With how huge Texas is, it’s no wonder that we could write 3 articles about its lesser-known wonders – and even then not covering every elusive treasure our state has to offer. Here are 10 more hidden gems in Texas that will leave you astounded at the sheer amount of beauty in the place we call home.
1. Willow City Loop (Fredericksburg)
Everyone knows Texas is full of wildflowers, but the sheer amount we have is unbelievable and can't be fully understood from seeing any old patch of bluebonnets. Take Highway 16 to FM 1323 to Willow City and experience the beauty for yourself.
2. Krause Springs (Spicewood)
Yeah, yeah, Hamilton Pool is beautiful. Yawn. That may be very true, but what about places that are less well-known and not absolutely slammed with people during the summer? Krause Springs, roughly 30 miles West of Austin, is another gorgeous place with not just one, but a system of swimming holes to enjoy. Definitely something to add to your summer 2016 to-do list.
3. Medina River (near Bandera)
You'll be instantly swept away into serenity the moment you step into this river lined with beautiful bald cypress trees. Without the crowds that flock to the Guadalupe and Comal rivers, you can enjoy a solitary afternoon with just a kayak and the sound of gently flowing water.
4. Gorman Falls (Colorado Bend State Park)
You might think you've stepped into the world of Tarzan when you visit this hidden gem. Waterfalls over 60-feet tall cascade down limestone rock and creating a natural wonder that nobody would ever expect to find in Texas.
5. Tonkawa Falls (Crawford)
If you're looking for a place to get in a nice float without feeling like a sardine, take a trip to Tonkawa Falls. How surprised would you be if you just stumbled upon this oasis nestled away in the middle of nowhere?
6. Bracken Bat Cave (San Antonio)
That's right - there's another bat spectacle in Texas besides Congress Ave - and this is even bigger. I bet most people don't know that the largest bat colony in the world lives in Texas - well, at least until they migrate for winter. Still, it's a sight that can't be missed out on, that's for sure.
7. Seminole Canyon State Park (Comstock)
We all know about the stunning Palo Duro Canyon, but there's another canyon in Texas that is highly underrated. Most travelers come here to view the 4,000 year old Native American rock art - pictographs depicting shamans and animals can be found covering the walls. The over 2,000 acre park offers more than 10 miles of trails with breathtaking views. I think it's time to plan a trip.
8. Fredericksburg Herb Farm (Fredericksburg)
If you like gardening, this hidden gem is definitely the place for you. It's more like a garden resort with comfy cottages, a 5,000 square foot spa where natural healing techniques are implemented, a fine restaurant where chefs use herbs grown on-site to create fantastic flavor combinations, and a gift shop with handmade items also using herbs from the property. This is a relaxing weekend destination if I've ever seen one.
9. Caprock Canyons (Quitaque)
You don't have to trek all the way out to Utah or Arizona to catch a glimpse of the legendary red rock of the West. You can see it right here in Texas, about 100 miles northeast of Lubbock. More than 28 miles of trails with marvelous views await you, as well as fishing and camping. Look out for bison while you're there, too! The last remnants of the historic southern plains bison herd live here.
10. Copper Breaks State Park (Quanah)
A beautiful, picturesque landscape can be found at this remote state park. Located about half an hour from the Oklahoma border, this classic Old West state park is most famed for its impeccably clear night skies where seemingly every star is visible. There are also 10 miles of trails, lakes, and some interesting Native American history that make the secluded park worth a visit.
Texas never ceases to amaze me. Have you visited any of these places? Did I miss any of your favorite hidden gems? Let me know in the comments!