It’s worth the 38-mile drive north of Fort Davis  to experience the spectacular scenery and distinctive allure of Balmorhea State Park (Hwy. 17, 432/375-2370, www.tpwd.state.tx.us ). If you have the time, book a night at the historic adobe motel, featuring spacious rooms with cable TV but no phones.
The park’s centerpiece is San Solomon Springs, gushing up to 26 million gallons of refreshingly cool water daily into a large man-made swimming pool. The deep artesian springs offer an ideal spot for scuba diving, so it’s fairly common to see divers in the far corner of the pool exploring the unique aquatic life in the crystal clear water.
The springs also feed a fascinating desert wetland, providing a habitat and life source for scores of uncommon birds and plant life. The viewing areas—a large wooden overlook and subsurface water window—are especially intriguing.