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 the quintessential guide to 10 must-see spots in Texas and top tips for places to stay.
Jefferson is located in between Caddo Lake and Lake o’ the Pines. The local economy thrives on tourists, who visit for the outdoor recreational activities and history. Jefferson also hosts several fun events ever year, like the Holiday Trail of Lights and the Barbecue Cook-Off. Activities to take in the landscape include paddle steamer trips and lake tours. There are also horse-drawn carriage rides, antique shops, and ghost tours.
Hunt is located in the center of the Texas Hill Country – a beautiful grouping of limestone peaks – and has outstanding lakes, rivers and rolling hills. An array of private camps built along the Guadalupe River have been running here since the 1920s. The north and south forks of the river converge here, 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 the Rodeo and Dance Hall in Crider, where a rodeo is held during summer evenings.
Salado is a small village in central Bell County, Texas, and home to the oldest hotel to be kept continuously operating in the state, Stagecoach Inn. Salado is rich in Texas history, with just fewer than 20 of the locations there listed on the National Register of Historical Places; it’s also known for a great many bed and breakfasts. Main Street offers a large number of charming shops, as well as delicious cafes and restaurants. Here, you can take a carriage tour, visit a winery or sculpture garden, or peruse myriad art, clothing, furniture or candy stores.
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. If you’re going to stay in a port town then you may as well find a place which looks out over the sea.
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. Other visitor attractions include the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and tours of working ranches.
Gonzales is a charming and historic small town in the southeast region of the state. Gonzales offers a variety of enchanting bed and breakfasts and inns, as well as a selection of museums, including the Old Jail Museum and the Pioneer Village Living History Center. Other 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, while the San Marcos River runs through it. Every October, the town holds the Come and Take It Festival, celebrating the Texan fight for independence.
Fort Stockton is named after Robert F. Stockton, a United States commodore who, in the Mexican-American War, aided the capture of California. It’s a town built around Comanche Springs, one of the greatest sources of spring water in the state. Today, it’s also home to several historic museums, fort tours, and quaint coffee and wine-tasting shops.