I know I write about small towns a lot, but it’s hard not to when there are so many in our state that deserve to have their presence known. When you think Texas, you think town squares, charming diners, and enough Southern hospitality to go around the world and back. These 11 towns are exactly that, and you’d be doing yourself a huge disservice if you didn’t visit them at some point in your life.
Granbury is such a historic little town. Its famous opera house (that puts on spectacular shows, I might add) was established shortly after the Texas Revolution, and legend has it that outlaw Jesse James is buried somewhere in the town. Stroll through Granbury Square and explore the boutiques, home decor shops, and eateries. If you're an outdoorsy person, the town even has a lake with a beach and an extensive trail system. Granbury was voted one of the top 10 destinations in the country by USA Today, and it's a gem that's definitely worth visiting.
With a population of just over 3,000 according to the 2010 census, Poteet is about as rural as it gets - but that didn't stop it from producing one of country music's most well-known stars, George Strait. The entire community comes together once a year in April for the annual Poteet Strawberry Festival, a time to celebrate friends, family, fun, and of course, delicious homegrown strawberries. Vendors sell everything from strawberry shortcake to chocolate-covered strawberries, and you can guarantee they were picked mere hours before being served to you. There's something so heart warming about seeing small-town folk come together and enjoy some good, wholesome fun.
If you ever want a mouthwatering slice of pie, a steaming mug of good joe, and some lighthearted conversation with the locals, Hico is the place for you. The Koffee Kup is the main gathering spot of the town, mainly because it's been around for so long that most residents grew up with it as a static, never-changing force in their lives. Hico's motto is, "Where Everybody is Somebody!" which is more than true in a town of less than 1,500 people. Aside from Koffee Kup, you can participate in the numerous outdoor attractions or pay a visit to the Billy the Kid museum, but let's be honest, I'm just in it for the pie.
This oasis in the middle of the West Texas desert is easily one of my favorite towns in Texas. It's full of things to do, including a historic town square, an old-fashioned ice cream shop, boutiques, delicious restaurants, and even a brewery. Plus, the scenery on your drive there is absolutely breathtaking. You'll definitely have a hard time believing you're still in Texas.
Waxahachie is such a unique little town (I think its name is evidence enough). Between the Scarborough Faire, the exact replica of the Munster Mansion, the art galleries, and more, it's almost impossible not to be intrigued by this town. It also has that undeniable Texas small-town charm, so I highly recommend checking it out sometime.
This little town may be small, but from it a company that changed beer as we know it was born: Shiner, the preferred beer of most Texans.
7. Glen Rose
Glen Rose should be pretty close to the top of your small-town bucket list. Not only are there life-sized dinosaur statues AND fossilized footprints of the ancient beasts, but there are also tons of other outdoor activities like kayaking and biking. Oh, and some of the best pie that will ever pass your lips at the Pie Peddler.
8. Round Top
I've gone my entire life without knowing about this adorable Southern town, and what a crying shame that is. It moves at its own pace and doesn't feel the need to change with the times, which is exactly the kind of town us Texans appreciate. It has an antique show, legendary pie at Royers, and a spectacular arts scene that puts on a slew of Shakespeare performances every summer. And visiting this quaint little general store is obligatory, of course.
There are few places more stereotypically Texan than Bandera - after all, it's the self-proclaimed 'Cowboy Capital of the World.' It has numerous ranches, a general store, a cowboy store (whatever that is), and even a restaurant with saddles instead of bar stools. So put on your hat and boots and two-step on down to Bandera, y'all.
I'd be ashamed of myself if I didn't mention the town with two of Texas' most iconic barbecue restaurants: Black's and Kreuz Market. Lockhart is also home to the most photographed courthouse in the state, but you'll be too full to get up from your chair at the restaurant, let alone walk around and admire architecture.
With a name like Comfort, you know the town has to be charming, and charming it is. It's best known for antique shopping, bed and breakfasts, and a winery. Comfort also puts on a spectacular Christmas celebration, so now's the time to start planning a trip!
Have you been to any of these towns? What’s your favorite charming rural town in Texas?
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