With Texas being such a large and diverse state, it wasn’t easy choosing six beautiful hidden cities, but they are listed below, not in any particular order. Nacogdoches, Round Top, Port Aransas, Laredo, Gruene, and Marble Falls are all unique and are in different areas of Texas.
Nacogdoches is the oldest town in Texas with its quaint, paved red brick Main Street, which goes through the center of town. It’s located in the piney woods of East Texas on Highway 59 and is also where you’ll find Stephen F. Austin University. Along the square in downtown, you’ll find several antique shops, Dolly’s Diner, and a few other businesses that make this town unique. Stay overnight in the city’s beautifully renovated Fredonia Hotel and on weekends, kick up your heels in Banita Creek Hall for live music entertainment and a little bit of dancing. It’s a great small city to enjoy Texas hospitality and beautiful scenery.
Round Top is a growing town located in the Hill Country, about an hour and a half southeast of Austin on Highway 237. Round Top has become famous for its antiques. Twice a year the town is a hub for buyers and sellers who come from all over the state in the spring and fall. The town offers three different town squares for shopping: Henkel Square, Rummel Square, and Bybee Square. Each has their own specialty shops, restaurants, and charm. You can see a fantastic concert at the Round Top Festival Institute or visit their Farmer’s Market held the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of every month.
Port Aransas, affectionately known as “Port A”, is a delightful town on the Texas Gulf Coast, just east of Corpus Christi. It’s located on the barrier island of Mustang Island and you can get there by ferry or by crossing the bridge on Highway 361 from Aransas Pass over the Aransas Bay. This sleepy little town is famous for its fishing, but there are beautiful parks and nature preserves nearby to explore. Some of the best beaches in Texas are found along this coastline. Enjoy one of the many seafood restaurants along the waterfront. No visit is complete unless you visit the Lydia Ann lighthouse.
Laredo is a beloved town on the Mexican border in the southern part of Texas. Crossing into Mexico is easy. Just walk or drive over the bridge that goes over the Rio Grande River, located just next to Los Dos Laredos Park. It’s one of the oldest border crossing points in Texas. The historic district downtown is home to the Cathedral of San Augustin, which dates back to the 1870s. You’ll also find the very informative Republic of the Rio Grande Museum and the TAMIU Planetarium.
The picturesque town of Gruene is located on the scenic Guadalupe River, just south of Austin on Highway 306. The town was founded by German settlers in the 1840s. Downtown has some of the best souvenir shops, restaurants, and, of course, the famous Gruene Hall. No visit to Gruene is complete without visiting the oldest dance hall in Texas, established in 1878. Some of the most famous country entertainers have performed here over the years. Find a parking spot and walk around this gorgeous town.
Located about an hour northwest of Austin, this is the town to visit if you love art. Downtown Marble Halls has fascinating artwork on every street corner, along with some of the best art galleries in the state. Being on the banks of the Colorado River, kayaking, boating, or stand-up paddle boarding are all fun activities. There’s also the Hidden Falls Adventure Park to visit if you enjoy riding over dirt trails in a jeep, bike or ATV. This amazing town has some great restaurants, including the famous Blue Bonnet Café, known for their homemade pies.