Being the second largest in the United States, Texas has a heterogeneous landscape that includes fertile coastal plains, high mountains, and amazing water bodies running through the state. In addition, its beautiful coastline along the Gulf of Mexico has many islands, saltwater marshes, bays, and bayous that contribute to its lavish scenery. Its rich landscape, therefore, gives the state so many beautiful towns which go unappreciated.
This town is close to Fredericksburg, in southeastern Gillespie County. Although a small, and not very populated town, it is one of the rarer hidden gems of Texas. Interestingly, it gets its name from a German nobleman Jakob Luckenbach, who helped settle the Texas Hill Country in 1845. From lovely meals to great country music, its German-Texan heritage, and a historic dance hall, this town will give you memories to last a lifetime. If you love nature and walking, trail along the Creek, and admire the Caliche Hills and scenic landscape along Grape Creek. If you are around Fredericksburg drive along the Fredericksburg-Luckenbach route for some spectacular landscape views.
Visit the Texas Hill Country Ranch namely Von Netzer Ranch to see different breeds of sheep, more wildlife, plants, and nature. The town has a historic general store called Luckenbach Texas General Store built by German settlers of the Texas Hill Country in 1849. The official website of Luckenbach Texas allows you to book stays, and events while also providing useful information about the history of the town, lodging options, general store, and more.
This town falls under Randall County and serves as a county seat. It has an interesting history of development that began in 1889, following significant events from 1902. From a small population of 530 in 1904, the town gradually grew to 4,349 in 1950. The town officially received its name in 1911, named after Palo Duro Canyon, which lies approximately 12 miles away from the city. Plan tours, day trips, and outdoor activities or enjoy some food, drinks, shows, and concerts in Canyon. The first must-see attraction is Palo Duro Canyon State Park, famous for its thrilling outdoors such as birding, hiking, fishing, and mountain biking. Other brilliant attractions include the Lighthouse Trail for its historic walking trail, and the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum with exhibits ranging from archaeology, paleontology, classic cars, textiles, and more.
There is an abundance of exciting landmarks to explore, including the Texas Outdoor Musical with stunning song and dance-themed performances that depict historical stories of the past to a family-centric water park like Canyon Aqua Park.
Being a small town in east Texas, and one of the oldest towns, it is also the county seat of Nacogdoches County. It has some interesting stories from the past that begin with the history of the Caddo Indians, who inhabited the place before the Spanish inhabitants settled into the town. Nacogdoches is the largest blueberry-producing town in all of Texas. With greenery around the city, magnificent brick streets in the downtown area, local eateries, and much more, a lot to explore in this little town!
Visit the Nacogdoches Visitor's Center to see exhibits of old Nacogdoches, and a video about the town, a good place to learn more about the legacy of this beautiful place. Also see The Millard's Crossing Historic Village, Inc. which is a historic site that tells more about the pioneer settlement in East Texas, and Sterne Hoya House Museum for more about the Nacogdoches' past.
For fun and exciting outdoor activities, visit Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, particularly breathtaking during springtime for guided tours, walks, trails, or bike rides where you can enjoy camellias, azaleas, and Japanese maples. Also explore the SFA Mast Arboretum, set along the Lanana Creek Trail, it takes you along the lush green landscape, to see some amazing flowers and the wonderful creek along the trail path. The Piney Woods Native Plant Center is another place to enjoy the forest environment, greenery, and gardens. During the summers, indulge in water sports at the Splash Kingdom Family Waterpark.
This Bell County town is famous for fine arts and great outdoor adventures. It is also known to have one of the first co-ed colleges in the United States. The town gets its name from the Spanish “Rio Salado” which means “Salt River” because of Salado Creek, the same was earlier called “Salado Springs” by the Tawakoni Indians who were former inhabitants of the place. With Salado literally translating to “salty” the name simply carried on. From the oldest hotel in Texas, the Stagecoach Inn to the George Washington Baines House, which finds its name in the National Register of Historic Places, Salado is an exciting town to explore.
A few of Salado’s best attractions include the Salado College Hill Park for viewing historical structures through scenic nature views, Salado Sculpture Garden for some amazing sculptural structures amidst nature, Chalkridge Falls Park for discovering the pretty waterfall across the cute wooden bridge, and Skydive Temple for skydiving adventures. You could visit breweries and wineries such as Chupacabra Craft Beer & Salado Lone Star Winery if that is something you enjoy or go to antique stores like the Fletchers Books & Antiques to see some fabulous exhibits. If you love history, then visit a museum like the Salado Museum for indulging in the secrets of the past.
The deer capital town of Texas is also the county seat of Llano County. It is common to spot white-tailed deer in the area during fall and winter. Hence, it is aptly called the deer capital of the state, but besides that, it also houses the Red Top Jail, which once served as a place to execute criminals and which is now a famous spot for ghost hunters. Bald Eagles, cowboy-style Chuck Wagon Cook-Off, and musical Llano Country Opry are characteristic of this lovely town.
There are many ways to feast on the scenic beauty, food, and places in Llano. Do the Bluebonnet Trail, see the Llano River and enjoy nature at the Leonard Grenwelge County Park. Also, visit places like the Llano County Jail for jail tours, the Llano Craft Distillery for information about vodka distilling, the Llano County Historical Museum for learning more about the history, and the Llano Fine Arts Guild and Gallery to appreciate some fine artwork.
As part of the Edwards Plateau of the scenic Texas Hill Country, Bandera is the county seat of Bandera County. Noted not only for its cowboy heritage but also for its stunning landscapes, it has some fantastic natural scenery. Set on the banks of the immaculate Medina River, the town has some incredible sights. In Bandera, there is no shortage of things to do and adventures to embark upon, especially for nature lovers. A must-visit sight is the Medina River, the scenery here is simply breathtaking. Hill Country State Natural Area, Bandera City Park, and Western Trail Heritage Park are some other landmarks for nature lovers to discover.
There are still more fun places for those interested in scenery plus horse riding with the Bandera Historical Rides, the Juniper Hill Stables, and the Outlaw Outfitters Horseback Adventures. Museums, ranches, and amusement parks are among the many other places to discover.
The friendly people, the liveliness of art and architecture, the unique cowboy culture, and the rich diversity of these towns make them very special. The lesser-known towns often have an interesting history and untouched beauty that many people even in the state have not explored. Be it the big or small towns in Texas, each town has a lot to offer to people who want to move there or simply want to enjoy the natural beauty, adventures, and unique charisma of these majestic towns.