City life can wear you down. Be it the traffic, noise, and/or pollution, sometimes you just need to get away and take a respite in the simple life. Take a Texas trip out to the most darling, charming, and picturesque towns in the Lone Star State.
If the wineries, shopping, delicious German eateries, surrounding camp grounds, and adorably quaint downtown Main Street weren’t reason enough to visit the German town of Fredericksburg, add wildflowers and bluebonnets to the list. The town’s Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historical Site is populated with longhorns roaming in pastures of wildflowers – plus acres of bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, and yellow poppies growing at Wildseed Farms.
Good news, Houston, Marfa is not just for hipsters anymore. The Far West Texas town is the desert home to a population sub 2,000 people. Yet, it is a place of legend. Quaint, charming, mysterious, whatever you want to call it, Marfa is a place you’ll have to see for yourself. Dotted with art galleries, museums, and local boutiques – not to mention its minimalist badlands-style architecture, the walkable town makes for an idyllic stroll. Plus, its location on the ridge of Texas mountains makes Marfa an ample setting to watch a sunset. When staying over night, don’t sleep on El Cosmico, a bohemian-style hotel fit with available trailers, teepees, yurts, and other nomadic lodgings to complete the experience!
Oh yeah. And those mysterious lights that occur at night, that’s a normal thing. No one really knows what they are. If UFOS, thus far they’ve been benign.
Wimberley abounds with myriads of majestic swimming spots, 4.5 miles of trails, and 126 acres of lush natural beauty. The Blue Hole swimming spot is a true Texas gem; fed by San Gabriel River springs, the open year-round swimming hole is framed by a rich landscape and equipped with numerous rope swings to make the plunge. A short distance away, visitors can also take a dip in Jacob’s Well, a picturesque artesian spring courtesy of the Trinity Aquifer.
4. Dripping Springs
So called “gateway to the Hill Country”, the town of Dripping Springs a short ways west of Austin is home to numerous vineyards, breweries, live music venues, shopping experiences and sweeping natural beauty. Most notably, it’s where you’ll find two of Texas’ top-tier watering holes: Pedernales Falls and Hamilton Pool.
“The Bed & Breakfast Capital of Texas” is a pre-civil war town home to charming local businesses, scenic landscapes, and over 70 historical landmarks including the Carnegie Library, Excelsior House, and Jefferson Historic Museum. While the East Texas town itself is dreamy, one can opt for a more nightmarish excursion in The Grove to see why it’s also called The Most Haunted Small Town in Texas.
6. Port Isabel
Located two-and-a-half miles outside of South Padre Island, Port Isabel dates back to 1519. Rumored to be the site of buried pirate treasure, the scenic coastal town is populated with over historic gems including the Treasures of the Gulf Coast Museum, Port Isabel Historic Museum as well as a medley of timeless artisan shops, galleries, and seafood dining destinations. Its Pirate’s Landing Fishing Pier is the longest pier in Texas, and its charming Lighthouse Square rivals as the best place to stroll in town.
Nestled in the rolling hills of Bells County, between Austin and Waco, Salado is a laid-back town of artists, artisans, festivals, and craft brewers. Visitors can peruse the many eclectic stores, book shops, boutiques, and bistros on Main Street, try their hand at glass blowing, and/or visit its renowned Sculpture Garden.
Perhaps more than another place in Texas does the town of Bandera live up to state stereotypes. Known as “the cowboy capital of the world”, the frontier town’s is proliferated with its historic heritage – be it its many country music venues, dude ranches, or old-timey saloons, shops, and BBQ restaurants. If you want to live out your fantasy of being a cowboy or desperado, Bandera is the place to do so.
Located some odd miles northeast of Dallas, Grapevine, is a charming town with a rich culture, history, and traditions. During the holiday season, the town really comes out of its shell with a month’s long citywide celebration of the most wonderful time of the year.
South of Fort Worth, Granbury is a quiet, historical town that (generally speaking) is left off the radar. Among its fair share of shops, bars, and restaurants, pedestrians can look upon its crop of 19th-century homes.
Let it be known, however, that there’s more than meets the eye in this unassuming town. Home to the spiritually suspicious Nutt House Hotel and Oil Jail Museum, the town’s most arguably haunted residency is its opera house. Here, the ominous presence in question is said to belong to none other than John Wilkes Booth. So when visiting, be sure to keep your head on a swivel.