Last December, when our editorial team gathered in the inspiring quarters of the Museum of the Big Bend to plan this summer issue around the theme of Texas’s historic highways, the world was a very different place. The routes across our continent, ably interpreted for us during a tour of the museum’s amazing map collection by curator Matt Walter, beckoned the explorer to wide-open vistas.
No one among us could fathom that a virus would soon take hold on our health and economic well-being, growing into a pandemic that shuttered museums and historic sites and kept travelers close to home.
Even while the Authentic Texas team grappled with ways to continue publishing and distributing content to serve hundreds of tourism destinations across the state, we had to also consider the challenges our advertisers and readers faced.
First, we delayed bulk distribution of our Spring 2020 issue, on Texas’s rich aviation heritage, until Texas Travel Information Centers and other visitor centers reopened after stay-at-home closures. The issue was available online and to home subscribers immediately, and we have used our social media reach to inform readers about canceled or rescheduled spring events—so do keep following us on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest developments.
Most important, however, we used the past twelve weeks to retool our digital edition, and we’re very excited to roll it out! If you’re a print subscriber and we do not have an email address on file for you, please get in touch right away at email@example.com and we’ll set you up right away with a temporary digital subscription. If you’d like to start a digital subscription, we know of no better time than now.
About all those “miles and miles” of highways—the word in the tourism industry is that as destinations and businesses gradually reopen, travelers will be much more inclined to plan day trips near home, or journeys to routes out in the wide-open spaces. We can’t think of a better place to have options than in the ten Heritage Trail Regions of Texas.
The Lone Star State is number 1 in the nation in miles of public roadway—314,319 as of 2017, which is way above the number 2 state, California, with 176,214. The state of Texas has dedicated the resources to providing all of us with the best method to explore and discover our state and its stories, and there are many great places to experience.
Whether you get out on the road this summer, stay at home and experience Texas as an armchair traveler, or plan your future adventures, we hope this issue of Authentic Texas inspires you. In these (digital) pages you’ll learn about historic and quirky places to visit, original and popular eats and drinks, and the people who have created them.
Thank you again for exploring Texas through the lens of our cameras and minds of our writers here in Authentic Texas.
Enjoy reading, and safe travels!
Board of Directors / Editorial Board
P.S. Texans may complain mightily about near-constant highway construction. All those miles of roadway do require lots of maintenance and expansion, and we want to offer a big thank-you to all of the Texas Department of Transportation employees who work to get us safely through all the construction zones and orange cones.