Feature

Getting the flavor of...The Texas shore

Port Aransas is “the best escape on the Texas coast.”

The Texas shorePort Aransas is “the best escape on the Texas coast,” said June Naylor in The Dallas Morning News. It’s no longer “the sleepy fishing village” I remember from childhood, but the rewards it offers are still available at any budget. The town is located on the northern tip of Texas’s Mustang Island, and as I step off the ferry from Corpus Christi, the “briny—yet somehow sweet—gulf air” takes me back 40 years. There are certainly many more shopping and dining options now, and if you’ve got money to burn, you can dolphin-watch on boat tours or hit the links at the Arnold Palmer–designed golf course Newport Dunes. But I prefer more-modest experiences like strolling in the wetlands at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute—“one of the best-kept secrets” in town—or walking the dunes at Port Aransas Nature Preserve. You can even still get a small cottage for $120 just a short walk from the beach.

Delaware as a road gameMy statewide tour of Delaware began as a lark, said Andrea Sachs in The Washington Post. Delaware’s tourism office recently issued an “Xtreme Sightseeing” challenge to all takers, and I signed up primarily for the prize—a limited edition book awarded to those who visited at least 18 sites on the Delaware History Trail. What I didn’t anticipate was how much I would start to care about this “oft-snubbed” state. In Laurel, my pace “switched from hare to tortoise” while visiting Phillips Landing Recreation Area, where a trail retraces steps that Captain John Smith took four centuries ago. Soon, I’d also developed curiosity about Quakers, Methodists, and fishing holes, so it was “deep twilight” by the time I reached Rehoboth Beach. A Coast Guardsman helped me locate the Indian River Life-Saving Station, built in 1876 to prevent shipwrecks. The prize, I knew, was now mine. But I still made an extra detour to walk Rehoboth’s famous boardwalk.

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