You’re probably familiar with the Texas triangle: San Antonio, Dallas and Houston with Austin in the middle. But in a state bigger than Germany, there’s a lot more than big cities. Wide open country, quaint towns and plenty of cowboy boots– Texas is a big state with a lot to see. Here are 8 locations to check out in the Lone Star State.
This charming town has a beautiful main street founded by German settler in the mid-1800s. Visit for Oktoberfest and dine on classics like schnitzel and festival beer. Located in hill country, Fredericksburg is a prime destination for wine tours as well as hiking and biking. You can even get a dose of history at the Vereins Kirche Museum and the Pioneer Museum Complex.
Sitting in northern Texas near the Colorado River, this is the town to go to for watersports. The Lake Lyndon B Johnson, a mere 10-minute drive outside of the town, is a great spot for boating, jet-ski driving and fishing. Anglers can expect to catch largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and white bass.
If you’re looking for things to do off the lake, visit any of the surrounding wineries or farms or check out Longhorn Cavern State Park– an underground hideout with guided tours.
If you want to do a little antique shopping, look no further than the small town of Boerne. Boerne’s quaint Main Street is packed with plenty of shopping opportunities as well as delicious restaurants. Monthly Market Days are the best time to visit– the main plaza is filled vendors and live music accompanies the entire experience.
Once you’ve had your fill of shopping, head to the Cibolo Nature Center for scenic trails and to see dinosaur tracks that are around 100 million years old.
This tiny town has Jacob’s Well, the largest continually flowing karstic spring in the Texas Hill County. The well is 12 feet wide, 30 feet deep and 68 degrees year-round– making it a great spot to get some relief from Texas summer heat. The well is only open for swimming during the summer and there’s a fee per swimmer. During winter, fall and spring, visitors can hike through the beautiful area.
If you want to take a step back in time, head to Gruene. This town basically died out during the Depression Era and was then put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. You’ll see a general store, candy shops, boutique shopping a cute downtown area and the oldest continually running dance hall in Texas, the Gruene Hall, originally built in 1872.
Go here for BBQ. Texas has great BBQ and Lockhart (arguably) as the best BBQ in the state. Kreuz Market, Smitty’s Market, Black’s Barbecue and Chisholm Trail BBQ are legendary in the BBQ world. Come hungry and indulge in heaping plates of meat, corn, fried okra, and cobbler.
Jefferson was a major port town and a supply point for the Confederacy during the Civil War. The city boomed and then died out and today, is crammed with more museums, historic markers and tours than you can do in a day. Visit for the history and stay for some Cajun food– Jefferson is near the Louisiana boarder.
This is the low-key coastal city you’ve been looking for. Port Isabel is old. It was founded in 1519 by a Spanish explorer. The Port Isabel Lighthouse is the most-known attraction, but there’s also fishing, sea life centers and historic sites and delicious, fresh seafood.