Texas January 02, 2017
Everyone Should Explore These 10 Stunning Places In Texas At Least Once
New year, new adventures. Nature is one of our greatest teachers – not only does it help us learn more about the world we live in, but it also makes us realize important things about ourselves that we didn’t know before. So, in 2017, let’s vow to improve ourselves and our environmental awareness by getting out and exploring more of our beautiful state. These 10 breathtaking destinations are a great starting point.
1. Cattail Falls (Big Bend)
Not many people know about this secret waterfall hidden in the majestic, towering Chisos Mountains, but that needs to change this year. It's over 80 feet tall, and the surrounding rock creates a grotto-like enclosure akin to oases in tropical paradises like Hawaii. You'll definitely feel like you aren't in Texas anymore.
2. Medina River (Bandera)
This stretch of the Medina River in the "Cowboy Capitol of the World" is particularly beautiful, especially in the fall. The trees, with their vibrant red and orange leaves, form a canopy over the water and create a tranquil atmosphere perfect for a relaxing day with the family or a solo float to reflect on life.
3. Gorman Falls (Bend)
We mention Gorman Falls quite a bit, but only because it's completely deserving of all the hype. Reminiscent of a scene from Tarzan, the lush greenery fed by the 70 foot tall stream of rushing water gives the area a sense of magic - as if it's immune to the elements and will forever remain bountiful.
4. Enchanted Rock (Fredericksburg)
You can't call yourself a true Texan until you've hiked this big pink blob in the Hill Country. It towers above everything else around it and has a rich history involving Native Americans. Some people have even reported finding writing on the walls from ancient tribes. How neat is that?
5. Westcave Preserve (Round Mountain)
Yet another flourishing grotto, Westcave Preserve is tucked away in a 75-acre park in Central Texas. Its beauty will absolutely take your breath away.
6. Caddo Lake (Uncertain)
Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in Texas, so if that isn't reason enough to plan a trip there this year, I don't know what is. Spend a relaxing day kayaking through the hauntingly beautiful willow trees, and pass an abandoned speakeasy from the days of Prohibition. It might be a tad bit eerie, but that only adds to the fun.
7. Santa Elena Canyon (Big Bend)
Surprisingly, many people have never heard of Santa Elena Canyon even though it's almost impossible to miss. Two towering rock walls are split down the middle by the Rio Grande River, and there's a little beach at its mouth where you can swim, kayak, or just lay out and admire the majestic beauty in front of you. Not something you'd expect in a desert, is it?
8. Willow City Loop (Fredericksburg)
Spring will be here before we know it, and in Texas, that means one thing - wildflower season. The side of the highway becomes a stopping place to take family pictures amidst the eye-popping flowers, and Sunday drives into the country get a lot more frequent. Willow City Loop near Fredericksburg has one of the highest concentrations of bluebonnets in the state, making it a can't-miss attraction.
9. Caverns of Sonora (Sonora)
The beauty of Texas isn't limited to above ground - it extends far below the surface. The Caverns of Sonora have been rated one of the most beautiful cave systems in the entire world. Stalactites, stalagmites, and shiny gemstones adorn the cave walls and make every tour an awe-inspiring adventure.
10. Palo Duro Canyon (Canyon)
Obviously this list wouldn't be complete without the second largest canyon in the U.S. Surpassed only by the grandeur of the Grand Canyon itself, this vast expanse of red rock doesn't look like it belongs anywhere near Texas. You can even stay in a cabin at the very top and look out at seemingly the entire world around you.
How many of these places have you already visited? Which one would you most like to plan a trip to? For more gorgeous nature spots in Texas that you probably have no idea exist, check out
20 Hidden Gems In Texas Most People Don’t Know Even Exist – Part 2.