Sure, everyone knows Austin, Houston, and Dallas, but what about all of the small towns in between that make up the heart and soul of the great state of Texas? Those are my favorite town, and this is a list of a few of the fabulous small towns in Texas for you to see!
These towns will make you feel right at home with their southern charm, their interesting history, and their incredible people. We love visiting Texas’ small towns, especially on Texas road trips, and we hope that you will too!
Before exploring the Lone Star State, be sure to read these facts about Texas so that you can learn more about this great state.
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Small Towns in Texas We Love
Fredericksburg is definitely one of the small towns in Texas that we love thanks to its unique German heritage! Just about 70 miles north of San Antonio, which, by the way, is on the list of up and coming US Travel Destinations.
This charming town is known for its German heritage, great wineries, shopping, antique shops, and hiking the pink granite rock that is Enchanted Rock. You can enjoy some fun festivals, awesome German restaurants, and see some sites on the National Register of Historic Places in this town!
Visitors love to camp or hike at Enchanted Rock State Park. History lovers will enjoy visiting the National Museum of the Pacific War. The National Museum of the Pacific War is a world-class museum that is definitely worth seeing.
Boerne is one of the best small towns in Texas for nature lovers as it sits right on the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country, an easy day trip from several Texas cities.
Visitors will enjoy visiting the Hill Country Mile that is Boerne’s main street historic district. This area is a shoppers paradise and is packed with art galleries, eclectic home shops, antique shops, boutiques, and cafes.
Nature lovers won’t want to miss Cibolo Nature Center and Guadalupe State Park.
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 one of the best small towns in Texas for family fun. Located in North Texas between Dallas and Fort Worth, Grapevine has loads of great activities for families and is an easy day trip from Dallas.
Grapevine’s Main Street, which is also its historic downtown, boasts loads of boutique clothing stores, fabulous restaurants, and of course, wine bars.
Grapevine also hosts festivals and events year-round. Dubbed “The Christmas Capital of Texas”, December is a great time to visit Grapevine as it is a fabulous Texas Christmas town!
Located about 45 minutes southwest of Fort Worth. The quaint town of Granbury is best known for the great recreational lake that the town is located around, but Lake Granbury isn’t the only draw for this town.
Granbury is full of Texas history and one of the most charming small towns in Texas. Not only that but there are so many things to do in Granbury, TX that you can easily stay entertained!
In addition to the lake activities, be sure to visit Granbury’s historic town square. On the historic downtown square, you will find The Granbury Opera House, boutique shops, eateries, wine tasting rooms, and more!
You can also visit Dinosaur Valley State Park which isn’t far away. Dinosaur Valley is a unique park where you can actually see evidence of the dinosaurs that once called this area home.
Located just off of I-35 in the Hill Country is Gruene. One of the best small towns in Texas, Gruene is a town that is a favorite for locals and tourists alike, making it an easy day trip from Austin.
Gruene is home to the famous Guene Hall dance hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas. Built in the early 19th century, Gruene Hall has attracted singers and country music lovers from far and wide.
People love to come to hear the live music that is performed at this historic dance hall while two-stepping to the beat of the country music. The dance hall dates back to the 19th century, (1878 to be exact) and has purposefully not changed much since its inception.
Gruene Hall dance hall isn’t the only attraction in this small town in Texas. Visitors will also find a fun square with antique shops, a General store, wine bars, river tubing outfitters along the Guadalupe River, and the historic Gruene River Inn. Honestly, this town is full of Texas charm!
Take the scenic drive about 23 miles west of Austin into the Texas Hill Country and you will run into the town of Dripping Springs, dubbed the “Wedding Capital of Texas” and one of the charming small towns in Texas we love!
If a wedding isn’t in your future, don’t worry, there are other things to do in town.
Take note of the town’s namesake located in the downtown area, the dripping springs. The limestone ledge constantly drips water into the small stream below. 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!
Don’t let the small size of Dublin fool you. There are so many things to do in Dublin, TX that you will easily stay entertained (and full)!
Dublin is best known for the Texas soda, Dr. Pepper. 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 and checking out the shops around town.
It’s easy to just pass through Marble Falls on your way through the Texas Hill Country, but trust me, Marble Falls is worth spending some time in.
Marble Falls is another great town for nature lovers. Explore the Balcones Canyonlands Natural Wildlife Refuge or spend a lazy day on Lake Marble Falls.
If you are more on the adventurous side, skip the relaxing day on the lake and instead go for an adrenaline-inducing zip-line adventure at Cypress Valley Canopy Tours. This area is also one of our suggested Texas glamping sites!
A trip to Marble Falls is not incomplete until you get a delicious slice of pie from the Bluebonnet Cafe. Trust us!
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.
Kolaches aren’t the only reason that we love West. 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.
Of course, you can find great Airbnbs here to stay in and can save up to $55 using our link.
This historic town of Luckenbach, TX dates back to 1970 when it was founded by Hondo Crouch as a joke. Despite that, this small town in the Texas Hill Country still draws visitors from all around. Luckenbach, Texas 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, a 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. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a souvenir from the general store!
Take note that this tiny town gets extremely crowded on the weekends, especially if there is a popular Texas country artist playing live music.
If you want to explore Luckenbach, Texas at a slow pace and have the place virtually to yourself, then come early in the morning or during the week. Luckenbach, TX is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Honestly, it is such a unique, great place and should definitely be on your bucket list!
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 Comal River. Floating the river is a great way to catch up with old friends or make new ones!
If it isn’t summertime when you are visiting, no worries, there is still plenty to do in New Braunfels. Catch a movie at their drive-in theatre, or sip on a glass of wine in the local winery.
If you are looking for a small town in Texas that is big on charm and originality, then you need to head to Wimberley, Texas. Located about an hour away from Austin and other big cities, Wimberley is a great little small town.
Head down to the Wimberley town square to shop at the boutiques, tour the art galleries, the general store, 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 in the Blue Hole, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, and camping. (Take note, the Blue Hole gets busty, so make reservations in advance if this is on your list.)
One visit to this small Texas town and you will see why they say Wimberley is “a little slice of heaven”.
Salado is one of the charming small towns that has a big art community! Salado prides itself on being an artistic community, and it is truly apparent everywhere you look in this small Texas town.
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 and the Salado Sculpture Garden.
An easy drive from several big cities, Salado is an easy day trip to enjoy!
Of course, we couldn’t make a list of small towns in Texas and not include Port Isabel. This little jewel on the Texas coast is just begging for you to come to visit.
Port Isabel is most famous for the 1800s Isabel lighthouse (one of the oldest in Texas) that is part of this family-friendly 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 truly historic Texas town in Texas located about 60 miles north of San Antonio. Home to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Texas White House” and LBJ National Park, history lovers will appreciate that the Texas White House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
If history isn’t quite your thing, no worries, Johnson City is also home to Pedernales Falls State Park. Pedernales Falls is full of hiking trails and a beautiful river to help you find some relief from the summer heat.
This town offers a cute town square with several antique and various shops, a couple of wineries, Pecan Street Brewing, and Garrison Distillery. This is one of the best small towns for some Texas charm.
Canyon is such a unique small west Texas town. We love the fact that Canyon is packed with a nice historic district that has great food, unique shopping, and fun small-town charm.
Many people visit West Texas, and specifically Canyon to tour Palo Duro Canyon State Park and see the acclaimed outdoor performance of the musical drama TEXAS.
The second-largest canyon in the United States, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is also referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Texas.” Here you can enjoy picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, and of course, camping.
In addition to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, you have to spend time in their historic downtown area that has unique shops, fun restaurants, and historic buildings.
Another one of the great towns on the coast of the Lone Star State, Rockport is home to long fishing piers, historical sites, and soft sandy beaches.
Be sure and visit the Aransas National Refuge Area and the Goose Island State Park while visiting Rockport before visiting Fulton Mansion State Historic Park. Here visitors are introduced to what life was like on the Texas coast in the 19th-century.
Of course, there are also several museums, shopping, and great restaurants in the Rockport area.
Located in East Texas, Nacogdoches makes for a great weekend getaway.
Nacogdoches has such great attractions, you are sure to stay busy and have a great time. Not only that, but Nacogdoches has tons of history as it is the oldest town in the Lone Star State.
Visit the red brick street of the downtown historic district area to get your fill on shopping, especially antiques before grabbing lunch and exploring the historical sites of east Texas.
Located in the desert land of west Texas, Marfa is definitely a little Texas gem. Honestly, if you were just driving through the area, you might totally miss the quaint town of Marfa.
Marfa became famous thanks to the Marfa Lights, the glowing orbs that appear in the desert area outside of Marfa, Texas. The Marfa Lights were first seen in 1883, and have been attracting visitors to the area ever since.
This town offers more than just the Marfa Lights. Be sure and visit the Ballroom Marfa. It is a great place to see some world-class art on display.
One of Marfa’s most popular attractions is the Prada Marfa store, although it is not technically in Marfa. The Prada store, Prada Marfa, is about minutes northwest of town.
Located near the border of the Lone Star State, the Rio Grande River, Terlingua is probably the town you will be staying in if you are visiting Big Bend National Park.
The tiny desert town of Terlingua is a former mining town until the city was abandoned when the mining went under. It was named a ghost town until its resurgence with Big Bend National Park.
Despite its ghost town reputation, Terlingua is definitely a fun little town that is worth your time if you are in this area. Most people come to Terlingua to explore the abandoned building and homes and to use it as a home base when visiting Big Bend National Park.
Big Bend National Park is famous for wide-open, vast spaces of the countryside. Not only that, but Big Bend National Park is a huge National Park, so come prepared with plenty of water and supplies if you are planning to hike here.
Final Thoughts on Small Towns in Texas We Love
Of course, we have only scratched the surface of the charming small towns in Texas. We hope we have given you some inspiration to go out and explore some of these great towns.
As we are continuing to explore the great Lone Star state, we will be adding to and adjusting this list. Please feel free to drop us a line below for your vote on the best small towns in Texas. We would love to explore them if we haven’t yet.
While You’re Here, Check Out Our Other Texas Posts:
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight:
We love using CheapOAir, Kayak, and Kiwi to search for the best prices on flights. We love using these search engines because they search the web for airlines all over the world to ensure you get the best deal! In addition to flights, you can also find great hotel prices on Kayak and Kiwi.
Book Your Vacation Package:
If you want to book an entire vacation package, then we suggest using Expedia. We love how easy Expedia is to use and we always find good deals on entire vacation packages on their site.
Another great site for vacation packages is BookVIP. BookVIP offers super cheap vacation packages to incredible destinations. You are sure to save money using their site!
For full guided vacations including hotels, some meals, transportation, and guides, then we book with Trafalgar. Trafalgar is a trusted tour company that will meet all of your needs while ensuring that you have a great experience.
Trip.com allows you to book flights, hotels, train tickets, rental cars, airport transfers, tours, and more all on one site. Owned by the parent company that also owns Skyscanner, this is a trusted resource for travel booking and a great “one-stop-shop.”
Book Your Accommodations:
We always begin our search by checking out the honest review on hotels at TripAdvisor. This allows us to narrow our search for specific properties once we are ready to book. Of course, you can also book directly on the TripAdvisor site as well!
There are several accommodation sites that we like to use. One of our favorites is Booking.com because it gives you a wide variety of hotels and guesthouses at a good price.
Another “go-to” hotel booking site for us is Hotels.com. We love their loyalty program that allows you to earn free nights, and their “secret prices” for members are fabulous deals!
If you are looking for a luxurious all-inclusive vacation, then consider checking out the Sandals/Beaches properties. Sandals properties are for couples only and Beaches are for families. We have visited Sandals in the past and absolutely love the attention to detail and the service they provide.
Tour Companies We Trust:
We love taking guided tours when visiting new places. Our go-to tour companies are Viator.com and Get Your Guide. Both of these companies have been in business for years and provide excellent customer service. You can trust booking tours from their sites for sure!
CityPass is a great way to save money when visiting large cities. CityPass allows you to get free admission to major attractions once you buy their pass. The savings add up quickly with this pass, often saving 50% with combined admissions.
Another great pass to save money in larger cities is the Sightseeing Pass. This pass allows you to save valuable time and money by combining admissions to major attractions. They also have a handy app that keeps everything you need at your fingertips.
Looking to Save Time and Money?
Check out our resource page for all of our favorite vendors. These companies help us to save time and money on our travels!
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About the Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. While she is a professional educator by day, her passion for travel has her jet-setting all over the world during her free time.
Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blog, That Texas Couple. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.