Texas residents don’t have to leave the state to find interesting and unique vacation spots; the state is packed with often overlooked gems perfect for a weekend getaway or day of exploration. If you’re looking for a town worthy of a drive, check out these five charming Texas towns.
This sleepy little town sits at the edge of Palo Duro Canyon. At 120 miles long, it’s second only to the Grand Canyon itself, and a stunning visual display of vibrant desert colors. Founded in the late 1800s, Canyon was originally a cattle town, but you can still experience a taste of old-style Texas ranching. The Elkins Ranch offers an authentic, all-you-can-eat chuckwagon breakfast served around a campfire just like the cowboys used to do.
Photography buffs love Denton’s Courthouse on the Square—it’s the most photographed old courthouse in all of Texas. Perhaps the real draw, however, is the North Texas Horse Country. If you love horses, take one of the guided tours or download a self-guided tour map and visit some of the more than 450 premiere horse ranches located around Denton. Spend an afternoon on horseback then head back to the city for some mouth-watering Tex-Mex cuisine.
Located near the San Antonio area, Castroville was settled in 1844 by a cluster of French Alsatian families. The town retains many of its old European customs and traditions; in fact, it’s known as “the Little Alsace in Texas.” If you love Oktoberfest-type celebrations, visit Castroville in the fall and check out the Volksmarch, one of the most popular Oktoberfest customs in Texas. Don’t miss the Steinbach House, a historic building brought over from France and restored to its former glory.
You don’t have to be a Waylon Jennings fan to appreciate the charms of this Hill Country hamlet. The town itself has a ghost town appeal and a laid-back attitude that puts visitors at home. Tour the old post office, saloon, and dance hall. But the real appeal of Luckenbach is its fabulous nightlife. There’s always live music, dances, and the legendary Picker’s Circle where you’ll enjoy the best blue grass music. Don’t miss the abundant concerts, shows, and festivals that liven up weekends in Luckenbach.
Situated between Waco and Austin, Salado is a historic town with an up-and-coming artsy vibe. You’ll find plenty of history; check out the Stagecoach Inn, Texas’s longest running hotel, who hosted such historical figures as Robert E. Lee. If B&Bs are more to your tastes, choose from plenty of charming inns perfect for a romantic getaway. Main Street is a haven for artists, and you’ll find trendy boutiques, exclusive fashions, and upscale eateries featuring gourmet food and top-notch wines. Speaking of wine, don’t miss a tasting at one of Salado’s two gorgeous wineries.
When you’re feeling footloose, why not hop in your car and take a road trip to one of these five fantastic Texas destinations?