Dallas-Fort Worth may be the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States with a population exceeding 7 million people, but that doesn’t mean it can’t co-exist with its smaller neighbors. The Metroplex proper includes more than 140 small towns and dozens of mid-size cities that share the 9,286 square miles across 13 counties. Countless more tiny towns dot the roads throughout the broader North Texas region. Each has its own unique charms and a strong sense of community, along with some truly outstanding restaurants and shopping. Here are
15 small towns around Dallas-Fort Worth to visit when you want to escape the big city life and enjoy an environment where life is still simple and traffic snarls are non-existent.
With a population of around 1,343, the town's motto is "Where Everybody is Somebody!"
(pronounced High-co) maintains that outlaw Billy the Kid lived out his last years of life here. They even have a museum. Check it out and decide for yourself.
Countless Texans travel through West daily, as Interstate 35 goes right through the town. It is conveniently located between DFW and destinations such as Austin and Houston. It's the epic kolaches that make people stop and visit West and its population of under 3,000.
The Czech Stop in West draws lines of people daily who wait sometimes for hours to take home (or eat on the spot) legendary kolaches from the all-in-one deli/bakery and convenience store.
embodies a hometown feel and is known across the state for its bluebonnet fields and beautiful countryside. Ennis loves festivals and hosts the National Polka Festival every Memorial Day weekend. Its population is around 18,000. It's one of the loveliest small towns near Dallas.
4. Pilot Point
With a population of just over 4,000,
claims movie star fame. This former bank (now an antique store) was used in the 1967 movie
Bonnie & Clyde.
The area is best known, however, for the gentle rolling hills, nearby state parks, and Lake Ray Roberts.
today is a modern-day ghost town with less than 48 residents, over 10,000 folks once called this town home. Between 1888 and 1921 this town located about 70 miles west of Fort Worth was one of the largest producers of coal in Texas. Abandoned coal miner homes and turn-of-the-century smokestacks still stand. This photo is of the historic St. Barbara's Catholic Church.
6. Glen Rose
Glen Rose has a population of about 2,500, and while the drive through the city and its stone-structure courthouse and town square are impressive, the mention of "dinosaurs" has made them a favorite spot with tourists. Dinosaur Valley State Park and Dinosaur World draw tourists to Glen Rose from all over the world here every year.
7. Walnut Springs
Walnut Springs has a population of about 823, but its small size doesn't equate to any shortage of
Walnut Springs, TX 76690, USA
An annual highlight in town is the Rattlesnake Roundup and Snake Dance.
is a perfect day-trip getaway from DFW. With a population of around 8,000, it features a town square, outstanding shopping, festivals, and special events almost every weekend. Lake Granbury beckons guests with its great fishing and boating.
9. Van Alstyne
Fall der All is just one of the festivals that bring out the town in Van Alstyne. It is located about 45 miles north of
and has a population of about 3,000 and growing.
Justin has a population of about 3,246, and locals hope to keep it that way. However, with its close proximity to Texas Motor Speedway, growth is inevitable.
While the Justin Boots' headquarters is actually in Fort Worth, there is a large outlet store here. While people think that the town is named after the bootmaker, it’s really just a coincidence that Justin is home to many stores that feature Western wear.
Iredell (pronounced "Ire-dell") may be small in size but it's big on heart. It has a current population of about 339. Fishing on the Bosque River, hunting, and all things outdoors are popular with residents. Many businesses are closed on the formerly busy
but locals are hopeful about future growth.
12. Little Elm
Located on the shores of Lake Lewisville, the town of
features the largest beach area in North Texas. The town has experienced exponential growth because its location is only 35 miles outside of downtown Dallas. The 2000 census had the population at 3,646. It is now over 25,000.
is a happening city with a robust historic downtown area. The 30-block area has been officially designated a Texas Main Street City by the Texas Historical Society.
Denison also just happens to be the birthplace of our nation's 34th president, Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower. Its population has grown to about 22,000.
is perhaps best known for its beautiful historic buildings and a breathtaking gothic-style courthouse.
The town also has a claim to fame as the self-described "crepe myrtle capital" and pays homage to the blooming tree there with a large festival every summer. It also hosts the annual Scarborough Faire. About 30,000 residents call Waxahachie (pronounced "walks-uh-hatchie") home.
Weatherford may have passed the
status, but its quaint charm and small-town roots make it the perfect day trip. Weatherford locals are known for going all out for the holidays and welcoming visitors like they are kin. Weatherford's current population is about 25,250.
If you were to do a search for “small towns near me,” one of these small towns around Dallas would most certainly pop up at the top of the list!
Which of these best small towns in North Texas have you visited? What other ones should be added to this list for their history or charm?
If you really like petite communities, be sure to read
These 10 Perfectly Picturesque Small Towns In Texas Are Delightful.
Avid hikers really like to explore trails around these small towns. You can get more information about them by going to the
For those still in the mood for more Lone Star State adventures, take a look at this video:
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More to Explore
More Lone Star State Adventures
Where can we find botanical gardens in Texas?
The Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin features 31 beautiful of plant life and also offers educational programs.
The Fort Worth Botanic Garden encompasses 110 acres of verdant tress, shrubbery, and plant life.
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden overlooks White Rock Lake and spans some 86 acres.
Read on to learn more about some of the many other beautiful
botanical gardens in Texas.
Where can we find the best fishing spots in Texas?
Lake Livingston – Located in East Texas, there is a notable white bass and catfish fishery here. The lake is also one of the lakes in the state of Texas.
Lake Sam Rayburn – Located upstream of the Big Thicket National Preserve, this fisherman's paradise is teeming with largemouth bass, white bass, crappie, and catfish fish.
Rollover Pass – Located at the Bolivar Peninsula, this man-made strait connecting the Gulf of Mexico with East Bay, draws folks from all over the world for some of the best fishing imaginable.
Read on to learn more about some of the many other great
fishing spots in Texas.
Where can we enjoy animal adventures in Texas?
The Exotic Resort Zoo in Johnson City has over 600 animals from all over the world, including camels, kangaroos, and zebras.
The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in New Braunfels is a drive-through ranch with giraffes, zebras, and a host of endangered species from around the world.
The Janda Exotics Animal Ranch located in Kingsbury is a family-owned and operated private zoo and breeding facility with exotic animals like ostriches, kangaroos, and coatimundi.
Read on to learn more about some of the many other wonderful
animal adventures in Texas.