The marina at Port Aransas, Texas.

8 Of The Most Welcoming Towns In Texas

Texas, the Lone Star State, is located in America's South Central region and is famous for the country films, music, and general atmosphere that it offers. While tourists are attracted to many famous cities in the state, several less-discovered small towns in the region provide a similar, or even better, holiday experience. Travelers can expect to escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life and experience the genuine warmth of Texan hospitality in all the towns listed below. For an authentic and immersive journey into the heart of the state, tread through one of these welcoming destinations to create unforgettable memories. 


The Main Street in Frederiksburg, Texas.
The Main Street in Frederiksburg, Texas. Editorial credit: ShengYing Lin /

Fredericksburg, named after the Prussian Prince Frederick, is considered to be the heart of Texas Hill Country. While the town maintains some of the culture bestowed by German immigrants in the 19th century, it has also developed its own Texan heritage, which can't be missed. Head to Fredericksburg's National Museum of the Pacific War to view bona fide relics of the Second World War and discover detailed accounts of the time. Continue this trip down memory lane at the Pioneer Museum, where visitors can find exhibits of historic homesteads and antique architectural designs. Make sure to take a drive to the nearby Enchanted Rock State Park to explore a massive pink granite dome and bask in nature by hiking, camping, biking, or simply taking a picnic on the lush grounds.  


Aerial view of Buda, Texas.
Aerial view of Buda, Texas.

Buda is known as the "Outdoor Capital of Texas," owing to its acres of parkland where tourists can enjoy nature in its full glory. The town is home to seventeen parks and natural areas in total, allowing tourists to bike and hike to their heart's content. The Historic Stagecoach Park is a must-visit for those who love the outdoors as much as history, as this park has two historic farm structures and 51 acres of natural land to picnic and play in. Continue the trip down history by heading to the Buda Mill & Grain Co., a re-developed site from 1914 that has now become a site for community living with restaurants, shops, and more. Finish with a stroll in the town's Historic Downtown District, which is a historic site and home to numerous preserved historical architecture. 


A Cackleberry shop with artwork on display in Wimberly, Texas.
A Cackleberry shop with artwork on display in Wimberly, Texas.

Wimberley is another obscure town inviting visitors to the abundance of natural beauty it offers. Start at the 100-acre ​​Blue Hole Regional Park, which is a true oasis for outdoor lovers, complete with a swimming area, crystal-clear waters, towering cypress trees, hiking trails, and tranquil picnic spots. Extend the serene trip by heading to Jacobs Well, an artisan spring and the second-largest fully submerged cave in Texas, where visitors can take a dip or hike a trail. End the rustic vacation by enjoying the thrill at the Wimberley Zipline, zipping over numerous breathtaking canyons and creeks from 15 miles above the Valley.


Sign on the wall of a saloon in Luckenbach, Texas.
Sign on the wall of a saloon in Luckenbach, Texas. Image credit: Danita Delimont 

Luckenback is a Hill Country treasure located in Gillespie County, Texas. This town, known as the place where "Everybody's Somebody," is the smallest town in the state yet combines a rich history with a legacy of great music and nature, which invites tourists from all over the region. The most popular attraction is the Luckenbach Dance Hall, one of the best-known Hill Country dance halls dating back more than 150 years, which still hosts dances and concerts almost every weekend. Enjoy live music under the 500-year-old oak trees in the center of town before heading to the popular general store, formerly a post office, where you can find a famous view out front and a souvenir shop inside. 

Port Aransas

Sunset over Port Aransas, Texas.
Sunset over Port Aransas, Texas.

Port Aransas is located on the coast of Texas and is famous for its Gulf of Mexico beaches and waterways. The town is a haven for fishermen, who can go deep to hunt in the bays and channels or simply cast a line in from one of the public piers to catch redfish, flounder, black drum, and trout. For this and for hosting fishing tournaments in the summer, the town is aptly called the "Fishing Capital of Texas." Tourists can also enjoy the water and beach areas by surfing, sailing, jet skiing, parasailing, kayaking, or indulging in the numerous other water activities available all around the shore. To get to know the town's history better, head to the Port Aransas Museum, where early island living is displayed in the exhibits. Finish this unique tip by participating in the process of building a boat at Farley Boat Works.  


The Main Street in Boerne, Texas.
The Main Street in Boerne, Texas.

Gruene is a small town located along the Guadalupe River and has been re-developed from a cotton-producing community to a modern tourist destination. As such, there is much to be explored in the city, starting at the Historic Gruene Hall. This is the oldest dance hall in Texas and frequently hosts performances by some of the most popular country singers in the state. Fishing enthusiasts should head to the Guadalupe River to enjoy the famous fly fishing in the town. The river also offers tubing, rafting, and boating experiences for visitors as well. Make sure to stop by the Gruene Antique Company to explore a large collection of antiques and collectibles that tell the story of Gruene's past.


The Main Street in Boerne, Texas.
The Main Street in Boerne, Texas. Editorial credit: Philip Arno Photography /

Boerne gets its name from the German author, Ludwig Börne, which was chosen by the German Founders of the town. Get to know this German history deeper by taking a tour of the Kuhlmann-King Historical Complex from the 1880s, which displays the life of the German family that resided there. Continue the trip down memory lane by exploring the 100 historic buildings downtown through a self-guided walking tour, and then stop at the Old Jail Museum to get locked in a historic jail cell and be told of crazy facts from the past. Make sure to spend a day exploring the mixture of nature and art at Art Al Fresco and a thrilling cave tour at Cascade Caverns. 

Dripping Springs

Aerial view of Dripping Springs, Texas.
Aerial view of Dripping Springs, Texas.

Dripping Springs is one of the more rural towns on this list, located just west of Austin, Texas. Start the exploration at the natural Hamilton Pool Preserve, one of the most beautifully formed watering holes in Central Texas. After millennia of erosion, a pool, canyon, beach, and 50-foot waterfall were created at this Preserve, where tourists can now swim, relax, picnic, and bird-watch. In a similar vein, the Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center invites visitors to take a guided tour of an arid savanna through a limestone crevice that opens into a sheltered canyon of lush plant life and a roaring waterfall falling into an emerald pool. A nice way to end this relaxing trip would be to take a stroll on Historic Mercer Street and explore architecture from the 19th century, as well as many shopping and dining options. 

In conclusion, travelers embarking on a journey through the small towns of Texas will find a tapestry of rich history, diverse culture, and unparalleled natural beauty. From the German heritage of Fredericksburg and the musical celebration of Luckenbach to the expansive parkland of Buda and the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Dripping Springs, each town on this list has something unique to offer that is hard to find in the more popular destinations. So, pack your bags, pick a new small town off this list, and head into the heart of Texas to discover an unknown adventure awaiting you.

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