Pecan Lakes' par 72 course, designed by Houston golf architect Jay Riviere, challenges and delights cart-equipped golfers with over 200 scenic acres speckled with trees, waterways, and more than 50 strategically placed bunkers. Linksters will bandy through a tall grove of pecan, elm, and water oaks on the front nine before sending dimpled orbs off into the formidable, 560-yard abyss of the 11th hole with a yodeled "fore." Athletes also face-off against the elements at multiple holes where water, wind, and ball-thieving carbon molecules can come into play. Golfers can conclude an afternoon on the green by navigating the dog-leg left turn and water-flanked right side of the 18th hole.
The resident chefs at Sengelmann Hall infuse their European-inspired offerings with tastes and techniques channeled from Texan culinary traditions. European-inspired entrees include german ribs and sauerkraut ($15), which piles repurposed Wagner records with slow-cooked pork ribs and tangy sauerkraut. Schnitzer's chicken schnitzel ($16) sets deep-fried chicken breast afloat on a sea of lemon-butter sauce next to potatoes and vegetables. American fare stakes its own claim to table space, helping diners oil rusty jaw hinges with meal-prefacing portions of house-made queso or salsa cradled in hand-cut tortilla chips ($3.50) or bite into the Two Brothers burger’s six-ounce angus beef patty brushed with house mayonnaise and mustard ($8.50).
Located on a 90-acre site on the campus of Texas A&M University, the Bush Presidential Library and Museum entertains and educates with interactive exhibits and an exhaustive collection of artifacts. Opening September 1, the new Headed to the White House exhibit charts the presidential-election process from primaries to inauguration with hands-on activities, role-playing opportunities, and animatronic babies to kiss. Visitors can try running their own campaign, create their own election news story, or tour exhibits and sculptures including Life and Times of George Bush, and The Day the Wall Came Down.
In 1998, the clack of billiards balls met the clink of cold beers at the first Fast Eddie’s Sports Tavern and Social Clubs in Amarillo. Since then, 17 more Fast Eddie's locations have sprung up across Texas and Louisiana, each letting guests sink corner shots at 8- and 9-foot Olhausen pool tables while sharing a few drinks and snacks such as deep-fried hot dogs. Beyond the felt, home runs and touchdowns play out on multiple big-screen TVs as darts fly into targets and foosball tables re-create the exciting theatrics of gymnasts struggling to play soccer.
The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History welcomes visitors to its 9,400-square-foot naturalistic nostalgia emporium stocked with exhibits and collections ranging from archeological anthologies to local historical tidbits. The popular Ice Age Mammals exhibit poses large fossils and casts for tangible perusal, and the Carter Creek Nature Trail takes trekkers through the museum's front yard for an earth-friendly jaunt narrated by botanist squirrels. Hit up the Discovery Room for up-close glimpses of both live and preserved reptiles and arachnids, or swing by The Republic of Texas exhibit, a celebration of Texas history filled with Lone Star State memorabilia such as Santa Anna's silverware and the cowboy hats of tumbleweeds who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836.
Briarcrest Country Club's cardio-tennis camp gets hearts pumping with group classes that combine tennis instruction with boot-camp-style circuits in a high-energy workout environment. This one-hour outdoor class is peppered with calorie-burning aerobic tennis drills and agility training exercises such as ladder hopping, cone weaving, and snapping-turtle shuttle runs. Each session includes a warm-up segment, 30–50 minutes of cardio, and a short cool down, and the added use of a heart-rate monitor helps ensure workouts are safe for all participants and that no disguised cheetahs have been able to sneak in.