Day Trips: Top 10s
The biggest Texas travel happenings of 2018
Top 10 travel events in Texas during 2018:
1) For the first time, the number of whooping cranes spotted along the Texas Gulf Coast has topped 500. On the brink of extinction, North America's tallest bird is making a slow comeback. At the same time, the Trump administration has eliminated the $1.5 million budget for Patuxent Wildlife Research Center's captive breeding program.
2) The Blanco River was named one of 20 "Waters to Watch" by the National Fish Habitat Partnership. This means additional conservation projects along the 87-mile Hill Country stream.
3) The new Powderhorn Ranch Wildlife Management Area preserves 17,351 acres of prime coastal habitat, part of which will become a future state park in Calhoun County.
4) There has been a noticeable uptick in locally produced film festivals and a decrease in chili cook-offs around the state.
5) Houston's Menil Drawing Institute opened as the world's first drawing-focused museum.
6) The pool at Balmorhea State Park closed in May due to structural problems. The good news is that the $2 million fundraising campaign for repairs is nearing its goal. The pool is expected to reopen in early 2019.
7) The Wyler Aerial Tramway, operated at Franklin Mountains State Park in El Paso, closed on Sept. 18. Built in 1959, there is no word on when or if the tramway will reopen.
8) One of the best car museums in the state, Dick's Classic Car Garage in San Marcos, closes at the end of the year.
9) Hisako Roberts, co-founder of Salt Lick Barbecue in Driftwood, passed away Jan. 18 at age 104.
10) Steve Dean, a co-founder of Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc., passed away April 28 at age 66.