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Can anyone recommend some small Texas towns that would be nice to visit? Somewhere like Fredricksburg, but not as crowded. Distance does not matter. Thanks.

One of my now-rarely-practiced hobbies is to drive around randomly throughout the state. I sincerely believe that that is the best way to discover such towns. Aside from places like Fredericksburg, Kerrville, Wimberley, and Brenham, I also like La Grange, Mason, Columbus, and Lockhart.

But different people have different tastes. I strongly suggest the random wandering approach. Getting there is more than half the fun.

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Here is a great wandering drive that is full of places to visit, and if you are a historical marker nut like my family is, this is right up your alley.

Yake 290 out of Houston to Brenham (home of Blue Bell Ice cream) after you pass through Brehnam you will come to Burton, just past Burton you will come up on the 237 Round Top exit, stay in your left lane because it exits left. Take the lovely drive down through Round Top. Lots of sights to see, nice places to eat, bed and breakfast houses everywhere, what ever. 237 turns into 159 between Odenburg and Rutersville, continue on down to La Grange. Lots to do around there, Historical Markers every ten feet. Out of La Grange take 77 south, where if you have kids and they've never been to the mountains, you get a 1.5 mile winding climb up the southern Colorado Uplift (Fault). Take 77 south and you get to see Shulenburg and continue on to Halletsville. From there take 90-Alt. west towards Shiner, (love this area). Lots of antique and junk shops, great sausage houses, etc. Lovely drive through Shiner, (the brewery tour is cool too), on out to Seguin. From Seguin take 46 up to New Braunfels, you can't miss visting Gruene, Texas while you're there, Home of Gruene Hall (oldest dance hall in Texas) and lot's of cool stores and eatery's. the trails go every which way from there, any direction is good.

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Victoria is nice.

The missions around Goliad are great. You can actually stay at Presidio la Bahia, which is where the goliad masacre took place. I took 6 kids there several years back and we stayed two nights. You are litterly there all alone and have free run of the place. We will never for get it. I swear the place is haunted.

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Well, when the bluebonnets are a bloomin' you should take a drive up to Chappel Hill, which is up 290 towards Brenham. Starts getting hilly right around there and is a very scenic drive, only about 45 minutes away.

http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online...s/CC/hlc21.html

And, if you got kiddos, Natural Bridge Caverns near New Braunsfel is nice as well as Aquarena Springs in San Marcos.

http://www.texasescapes.com/FEATURES/Splas...ena_springs.htm

http://www.naturalbridgecaverns.com/

Edited by TJones
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The missions around Goliad are great. You can actually stay at Presidio la Bahia, which is where the goliad masacre took place. I took 6 kids there several years back and we stayed two nights. You are litterly there all alone and have free run of the place. We will never for get it. I swear the place is haunted.

You can stay at Presidio la Bahia? Really? You mean you can rent a room and stay a night or two? I had no idea that a national shrine could also be a "hotel". I would give anything to have that experience. Seriously. Who do I call to make a reservation?

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You can stay at Presidio la Bahia? Really? You mean you can rent a room and stay a night or two? I had no idea that a national shrine could also be a "hotel". I would give anything to have that experience. Seriously. Who do I call to make a reservation?

Wow. I was not aware of this. I'd be interested, myself.

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A day trip I would recommend would be to drive northeast to Big Thicket National Preserve. The visitors center there is brand new and very nice. They have a large theater that shows films and also lots of exhibits about the area. Then get a map and pick 1 or 2 trails to visit. The Pitcher Plant Trail has insect-eating plants to look at if you go the right time of year.

Then drive north to Woodville and have lunch at the Pickett House. The food is good, country cooking, and it's fun because it's served family style like you're in a boarding house.

Next door to the restaurant is an interesting outdoor museum called Heritage Village. It's a recreated small town, with a church, a hotel, a saloon, etc.. It doesn't take long to go through and it's low key, uncrowded, and inexpensive.

The Day Trips book sold in bookstores or at the library has lots of ideas...

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Gotta recommend Rockport and Port Aransas. Nice little seaside towns. Avoid the month of spring break, though.

Not sure if they're still having it or not, but you should make an effort to go to George West Storyfest in Live Oak County.

Edited by gonzo1976
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Del Rio? I've been through there, and it was a serious dive. What's there that I missed?

Lake Amistad! :)

Its so beautiful. We have a big hunting lease out there, and when we go in the Summer to stock up all the feeders/clear the brush/etc., we take our boat out on the lake. I just find it so pretty, and the water too. The landscape also has me. Perhaps thats just bias, but its too charming. Also, there is a creek that runs threw Del Rio (a little ways south of "Downtown"), and its clear water. Its nice to relax. The town sqaure is gorgous as well. (+The border is right there, and thats a whole 'nother story).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Come down to the Rio Grande Valley. Just take US 59 out of Houston all the way to US 77, this will take you down to the edge of Corpus Christi, and if you have time you can visit the USS Lexington, which I have stayed overnight. There is the Texas State Aquarium and countless seafood restaurants with fresh shrimp, fish, and oysters. Now get back on US 77 'til you see Texas 285 turn right. When you reach Falfurrias, turn left on US 281. If you would just follow this (but not too much or you'll end up in Mexico) you will arrive at my hometown McAllen. McAllen has in my opinion the best Mexican restaurants anywhere (well except for Mexico). During the last five years there was been a major boom in retail shops, banks, etc., so everything here is brand new and clean. If you take any major street south, you will meet US expressway 83, turn left. Along the Expressway is the rest of RGV, if you are a religious buff there is the San Juan Basilica, a very beautiful cathedral in San Juan, you are going to pass Weslaco, if you want to cross into a bordertown, Nuevo Progresso is what I recommend for tourists. If you make a right on Texas 100 this will take you to Port Isabel and South Padre Island (a crazy place to be for Spring Break!).

Edited by Rio Grande Valley
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  • 1 month later...
Come down to the Rio Grande Valley. Just take US 59 out of Houston all the way to US 77, this will take you down to the edge of Corpus Christi, and if you have time you can visit the USS Lexington, which I have stayed overnight. There is the Texas State Aquarium and countless seafood restaurants with fresh shrimp, fish, and oysters. Now get back on US 77 'til you see Texas 285 turn right. When you reach Falfurrias, turn left on US 281. If you would just follow this (but not too much or you'll end up in Mexico) you will arrive at my hometown McAllen. McAllen has in my opinion the best Mexican restaurants anywhere (well except for Mexico). During the last five years there was been a major boom in retail shops, banks, etc., so everything here is brand new and clean. If you take any major street south, you will meet US expressway 83, turn left. Along the Expressway is the rest of RGV, if you are a religious buff there is the San Juan Basilica, a very beautiful cathedral in San Juan, you are going to pass Weslaco, if you want to cross into a bordertown, Nuevo Progresso is what I recommend for tourists. If you make a right on Texas 100 this will take you to Port Isabel and South Padre Island (a crazy place to be for Spring Break!).

Becareful in McAllen, People with NL plates can't drive. Traffic is horrible near the mall. If you drive to POrt isable STAY withing the speedlimit...!

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  • 1 month later...
Gotta recommend Rockport and Port Aransas. Nice little seaside towns. Avoid the month of spring break, though.

Not sure if they're still having it or not, but you should make an effort to go to George West Storyfest in Live Oak County.

I agree!! Rockport is amazing. Very laid back and relaxing. Go to Big Jons Palapa Bar and Grill, sit outside on the deck overlooking the water and enjoy the live music!!! One of my favorite places!! They finally have a starbucks too!!

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Can anyone recommend some small Texas towns that would be nice to visit? Somewhere like Fredricksburg, but not as crowded. Distance does not matter. Thanks.

Fayetteville and all of Fayette county, Brenham, Wimberly, and if you want to go far west, Marfa and Fort Davis. Texas is full of small towns, it could keep you occupied a while.

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  • 7 months later...
A place I've discovered while rock climbing in West Texas, is Bandera.

I'll second that... Bandera has two stop lights in town. Great (relaxed) night life, and very friendly town. If you're up for an afternoon drive, head out through Boerne and enjoy the winding, hilly (is that a word??) roads. Hunt is a beautiful little town, Uvalde has breathtaking scenery, and Devil's Backbone is a must!

I just don't think you can ever go wrong with the Texas Hill Country.

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I'll second that... Bandera has two stop lights in town. Great (relaxed) night life, and very friendly town. If you're up for an afternoon drive, head out through Boerne and enjoy the winding, hilly (is that a word??) roads. Hunt is a beautiful little town, Uvalde has breathtaking scenery, and Devil's Backbone is a must!

I just don't think you can ever go wrong with the Texas Hill Country.

Out of Kerrville take 173 south until 16 veers off to the right just outside of town. That is one of the best drives in Texas, all the way to Medina, thats apple country. Stop at Orchard Creek store and have lunch. Then on to Bandera.

Navasota is nice, off Hwy 6 north of Hempstead. Then on to Waco for the Texas Ranger Museum. Up 6 from Waco is Clifton a Norwegien town and Hico where Brushy Bill lived, he claimed to be Billy the Kid. Stay on 6 to Dublin and the Dr. Pepper museum and bottleing plant. Have a Dublin Dr. Pepper made with real Imperial Cane sugar. You'll never drink the corn syrup stuff again. In DeLeon take 16 up through Desdemona to I20 and go east. In Thurbur you see a big smoke stack to your left. That is the Smoke Stack Restaurant, home of the best chicken fried steak on I20. Then 20 to 45 and home. In Corsicana you can go east about 15 min. on 31 to Powell to Bancroft Pecan Co., get a mini pecan pie and try it if you like it buy a full one to take home. There is also the Russell Stover candy factory. If you are still hungry Sams Restaruant in Fairfield has the best hamburger on I45. This can all be done in one day if you leave just before daybreak. You can tell I like to eat huh.

joe

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NO ONE MENTIONED MARFA, TX

Any of you been out there? West Texas is gorgeous. Lots to do in the surrounding area. You can go to Big Bend, Balmorea is close, go through Fort Davis and stop in at UT's McDonald observatory-3rd largest telescope in the worlrd, go to Presidio and stop in ghost town called Shafter (really cool cemetary) and go over the border to Mexico for the afternoon.

Marfa has the Chinati Foundation which is a really cool art installation that's on an old army base. Can't explain it, look it up. People from all over the world go there and are moving there. There are all kind of galleries and neat little restaurants in town.

The movie Giant with James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor was filmed in Marfa at the historic Paisano Hotel. There is nothing like that hotel, it's gorgeous.

It does take 10 hours to get there from Houston. It gets gorgeous around Kerrville. Or you can fly to Midland and rent a car and drive for 3 hours.

Edited by ArchitecturalPRGirl
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NO ONE MENTIONED MARFA, TX

Any of you been out there? West Texas is gorgeous. Lots to do in the surrounding area. You can go to Big Bend, Balmorea is close, go through Fort Davis and stop in at UT's McDonald observatory-3rd largest telescope in the worlrd, go to Presidio and stop in ghost town called Shafter (really cool cemetary) and go over the border to Mexico for the afternoon.

Marfa has the Chinati Foundation which is a really cool art installation that's on an old army base. Can't explain it, look it up. People from all over the world go there and are moving there. There are all kind of galleries and neat little restaurants in town.

The movie Giant with James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor was filmed in Marfa at the historic Paisano Hotel. There is nothing like that hotel, it's gorgeous.

It does take 10 hours to get there from Houston. It gets gorgeous around Kerrville. Or you can fly to Midland and rent a car and drive for 3 hours.

Don't forget the Marfa Lights, OOOOOOOH Scarrrrrry. Believe it or not some of the best shrimp in Texas can be gotten in Imperial Texas just north of Fort Stockton. Permian Sea shrimp are sweet and cultivated in pure water that has been traped under ground since West Texas was under the ocean.

joe

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Don't forget the Marfa Lights, OOOOOOOH Scarrrrrry. Believe it or not some of the best shrimp in Texas can be gotten in Imperial Texas just north of Fort Stockton. Permian Sea shrimp are sweet and cultivated in pure water that has been traped under ground since West Texas was under the ocean.

joe

Yes the shrimp are awesome! My mom moved there a couple of years ago so she discovered them. And the Lights, of course! I don't know about those.... lol

I love the idea of mountains meet desert. The weather is soooooo nice out there.

Edited by ArchitecturalPRGirl
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Guest Marty

Paducah Texas tsha link

I have not visited paducah in 10+ years but i used to go hunting with my family there alot you could really get away from the every day life and relax, i also remember that the sky would turn a eerie red at night from the red dirt when there was a severe storm in the area.

Edited by Marty
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Bastrop!

It's a great place to visit

AND

a great place to live!

and be sure to stop at ELGIN for the barbecue!

These two towns have that rare smalltown feel and atmosphere. A rarity in Tejas theses days!

BIG BEN is known to be a whole new world too! :D

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NO ONE MENTIONED MARFA, TX

Marfa is an interesting little town. I also really enjoy Alpine, which overall I think is a much more attractive town, and more scenic. But Marfa is still nice, and it's only a 30 minute drive between the two.

Work has me going to Alpine four or five times this year. I was just down there again this past week. It takes forever to get out there

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bandera is nice. Go to the museum there.

I went to college in Canyon, Texas (West Texas State) in the panhandle and it is very nice. The university has a terrific museum on campus and Palo Duro Canyon is close by. Lots and lots of little bitty towns along the way, if you take the back roads, like I do.

San Augustine is a historic little town in East Texas with some nice, historic homes.

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Bandera is nice. Go to the museum there.

I went to college in Canyon, Texas (West Texas State) in the panhandle and it is very nice. The university has a terrific museum on campus and Palo Duro Canyon is close by. Lots and lots of little bitty towns along the way, if you take the back roads, like I do.

San Augustine is a historic little town in East Texas with some nice, historic homes.

Wow. You're the first person I've ever met who's been to Canyon, too. I ended up there at about 3am one morning. I slept on the hood of my car for a while and when the sun started to come up I took the most fabulous pictures in the canyon.

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Wow. You're the first person I've ever met who's been to Canyon, too. I ended up there at about 3am one morning. I slept on the hood of my car for a while and when the sun started to come up I took the most fabulous pictures in the canyon.

I've been there, too -- this past spring break. There's a few fun things to do in the area, and in Amarillo, which is just 20 miles north. Hiking the Palo Duro canyon was breathtaking -- can't believe I had never been there before.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I loved Canyon. Nice, quiet little Texas town (except when the trains rumble through). Palo Duro Canyon is lovely. Georgia O'Keeffe thought it was the most beautiful place on earth. I went back recently and was shocked and disappointed to see that they have built houses on Sunday Canyon near the park entrance.

Edited by Retama
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