These Are 5 Hidden Gem Destinations In Texas According To Locals

These Are 5 Hidden Gem Destinations In Texas According To Locals

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Austin has hogged the Texas tourism highlight for too lengthy. 

Residence to well-known music festivals like SXSW and ACl, Austin has lengthy loved a repute as Texas’ stylish, quirky capital and prime vacationer vacation spot. Sadly, crime charges are skyrocketing virtually as rapidly as costs, whereas an inflow of tech staff from California alter the social material and soul of town.

So the place ought to vacationers go as a substitute?

From saloon-spotted ghost cities to the rolling hills of Texas wine nation, there are numerous off-path locations to headline a terrific Texas journey.

Listed here are 5 hidden gem locations in Texas, based on locals:

Barton Creek Austin Texas


We’ve all heard of “Maintain Austin Bizarre.” However it’s about time for the Lone Star capital to make room for the subsequent massive factor in critically quirky Texas cities: Denton.

Denton’s idyllic downtown sq. manages to embody old-school Texas allure and embrace the recent artistic vitality of its two college campuses. 

For a style of the standard, cool off with some retro ice cream from Beth Marie’s on the steps of Denon’s Nineteenth-century courthouse earlier than getting into its museum. If the time is correct, you possibly can be part of pleasant locals on their month-to-month wine walks round city. 

When the outdated Denton spell has sucked you in too deep to depart, keep a number of nights within the Brownlow Home, a 1912 historic landmark Victorian residence transformed to a mattress and breakfast.

denton texas historic courthouse

Most issues in Denton don’t match neatly into an “outdated” or “new” field. 

Ghost-hunting retirees and curious faculty children cross paths on the legendary Previous Alton Bridge. On the intersection between down-home and on-trend sits Paschall Bar, a stylish speakeasy with darkish picket bookcases and time-honored traditional cocktails that attracts a critically eclectic crowd. 

For a younger itinerary, get pleasure from a specialty espresso at Jupiter Espresso Home, browse the books & data retailer on the nook of Locust Road, and check out the native vegan favourite Spiral Diner. When the solar goes down, hang around at Eastside or Harvest Home for craft beer and meals vans, or go bar hopping on Fry Road. 

Guests don’t even should go so far as the Denton Wall of Artwork and Union Artwork Gallery to get pleasure from this city’s inventive soul (though you undoubtedly ought to). A easy stroll across the historic heart gives sufficient street art to present vacationers a real sense of Denton’s distinctive character.

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denton texas old converted theater


Who doesn’t love a cool ghost city? 

Terlingua, Texas sits only a stone’s throw from each the Mexican border and Huge Bend Nationwide Park. Typically ignored in favor of its extra Instagrammable neighbor, Marfa, this historic Lone Star city is the definition of a hidden gem. 

Terlingua acquired its begin as a mining city within the early 1900s, however was left within the mud when its residents packed up for greener pastures.

In the present day, this ghost city is getting a second wind from artistic small companies. Some, just like the funky Starlight Theater saloon and Vacation Lodge, have been round for many years; whereas others, like Basecamp Terlingua glamping, are a part of a newer (dare we are saying hipster?) wave of vacationers. 

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terlingua texas old starlight theater

Guests can get pleasure from mountaineering Santa Elena canyon, kayaking the Rio Grande, soaking in sizzling springs, and stargazing in a few of the lowest gentle air pollution within the nation.

For adventurous vacationers prepared to get a bit off-path, a budget-friendly double-destination mission is in retailer – so pack your passport. The Mexican city of Boquillas awaits you simply throughout the river, with just a little assist from the on-site U.S. Park Ranger and pleasant Boquillan guides rocking “Your Experience To The Different Aspect” t-shirts and tiny rowboats.

After filling up on margaritas, stacked enchiladas, and the wonders of Space Pure Protegida Maderas del Carmen state park, you possibly can take that 30-second “ferry” proper again over to Terlingua to proceed your Lone Star journey. 

terlingua texas ghost town sign


Pronounced “inexperienced”, the historic district of Gruene is a real hidden gem with a number of extra methods up its sleeve than simply its spelling. 

This storied city is technically a part of town of New Braunfels, an 1840s German cotton farming settlement that’s finest recognized at present for its Schlitterbahn waterpark. 

Guests in Gruene ought to discover:

  • Gruene Corridor – The oldest dance corridor in Texas, in-built 1878 and frequented by stars like Willie Nelson.
  • Gruene Espresso Haus – The center and soul of social life on the town, plus some darn good espresso.
  • The Birdhouse Fancy Rooster & Positive Wine – What extra may you ask for?
  • Tubing – Seize a pal, a beverage, and an interior tube. Now you’re able to float down the Comal and Guadalupe rivers, affectionately recognized by locals as “the Hill Nation Coast.”
  • Gruene Vintage Firm – With 1000’s of things in 6,500 sq. ft, that is extra of a museum of central Texas life than a typical vintage store. 
tubing on the guadalupe river west texas


Fredericksburg shares its German roots with Gruene, however stands out for its distinctive repute as Texas’s wine nation. With greater than 100 vineyards within the space, you possibly can’t go flawed with any of Fredricksburg’s wine tastings.   

Timing a visit to Fredericksburg on the primary Friday of the month means a particular after-hours expertise within the artwork galleries alongside Fundamental Road. 

Guests can even discover the Enchanted Rock State Pure Space just some minutes from city. This pink granite monument will get its title from the Nineteenth-century legends of the Tonkawa, Apache and Comanche tribes, who believed it was imbued with mystical powers. 

enchanted rock texas


To an outsider, West doesn’t appear to be a lot. With solely about 3,000 residents and no main vacationer points of interest to talk of, why would guests exit of their solution to see it?

However ask any born-and-raised Texan in regards to the city of West, and also you’ll certainly hear the rationale – kolaches.

Within the Eighteen Eighties, a wave of Czech immigrants settled on this tiny pocket of north-central Texas, and introduced with them the scrumptious buttery goodness of recipes from the outdated land. Within the Nineteen Sixties, Interstate 35 put West on the map as a freeway cease, and Lone Star vacationers first acquired a style of Czech gold. 

In the present day, The Czech Stop is genuinely a Texas establishment. Vacationers from all walks of life meet on the freeway intersection connecting Dallas, Waco, Austin, and San Antonio for a beloved one-of-a-kind snack. The bakery gives all types of Jap European impressed treats, together with its notorious kolaches. 


Tailored from the Czech koláč, a puffy dough pastry historically made with fruit jam or poppy seeds, at present’s hottest kolaches are cream cheese flavored. Since native Texas tastes lean closely on the carnivorous facet, jalapeńo sausage klobasnek and “sizzling chubby” sausage and cheese rolls are crowd favorites. 

The town of West has additionally been acknowledged because the “Czech Heritage Capital of Texas,” and hosts an annual Westfest celebrating Czech tradition and traditions. Guests can study extra on the Historical past of West Museum.

For spending the night time or taking a multi-day journey, it’s finest to make it an prolonged cease on an epic street journey or mix it with a visit to close by Waco. This college city is residence to distinctive historic inns, trendy motels, quirky espresso retailers, and loads of southern consolation meals. 

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