- Rachel Nipper
Texas, the second-largest state in America, is home to many charming towns, exciting cities and beautiful landscapes. Each region displays a unique economy, geography and culture. Here’s our guide to 10 of the most beautiful and charming towns in Texas.
Jefferson is located on and near 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 activities in nature from steam paddleboat trips to lake tours. There are also horse-drawn carriage rides, antique shops, and ghost tours.
City of Jefferson, 305 East Austin St., Jefferson, TX, USA, +1 903 665 3733
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 and culture. Since 1970, Fredericksburg’s historic district has been considered part of the ‘National Register of Historic Places in Texas.’ Here, you will discover a plethora of 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.
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 multitudinous lakes, rivers and beautiful 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 the small, historic town offers. Or, take a trip to Crider’s Rodeo and Dance Hall, where cowboys act on summer evenings.
Marfa, a small town 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. Here, one will also find the Cowboy Hall of Fame. Marfa is also one of the cities home to Texas’ Big Bend National Park. The park is home to over 1,000 plant species – this includes a staggering 60 species of cactus. Big Bend is popular for its hiking/backpacking trails, bird watching and backpacking tours and is one of the largest national parks in the lower United States.
Visit Marfa, 302 South Highland Ave., Marfa, TX, USA, +1 432 729 4772
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, books, clothing, furniture or candy shops. Salado is also known for its yearly Christmas Stroll.
Just an hour outside of Austin, the charming village 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 specialty shoppers. Here, tourists will find a large variety of cabins, bed and breakfasts, inns and cottages, as well as artists’ galleries. Because Wimberley is located on the Blanco River and Cypress Creek, the town offers a vast array of outdoor recreational activities as well, 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.
Visit Wimberley, 14100 Ranch Rd. 12, Wimberley, TX, USA, +1 512 847 2201
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 Historic Museum and tours of working ranches.
Canyon, Texas Visitors, 301 16th St., Canyon, TX, USA, +1 806-656-6833
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.
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 Palmetto State Park. The park contains a small lake, many bogs, 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.
Tour Gonzales, 820 St. Joseph St., Gonzales, TX, USA, +1 830 672 2815
Texas Chronicles – “Considered one of the most haunted places in all of Texas.” / 9:42
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.