Getting the flavor of...
Texas’ fairly grand canyon
Driving across the Texas Panhandle, you see little but flatlands, said Dan Leeth in The Dallas Morning News. Almost hidden, though, is Palo Duro Canyon—“an 800-foot-deep abyss that could have been stolen from Utah.” At 6 miles wide and 120 miles long, Palo Duro is America’s second-largest canyon, and it’s spectacular. Camping on the canyon floor during a recent visit, my wife and I watch roadrunners strut through the brush as the “flutelike” call of a canyon wren echoes off the cliffs. Coyotes begin to howl as the terraced sandstone blushes in the setting sun, but we sleep well. Come morning, we hike to the Lighthouse, a 300-foot pillar of rock, passing buttes ribboned in white and rose. At the Pioneer Amphitheater, which hosts performances every summer, we enjoy a different kind of show: a high plains thunderstorm, seen from afar. “Falling rain washes the desert, turning the air into a sage-scented, spa-worthy delight.”
Edgy San Diego
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the best part of San Diego is Tijuana, said Maya Kroth in Thrillist.com. Plenty of visitors come for the beaches or golf courses, but the city is most interesting as a close twin to its cross-border neighbor. Though a wall separates San Diego from Tijuana, people and ideas “flow back and forth every day, no more contained than air.” Both cities have thriving art scenes, each informed by the other, which is why you can see a Rembrandt in the morning at the Timken Museum, soak in a gallery’s worth of murals at Chicano Park, and then, if you’ve hired a tour guide, catch the sunset from Tijuana inside a 60-foot concrete statue of a naked woman that’s also the home of the architect who built her. Yes, the beaches of San Diego really are beautiful, and the burritos worthy of worship. “But if you’re willing to search out the region’s rich and varied cultural side,” you’ll find it has far more to offer than it gets credit for.