Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Frontier States



Officials supposedly closed the Western Frontier over one hundred years ago. But if that were true then why do the region's rugged landscapes and mythic personalities still draw us to them? True, the west may not be the wild place it was when pioneers, cattlemen, gold seekers and Native Americans challenged its soaring mountains and sweeping plains, but its spirit has become intertwined with the American spirit, and its legacy will live on in the popular imagination for many generations to come.

ARKANSAS



Nestled between the beautifully rugged Ozark Mountains and the silent majesty of the Mississippi River, Arkansas is a hidden gem for RVers looking for a destination offering a little of everything. Whether it’s fishing, exploring caves, digging for gemstones or a dip in a relaxing natural hot spring spa, Arkansas has it all.

Diamond and Quartz Mining

You read it right, people. Arkansas’ unique geology provides for some fun–and potentially profitable– amateur rock hunting. From the quartz mines of the mystical Ouachita Mountains to the world’s only public diamond mine, consider these not your run-of-the-mill destinations.

Murfreesboro

It’s finders keepers at Crater of Diamonds State Park, where more than 75,000 diamonds have been discovered over the years, either dug or just found lying around after a hard rain. This 37-acre park on the site of an ancient volcano pipe is a rare find.

Hot Springs

In this lovely resort town, RVers can go prospecting at their choice of several mines. Many such dig-sites rent tools and provide a quick rundown on the finer points of digging for world-class Arkansas quartz crystal.

Mount Ida

Which is more breathtaking, the crystals you can mine in and around Mount Ida or the gorgeous mountain vistas? This one may call for return visits to settle the issue once and for all.

Hot Spring and Spas

If you’re like everyone else on the planet, there is no escaping the occasional aches and pains of life. So what is your excuse for not planning for some serious soak time in one of Arkansas two thermal spa locations? No good reason that we know of.

Eureka Springs

If a trip to Eureka Springs makes you feel like you might have stumbled into a quaint Bavarian village, well, you aren’t the only one. In addition to many spa destinations, the entire downtown area is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Hot Springs

As the state’s top travel destination, Hot Springs features 47 thermal springs flowing from the Ouachita Mountains. Hot Springs State Park and Bath House Row aren’t to be missed.

For more information contact: www.arkansas.com or 1 (800) NATURAL

COLORADO



Colorado has long been synonymous with rugged terrain, and visitors wont come away disappointed. If you love mountains for winter sports, climbing or just gazing and sighing, then Colorado was made for you. Or were you made for it? Go on. Find the answer for yourself.

Snow Sports

Resorts like Aspen, Telluride and Breckenridge are legendary among skiers and snowboarders alike. But why limit yourself? With slopes galore and ample snow Colorado is the perfect spot to expand your slate of winter activities. Colorado features a winter playground of more than 39,000 ski-able acres, averaging 11 million visitors per year. In addition to the more well-known ski hubs, the state also offers resort areas such as the Arapahoe Basin, Beaver Creek and Keystone, each at or above 7,000 feet, making for long seasons and lots of fresh powder.

Cross-Country Skiing

Who says you have to ski down hill? Nordic Centers like Devils Thumb, Gold Run, Grand Lake and Frisco offer miles of marked trails of varying difficulty and opportunities for backwoods exploration on ungroomed trials for more advanced skiers.

Train Tours

When it comes to charm and romance, good luck finding a vacation activity that can match a scenic train tour. Relax and relive a bygone era on one of Colorado’s many tours featuring old-fashioned steam engines or locomotives.

Royal Gorge Route

Enjoy this 24-mile train route through 127 years of history as it snakes it way through one of America’s natural wonders. Of particular interest is the 118-year-old Hanging Bridge, which suspends over a river on the sheer face of a canyon wall.

Cumbres and Toltec

If you find unbelievably beautiful scenery, history, nostalgia and romance dull, then the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad definitely is not for you. For those onboard with this idea, this train ride meanders along the highest and longest narrow-gauge (or track) railroad in the country and an outstanding historical rail experience.

Pikes Peak Cog Railway

This scenic tour is only roughly 8 miles long but takes over three hours round-trip, owing both to the steep mountain climb and the out-of-this-world scenery that must be savored to truly appreciate. Upon reaching the summit, the train lets riders enjoy the view for approximately 30 minutes before descending again.

Mountain Getaways

The Rocky Mountains are far and away the dominant natural feature of Colorado, not to mention a true American treasure. Better yet, these peaks offer vacation activities on an almost unlimited scale. Rock climbing, hiking, caving, wildlife viewing and camping it’s all here with a liberal dose of solitude and relaxation mixed in for good measure.

Rocky Mountain National Park

This is nature’s own cathedral, beguiling visitors with 359 miles of trails and 60 peaks rising above 12,000 feet. Large elk herds numbering in the thousands and big horn sheep by the hundreds roam the park’s interior along with eagles, cougars and bears. And in June and July wildflowers literally explode with color and texture on mountain slopes.

Pikes Peak

Perhaps the most well-known mountain in America, Pikes Peak is certainly the most visited with more than half-a-million people reaching the summit house by Pikes Peak Highway and nearly 15,000 attempting the challenging summit on foot. For the very motivated, or just plain crazy, there’s the annual Pike’s Peak Marathon every August.

For more information, contact (800) COLORADO; www.colorado.com

KANSAS



If you ever want to find yourself right in the middle of everything, then Kansas is your ideal spot. Out in the heart of America one experiences vast wide-open spaces conjuring up images of a rich history and vibrant agricultural present. And for the sportsman, Kansas’ spaces offer some of the best fishing and hunting in the region.

Heritage Tours

With a rich history ranging from Native Americans to gunfighters to buffalo hunters, Kansas has witnessed America at its most brutal and storied. Several destinations offer visitors a chance to soak in the state’s alluring past.

Topeka

Tracing state heritage from its Native American beginnings through the “Bleeding Kansas” and Settlement eras and right on through to modern times, the Kansas Museum of History is a great family stop.

Dodge City

The Boot Hill Museum recalls a time when Dodge City was the wildest town in the west. The institution is complete with more than 20,000 authentic artifacts, a replica of Front Street as it looked in 1876, and daily summertime presentations.

Abilene

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Library provides visitors and scholars’ access to artifacts, manuscripts and other personal and official effects documenting the life and achievements of Kansas’ most famous son.

Farm Tours

Down on the farm isn’t just an expression in Kansas–it’s a time-honored way of life. Visitors can roll up their sleeves and pitch in at various u-pick-em farms and orchards, as well as full-blown working operations.

Newton

If you like your history a bit more on the active side, head out onto the wide open prairie in a covered wagon train or trail ride with Country Boys Carriage and Prairie Adventures.

Ellsworth County

If you’re looking for a dude ranch, then J&L Canyon Ranch isn’t for you. But if you’re hankerin’ to “cowboy up” on some real-life roundups and cattle drives, then prepare to saddle up and come get dirty.

Hunting and Fishing

If you understand the thrill of having a 60-pound flathead catfish on your line or the quiet anticipation of waiting in a deer stand on a chilly fall morning, you no doubt know what it means to hunt and fish in Kansas. Chanute has 7,000 acres of farmland to hunt and 450 acres of private duck marsh, and Longton, Glen Elder and Lawrence all offer abundant fishing opportunities.

For more information, contact (800) 252-6727; www.travelks.com

MISSOURI



Missouri is definitely a place that can “show you” a good time, boasting a wide variety of destinations and activities sure to satisfy. Maybe a comfortable tube or canoe trip down one of the state’s scenic rivers will fit the bill? Or perhaps your crew is more agreeable to a weekend spent in Missouri’s resurgent wine country? Of course, if your tastes run more to music and family entertainment, then Branson is a spot like no other.

Canoe Trips

Canoeing or “floating” is a great Missouri pastime, with plenty of spring-fed rivers capable of doing the job. Float past towering limestone bluffs, many of which can be accessed year-round for the adventurous. Pack your fly-fishing rod too, because the trout are plentiful.

Ozark National Scenic Riverway

Created by Congress 1964 and encompassing 134 miles of the Jacks Ford and Current rivers, this is one of the most well-known (and bucolic) river destinations in the Midwest. Float trips can range from one day, 8-mile floats to 100-mile adventures–and anything in between.

Meramec River

This 100-mile stretch of floatable river offers a unique chance to relax and enjoy the view. Over 90 percent of the river is shallow enough to wade in as you take in the scenic bluffs and caves and perhaps explore one of the many springs that feed the river.

Missouri Wine Country

The vintners’ legacy here dates back to the 1800s when the state produced some two million barrels of wine and “saved” famed French wineries with a pest-resistant rootstock graft that halted widespread destruction of French vineyards. After recovering from prohibition, Missouri begun reclaiming its wine making heritage.

Herman

Also known as Missouri’s Rhine Village, this charming town sits in the very heart of Missouri wine country. Numerous award-winning wineries are nestled along the 20-mile Herman Wine Trail.

St. James

Centrally located between St. Louis, Columbia and Springfield, travelers should find this friendly, small community very palatable. Home to some of the top wineries in the state including the Meramec, Ferrigno and Heinrichshaus, this is a great spot to park the rig and enjoy daily tastings.

Sainte Genevieve

As the only surviving French Colonial settlement west of the Mississippi, it’s small wonder that wine-making thrives in Ste. Genevieve. The village features many wineries, both well-established and more recent entries. Take the time to enjoy tours through a variety of restored vintage French Colonial buildings.

The One and Only Branson

Well known as the “live music capital of the world,” Branson features approximately 100 different shows at 40 theaters starring a slew of legendary performers. But what many of the seven million annual visitors discover after arriving here is that there is much more than music. Branson delivers a host of family attractions and some of the best golfing you’ll find in the Midwest. Performances from such country artists as Andy Williams, Jim Stafford, Mickey Gilley and family favorite violinist Shoji combine with scores of other shows to make Branson one of the best destinations for music fans on the planet.

For more information, contact (800) 519-2100; www.visitmo.com.

MONTANA



In Montana the sky isn’t the only thing that’s big. So is the list of places to go and things to do while you’re there. Whether you’re a mountain hiker or a dinosaur chaser, a geyser watcher or a fan of historic old ghost towns, Montana is your prime destination.

Mountain Hiking

With some of the most beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife to be found anywhere, Montana is a hiker’s dream. Whether it’s a leisurely day hike or a more strenuous overnighter, you’ll have several locales to choose from.

Hoskins Lake, Northwest Montana

This is a great hike for beginners or families with children. With low elevation and 1-mile out-and-back distance, this hike takes groups along a scenic and well-marked trail. Trout fishing is good in the larger lower lake and the surrounding forest sports deer and moose.

Peterson Lake, South of Missoula

The 10-mile hike to Peterson Lake or longer 14-mile version to Duffy Lake is definitely geared to the more experienced hiker. Be sure to note some of the massive Douglas fir and ponderosa pines along the trail.

Ramshorn Lake,

North of Yellowstone

A moderate 12-mile hike with many elk, moose and the occasional black bear. Ramshorn Peak, which is just east of the lake, also makes for a relatively easy 10,000 feet ascent for climbers.

Natural Wonders

Any discussion of Montana is sure to include two of nature’s most dazzling crown jewels, Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. Either spot could fill an entire vacation’s itinerary and should top any RVer’s “must-do” list.

Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming

The world’s very first national park, Yellowstone, actually sits atop a massive ancient volcano. That very same geothermal activity fuels the more than 10,000 thermal features in the park today, from hot springs and geysers, to fumaroles and bubbling mud pools. Yellowstone Park is also a wildlife haven, with its 2.2 million acres spanning three states to provide a pristine habitat for bison, elk, moose, grizzlies and wolves, among other species.

Northwest Montana

Ancient tectonic-plate movements and more recent glacial activity has forged one of the most unique and lovely national parks in America. With roughly 27 glaciers still present in Glacier National park, visitors are afforded a special opportunity to view these unusual formations and the landscapes they sculpt. Of particular interest to RV travelers is the stunning 52-mile drive along the Going-to-the-Sun-Road that crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. Take note, however, that maximum allowed dimensions at Logan Pass are 21 feet(bumper to bumper) by 8 feet (mirrors included).

Ghost Towns

In the Montana of the mid-1800s, whenever you mixed gold miners, dancing girls, whiskey, and six-shooters you got yourself a town. But when the boom went bust most of these settlements faded into the sunset of history. But not all of them vanished.

Virginia City

More than 100 refurbished buildings and historical points of interest recall this boom-town’s glory days. Well-marked walking tours take visitors through town and feature several exhibits.

Drummond

Garnet Ghost Town is a non-commercialized preserve of 30 buildings dating back to the late 19th century, when miners extracted more than 60,000 ounces of gold in Garnet’s hey-day. Winter sees the town as a popular snowmobile and cross-country ski trip destination, with rental cabins available for overnight stays.

For more information, contact (800) VISIT-MT; www.visitmt.com

NEBRASKA



Nebraska heritage and tradition combine with a deep connection to the land to make this state both a unique and richly textured vacation spot. If you’re a history buff or one likely to hear the call of the great outdoors, then Nebraska offers several destinations that will not only make for a satisfying visit but probably should result in you planning your return trip, too.

Farm Tours

Roots run deep in Nebraska so it’s only logical that Agri-tourism lures all kinds of visitors. Whether you’re nostalgic for life down on the farm or just curious to see the how the land is worked and a nation is fed, Nebraska is literally full of fun and informative agriculture-related destinations.

Gering

The Farm and Ranch Museum in Gering displays vintage farm implements, many of them are still functional.

Knox and Cedar Counties

The Heartland Experience is a unique group of family farms and rural businesses located in Knox and Cedar counties that give visitors the chance to see food production and rural life up close and personal.

Pine Ridge

At Our Heritage Guest Ranch the activities vary with the seasons. From fence mending to hay cutting this century-old ranch can make anyone into a real cowboy.

Living History

Not only does Nebraska boast a vibrant past, but several key destinations teach travelers these lessons through re-enactments and on-site demonstrations.

Fort Calhoun

Fort Calhoun in Washington County was the first U.S. military post west of the Missouri River and served a vital role in trade and Indian relations. This reconstructed fort features several living-history demonstrations.

Steele City

Historic Steele City in Jefferson County brings history to life with several turn-of-the-century buildings, as well as living-history demonstrations and vintage farming equipment.

History and Heritage

Nebraska earns it stripes with history buffs eager to learn of the state’s role as a key hub of westward expansion.

Valley of the North Platte River

The Chimney Rock was an important and awe-inspiring geological landmark for almost half-a-million pioneers on the Oregon California Trail. Visit the National Historic Site and learn more about our nation’s Westward migration.

Royal

Go way back in time at the Ashfall Fossil Beds, where more than 200 fossilized skeletons have been discovered so far. These ancient fossil beds date to 12 million years ago and were created when a volcano deposited ash up to two feet thick over a watering hole.

For more information, contact (877) NEBRASKA; www.visitnebraska.org

NEW MEXICO



Enchantment is definitely the word that best describes New Mexico. Visitors come from all over the world to experience the state’s familiar native heritage and to unwind in Santa Fe, one of the most unique cities in North America. And anyone passing through might want to take the time to go off the beaten path and check out some of the state’s more “offbeat” locales as well.

Santa Fe

Also called the “City Different,” Santa Fe is a vibrant community that sits at the southern end of the Rocky Mountains. Once known as the seat of power for all Spanish territories west of the Mississippi River, since 1610 the city has been at the very crossroads of the cultural influences that have shaped New Mexico.

Tours

Begin your visit to Santa Fe with a personalized tour. Pathways Customized Tours offers guided excursions throughout the city’s local history, art, geology, and wildlife.

Museums

The Palace of the Governors (built in 1610) once housed the local Spanish leadership but is now a museum chronicling the history of Santa Fe and the region. The Museum of Fine Arts displays approximately 20,000 works of art, accentuating artists of the southwest. However, often recognized to be Santa Fe’s very best museum, the Museum of International Folk Art houses the largest collection of folk art in the world.

Native Heritage

New Mexico resounds with the history and culture of several native peoples whose energy and values help shape the state today.

Acoma Pueblo

Also known as “Sky City,” this ancient pueblo is believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited village in the nation. Built atop a massive mesa 7,000 feet above sea level Sky City offers guided tours and a historic visitors center.

Bandelier National Monument

These dwellings carved into the face of sheer cliff walls.

Chaco Canyon National Park

This network of Anasazi ruins once served as an urban center for more than 7,000 people. Self-guided trails are available to most of the significant ruins, but surrounding mesas feature commanding views of the entire canyon for more intrepid hikers.

Gila Cliff Dwellings

At more than 700 years old, these dwellings were built into the sides of five sandstone cliff caves by the Mogollon people for protection from enemies. Today, the ruins are surrounded by the Gila National Forest.

Off-beat Attractions

Looking for a little something outside the norm? Then be sure to visit some of these, um, unique destinations to take a walk on the wilder–and weirder–side.

Roswell

Okay, what exactly did happen here in 1947? Was it indeed a UFO crash and cover-up, or blown-up urban legend? Maybe the International UFO Museum can help you sort it all out as well as the many UFO inspired shops and events hosted by the town.

Bandera Ice Cave

So let’s see. Bandera is home to a 10,000-year-old volcano with an ice cave inside of a lava tube with a base 20 feet thick and core ice dating back to 1100 BC? Well sure, who hasn’t seen that before?

Carlsbad Caverns

More well-known and no less spectacular, these enormous underground chambers began forming almost 250 million years ago and today provide seasonal homes for 300,000 bats. Self-guided and ranger tours are available.

For more information, contact (800) 733-6396 ext.0643; www.newmexico.org

NORTH DAKOTA



The arc of North Dakota’s history reaches back into time immemorial. Pick up the story today by retracing the trails of Lewis and Clark and exploring the legacy of our nation’s westward expansion in historic resort communities like Medora or by visiting the several rustic old forts that dot the state.

Following

Lewis and Clark

The famous expedition came to North Dakota in the early fall of 1804 and wintered near present-day Washburn until April 7 1805. Captain Lewis exclaimed that the area “is one of the handsomest plains I ever beheld” and travelers these days can behold the same plains and enjoy the many sites of historical interest along the trail.

Fort Mandan

This reconstructed fort was the winter home of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery in the winter of 1804-05. A stopover here gives visitors a vivid sense of what life for the expedition would have been like.

Missouri-Yellowstone

Interpretive Center

The state’s newest historical center offers the same sweeping views of the rivers that the expedition saw in 1805-06, as well as murals depicting various episodes from their journey.

Western Forts

The romantic history of the American west and old forts are forever intermingled in the popular imagination. North Dakota boasts several reconstructed and original fort structures steeped in western lore.

Fort Lincoln

The original command post for General George Custer and the ill-fated 7th Calvary, the state park now features a reconstructed barracks, blockhouse and living-history re-enactments.

Fort Buford

Famous as the place of Sitting Bull’s surrender in 1881, three original buildings remain on the site as well as museum exhibits and an interpretive center.

Medora

Established in 1824 by a young French aristocrat and a favorite buffalo hunting ground for a youthful Teddy Roosevelt, this unique town has grown to become one of the state’s top tourist destinations. Medora delivers several attractions in and around the town that appeal to everyone in the family.

The Medora Musical a two-hour musical variety show features gospel, country and patriotic music from nationally known acts and other talented performers set against the North Dakota Badlands in the Burning Hills Amphitheatre.

Upon his arrival to the Dakota Badlands, Roosevelt became concerned about the impact of overgrazing and mismanagement of the land he loved. The 70,000-acre Theodore Roosevelt National Park was established after his death and serves as a living memorial to the concepts of conservation and husbandry that he championed.

The 128-acre Chateau de Mores historic site serves as a showcase for the estate of the Marquis do Mores, the entrepreneurial Frenchmen who envisioned Medora as the epicenter of his cattle kingdom. His legacy lives on in the 26-room mansion and grounds overlooking the town.

For more information, contact (800) 435-5663; www.ndtourism.com.

OKLAHOMA



From its very beginnings in the famous Land Rush of 1889, Oklahoma has been a place where beautiful countryside meets a vibrant and energetic people. Oklahomans proudly trace their roots back to that same land today and celebrate the rich heritage of its many inhabitants. The mix of history and culture just so happens to make Oklahoma a very rewarding destination.

Cowboy Heritage

The legend of the cowboy still thrives today in Oklahoma and is kept alive throughout the various museums and western-related attractions proudly preserved throughout the state.

Waurika

With many artifacts and original photographs, the Chisholm Trail Historical Museum documents the rise and fall of the cattle industry as it came into being after the Civil War and how the myths surrounding the men who worked it continue to thrive in our imaginations.

Tulsa

Housing the world’s most definitive collection of western art, the Gilcrease Museum is a hit with art lovers and western aficionados.

Claremore

The cowboy who “never met a man he didn’t like” is remembered at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum. Billed as the largest private museum in the nation, the JM Davis Museum houses an impressive collection of vintage weapons and artifacts.

Native American History

The history of Oklahoma’s native peoples is still very much alive and featured in museums, living-history recreations and in the performing arts, as well as on the approximately twenty reservations in the state today.

Tahlequah

The Tsa-La-Gi Ancient Village has been painstakingly constructed to replicate Cherokee life as it existed before outside contact. The Cherokee Heritage Center is one of the most visited Native American education centers in the nation and features a number of attractions. Highlights include the Cherokee National Museum, a restored ancient village, and the Tsa-La-Gi Amphitheater, which is home to the critically acclaimed Trail Of Tears outdoor drama.

Anadarko

The everyday life of the Plains Indian is displayed in painstaking detail at Indian City, USA. Tour through seven replica tribal villages reconstructed with the guidance of the Anthropology Department at the University of Oklahoma.

Muskogee

The Five Civilized Tribes Museum is dedicated to preserving and displaying the history and culture of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole and Chickasaw tribes. Exhibits feature artifacts, cultural arts, textiles and historical documents gathered to tell the stories of these Native Americans and their contributions to the history of Oklahoma.

Lake and River Getaways

Never let it be said that Oklahoma doesn’t contain some of the best fishing and boating around on the state’s many waterways. The following are some of the best. Fish for trout year-round on the Lower Mountain Fork River near Broken Bow. Peaceful “no-ski” Spavina Lake offers more than 1,500 acres for fishing, while Fort Gibson Lake and Tishomingo River offers kayaking as well as trout fishing.

For more information, contact (800) 652-6552; www.travelok.com

SOUTH DAKOTA



Names like Mt. Rushmore, The Badlands, and Crazy Horse loom large in our national consciousness. South Dakota weaves these together with a rich native history and unrivaled natural beauty to make the state one of the most rewarding vacation spots in the country.

Mountain Monuments

If you like your history literally set in stone, then South Dakota is definitely on your “must-do” list. Mt. Rushmore and the still-in-progress Crazy Horse Memorial bring the past to life on a scale seldom seen.

Black Hills

As one of America’s most recognizable landmarks, the faces found on Mount Rushmore–Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt–set a commanding 500 feet high and taking more 14 years to complete after work began in 1927. The National Park also features related exhibits at the Lincoln Borglum Museum as well as attractions such as the Evening Lighting Ceremony and ranger guided tours.

While in the Black Hills, be sure to visit the simply awesome, privately-funded Crazy Horse Memorial, which when completed, will be the largest sculpture in the world.

Native American Heritage

Many tribes of native people through the ages were drawn to the Dakota region, but perhaps the most notable were the people known collectively as the Sioux nation. More than 60,000 Sioux still live in the state and contribute to a rich heritage.

Pine Ridge

This Heritage Center of the Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge reservation features one of the best collections of Lakota tribal art in the world. Some 2,000 paintings, drawings, and sculptures are on hand to celebrate a cross-section of Native American tribes.

Rapid City

The Journey Museum features exhibits that help visitors understand the significance of all the historical forces that shaped the Great Plains. Among them, of course, is the story of the Lakota Sioux.

For more information, contact (800) S-DAKOTA; www.travelsd.com

TEXAS



With more destinations to choose from than even some countries can offer, Texas truly is a star when it comes to vacation getaways. Boasting more than 260,000 square miles of state to explore, the only real difficulty is choosing exactly where to visit. Rich Western and Hispanic heritages team with miles of gulf coast and then mix with a fanatic passion for a certain sport played with an inflated pigskin to make Texas a spot that almost defies description.

Gulf Coast Beaches and Destinations

When it comes to ocean front landscapes, Texans can and do brag about their 600 miles of coastline. Here warm 80-degree water laps onto sparkling beaches as far as the eye can see, while fishermen come in waves (pun intended) to test their angling skills.

Galveston

For more than 500 years this low-lying island has drawn people to it. Today Galveston attracts visitors to 32 miles of beaches, from family-friendly Stewart Beach along the seawall to the more secluded Galveston Island State Park that attracts campers, fishermen and bird watchers to the 2,000-acre park.

Padre Island

The longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world makes up the Padre Island National Seashore. With more than 130,000 acres of natural coastline habitat, this national park draws beach lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and windsurfers to its pristine shores.

Rodeos and Ranches

“Yeehaw” isn’t just a cowboy’s call in Texas. It captures the free spirit of the cattle drive and the bucking bronco coming out of the chute. Today the rugged past of cattle and cowboys lives on in Texas.

King Ranch

Larger than the entire state of Rhode Island, this massive working ranch is the granddaddy of Texas spreads, featuring ranch and wildlife tours, a museum and a custom saddle shop that also produces luggage, clothing and home furnishings.

Bandera

This former staging area for cattle drives now bills itself as the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” Perfectly nestled into the rugged Texas Hill Country, a stopover here includes several surrounding working and guest ranches, rodeos, a historical walking tour, and even some good ol’ fashioned Texas honky-tonks featuring live country music.

Fort Worth

Not many cities feature a daily cattle drive, but then not many cities can claim the kind of cowboy heritage that Fort Worth can. With the historic Stockyard District, the 110-year old Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, and the world’s largest honky-tonk at the three-acre Billy Bob’s, Fort Worth embraces its image as a “cow town.”

History and Heritage

For more than 500 years diverse cultures have lived side by side in Texas and have given the state a rich past and a vibrant, energetic present.

El Paso Valley Missions

This region features several elegant old Catholic missions such as the state’s oldest, Ysleta del Sur built in 1682, and the San Elizario Presidio Chapel, which is still in daily use after standing for more than 200 years.

San Antonio

The first permanent settlement in Texas today celebrates its Spanish

roots at attractions such as The Alamo and La Villita, San Antonio’s historic first neighborhood which has gentrified into an eclectic art district, and events such as Fiesta San Antonio.

Texas - For more information, contact (800) 888-8-TEX; www.traveltex.com

UTAH



If you suffer from the vacation blahs, then this is news you can use. Utah has nature’s own antidote to ho-hum destinations that may have bored you in the past. Do your vacation tastes run to skiing or snowboarding? Maybe you’d like to experience breathtaking landscapes in one of world’s most amazing parks or take in the beauty and history of Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Just try to be underwhelmed. Utah dares you!

Winter sports

Billed as the “greatest snow on earth” Utah is sure to satisfy everyone from the most discriminating snow sport enthusiasts to bunny-hill beginners.

Snowbird

With the kind of spectacular mountain scenery Utah is famous for the Snowbird Resort has been Skiing magazine’s top rated U.S. ski destination four years running.