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Canyon Texas | © Warwick Goldby
Canyon Texas | © Warwick Goldby

The 10 Most Beautiful Towns in Texas

Picture of Rachel Nipper
Updated: 11 April 2018

Texas, the second-largest state in America, is home to many charming towns, exciting cities and beautiful landscapes. Each region possesses a unique economy, geography and culture. Here’s our guide to 10 must-see spots in Texas.

Jefferson

Jefferson is located in between Caddo Lake and Lake O’ the Pines. Its economy thrives on the tourists who visit for Jefferson’s outdoor recreational activities and history. Jefferson also hosts several fun events ever year, like the Holiday Light Trail and the Barbecue Cook-off. Here, you will find many nature activities, including steam paddleboat trips and lake tours. There are also horse-drawn carriage rides, antique shops, and ghost tours.

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Vintage truck and general store in Jefferson, Texas | © Lori Martin/Shutterstock

Vintage truck and general store in Jefferson, Texas | © Lori Martin/Shutterstock

Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg is one of the most popular towns in the Texas Hill Country. Founded in 1846 by Prince Frederick of Prussia, Fredericksburg is the sister city of Montabaur, Germany, and much of the quaint town shows strong German influences. Since 1970, Fredericksburg’s historic district has been considered part of the ‘National Register of Historic Places in Texas.’ Here, you will discover eclectic, picturesque shops, antique stores and museums such as the Pioneer Museum and the National Museum of the Pacific War. Stroll along the streets of Fredericksburg’s historic district, dine in one of the town’s many delicious restaurants and relax in one of the quaint bed and breakfasts or inns the town offers. Afterwards, visit Enchanted Rock, a large, pink granite pluton rock formation just under 20 miles north of the town.

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St. Mary's Catholic Church in Fredericksburg | © Pisi.de/WikiCommons

St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Fredericksburg | © Pisi.de/WikiCommons

Hunt

Hunt is located in the center of the Texas Hill Country, a beautiful grouping of limestone hills set in central-south Texas. As it is located in the Hill Country, Hunt proffers outstanding lakes, rivers and rolling hills. Hunt is characterized by a large array of private camps built upon the Guadalupe River starting in the 1920s. Here, the North and South forks of the river converge, creating beautiful natural scenery and the perfect place for outdoor recreation. Rent a home along the river, visit the Kerr Wildlife Management Area, build a campfire or stay at one of the many resorts that the small, historic town offers. Alternatively, you could take a trip to Crider’s Rodeo and Dance Hall, where a rodeo is held during summer evenings.

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Guadalupe River in Texas | © Steve Seeger/Shutterstock

Guadalupe River in Texas | © Steve Seeger/Shutterstock

Marfa

Marfa, a small city of West Texas, is known for its famous ‘Marfa Lights’ (a nightly light display, unexplained and documented since 1883). The tiny town also hosts a large variety of museums, wineries and art galleries. Prada Marfa, a one-room replica of a ‘real’ Prada store, is a permanent art installation roughly 26 miles from the city. Marfa is also nearby to Texas’ Big Bend National Park, home to over 1,000 plant species, including a staggering 60 species of cactus. Big Bend is popular for its hiking trails, bird watching and backpacking tours.

The Marfa Prada sculpture on US route 90 | © Sue Stokes/Shutterstock

The Marfa Prada sculpture on US route 90 | © Sue Stokes/Shutterstock

Salado

Salado is a small village in central Bell County, Texas, and home to the oldest continually operating hotel in the state, Stagecoach Inn (a former stop on route of the Chisholm Trail). Salado is rich in Texas history, with just fewer than 20 locations listed on the ‘National Register of Historical Places’ and known for its many bed and breakfasts. Salado’s Main Street offers a large number of charming shops and delicious cafes and restaurants. Here, one can take a carriage tour, visit a winery or sculpture garden or peruse Salado’s myriad art, clothing, furniture or candy stores. Salado is also known for its yearly Christmas Stroll.

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Salado Texas | © Flickr

Salado Texas | © Flickr

Wimberley

Just an hour outside of Austin, the charming city of Wimberley, Texas, is the perfect spot for a peaceful escape and beautiful sightseeing. Wimberley is home to a large number of shops and Wimberley Square is the hotspot for antique and speciality shoppers. Here, tourists will find a large variety of cabins, bed and breakfasts, inns and cottages, as well as artists’ galleries. Wimberley’s location on the Blanco River and Cypress Creek means there is a vast array of outdoor recreational activities available such as swimming, fishing, camping, hiking, natural walks and horseback riding. Many tourists arrive in Wimberley on the first Saturday of every month, when Wimberley’s Market Days are held.

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Artwork on display in Wimberley Texas | © Fotoluminate LLC/Shutterstock

Artwork on display in Wimberley Texas | © Fotoluminate LLC/Shutterstock

Canyon

Canyon is a small town in the Texas Panhandle that eventually turns into the Palo Duro Canyon, the second-largest canyon in the United States. Canyon’s main visitor attractions include the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and tours of working ranches.

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Sunrise at Palo Duro Canyon, Texas | © Patrick Jennings/Shutterstock

Sunrise at Palo Duro Canyon, Texas | © Patrick Jennings/Shutterstock

Port Isabel

Port Isabel is one of Texas’ oldest coastal towns and home to the Texas International Fishing Tournament. One of the town’s most popular attractions, the Port Isabel Lighthouse was built in 1852 and has important historical significance. Port Isabel is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state and offers beautiful views and convenient access to local beaches and water. Located on Laguna Madre Bay, Port Isabel offers great sports fishing, kayaking, parasailing, boating tours, and dolphin watching.

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Queen Isabella Causeway, Port Isabel, Texas | © Vince Smith

Queen Isabella Causeway, Port Isabel, Texas | © Vince Smith

Gonzales

The town of Gonzales is a charming, historic small town in the southeast region of the state. Gonzales offers a variety of picturesque, enchanting bed and breakfasts and inns, as well as a plethora of museums including the Old Jail Museum and the Pioneer Village Living History Center. In the town, popular attractions include antique and specialty shops, paddling trails down the Guadalupe River and the Palmetto State Park. The park contains a small lake, picnic locations and barbecue pits and the San Marcos River runs through it. Every October, the town holds the “Come and Take It Festival,” celebrating Texas’ fight for independence.

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Fort Stockton

Fort Stockton of West Texas developed as a town around Comanche Springs, one of the greatest sources of spring water in the state. The town’s name derives from the nearby military fort named after Robert F. Stockton, a United States commodore who, in the Mexican-American War, aided the capture of California. Fort Stockton also offers several historic museums, historic and refurbished fort tours and quaint coffee and wine-tasting shops.

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