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Every winter, Colorado is overtaken by snow-seeking Texans who seem like they’re trying to get on our nerves. It’s time for payback. Here’s how to enjoy yourself in the Lone Star State this month—daily highs are still in the 60s in many places—and annoy the locals while you’re there.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Unlike routes up Colorado’s fourteeners, Texas’ highest trails are rarely impassable on account of snow, and this park’s desert landscape features eight of the tallest peaks in the state.
Tick off a Texan: After reaching Guadalupe Peak via its namesake trail (8.5 miles round trip with 3,000 feet of elevation gain), read the historical marker planted there lauding the mountain as Texas’ tallest, at 8,751 feet. Then—once you’re sure there’s a Texan around to hear you—say, “Huh. I thought everything was bigger in Texas.”
From November 25 to January 2, Texas’ favorite memorial to moral victories illuminates its grounds with enough holiday lights to rival Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna’s original artillery barrage.
Tick off a Texan: Point out that the “Come And Take It” cannon depicted on the flag Texans are so fond of was actually, well, taken by the Mexican army when its soldiers captured the Alamo.
Spending hours in a line for barbecue is a time-honored tradition in Texas, and honestly, the fare is usually worth the wait. That’s especially true in the capital, which in 2021 was home to three of Texas Monthly’s top 10 smoke shops: InterStellar (number two), LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue (five), and Franklin Barbecue (seven).
Tick off a Texan: Stir up some excitement in the queue by asking your neighbors if Texas would like to join Colorado in celebrating MeatOut Day on March 20, a date Governor Jared Polis dedicated to the promotion of plant-based eating habits in 2021.
Grapevine Vintage Railroad
You’ve heard of a booze cruise? In this Dallas suburb, the official Christmas Capital of Texas, there’s a two-hour-long Christmas Wine Train. The $45 basic fare includes hors d’oeuvre and two glasses of holiday cheer served in a commemorative cup that’s yours to keep.
Tick off a Texan: When Santa Claus stops by your seat, tell him you’re sorry his sled is in the shop. After all, why else would a Texan take public transportation?