Road Trip!

Break the summer monotony at one of these out-of-the-way destinations.


If the morbid side of history grabs your interest, then no trip from Houston to East Texas is complete without a stop at the Huntsville Prison Museum ($4). Its extensive collection of artifacts — from contraband to guards' guns to a replica of an electric chair — isn't exactly cheery, but the stories it tells are fascinating. And, of course, there's a small gift shop with no shortage of kitsch. For information, visit

Deeper in the region — about 250 miles northeast of Houston on the Louisiana border — you'll find the best of what East Texas offers near the town of Uncertain on Caddo Lake. Photographic opportunities abound on this eerily beautiful body of water dotted with cypress trees and draped in Spanish moss. Lodging isn't anything fancy, but you won't exactly be roughing it, either — the cool little cabins of Moonglow Lodge, for instance, feature full kitchens and wi-fi access. (We're not sure if the latter is a good thing.) The best way to explore the sprawling lake is on the Graceful Ghost, an "authentic re-creation of an old-time paddlewheel steamboat" ($20 per person, with discounts for seniors and kids, 903-472-1081). Or launch a canoe and head out on your own — just make sure to keep your bearings. If you find things getting a bit too still, the bars and casinos of Shreveport are less than an hour to the east. For information, a list of other places to stay and additional recommended activities, visit

McDonald Observatory
McDonald Observatory

What the hell?

File this one under "only if you're already in the area": The Creationist Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth. There's only one thing you need to know about the museum: It contains proof that man and dinosaurs walked the Earth as contemporaries. Bring $2 a person for admission and leave everything you thought you knew about science at the door. For information, visit

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