Texas offers nationally esteemed attractions, like The Texas Capitol building or Big Bend National Park. However, there are many more spots with equal, if not more, interesting aspects to them, they simply don’t get the attention they deserve. From stunning waterfalls and leafy lakes, to automobile graveyards and beach-side piers, Texas is dotted with locations ideal for your next excursion. Here are some of the most underrated places to explore.
Outlaw Service Station
During the prohibition the Outlaw Service Station in Glen Rose was a speakeasy selling alcohol illegally. During its popularity, it was known as the ‘Moonshine Capital of Texas.’ After the prohibition ended the business shut down. Now, its abandoned, eerie stone structures are a great exploration site where you can marvel at the history of the Wild West.
Cadillac Ranch is a public art instillation created in 1974 by architects Chip Lord Hudson and Doug Michels, featuring different generations of Cadillac cars. You can now stop by this roadside attraction to make your own mark on the art instillation. Grab some spray paint and go to town contributing to the already colorful designs on each car.
This park is somehow incredibly peaceful and lively at the same time. You can play basketball, fish, visit the family aquatic center, or simply walk along the trails and enjoy the large trees lining the lake. If you’re in the area, it’s a great place to have fun or relax in the gorgeous Texas nature.
San Antonio is generally an underrated city, and consequently many of the city’s main attractions get less attention then they deserve. The Riverwalk in San Antonio is a great Texas attraction. Along the river you’ll find local artisans, live music coming from a variety of upscale and casual dining places, high-arched bridges connecting the opposing riverside walkways, river boats, occasional river parades, and a beautiful lights display during the holidays.
In the 1940s the Pleasure Pier in Galveston served as a recreational facility for the US Military. After a long period of different uses, in 2012 the Pleasure Pier was finally opened. The pier is promised to be a blast, holding 16 rides, retail shops, cafés and restaurants, including the famous Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.. After a day of fun and rides you can enjoying your dinner or cocktail while soaking up the view of the sea – something you can’t get anywhere else in Texas.
In the middle of the desert sits Balmorhea State Park, an oasis if ever there was one. Featuring a 25-foot deep spring-fed pool, with waters coming from the San Solomon Springs, it’s a truly refreshing location – especially nice during the 100°F degree Texas summer days. The water temperature naturally remains between 72-76°F degrees year-round and the pool was actually built around the springs, thus allowing for fresh water fish to roam the pool right along with you!
Caddo Lake State Park lies on the border between Texas and Louisiana. It’s the second largest lake in the South. You can kayak or take a steam paddler along the waters and through the bayous and cypress trees, however swimming is not recommended as there are alligators lurking beneath the lily-pads! If you’re looking for Southern charm, then look no further than Caddo Lake.
Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, Gorman Falls is located in Texas’ Colorado Bend State Park. The hike up to the falls is fairly short, at only 1.5 miles round trip. Imagine cascades falling onto the moss-covered limestone rocks. Below the falls is a grotto. You can take tours of both the falls and the wild caves surrounding it. This is truly an underrated but magnificent experience.