition to their popular magazine and TV channel, they also have a National Geographic Museum in Washington DC, located just a few blocks from the White House, where you can see interactive exhibits, changing exhibitions, photography, and much more. It is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world with interests including geography, archaeology and natural science, and the promotion of environmental and historical conservation. In addition to writing for National Geographic, Andrew has also written for the Economist, Business Traveler, Gadling, Gawker Media and he has authored numerous guidebooks.
Be sure to check out his blog, where you can also find extensive reviews of US destinations including Texas, as well as Montana, Louisiana and learn all about his 2010 trip where he traveled all the way from Washington DC to Antarctica by bus. Also be sure to follow him on Twitter to stay up to date with his latest travels.Hi Andrew – It is such an honor to have the opportunity to conduct this interview. I am sure you will inspire many travelers to start planning their first trip to Texas, while also motivating natives to see their hometown like they’ve never seen it before.
If someone only had one day of their life to spend in Texas, where would you recommend they go?Guadalupe Mountains National Park, in the far corner of the Texas panhandle. The bluffs and mountains are larger-than-life, and there is no better place to feel the wild, wild west of the west Texas wilderness.

What are some of your favorite things to do in your hometown of Houston?

I absolutely love the MFAH (Museum of Fine Arts Houston), as well as the Rothko Chapel. I try to go every time I’m back in Houston. The MFAH has one of the premier art collections in the country, and yet it seems to play second fiddle to museums in New York and Washington, DC. Definitely go if you have a chance.

Where should people go to chow down like the locals?

The German settlements in East Texas have the best barbecue, by far. My favorite is Kreuz’s Market in Lockhart. For Tex Mex, you can’t go wrong in San Antonio, but I also love the towns along the border. I think my favorite tacos were in Del Rio. Also, you just can’t miss Blue Bell Ice Cream in Brenham.

What do tourists need to order to get the “true” Texan experience? 

A pair of cowboy boots! Seriously. Don’t leave Texas without buying a pair. These are the most authentic cowboy boots in the world, and there are so many shops that sell such a huge variety, so don’t miss the chance to pick out a pair that makes you look Texan.

What’s the state’s best kept secret?

Goliad. It’s such an important site in Texas (and American) history, but so few visit, even though it’s only 2 hours from Houston. I found it incredibly moving to visit there—a true memorial to the men and women who made Texas what it is today. I highly recommend a visit, especially for Texans.

Many consider Schlitterbahn New Braunfels, TX (Located between Austin and San Antonio, for those who don’t know) to be the best water park in the country. Is it really all that it is cracked up to be?

Honestly, I’ve never been, but I’ve always wanted to go. 

What do you like least about Texas?

The stereotypes about Texas—Texas is so much more than the loud-mouthed politicians and the perceived prejudice. Anyone who’s ever spent any time in Texas knows that Texans are some of the nicest people in America, and that they will bend over backwards to make you feel welcome and comfortable.

Read more about Andrew’s thoughts and favorites in his complete list of Texas articles, which includes: The Best of Texas, A Day in Dallas, Going Home, Bigger than the Alamo, and Driving In God’s Country.

Well yehaw, I reckon y’all better get your cowboy boots on and get to packing!

Let us know your favorite things to do in Texas in the comments section below.


Taylor Goldblatt

After years of research, travel, and dreams, I have created this website for people like you who want to experience the things that only America can offer. My passion is to explore and share America's greatest destinations and attractions. Follow me on Twitter @USCityTraveler for additional travel tips and ideas.

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