Sure, everyone knows Austin, Houston, and Dallas, but what about all the charming small towns in between that make up the heart and soul of Texas?
Those are my favorite town, and this is a list of a few fabulous small towns in Texas for you to see!
These towns will make you feel right at home with their southern charm, interesting history, and incredible people.
We love visiting these towns in Texas, especially on Texas road trips, and we hope you will too!
Before exploring the Lone Star State, read these facts about Texas to learn more about this great state and these charming small towns in Texas.
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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 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 and awesome German restaurants and see some sites on this town’s National Register of Historic Places!
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 the Hill Country Mile, Boerne’s main street historic district. T
his area of this small town is a shopper’s 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, the Guadalupe River, and Guadalupe State Park.
After a fun day of outdoor activities on this road trip, spend the evening relaxing in one of the many wineries, distilleries, or breweries that call Boerne home.
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Grapevine is one of the best small towns in Texas for family fun.
In North Texas, between Dallas and Fort Worth, Grapevine has many great family activities 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 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 is one of the most charming small Texas towns.
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, 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 from Granbury in the town of Glen Rose.
Dinosaur Valley is a unique park where you can actually see evidence of the dinosaurs that once called this area home.
This area makes for a great road trip.
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 Gruene 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.
I guess that happens when you are in the oldest dance hall!
People love to hear the live music performed at this historic dance hall while two-stepping to the beat of country music.
The dance hall dates back to the 19th century (1878, to be exact) and has purposefully not changed much since its inception.
That is what it is best known for!
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 one of the best small towns, 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.
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 from 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 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.
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 for Czech heritage in Texas.
The Czech Stop Bakery is a 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, and they celebrate their Czech heritage in this tiny town.
The festival means this is the perfect place for tons of food and live music!
This historic town of Luckenbach, TX, dates back to 1970 when Hondo Crouch founded it 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 small 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 drinks, and two-stepping until your feet hurt.
Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a souvenir from the general store and take your picture in front of the post office!
Luckenbach, TX, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Beating the Texas heat is easy in New Braunfels, so it had to make our list of the 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!
No worries if it isn’t summertime when you visit; there is still plenty to do in New Braunfels.
Catch a movie at their drive-in theatre or sip wine in the local winery.
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If you are looking for a small town in Texas with charm and originality, you must head to Wimberley, Texas.
Located about an hour from Austin and other big cities, Wimberley is a great small town.
Head down to the Wimberley town square to shop at the boutiques, tour the art galleries and 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 various outdoor activities, including fishing, swimming in the Blue Hole, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, and camping.
Salado is a charming small town with a big art community!
Salado prides itself on being an artistic community, apparent everywhere 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, the beautiful art galleries around town, and the Salado Sculpture Garden.
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 you to visit.
Port Isabel is most famous for the 1800s Isabel lighthouse (one of the oldest in Texas), part of this family-friendly community.
Don’t overlook that Port Isabel is also one of the oldest coastal towns in Texas.
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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 that Canyon is packed with a nice historic district with 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 called the “Grand Canyon of Texas.”
Here, you can enjoy picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, and camping.
In addition to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, you must spend time in its historic downtown area with 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 to visit the Aransas National Refuge Area and the Goose Island State Park while visiting.
Rockport before visiting Fulton Mansion State Historic Park.
Visitors are introduced to life on the Texas coast in the 19th century.
Of course, there are also several museums, shopping, and great restaurants in the Rockport area.
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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 a little Texas gem.
If you were driving through the area, you might 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 attracted visitors to the area ever since.
This town offers more than just the Marfa Lights.
Be sure to 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 Lone Star State border and the Rio Grande River, Terlingua is probably the town you will stay in if you visit Big Bend National Park.
The tiny desert town of Terlingua was 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 a fun little town that is worth your time in this area.
Most people come to Terlingua to explore the abandoned buildings and homes and to use it as a home base when visiting Big Bend National Park.
Big Bend National Park is famous for its wide-open, vast spaces in 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.
While in the area, you should also check out the small towns of Alpine and Marfa.
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Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight:
We love using CheapOAir, Kayak, and Kiwi to search for the best flight prices. We love using these search engines because they search the web for airlines worldwide 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, 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 your needs while ensuring 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 honest reviews on TripAdvisor hotels. 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!
There are several accommodation sites that we like to use. One of our favorites is Booking.com because it offers 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 want a luxurious all-inclusive vacation, 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. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through creative content creation and her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel and accompanying social media accounts. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.