Main streets and town squares are becoming less and less prevalent throughout the country, being replaced with identical corporate downtowns that lack character. But the residents of Texas simply won’t stand for that. Our state created the
Texas Main Street Cities program that strives to preserve and restore historic downtown districts. We just have too rich of a history to let go to waste, and you’ll get a glimpse of that in this article. Here are 15 adorable little Texas towns with main streets that will warm your heart and take you back to simpler times.
Of course, the quaint little town of Fredericksburg had to make the list. There's a reason why it's become such a popular tourist destination over the years - its town square is just adorable. With authentic German antique shops and restaurants (plus the gorgeous surroundings), this is a main street you definitely don't want to pass up.
Another German town, Gruene is bursting at the seams with history you can practically feel in the air as you stroll through downtown. You'll find cute antique shops and breweries, an old fashioned general store, and the country's oldest dance hall (so you can brush up on your Texas two-step, of course).
It's almost a blessing that Llano's iron boom in the 1800s fell through, because the lack of industrialization left behind a slow-paced, rural city surrounded by beautiful spring-fed waters. Its downtown has beautiful architecture to marvel at, namely the courthouse, which is part of the Texas Courthouse Preservation program, and the old Lantex Theater which is still in operation today.
Calvert is an old cotton town with an extremely extensive Historic District encompassing thirty blocks that I highly recommend checking out. The 19th-century Victorian architecture can be seen in the downtown buildings and grandiose old homes that are available for tours. While you're there, you have to stop by CocoaModa and try some delicious homemade chocolate. All-in-all, Calvert has a distinct, old-timey air about it that sets it apart and guarantees every visit will be worthwhile.
Bandera is a small and quaint river town - it's also the self-proclaimed cowboy capital of the world, thanks to its history as a cattle drive thoroughfare. The town has plenty of historic buildings, some made of limestone mined from nearby areas. After you're done exploring and taking in the history during the day, hit up the 11th street cowboy bar for some drinks and two-steppin', because it ain't cowboy country without a little of both.
Granbury is one of those towns that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I mean, look how adorable its town square is. Plus, it's one of the most well known towns in the state for historic preservation - in fact, it was the first place on the National Register of Historic Places in Texas. From boutiques to restaurants, antique shops to tearooms, Granbury just has that old southern charm that will take you back to better days.
Waxahachie harbors so much history, it's almost unreal. From century old shops, restaurants, libraries, and theaters to the nine-story clock tower of the famous, Romanesque Ellis County Courthouse, this town is just like reading a history textbook - only a lot more interesting. It's filled with beautifully designed Victorian homes and boasts the title of "Movie Capital of Texas" because over 30 Hollywood movies were filmed here.
Hico is a charming little town that reflects the true spirit of Texas. Its main street is Wild-West themed, with a real saloon where you can enjoy a Dr Pepper float, and antique and craft shops galore where you can browse at cowboy art as you listen to the country western music playing inside. You can't leave without stopping into Koffee Kup Cafe for a slice of legendary pie, either. It would be a crime.
You're walking on hallowed ground in Canadian - it was once home to Native Americans, Buffalo Soliders, Texas Rangers, and cattlemen. Carry this honor with you as you explore downtown, from the famous Palace Theater and Renaissance-esque courthouse to museums featuring prehistoric archaeology and Red River War artifacts.
I can't think of a better word to describe Alpine than adorable. In fact, I wrote an entire article about it a few months ago because it's just that charming. I can't think of one town that captures the true essence of West Texas quite like it. Its downtown has plenty to keep you entertained, from antique shops to art galleries, good eats to a nationally known brewery, and the historic Holland Hotel. It's a little oasis in the middle of the arid, dusty desert, and a nice place to go when you need some laid back, small town energy to rejuvenate you.
Have you ever strolled the main streets of any of these towns? What other towns have quaint, historic downtowns that are worth a mention? Share with us in the comments!
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