If you’re planning ahead for summer or spring break road trip, consider visiting Uvalde County.

Most people think of this area because of the town of ConCan and Garner State Park, which rangers say is the most popular state park in the nation. It’s common for Texans to have taken their families to Garner for three or more generations (like my own family).

The area is at once considered a secluded oasis and the “crossroads of America.” It’s called that because it’s where two of the longest highways in the US – highways 83 and 90 – meet up.

Uvalde County is an easy, scenic drive from San Antonio or Houston, and takes a little more than three hours when coming from Austin.

The locals say once you see Chalk Cliffs, crystal-clear rivers and a majestic canopy of Cypress trees, you’ll know you’ve arrived.

Once there, find relaxation at its finest with a float down the Lazy Frio River. It’s true to its name – the Frio is ice cold until you get well into the summer months. Then it’s the perfect respite when Texas heat soars to triple digits. In addition to tubing, there’s swimming, fishing, kayaking or canoeing.

When you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ve got your choice of local eats. There’s the famous Uvalde Meat Market & Processing or the Laurel Tree – where you can dine on gourmet French cuisine in a treehouse. There’s also the hearty comfort food of Neal’s Dining Room (and the nearby Neal’s Lodge is quite popular). For breakfast or lunch the locals love the roadside Nora’s Tacos.

Top off a night out with country line-dancing at Joe Jimmy’s or stay close to nature at Chalk Bluff Park.

One of the largest bat populations in the world is at the Frio Bat Cave. If you time it right, 10 million bats might fly right over your head into the hill country sunset.

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