Things to Do

Let’s Talk Turkey, With a Day Trip in the Texas Panhandle

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Tony Maples Photography


High up in the Panhandle sits the town of Turkey, Texas. It’s the type of place where you might find yourself singing, “Oh give me a home…” because bison (not deer and antelope, however), amazingly enough, still roam and graze openly here. And while many a Texas town is undergoing the harrowing process of urban planning and subsequent “sprawl,” Turkey has set its watch to sit back, relax, and unwind, and welcoming you to do the same.

Let’s Talk Turkey, With A Day Trip in the Texas Panhandle

Photo: Facebook/Traces of Texas

Many a country music fan who’s either come from the Lone Star State, or made a visit to it at any point in time, has inevitably heard the words, “Lone Star beer, and Bob Wills music,” in their mental wheelhouse of Texas song lyrics, and so what better place to truly feel the mystique of the man than in Turkey, where the Bob Wills Museum will teach you anything and everything about the iconic troubadour. “The King of Western Swing” grew up in this town, and news of this museum brings many a fan and general tourist out this way to enjoy his memory and to participate in the Bob Wills Day festival (held annually on the last Saturday in April). His aptitude for a great Texas tune paved the way for many a crooner and even a genre, and his music still bends the ear of new enthusiasts and music historians alike.

Let’s Talk Turkey, With A Day Trip in the Texas Panhandle

Photo: Facebook/Greg’s Texas

Up next is a stop at one of the Quanah Parker Trail markers. The Trail is a road trip guide which was compiled through 52 counties in the state of Texas for the Texas Plains Trail Region. With a focus on heritage tourism, each marker (a large arrow sticking out of the ground) corresponds with a star on the road trip map, and represents a place with a real or legendary connection to the famous Comanche Chief, or to the Comanche or other Plains Indians as a whole. Turkey is in Hall County, Texas, if you’re looking at their website for added details. In actuality, they want you to visit the sites and learn more, which is why they tell you where the arrows/stars are on their map, but don’t tell you their particular significance! It’s actually quite ingenious! The arrows definitely catch your eye – like every cool or large Texas roadside stop you’ve heard of or read about. They fit right in!

Let’s Talk Turkey, With A Day Trip in the Texas Panhandle

Photo: Facebook/Unaffected Photography

And if you’re interested to learn more about the area’s Native American history, take a short trip to Quitaque, Texas and visit the Comanchero Canyons Museum. Here you’ll find many an artifact discovered through the use of metal detectors by many a devoted and enthusiastic local as well as historians. They manage to layout many of the important locations within the area that witnessed history-changing battles between Native Americans and colonizers. From here, perhaps take a trip on out to Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway, where you’ll find the type of “home, home on the range” views you may have been singing about when you first set out on this trip! Here, the red and orange rock formations will take your breath away and stretch out past your line of sight. And although you won’t run into many mutual hikers in this park, you might meet up with a member of the official Texas State Bison Herd grazing along the trail! They don’t normally pay any mind to you, however, so your passage should be relatively free and easy. After that encounter, you may want to call it a night at the Hotel Turkey, where they’ve been in business since 1927. Get yourself some good eats (don’t tell your hiking friend, but there’s a rumor they serve bison burgers…), maybe have a Lone Star beer (if it’s on tap) and listen to some live music to lull your cares away in Turkey, Texas.