Everything is bigger in Texas! I mean, Texas is enormous in comparison to other states, even compared to other countries. Did you know you can fit the countries of France and Switzerland in the state of Texas? Don’t let its size fool you. Inside, Texas is all heart and full of charming small towns. So to prove this, we’ve created this list of the best small Texas towns! Whether you are wanting to visit Fredericksburg, TX wineries or do some shopping in Wimberley, we’ve got you covered with this post on the best small towns in Texas to visit.
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The Best Small Texas Towns
Fredericksburg, Texas-Best Small Town in Texas to Visit for Wine
Fredericksburg is definitely one of the best small towns in Texas to visit! Just outside of San Antonio, which, by the way, is on the list of up and coming US Travel Destinations in 2019, this charming hill country town is known for its German heritage, great wineries, shopping, and Enchanted Rock State Park. Fredericksburg is the perfect long weekend to spend with your love or your best friends! This hill country beauty is host to an amazing Oktoberfest, grape stomps, wine and food festival, the Gillespie County Fair, and the Fredericksburg Trade Days.
With numerous bed and breakfast and Airbnb choices, it’s easy to find the perfect place to stay for that romantic couples weekend or girlfriend’s getaway. Never stayed with Airbnb? Well, use our link to save $40 on your first reservation!
Boerne is another great hill country town located outside of San Antonio. Visit Boerne for an escape from city life. Boerne’s main street is packed with art galleries, eclectic home shops, boutiques, and cafes. Nature lovers won’t want to miss Cascade Caverns, Cave Without a Name, Cibolo Nature Center, or Guadalupe River State Park just to name a few! After a fun day of outdoor activities, spend the evening relaxing in one of the many wineries, distilleries, or breweries that call Boerne home.
Grapevine is located in North Texas between Dallas and Fort Worth. Home to a wonderful main street that includes gelato shops, restaurants, wine bars, and boutique clothing stores. Family-friendly hotels including The Great Wolf Lodge and The Gaylord Texas are king in Grapevine.
This small town is big on activities. Grapevine hosts festivals and events year-round. Dubbed “The Christmas Capital of Texas”, December is a great time to visit Grapevine. Main Street comes alive with light displays and decorations complete with a huge Christmas tree, a mailbox for letters to Santa, and even a kissing booth under the mistletoe! The Gaylord Texas hosts a huge ice sculpture exhibit every year called “ICE”. There is definitely something for everyone in this North Texas gem. Check out the Grapevine calendar of events here.
Granbury is best known for the great recreational lake that the town is located around, but the lake isn’t Granbury’s only draw. Granbury is full of Texas history. The Opera House, located on the historic Granbury square, was established just after the Texas revolution. The Opera House is still providing entertainment to its visitors today. The rest of the historic downtown square is lined with boutiques, eateries, home decor shops, and wine tasting rooms. You will find charming bed and breakfasts, Airbnb rentals, and several hotels in Granbury, including the historic Nutt House Inn that was established in 1910.
The surrounding area is home to several great wineries, some of which were mentioned in our post, Mardi Gras Wine Trail. Also nearby is The Revolver Brewing Company, one of Texas’ fastest-growing microbreweries. Granbury hosts many festivals throughout the year, including my personal favorite, The Corvette Rally. You can visit their website here to get a full calendar of events.
Located just off of I-35 between Austin and San Antonio is Gruene. This small Texas town packs a big punch. Gruene is home to the oldest dance hall in Texas, Gruene Hall, as well as antique shops, wine bars, river tubing outfitters, and the historic Gruene River Inn. After a fun day of floating down the river, be sure and enjoy some Texas wine before dinner at the Gristmill Restaurant. Then put on your boots and dance the night away to some Texas country at Gruene Hall. Gruene will have you saying “yee-haw” in no time!
Take the scenic drive about 23 miles west of Austin and you will run into the town of Dripping Springs. Home to the ever so popular Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs is the perfect place to cool off in the Texas heat. This picturesque body of water was created after an eroded underground river collapsed. Get to Hamilton Pool Preserve early if you are visiting during the hot summer months because they only allow a limited number of people in a day and the place fills up fast!
Ask any true Texan their favorite soda, and most will enthusiastically tell you “Dr. Pepper”! Dr. Pepper originated in Dublin at Dublin Bottling Works and became famous thanks to their use of Imperial pure cane sugar. Although they no longer bottle Dr. Pepper, Dublin Bottling Works still has amazing soda flavors coming out of their small production facility. Take a tour through the factory and make your own souvenir soda before visiting the museum to see all things, Dr. Pepper. Having worked up an appetite, be sure to go to the 50’s style soda fountain for a hamburger and an old-fashioned handmade soda.
While in Dublin, don’t miss Veldhuizen Cheese Shop. This family-owned dairy produces amazing cheese made from the raw milk from the herd of cattle right on their farm. Veldhuizen has a cheese cellar right on their property where they age all of their cheese until it is perfect and ready for consumption. They often host wine and cheese tastings as well. Be sure and stop by when you’re in Dublin.
Located off of I-35 about an hour north of Waco, West is the place to go for Czech heritage in Texas. The Czech Stop bakery is an absolute favorite stop for anyone traveling through this area. Famous for their kolaches, The Czech Stop never disappoints when it comes to having fresh pastries that are big on flavor. Try the apricot cream cheese kolache and a jalapeno sausage roll, delicious!
Kolaches aren’t the only reason that West is one of the 15 Texas small towns we love. Every year in September, West turns into Czech heaven when “Westfest” takes over the town. This small town holds a huge celebration highlighting their Czech heritage. Come to Westfest to sample great food and polka the night away with live bands.
Luckenbach puts the “small” in the 15 Texas small towns we love. Founded by Hondo Crouch as a joke in 1970, this small town still draws visitors from all around. Luckenbach is a tiny dot on the big Texas map located just north of San Antonio and west of Austin. The town consists of a post office, general store, and the main draw, a Texas dance hall. Spend the evening listening to live music, having some drinks and two-stepping until your feet hurt.
It’s easy to just pass through Marble Falls on your way through the Texas hill country, but trust me, this small Texas town is worth spending some time in. Kick off your visit to Marble Falls by stopping into The Bluebonnet Cafe during pie happy hour. This place has some seriously amazing pies! Choose from their many homemade flavors including apple, cherry, banana, or German chocolate just to name a few.
After getting your fill of pie, spend time shopping the historic square or visit Lake Marble Falls. In December, Marble Falls has a beautiful light display right on the edge of the lake.
Beating the Texas heat is easy in New Braunfels, that’s why it had to make our list of best small towns in Texas to visit. Grab your tube and a cooler and join the hundreds of other people relaxing the day away on the river. Floating the river is a great way to catch up with old friends or make new ones! If the river isn’t quite your speed, then spend the day cooling off at Schlitterbahn water park instead. Adults and kids love Schlitterbahn’s lazy river, wave pool, and exciting water slides.
Located about an hour away from Austin, Wimberley is a great little artist community and home to one of my favorite wineries, Wimberley Valley Winery. There are no shortages of bed and breakfasts and charming cabins in Wimberley. After finding the perfect accommodations, come down to the Wimberley square to shop at the boutiques, tour the art galleries, and enjoy some great food at the local eateries.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Wimberley as well. Located on the Blanco River and Cypress Creek, you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including fishing, swimming, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, and camping.
Salado is home to the only continuously operating hotel in Texas, the Stagecoach Inn. The Stagecoach Inn was originally a stop on the great Chisholm Trail. You can spend hours on Salado’s main street shopping in eclectic shops, eating at the yummy eateries, or sipping wine in the wine bars. Art lovers will appreciate the glass blowing studio and the beautiful art galleries located around town.
Our list of 15 small Texas towns you have to visit wouldn’t be complete without a coastal town, and Port Isabel is the perfect town to include. Port Isabel is most famous for the 1800s lighthouse that is part of this community. Don’t overlook the fact that Port Isabel is also one of the oldest coastal towns in Texas. Come to Port Isabel to enjoy the small town vibe while getting your excitement from the water activities including parasailing, sport fishing, boating and dolphin watching.
Johnson City is a true historic Texas town. Home to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Texas White House” and LBJ National Park, history lovers will get their fill in Johnson City. If history isn’t quite your thing, no worries, Johnson City is also home to Pedernales State Park. Pedernales is full of hiking trails and a beautiful river to help you find some relief from the Texas heat. In the main town area, you will find several antique and various shops, a couple of wineries, Pecan Street Brewing and Garrison Distillery.
Where to Stay to Visit The Best Small Towns in Texas
When visiting these small Texas towns, Marty and I prefer to stay in an Airbnb. If you’ve never stayed in an Airbnb, you should give it a try! We love getting little houses or apartments all to ourself for the duration of our stay. For a $40 Airbnb credit toward your first stay, click here.
If you preferer a hotel, then book through Hotels.com so you can start earning free nights!
We would love to hear from you! Comment below and let us know about your favorite small Texas towns.
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