Some places in Texas just don’t get enough recognition. We know all there is to know about the Palo Duro Canyon, Big Bend, and the most famous attractions in the hill country. But what about the smaller towns that are barely a blip on the map? Their size (or lack thereof) doesn’t take them out of the running for having attributes that merit a visit. Here are 12 of the most underrated cities in Texas that you definitely need to check out.
The self-proclaimed "Cowboy Capital of the World" definitely doesn't get enough recognition. Bandera was actually founded by Polish immigrants who erected one of the oldest churches in the state, the St. Stanislaus Catholic Church. If you want to be transported back in time to the Old West, this is the town for you. Plus, with views like those of Red Reflet Ranch, how could I not include this little gem?
Medina is home to this beautiful river. The Guadalupe and Comal seem to get all the attention, but this less-crowded float lined with a canopy of trees that sport rich, robust colors in the fall deserves some time in the spotlight, too. There's even a 10-foot waterfall upstream that amplifies the already existing peace and serenity of the river.
3. Port Aransas
If you thought Galveston was the closest thing to a real beach in Texas...think again. Although not heavy in the Texas charm, Port Aransas has an appeal of its own. (I mean, come on - just look at that picture!) Plus, it's full of interesting history. Pirates used to live here and sail the waters to rob passing ships. Who knows...maybe you'll find some buried treasure!
Home of the majestic Gorman Falls (that, admittedly, I probably mention far too much). But can you blame me? I was completely oblivious to the fact that we have our own personal Niagara Falls right here in Texas, and I'm sure most of our fellow residents are, too. I truly can't think of any kind of nature that Texas lacks, and that diversity will never cease to amaze me.
Canton is home to the largest flea market in the US! Every first Monday of the month, over 300,000 people attend the event. I think that deserves to be talked about, y'all.
For the amount of history contained in this little town of just over 2,000 people, it definitely doesn't get mentioned enough. You can almost feel the years and years of stories the buildings harbor - after all, the town was established in 1841. No wonder it's supposedly haunted! Are you brave enough to be a guest at the Excelsior House Hotel?
There's no questioning why Salado isn't heard about much - it has a population of just over 2,100. However, that doesn't mean it isn't a place worth visiting. The oldest hotel in the entire state of Texas, The Stagecoach Inn, is located here. There are plenty of other historic landmarks in Salado as well: the George Washington Baines House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Salado Creek, which was the first ever entry on the list of Texas Natural Landmarks. Plus, the Old West vibe is ever-present here, which is without a doubt the most enticing factor of the town.
Fredericksburg is such a cute little town that doesn't attract nearly enough attention. Its downtown is one of the most historic in Texas, and its residents have gone to great lengths to accommodate the public with countless adorable bed and breakfasts and microbreweries. Despite becoming a tourist destination, it still manages to retain that old Texas charm somehow. And you can't forget about the nature. Enchanted Rock is just up the road, and the famous Willow City Loop drive with the most expansive layout of bluebonnets your eyes will ever see is in the town itself.
Goliad is so rich with Texas history you can practically feel it. It was the site of a very bloody battle during the fight to win independence from Mexico, and the first Declaration of Independence for Texas was even signed there. For history buffs and everyone else alike, Goliad is a must-see town that's sure to evoke a sense of pride for our state deep within your heart.
Wimberley is just a quaint, peaceful little town. With an adorable town square made up of shops and restaurants that have a homey feel to them, it's definitely a town worth vacationing in. Plus, the famous Jacob's Well is located here, so the adventurer in you can come out to play as you cliff-dive into the terrifying (yet beautiful) black abyss beneath you.
11. Fort Davis
With the McDonald Observatory, where you can see a breathtaking view of the stars with no interference from city lights, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Gardens, and the majestic Davis Mountains surrounding you, there's no questioning why the 1,000-resident town of Fort Davis deserves more recognition across Texas.
Another adorable town. Waxahachie has a cute little town square and that unmistakable Texas charm that can only be found in the smallest of places. And, if you liked the Munsters growing up, a couple here built their home as an exact replica of the family's house in the show. It's worth a visit, that's for sure.
Have you ever visited any of these towns? What was your favorite thing about the ones you’ve been to? What other places in Texas are totally underrated? Share with us in the comments!