Everything is bigger in Texas! I mean, Texas is enormous in comparison to other states, even compared to other countries. Did you know you can fit the countries of France and Switzerland in the state of Texas?
Don’t let its size fool you, though. Inside, Texas is all heart and full of charming small towns. So to prove this, we’ve created this list of the small towns in Texas!
Whether you are wanting to visit Fredericksburg, TX wineries or do some shopping in Wimberley, we’ve got you covered with this post on the best small towns in Texas to visit.
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Small Towns in Texas We Love
Fredericksburg, Texas-Best Small Town in Texas to Visit for Wine
Fredericksburg is definitely one of the small towns in Texas that we love! Just outside of San Antonio, which, by the way, is on the list of up and coming US Travel Destinations in 2019, this charming hill country town is known for its German heritage, great wineries, shopping, and Enchanted Rock State Park.
Fredericksburg is the perfect long weekend to spend with your love or your best friends! This hill country beauty is host to an amazing Oktoberfest, grape stomps, wine and food festival, the Gillespie County Fair, and the Fredericksburg Trade Days.
Fredericksburg has officially hit the map as a top tourist destination in the United States thanks to the abundance of wineries that you will find in the area. Visiting the Fredericksburg, TX wineries is a real treat and a great way to spend some time in Fredericksburg.
Don’t worry though if wine is not your thing, there are so many fun things to do in Fredericksburg, TX that you are bound to find something that appeals to you.
For more information on this great city like where to stay, and where to eat, be sure and check out our Ultimate Guide to Fredericksburg, TX.
With numerous bed and breakfast and Airbnb choices, it’s easy to find the perfect place to stay for that romantic couples weekend or girlfriend’s getaway.
Never stayed with Airbnb? Well, use our link to save up to $55 on your first reservation!
Boerne-Small Texas Town Perfect for Nature Lovers
Insider tip: It is pronounced Bernie 🙂
Boerne is one of the other great small cities in Texas and one of the best small towns in Texas for nature lovers. Located outside of San Antonio, a visit to Boerne is a great escape from city life.
Visitors will enjoy visiting the Hill Country Mile that is Boerne’s main street. This area is a shoppers paradis and is packed with art galleries, eclectic home shops, boutiques, and cafes.
Nature lovers won’t want to miss Cibolo Nature Center. This natural area provides trails and picnic areas that let you become one with nature. They also host events connecting people with the nature around them.
You will also find caves near Boerne. The Cave Without a Name and Cascade Caverns are both near this area. Both are filled with stalactites, stalagmites and other beautiful natural formations. Several visitors have even reported seeing bats in Cascade Caverns!
The nature doesn’t stop there though. Visitors can also enjoy the River Road Park to enjoy the turtles, ducks, and other wildlife that frequent this area.
One of our favorite places to visit is Guadalupe State Park. In the spring season, Boerne is a great place to see bluebonnets in Texas, and on a hot summer day, this area is perfect for swimming, tubing, camping, or riding in a canoe.
After a fun day of outdoor activities, spend the evening relaxing in one of the many wineries, distilleries, or breweries that call Boerne home. Hopefully, you can see why we say Boerne is a great small town in Texas for nature lovers.
Grapevine-One of the Best Small Cities in Texas for Family Fun
If you are looking for one of the best small cities in Texas for family fun, then look no farther than Grapevine, Texas. Grapevine is located in North Texas between Dallas and Fort Worth and has loads of great activities for families.
Grapevine’s Main Street, which is also its historic downtown, boasts loads of stores to spend a day exploring. here you will find boutique clothing stores, fabulous restaurants, gelato and sweet shops, and of course, wine bars (it is called Grapevine for a reason).
The loads of attractions and family-friendly events are what make this one of the best small cities in Texas for family fun.
Kids will love to visit Nash Farm, where they can tour the farm grounds learning all about the founds of this area through live demonstrations and hands-on activities.
After visiting Nash Farms, allow your kids to set their imagination free at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Here kids (and their parents) have access to over 2 million LEGO bricks to create with.
LEGOLAND also has 3 different rides, many interactive play areas, a 4D theatre, and a display of DFWs famous landmarks built our of LEGO bricks.
Families visiting Grapevine also love the Sea Life Aquarium. This 45,000 square-foot aquarium houses more than 30 displays of marine life. Visitors can learn all about rescuing and caring for sea turtles in the center’s Sea Turtle Rescue Center during their visit.
Family-friendly hotels including The Great Wolf Lodge and The Gaylord Texas are king in Grapevine. Both have many family-themed activities throughout the property to ensure everyone has a great time.
As you can see, this small Texas town is big on activities. Grapevine also hosts festivals and events year-round. Dubbed “The Christmas Capital of Texas”, December is a great time to visit Grapevine.
Main Street comes alive with light displays and decorations complete with a huge Christmas tree, a mailbox for letters to Santa, and even a kissing booth under the mistletoe! The Gaylord Texas hosts a huge ice sculpture exhibit every year called “ICE”.
There is definitely something for everyone in this North Texas gem. Check out the Grapevine calendar of events here.
Granbury-One of the Best Small Towns in Texas on a Lake
Granbury, Texas, one of the best small towns in Texas that sits on a lake.
Located about 45 minutes southwest of Fort Worth, Granbury is best known for the great recreational lake that the town is located around, but the lake isn’t Granbury’s only draw.
Granbury is full of Texas history and one of the most charming small towns in Texas.
Not only that, but there are so many things to do in Granbury, TX that you can easily stay entertained!
A lot of visitors come to Granbury to enjoy the recreational activities on Lake Granbury. Granbury Lake is great for skiing, riding wakeboard or jetskis, and for fishing.
One of the three lakes that dam the Brazos River, it is a long narrow lake that encompasses 103 miles of shoreline, making it a great place to cool off on a hot Texas day.
As we said before, there is so much more to this Texas town than just it’s lake. Visitors to Granbury can learn about and enjoy some great Texas history and hospitality during their visit as well.
A visit to Granbury’s historic town square is a great way to spend the afternoon.
One of the attractions on the square is The Granbury Opera House. The Opera House was established just after the Texas revolution and is still providing entertainment to its visitors today.
All around the historic downtown square you will find boutique shops, eateries, home decor shops, and wine tasting rooms, making this a great area to spend an afternoon.
One of our favorites on the square is Ketzler’s Schnitzel Haus and Biergarten. We love sitting out in their Biergarten under the shade of a big oak tree while eating some great German food.
You will find charming bed and breakfasts, Airbnb rentals, and several hotels in Granbury, including the historic Nutt House Inn that was established in 1910.
Don’t forget to use our Airbnb code to save up to $55 on your first booking!
The surrounding area is home to several great wineries and The Revolver Brewing Company, one of Texas’ fastest-growing microbreweries.
Granbury hosts many festivals throughout the year, including my personal favorite, The Corvette Rally. You can visit their website here to get a full calendar of events.
Gruene-Small Texas town with a Big Punch
Located just off of I-35 between Austin and San Antonio is Gruene. One of the small Texas towns that packs a big punch and is a favorite for locals and tourists alike.
One of the major draws to Gruene is the oldest dance hall in Texas, Gruene Hall. Built in the early 19th century, Gruene Hall has attracted singers from far and wide.
People love to come to hear the live country music that is performed here while two-stepping to the beat. The Hall has purposefully not changed much since its inception in 1878.
You will still find the side flaps opening up on the side to let a cool breeze in the open-air hall. This piece of Gruene history is definitely worth a visit.
Gruene Hall isn’t the only attraction in this small town in Texas. Visitors will also find antique shops, wine bars, river tubing outfitters, and the historic Gruene River Inn while visiting Gruene.
After a fun day of floating down the river, be sure and enjoy some Texas wine before having dinner at the Gristmill Restaurant. Then put on your boots and dance the night away to some Texas country at Gruene Hall.
Gruene will have you saying “yee-haw” in no time!
Dripping Springs-One of the Best Small Cities in Texas for Weddings
Take the scenic drive about 23 miles west of Austin and you will run into the town of Dripping Springs, dubbed the “Wedding Capital of Texas”.
This small town in Texas has over 35 wedding venues within a 15-mile radius, making it easy to get hitched while visiting Dripping Springs. The wedding venues here aim to please. You can find everything from rustic country to elegant and beautiful.
Dripping Springs hosts over 1,000 weddings a year, making it one of the best small cities in Texas for weddings!
If a wedding isn’t in your future, don’t worry, there are so many other things to do in Dripping Springs that you won’t be disappointed. Full of local shops, you can make a day just visiting the unique shops located in and around Dripping Springs.
Be sure and visit historic Mercer Street while you are in the area also. Most of the buildings in this area were built between 1870 and 1940, making it a fabulous area to see the Dripping Springs of days past.
Also, take note of the town’s namesake located in the downtown area, the dripping springs. The limestone ledge that constantly drips water into the small stream below gave this town the name of Dripping Springs.
Home to the ever so popular Hamilton Pool Preserve, Dripping Springs is the perfect place to cool off in the Texas heat. This picturesque body of water was created after an eroded underground river collapsed.
Get to Hamilton Pool Preserve early if you are visiting during the hot summer months because they only allow a limited number of people in a day and the place fills up fast!
Dublin-One of the Small Towns in Texas with a Delicious Past
Don’t let the small size of Dublin fool you. There are so many things to do in Dublin, TX that you will easily stay entertained (and full)!
Ask any true Texan their favorite soda, and most will enthusiastically tell you “Dr. Pepper”! Dr. Pepper originated in Dublin at Dublin Bottling Works and became famous thanks to their use of Imperial pure cane sugar.
Although they no longer bottle Dr. Pepper, Dublin Bottling Works still has amazing soda flavors coming out of their small production facility. Take a tour through the factory and make your own souvenir soda before visiting the museum to see all things, Dr. Pepper.
Having worked up an appetite, be sure to go to the 50’s style soda fountain for a hamburger and an old-fashioned handmade soda.
While in Dublin, don’t miss Veldhuizen Cheese Shop. This family-owned dairy produces amazing cheese made from the raw milk from the herd of cattle right on their farm. Veldhuizen has a cheese cellar right on their property where they age all of their cheese until it is perfect and ready for consumption.
They often host wine and cheese tastings as well. Be sure and stop by when you’re in Dublin.
Marble Falls- The Small Texas City by the Lake
It’s easy to just pass through Marble Falls on your way through the Texas hill country, but trust me, Marble Falls is worth spending some time in.
Marble Falls is another great town for nature lovers. Explore the Balcones Canyonlands Natural Wildlife Refuge or spend a lazy day on Lake Marble Falls.
If you are more on the adventurous side, skip the relaxing day on the lake and instead go for an adrenaline-inducing zip-line adventure at Cypress Valley Canopy Tours.
Off-road enthusiasts will love spending some time at Hidden Falls Adventure Park where they will find over 3,000 acres to ride their ATV vehicles. Guess what…if you don’t own an ATV, they will rent you one! This is a fabulous way to see the Texas Hill Country!
After a day full of fun you are going to be hungry, so you better stop into The Bluebonnet Cafe, especially during pie happy hour. This place has some seriously amazing pies! Choose from their many homemade flavors including apple, cherry, banana, or German chocolate just to name a few.
After getting your fill of pie, spend time shopping at the historic square or visit Lake Marble Falls. In December, Marble Falls has a beautiful light display right on the edge of the lake.
Of course, Marble Falls also has several wineries and a brewery that you can check out during your visit.
West- A Small Texas Town with a Proud Czech Heritage
Located off of I-35 about an hour north of Waco, West is the place to go for Czech heritage in Texas.
The Czech Stop bakery is an absolute favorite stop for anyone traveling through this area. Famous for their kolaches, The Czech Stop never disappoints when it comes to having fresh pastries that are big on flavor. Try the apricot cream cheese kolache and a jalapeno sausage roll, delicious!
Kolaches aren’t the only reason that we love West. Every year in September, West turns into Czech heaven when “Westfest” takes over the town.
This small town holds a huge celebration highlighting their Czech heritage. Come to Westfest to sample great food and polka the night away with live bands.
Of course, you can find great Airbnbs here to stay in and can save up to $55 using our link.
Luckenbach-The Texas Town that Defines Small
Luckenbach puts the “small” in the small Texas towns we love.
Founded by Hondo Crouch as a joke in 1970, this small town still draws visitors from all around. Luckenbach is a tiny dot on the big Texas map located just north of San Antonio and west of Austin.
The town consists of a post office, general store, and the main draw, a Texas dance hall. Spend the evening listening to live music, having some drinks and two-stepping until your feet hurt.
Take note that this tiny town gets extremely crowded on the weekends, especially if there is a popular Texas country artist playing.
If you want to explore Luckenbach at a slow pace and have the place virtually to yourself, then come early in the morning or during the week.
New Braunfels-One of the Best Small Cities in Texas to Beat the Heat
Beating the Texas heat is easy in New Braunfels, that’s why it had to make our list of best small towns in Texas to visit.
Grab your tube and a cooler and join the hundreds of other people relaxing the day away on the river. Floating the river is a great way to catch up with old friends or make new ones!
A float down the Comal River is perfect on a hot Texas day as the water in this river is a cool 72 degrees Farenheight.
If the river isn’t quite your speed, then spend the day cooling off at Schlitterbahn water park instead. Adults and kids love Schlitterbahn’s lazy river, wave pool, and exciting water slides. Honestly, Schlitterbahn is one of the original tourist attractions in New Braunfels.
This 70-acre waterpark has over 50 attractions for visitors to enjoy and the rides use that cool water from the Comal River mentioned above, so you know that is always refreshing!
If it isn’t summertime when you are visiting, no worries, there is still plenty to do in New Braunfels. Catch a movie at their drive-in theatre, or sip on a glass of wine in the local winery.
Beer lovers will definitely want to visit Guadalupe Brewing Company and try out some of their fun flavored beer. Guadalupe Brewing Company has been known to have flavors such as Chocolate Pecan Stout and Pumpkin Style Texas Honey Ale!
Wimberley- Small Texas Town Big on Charm
If you are looking for a small town that is big on charm and originality, then you need to head to Wimberley, Texas. Located about an hour away from Austin, Wimberley is a great little artist community and the perfect place to unwind and escape the big cities in Texas.
Finding the perfect accommodations in Wimberley is easy as there are no shortages of bed and breakfasts and charming cabins in this town.
After finding the perfect accommodations, head down to the Wimberley square to shop at the boutiques, tour the art galleries, and enjoy some great food at the local eateries.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Wimberley as well. Located on the Blanco River and Cypress Creek, you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including fishing, swimming, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, and camping.
We love visiting the Emily Ann Theatre and Gardens, especially during Christmas time when they turn this area into the Trail of Lights.
There are several wineries, breweries, and distilleries in and around Wimberley, including one of my favorites, Wimberley Valley Winery.
One visit to this small Texas town and you will see why they say Wimberley is “a little slice of heaven”.
Salado- Small City in Texas that is Big on Art
Salado is one of the Texas towns that has a big art community! Salado prides itself on being a artistic community, and it is truly apparent everywhere you look in this small Texas town.
You can spend hours on Salado’s main street shopping in eclectic shops, eating at the yummy eateries, or sipping wine in the wine bars. Art lovers will appreciate the glass blowing studio and the beautiful art galleries located around town.
While you are visiting Salado, you have to make your way to the Salado Sculpture Garden. Here you will find all kinds of sculptures that you can interact with along the trails. I especially loved the sock monkey sculpture.
In addition to all of this fabulous art, Salado is also home to the only continuously operating hotel in Texas, the Stagecoach Inn. The Stagecoach Inn was originally a stop on the great Chisholm Trail. After undergoing an extensive renovation, the Stagecoach Inn is once again open and welcoming guests.
Port Isabel-One of the Small Cities in Texas on the Coast
Of course we couldn’t make a list of small cities in Texas and not include Port Isabel. This little jewel on the Texas coast is just begging for you to come visit.
Port Isabel is most famous for the 1800s lighthouse that is part of this community. Don’t overlook the fact that Port Isabel is also one of the oldest coastal towns in Texas.
Come to Port Isabel to enjoy the small-town vibe while getting your excitement from the water activities including parasailing, sport fishing, boating and dolphin watching.
You can learn more about the areas by visiting the Port Isabel Historical Museum before exploring the treasure of shipwrecks at the Treasures of the Gulf Museum.
While visiting, you should also experience all that the South Padre Island Dolphin Research and Sea Life Center has to offer. Not only can you get an up-close look at lots of marine life, but you can also take an excursion to see the dolphins in their natural habitat!
Johnson City-A Historic Texas Town
Johnson City is a true historic Texas town. Home to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Texas White House” and LBJ National Park, history lovers will get their fill in Johnson City.
If history isn’t quite your thing, no worries, Johnson City is also home to Pedernales State Park. Pedernales is full of hiking trails and a beautiful river to help you find some relief from the Texas heat.
In the main town area, you will find several antique and various shops, a couple of wineries, Pecan Street Brewing and Garrison Distillery.
Canyon-A Unique Small Town in Texas
Canyon is such a unique small Texas town. We love the fact that Canyon is packed with great food, unique shopping, and fun small town charm.
Many people visit Canyon to tour Palo Duro Canyon State Park and see the acclaimed outdoor performance of the musical drama TEXAS.
The second-largest canyon in the United States, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is also referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Texas.” Here you can enjoy picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, and of course, camping.
While you are in Canyon, you have to spend time in their historic downtown area. It is here that you will become acquainted with Canyon’s unique shops and fun restaurants. The historic buildings that house the downtown shop are a treat in themselves if you are into historical architecture.
Of course, Canyon offers many small-town festivals throughout the year as well, so be sure to check out their calendar of events when you plan your visit.
Rockport-A True Texas Beach Town
Another one of the great towns on the Texas coast, Rockport is home to long fishing piers, historical sites, and soft sandy beaches. People come to Rockport to experience a slower pace and to just escape for a little while.
Be sure and visit the Aransas National Refuge Area while visiting Rockport. Here you will find a huge protected wildlife area that is home to many endangered species of bird, including North America’s tallest bird, the whooping crane.
They just look so majestic in the water! We just go to observe, but the area does allow you to fish and hunt, but be sure that you get a special use permit before doing so!
Another popular attraction in this area is the Fulton Mansion State Historic Park. Here visitors are introduced to what life was like on the Texas coast in the 19th-century.
This beautiful home boasts gas lighting, central heating, and indoor plumbing, several luxuries that were not heard of in this area during the time it was built!
Of course, there are also several museums, shopping, and great restaurants in the Rockport area. All of the things you will need after a relaxing day on the beach!
Nacogdoches-Texas Small Town Full of Charm
Located in East Texas, Nacogdoches makes for a great day trip from Dallas for us, but truly, it is better for a weekend getaway.
Nacogdoches has such great attractions, you are sure to stay busy and have a great time. Not only that, but Nacogdoches has tons of history as it is the oldest town in Texas!
Visit the red brick street of the downtown area to get your fill on shopping, especially antiques. After you have shopped until your heart is content, visit one of the many restaurants in the area to grab some lunch before heading out to explore Nacogdoces’ historical sites.
History buffs will love Nacogdoches as it is brimming with history. Take time to explore Millard’s Crossing Historic Village, the Durst-Taylor House and Gardens, and Caddo Mounds while you are visiting.
Marfa-A Small Desert Town
Located in the desert land of west Texas, Marfa is definitely a little Texas gem. Honestly, if you were just driving through the area, you might totally miss Marfa. That’s why we are telling you about it. It is too cool of a little town to miss!
Ask anyone in Texas about Marfa, and they will probably tell you about the Marfa lights. You might be wondering what this is. LOL!
Well, let me tell you. The Marfa Lights are glowing orbs that appear in the desert area outside of Marfa, Texas. They have been described as floating orbs of light by many people who have spotted them.
The Marfa Lights were first seen in 1883, and have been attracting visitors to the area ever since.
There is a viewing platform just outside of town. Maybe you will get lucky and see the famous Marfa Lights during your visit!
There is more to Marfa than just the Marfa Lights. Be sure and visit the Ballroom Marfa to see some world-class art on display.
Art lovers will also love the Chinati Foundation, a unique art museum founded by Donal Judd, and the Ayn Foundation that focuses on large scale products showcasing major artists from around the world.
Who would have thought this small little town in Texas would be so cultured? Texas is full of surprises!
Of course, you will want to do some shopping while you are in the area as well. Marfa is full of fabulous eclectic stores house wonderful hand-made and artisan products.
One of Marfa’s most popular attractions is the Prada store, although it is not technically in Marfa. The Prada Marfa is about minutes northwest of town.
Terlingua-A True Texas “Ghost Town”
Located near the border of Texas, the Rio Grande River, Terlingua is probably the town you will be staying in if you are visiting Big Bend National Park.
The tiny town of Terlingua used to be a prosperous mining town until the city was abandoned when the mining went under. For a while, Terlingua sat completely abandoned, but it has seen a resurgence in recent years so I don’t think it is officially a “ghost town” any longer.
Despite that, Terlingua is definitely a fun little Texas town that is worth your time if you are in this area.
Most people come to Terlingua to explore the abandoned building and homes that the former mining residents once called home. Just be aware that there are snakes in this area, so explore with caution.
We love the random pieces of art that are sprinkled all over Terlingua like a giant pirate ship in the desert. HHHMMM???!!!
Take time to explore the goods inside the Terlingua Trading Company before grabbing a meal at the Starlight Theatre. Trust us on the meal. You can thank us later!
Final Thoughts on Small Towns in Texas We Love
Of course, we have only scratched the surface of small towns in Texas. We hope we have given you some inspiration to go out and explore some of these small Texas towns.
As we are continuing to explore the great state of Texas, we will be adding to and adjusting this list. Please feel free to drop us a line below for your vote on the best small towns in Texas. We would love to explore them if we haven’t yet.
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About the Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. While she is a professional educator by day, her passion for travel has her jet-setting all over the world during her free time.
Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blog, That Texas Couple. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.