Life can get pretty overwhelming sometimes, and personally, I spend almost all my free time reconnecting with nature so I can clear my mind and rejuvenate my soul. Everyone needs to escape reality from time to time, so I’ve created this little list of secret spots in nature where you can forget the real world for a while and immerse yourself in pure tranquility. I hope you enjoy!
1) Walnut Springs Park (Seguin)
This tranquil park makes the perfect afternoon getaway from the hectic concrete jungle. You'll find walking and jogging trails along the banks of Walnut Branch, a small tributary of the Guadalupe River. Plenty of greenery and beautiful gardens await you at the park, as well.
2) Boca Chica Beach (Brownsville)
This undeveloped beach near the Mexico border in Brownsville doesn't see very many visitors, simply because many people don't even know it exists. You can find peace and solitude among the white sandy beach and blue waters at the end of Highway 4, where you'll feel like you have just landed on a deserted island in the tropics.
3) Claiborne West Park (Vidor)
I've mentioned this park before in a previous article, but I think it deserves a spot on this list as well. You can find several hiking trails here deep within the forest, and the tranquil bayou lined with cypress trees just adds to the peacefulness of this Southeast Texas treasure.
4) Blue Hole at Riding River Ranch (Leakey)
Only overnight guests at the ranch can gain access to this private oasis, but a swim in this gorgeous watering hole surrounded by canyons will make a trip here well worth it.
5) Waterfall near Agua Adentro Mountain in Big Bend Ranch State Park (Presidio)
I mean, what could be more relaxing than a waterfall with a backdrop of mountains?
6) Marufo Vega Trail at Big Bend National Park
This trail offers a strenuous but rewarding hike through the desert, lending spectacular views of the Rio Grande winding through the mountains. While the route doesn't provide much shade and can get extremely hot in the summer, the secluded beauty here makes the hike worthwhile. Just remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen if you venture down this trail.
7) South Llano River State Park (Junction)
This is actually one of the least visited state parks in Texas, but that just means more nature and solitude for you to relish in. Tube or swim in the Llano River, traverse the hiking trails, or simply relax in the heart of the hill country.
8) Terry Hershey Park (Houston)
You wouldn't think this park existed in the heart of Houston, but thankfully, you can escape the city while not having to travel too far. Lush meadows, miles of hiking and biking trails, and even direct access to Buffalo Bayou for paddling make this park a true hidden gem of Houston.
9) Levy Park (Houston)
This is a dog park in Houston, but it makes for a peaceful getaway for humans, too. It has a nice little area with manicured botanical gardens, pictured here.
10) Dragon Park (Dallas)
This whimsical garden feels like a fairytale with statues of angels, fairies, gargoyles, dragons, and lions.
Looks like heaven from my point of view!
11) Lakeside Park (Dallas)
Another great place to unwind located within a Dallas neighborhood. Apparently, there are life size teddy bears that are around 8 feet tall, which might make a nice photo op with the kids.
12) Secret Beach at Roy G Guerrero Colorado River Park (Austin)
I'm not sure how secret this location really is, but I wanted to include it because it still offers solitude from the chaos of the city, plus you can take a dip in the Colorado River or just spend time relaxing on the beach. A beach in the heart of Austin is certainly a welcome sight.
Where do you like to go to escape the real world and unwind from your work day? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!