Texas is a big state, and there are so many underrated towns to discover. From great shopping destinations to historical landmarks, it’s worth getting out of the big cities and heading to smaller towns to experience the true heart of Texas. Find your next favorite travel destination from these 12 most underrated towns to visit in Texas.
Wimberley (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Wimberley, a Texas Hill Country town between Austin and San Antonio, is known for its quaint downtown and gorgeous scenery. Ask any Austinite or San Antonian about Wimberley and they know all about this Texas gem. It’s simply underrated because its location between these two popular and well-talked-about Texas towns. Wimberley is perfect for wildflower viewing in the spring as well as for arts and crafts festivals and live bluegrass music. If you decide to visit Wimberley in the summer, take a dip in “Jacob’s Well,” a deep underwater cave that is utterly picturesque.
Luckenbach (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Luckenbach has three things going for it: a post office, a general store and a dance hall. The spotlight was set on this little Texas town by singers Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson with the song titled “Luckenbach, Texas.” It may have gained popularity through the song, however it is still underrated because not many people take a trip out to actually visit this Texas treasure. Luckenbach is located in the Texas Hill Country, and it is worth a visit for anyone interested in listening to country, folk and bluegrass tunes.
Salado (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Book a stay in Texas’ oldest hotel, the Stagecoach Inn, and spend your time in Salado shopping in quaint shops and visiting historical landmarks. Since Salado only has a population of about 2,100, the town is still just a small dot on a big Texas landscape. This town is also home to Texas’ first landmark, the Salado Creek, to be designated on the list of Texas Natural Landmarks.
Jefferson (Hotel Prices & Photos)
This tiny town, which only encompasses about 4 miles, should not be judged on size alone. Jefferson has been referred to as the “Bed and Breakfast Capital of East Texas.” However this little town is truly a destination for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts. When it comes to history, Jefferson is teeming with historical significance in every building since this town was established in 1841. Many visitors have even claimed that this town is haunted. For those needing a nature escape, Caddo Lake is a short drive away.
Nacogdoches (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Known as the oldest town in Texas, Nacogdoches was initially established as a Spanish settlement, therefore Spanish heritage comes alive in this underrated Texas town. A visit to Nacogdoches is truly a visit back in time, since there are a number of historical spots to visit. A short trip to the Nacogdoches Historic Town Center and Visitor Center will get you on the right path to viewing everything Nacogdoches has to offer.
Rockport (Hotel Prices & Photos)
There are a number of reasons to visit Rockport, however this underrated town is underrated simply because its proximity to a more popular beach town, Corpus Christi. Visit Rockport to experience Texas art, enjoy the beach, go saltwater fishing, birdwatch or take in Rockport’s historic places. Don’t miss out on a number of festivals that occur in Rockport and that have been happening every year for decades, like the Annual Oysterfest, Annual Seafair and the Annual Rockport Art Festival.
Medina (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The town of Medina is home to the Medina River. The reason why Medina, and the Medina River, are forgotten is because of more popular Texas rivers, like the Guadalupe, Comal and Frio, seem to lure river dwellers. However to avoid crowds, hit up the Medina River complete with clear water, shady trees, and small rapids. Medina is a must-visit in the summer for an enjoyable four-hour float. It’s more than earned its title of “The Apple Capital of Texas,” with its plethora of apple orchards, like the Love Creek Orchards.
Llano (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Even if you don’t stay the night in Llano, you should at least make a day trip to eat at Cooper’s BBQ. Llano is underrated simply because its more popular neighboring city, Austin. There are a number of reasons other than good barbeque to visit Llano, but Cooper’s is a really good reason. Take a dip in the LLano River, shop in Llano’s quaint downtown or visit the town’s historic buildings.
Canyon (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Outdoor enthusiasts should not hesitate to visit the town of Canyon in the Texas Panhandle, which is referred to as the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon of Texas.” Since Canyon is located on the Palo Duro Canyon, there is no lack of picturesque views, especially at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Since its up in the Texas Panhandle, this overlooked town gets forgotten. But within recent years, brides have searched out Canyon and come to recognize it as a stunning wedding spot.
Bandera (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The river town of Bandera has been referenced as the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” With a rockin’ honky tonk cowboy bar and the fact that Bandera’s a common stop for motorcycle bikers, this town does not lack Texas flair.
Round Top (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Due to its proximity to Austin, Round Top gets overlooked compared to its eclectic neighbor. However there are plenty of reasons to head to Round Top, from the city’s antique show to Round Top’s art and music scene. Don’t forget to grab a piece of pie (or the whole pie!) at Royers Cafe while you’re visiting this Texas gem.
Goliad (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Goliad oozes with Texas history, since it is both the site of a bloody battle in the Texas Revolution and the spot where Texas’ Declaration of Independence was signed. Sure, there are a number of historical spots to visit during your stay in Goliad, however don’t miss out on the town’s other features. Goliad hosts a number of festivals and craft shows each year as well as is home to great Texas shopping.