Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park. Photo © Steven Prorak/123rf.

Hiking, Camping, and Backpacking in Big Bend National Park

Big Bend offers more than 200 miles of hiking trails ranging from short, easy nature walks and day hikes to primitive mountain trails for experienced hikers and overnight backpackers. There’s truly something for everyone here—families can take their time on moderate trails with printed interpretive brochures as a guide, while hard-core backpackers have the option of taking backcountry trails into the desolate wilderness for challenging treks at their own pace.

cover Moon Route 66 Road Trip

Moon Route 66 Road Trip

Hit the road! Moon Route 66 Road Trip includes unbeatable information for casual road trippers and well-worn motorists alike, with up-to-date information on attractions and tips for travelers, and fascinating tales from the rich history of “America’s Highway.” Detailed driving routes give you all you need, including mileage from place to place, driving times, and […]

Where to Travel in 2016 Moon Travel Guides

Where to Travel in 2016: A Month-by-Month List

Most of us at Moon have an ever-growing list of places we want to visit, a common side effect of working on travel books. This list reflects a few of the destinations that inspired our wanderlust in the last year. There are trip-of-a-lifetime–type destinations, and there are smaller destinations, but all of them triggered that classic reverie, imagining what it would be like to be there, feeling that pull.

Big Bend, Texas. Photo 123rf.

The Rugged Beauty of Big Bend National Park

The colossal Big Bend National Park encompasses more than 800,000 acres of spectacular canyons, mesmerizing Chihuahuan Desert, awe-inspiring Chisos Mountains, and unexpectedly temperate woodlands. Soak up the natural beauty through your own eyes, play some appropriate West Texas soundtrack music (Willie Nelson complements the scenery quite nicely) and marvel at the jagged peaks, desert cacti, and sweeping vistas.

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.