Hiker explores a slot canyon at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico.

Trip Itinerary: Hiking in New Mexico

Not only is New Mexico’s mountain scenery stunning, but the population is sparse, so it’s very easy to get out of town and have the natural splendor all to yourself. This route, which takes nine days, caters to outdoor adventurers who want to spend as much time as possible outside of the cities.

A pink lily at the Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Texas. Photo © Anne Swoboda, licensed Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike.

Itinerary: Austin in a Long Weekend

Austin is a city that can easily and satisfactorily be explored in less than a week. It’s so alive and accessible that it takes little effort to be completely submerged in its life and culture.

The Texas State Capitol building in Austin.

Seeing the Texas State Capitol and Governor’s Mansion

The Texas State Capitol is the nucleus of Austin, both historically and visually, and located not too far from the Governor’s Mansion. A must-see for history buffs and equally engaging for those interested in architecture or politics, both of these grand old buildings have survived years of hard politics and even harder renovations.

The state and US flag hang in front of rustic Becker Vineyards in the HIll Country.

Best Wineries on the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail

Texas Hill Country has rediscovered its viticulture roots. Wineries have cropped up all throughout the state, 27 of which happen to be west of Austin in the beautiful Hill Country. Here are some of the best wineries on the Trail, along with a bit about Texas’s wine history.

Teams squaring off in Austin's roller derby.

Austin’s Roller Derby Revival

The most outrageous form of entertainment of the golden 1970s, roller derby, is back! Austin’s unique and dazzling form of underground entertainment is put on by a legion of feisty women from all walks of life.

You probably can't snag any tickets to Austin City Limits, but you can catch other great acts at the Moody Theater.

The Quintessential Austin Music Experience

Music style and tastes vary greatly, making it difficult to suggest one quintessential music experience, but here’s a start. The proper accommodations are crucial for the live music fan. They need to be cheap, centrally located, and near a restaurant that serves breakfast all day.

A sign invites people in to the Museum of the Weird in Austin, Texas.

Austin’s Weird Sights

In the mood for some weird and downright strange sights? Well, if you’re in Austin, there’s plenty to see. From the macabre to the astonishing to the just plain ‘what the heck?’, these locales and landmarks will definitely hit the spot.

The courthouse in Bandera, Texas. Photo © Davidlohr Bueso, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Take a Four-Day Texas Hill Country Road Trip

A road trip in the Hill Country is an adventure into both beautiful parks with natural wonders and tiny towns that meticulously preserve remnants of Americana and the Wild West. Get ready to do some serious wine-tasting, antiques hunting, horseback riding, and hiking.