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Looking for the best small towns in Texas? We’ve got you covered!

Texas is the second-largest state in the USA and has loads to offer! Saloons, beautiful natural wonders, cities… it has it all! But that’s not all! There are also many small towns to visit in Texas!

Whether you are a history lover, a foodie or an adventurer, you will find many things to do in the Lone Star State.

In this article, you will discover an incredible selection of cute small towns in Texas. Perfect to discover hidden gems and explore places off-the-beaten-path.

1. Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg in texas

Located near Austin and San Antonio, Fredericksburg is one of the few German towns in Texas. It was founded in 1846 and named after the Prince of Prussia, Frederick.

It’s a very cute and interesting place to visit especially since the Texas German dialect is still spoken there.

Fredericksburg is an excellent place to visit if you love cultural activities and want to visit Europe in the USA.

Here are a few examples of things to do in Fredericksburg: 

  • Visiting a winery. Fredericksburg is home to many wineries and cellars. If you love good wine, make sure to visit them and go wine tasting.
  • Shopping on Main Street. Fredericksburg Main Street is the perfect place to soak up these german vibes and discover cute local shops. Walk up and down the street and see what you find! There is a bit of everything!
  • Visiting the peach Orchards. Gillespie County is the largest producer of peaches in Texas. You will find many orchards in Fredericksburg and visiting them is quite a fun thing to do. You can even go peach-picking and grab yourself a delicious ice-cream at the end! 

🏨 WHERE TO STAY IN FREDERICKSBURG: Fredericksburg Inn and Suites is a beautiful property with 2 outdoor pools and a hot tub! The rooms are very cozy and the amenities are amazing.

2. Dripping Springs

Located only 30 minutes from Austin, Dripping Springs is the perfect small town to visit on a day trip from the big city. It can also be a good place to spend a weekend getaway.

The town itself is very cute and perfect for people who love history but it’s also a paradise for outdoor lovers.

Here are a few things to do Dripping Springs, TX:

  • Discovering the Historic District. Roaming around town is a great thing to do. It’s super cute and there are many local shops where you can buy food and Vintage Texan home-decor. Make sure to check out Historic Mercer Street as well. It’s a paradise for thrift shoppers and there are many photo opportunities.
  • Swimming at Hamilton Pool. No trip to Dripping Springs would be complete without visiting the stunning Hamilton Pool. This natural pool is one of the most beautiful hidden gems in the USA! It includes a pool, a grotto and a waterfall.
  • Going on an olive tour. If you are a foodie, you will love this one! Dripping Springs is home to many olive farms. The Texas Hill Country Olive Company offers tours during which you will discover the olive orchards and how olive oil is made.

🏨 WHERE TO STAY IN DRIPPING SPRINGS: The Arbor House of Dripping Springs is a beautiful treehouse that can sleep up to 5 guests. It’s the perfect place for people looking for an authentic and unique stay. Click here to see the latest prices.

3. Gonzales

Situated near Austin and San Antonio, Gonzales is a historic town that is well worth a visit if you’d like to learn more about the history of Texas.

It is known as the birthplace of the Texas Revolution which is why it’s nicknamed the “Lexington of Texas”.

Although  You can stay there for a weekend or explore it on a day trip from Austin or San Antonio. It’s also an excellent choice for people on a budget.

Here are a few examples of things to do in Gonzales:

  • Visiting the Old Jail Museum. This former prison was built in 1887, making it one of the oldest buildings in the area and closed in 1975. Since then, it was turned into a museum. It’s open from Tuesday to Saturday between March and December and from Thursday to Saturday in January and February.
  • Going on a historical walking tour. As previously mentioned, a lot happened in Gonzales. As a visitor, if you are interested in learning more about the role of this small town during the Texas revolution, you may want to go on a walking tour. For more information, head to the visitor centre or the Chamber of Commerce website.
  • Discovering Palmetto State Park. If you love the outdoors, you will be in for a treat as well! Palmetto State Park is only a short drive away from Gonzales. It’s a great place to go for walks, swimming or fishing.

🏨 WHERE TO STAY IN GONZALES, TX: La Quinta by Wyndham Gonzales TX is an excellent hotel with a pool. It’s very good value for money! Click here to see the latest prices.

4. Lockhart

Located only half-a-hour from Austin, Lockhart is a great destination for a weekend getaway or a day trip. It has been nicknamed “the Barbecue Capital of Texas”.

If you are a foodie who wants to discover what Texas is all about, there is no better place to do so!

Here are some awesome things to do in Lockhart, TX:

  • Eating in one of the major barbecue restaurants. It would be impossible to visit the Barbecue Capital of Texas without eating a barbecue meal! You will find a plethora of historical restaurants where you can get delicious brisket or ribs but here are some excellent options: The Original Black’s Barbecue, Smitty’s Market and Kreuz Market.
  • Visiting the Caldwell County Museum. If you are into culture and history, head to the Caldwell County Museum. You will discover several exhibitions explaining the history of Caldwell county.
  • Exploring the stunning Lockhart State Park. Located on the edge of the town, Lockhart State Park is a pretty underrated place. Yet, there is a lot to do here including hiking, swimming and fishing!

🏨 WHERE TO STAY IN LOCKHART: Best Western Lockhart Hotel & Suites is an all-time favourite. There is a swimming pool and breakfast is included! See prices here.

5. Schulenburg

Small town of Schulenburg in Texas

Located in the county of Fayette, about 1h20 from Austin, Schulenburg is another example of a German town in Texas.

It’s a great place to visit if you are looking for some European vibes in the USA. Although it has a German name, the Austrian and Czech settlers had just as much of an impact on the town.

It was founded in 1842 and officially incorporated in 1875. There is a plethora of old buildings and cute streets to explore!

Here is what to do in Schulenburg:

  • Visiting the Texas Polka Music Museum. Calling all music lovers for this one! Due to its Eastern European background, Schulenburg is an excellent place to discover polka music. The museum is dedicated to preserving this tradition. Inside you will discover all things polka related including partitions, instruments and historical facts. The admission fee is only $2.
  • Going on a wine tour. Schulenburg is home to some vineyards. If you are a foodie, make sure to go for a wine tasting. It’s very interesting and quite a romantic thing to do.
  • Visiting the Schulenburg Historical Museum. If you want to learn more about the local history, there is no better place than the Schulenburg Historical Museum. You will find a wide range of historical artifacts and vintage objects. Not only is it interesting but there are also a lot of photo opportunities.

🏨 WHERE TO STAY IN SCHULENBURG: The Holiday Inn Express and Suites Schulenburg is a great place to stay in town. There are all sorts of rooms and you will have access to a swimming pool. Click here to see the latest prices.

6. Fort Stockton

Want to experience the Wild West in Texas? Fort Stockton will be the perfect destination! 

Located in the heart of West Texas, Fort Stockton is famous for its history, delicious food and authentic country town vibe! You can get there by plane.

There is a small airport called Fort Stockton – Pecos County. Alternatively, if you fancy going on a Texas road trip, this could be a good stop on the road from El Paso to San Antonio.

Here are few cool things to do in Fort Stockton:

  • Eating delicious Mexican food. Fort Stockton is one of the best places in the US to eat Mexican food. If you are a foodie and want to eat authentic Mexican dishes, heat to Mi Casita, Pepito’s Cafe or Tacos Oj.
  • Roaming around Downtown. Fort Stockton is such a cute town and strolling around is the best way to discover how pretty it actually is. You will discover loads of old buildings and saloons. It’s a bit like stepping back in time. You will feel like a cowboy! Don’t forget to pop in one of the saloons to grab a drink. It’s a very unique experience!
  • Visiting the Annie Riggs Memorial Museum. If you want to learn more about the local culture, head to the Museum. The entrance fee is only $3 and it’s a good place to visit. You will discover facts about the local history and artefacts.

🏨 WHERE TO STAY IN FORT STOCKTON: The Best Western Plus Fort Stockton is an excellent place to stay. It’s also pet-friendly which means you can bring your fur baby! Click here to see the latest prices.

7. Terlingua

If you are looking for unique places to visit, you are in for a treat! 

Terlingua is a small Texan town situated near Big Bend National Park and the border with Mexico. It is one of the best ghost towns in Texas!

Also, when we say “small American town“, we really mean it. There are less than 100 inhabitants! This is as small as it gets!

It used to be a mining town but as the main mining company filed for bankruptcy during WWII, the inhabitants moved somewhere else, leaving the town completely empty.

It is still a very interesting place to visit, especially since there is nothing quite like it. Here are a few things you can do in Terlingua:

  • Visiting Big Bend National Park. This is one of the most beautiful places in the United States and if you love outdoor activities, you will be spoilt for choice. There are many hiking trails you can take. Some are harder than others. If you want an easy one, opt for the Window Trail. More experienced hikers should opt for the South Rim Trail. Another cool thing that you can do is to go kayaking on the Rio Grande River
  • Taking beautiful photos in Terlingua Ghost Town. You may not expect that from a ghost town but Terlingua is quite an Instagram-friendly place. The landscapes are incredibly pretty and some of the old buildings are very colourful. As you roam around, you will find many photo spots! That said, be prepared to have a bit of a strange feeling as you visit. Everything is abandoned and it can give you goosebump at times.
  • Grabbing lunch at the Starlight Theatre. This authentic Texan Saloon is an excellent place to grab a bite. They serve delicious food and the building (outside and inside) is super pretty!

🏨 WHERE TO STAY IN TERLINGUA: You won’t really find anything in Terlingua itself however one property stands out! The Terlingua Ranch Lodge offers beautiful cabins and RV sites. You will love watching the stars in the evening. See prices here.

8. West

Situated 77 miles south of Dallas, West TX is famous for its Czech heritage. So much so that it was nicknamed the “Czech Heritage Capital of Texas”.

It’s a very nice place to visit for a day or a weekend. If you are on a road trip from Dallas to Austin, this can be a great place to stop by as well!

With a population under 3,000, West kept this country feel while having all the amenities you may need.

Here are some cool things to do in West, TX:

  • Bakery crawl! In most cities, you can go on a pub crawl. In West, you will want to create your own little bakery crawl. The town is home to many local shops and bakeries with Czech products. The Czech Stop is a good place to start. They have a variety of yummy treats including the famous fruit kolaches. Another great option is Gerik Ole’ Czech Bakery.
  • Visiting the History of West Museum. As you roam around downtown, you will come across the museum. It’s an interesting place to visit if you’d like to learn more about the European background of the town. Also, it’s free! 

🏨 WHERE TO STAY IN WEST, TX: Holiday Inn Express & Suites is ideally located and a very nice place to book. See prices here.

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