Awesome Texas Towns You May Not Have Heard Of

The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, in Galveston, Texas
The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, in Galveston, Texas | © Jon Bilous / Alamy
Aubrey Cofield

The largest and most popular cities in Texas – think Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas – all remain well-known for their unique attributes. But this large state is also home to many other excellent cities that often go overlooked.

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Marfa is the unassuming art mecca of Texas. With the opening of The Chinati Foundation came art displays from renowned artists from all over the world. Most recently they installed Robert Irwin’s only permanent, freestanding art structure, a piece that plays with space and light. The town is also known for what they call the ‘Marfa Lights,’ mysterious lights with no definite explanation as to where they might come from.


2AH92J5 Galveston Pleasure Pier and Seawall Urban Park on Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, Texas

Galveston is a beach town on a budget, with plenty of resorts, bed and breakfasts, and rental homes on or near the water for an affordable fare. Spend the day at Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier or enjoy a hike at Galveston Island State Park, where you can end the day with a dip in one of the parks beaches.


Rockport, TX, USA

USA Today ranked the charming beach town of Rockport number 5 in Best Coastal Small Towns in the country. Rockport is a quaint city known for peaceful beaches, fishing, the arts, and historic buildings. Whether you’re a Texas resident or not this is a great place to escape for a relaxing vacation.


A stop at Cadillac Ranch is a must on your way to Amarillo

For a step back in time to Old West Texas, visit Amarillo. Here you can find Western art and artifacts at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum – you may even see actual cowboys roaming around town. Consider heading a bit outside the city to leave your mark on the public art instillation, Cadillac Ranch.


Just 20 minutes outside of San Antonio is the cute Hill Country town of Boerne. Take a stroll through the city and visit some of the local shops or explore the Cibolo Nature Center where you can find four different eco systems in one concentrated area.


Gruene is the best place to visit if you’re a bit of a music or antiques enthusiast

Gruene is home to winerys, antique shops, and the oldest dance hall in Texas. The city belongs to the National Register of Historic Places, so you can expect to find beautiful old buildings that have been well-maintained over the years. It’s especially nice to visit during a festival, like their popular Gruene Music & Wine Fest.


The historic town of Jefferson is oozing with charm. You’ll feel at home in this welcoming, quiet city, which offers many bed and breakfasts and local places to eat. You can take a historic tour of the town by horse and carriage or embark on a ghost walk and learn about Jefferson’s intriguing history.


Wimberley is the spot for art lovers and adventure seekers. They hold art festivals and plays through out the year, attracting creative people from all over, and there’s also one of Texas’ most beautiful swimming holes in Wimberley – Blue Hole – which is complete with a working rope swing. Enjoy the greenery by ziplining through the cypress trees, or rev through town with one of the motorcycle clubs that frequently use the city as a destination spot.


Just South of Amarillo is Canyon, a town that is most well-known for Palo Duro Canyon State Park. The park holds the second largest canyon in the country where you can bike, hike, or explore terrain on horseback. You can also experience one of the most extraordinary musicals in a carved-out amphitheater amongst the Canyons. During the summer nights, Texas Outdoor Musical puts on an extremely entertaining performance for all the visitors.


Walk the streets of downtown Fredricksburg and splurge at some local antique shops or enjoy a meal at any of the historic restaurants serving authentic German dishes. Try fresh peaches at Das Peach Haus or hike Enchanted Rock for one of the best views of the Texas Hill Country.

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