Texas is one of the best states to visit. It has the best of everything: nature, city life, good food and drink, and charming people.
There are plenty of popular cities in Texas that everyone goes to. Dallas, Houston, and more have all been mapped and explored already.
Why not take a trip to Texas and see the state’s more secret spots that no one else knows about? After all, travel is good for your health and can lead to you making new friends in the moment. Read on to find out the top 10 most underrated cities in Texas.
1. Fort Worth
Fort Worth is best known as the country neighbor of big brother Dallas. Don’t underestimate this gem of a city though.
It boasts an Old West district, the Stockyards, that will make you feel like you’ve stepped onto a Western movie set. Not convinced by the daily cattle drive through the town or the buffalo burgers? Stockyards also has a haunted hotel that you can check out on the area’s ghost tour.
The Fort Worth Zoo is another unique experience. It has a re-creation of all of the landscapes of Texas to give you a taste of the state’s geography. For art buffs, the Kimball Museum is home to the only original Michelangelo in the Americas.
Probably one of the cutest cities on this list, Fredericksburg is a town that people go back to again and again. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway, this town has a lot to keep you busy – or not, if that’s what you want.
Take a day to visit the town’s many microbreweries and sample their craft beers. There’s also a stunning 45 vineyards in the area. If you want to stay after you’ve had a few drinks, there’s tons of bed and breakfasts.
Fredericksburg even has the best nature. Check out the Willow City Loop, 13 miles of the most beautiful road in the state.
The history of Galveston is long and diverse.
The adaptability of the city is clear with a visit to the Pleasure Pier, a former military rec facility. Now it’s home to amusement park rides, shops, and plenty of dining options. It’s one of the best cities in Texas for families.
Experience the more traditional side of Galveston with afternoon tea at the historic Tremont House downtown. Or visit the more modern Moody Gardens, which has a hotel, an IMAX, and an aquarium. Big, bold combinations like these are exactly what Texas is all about.
If you get hungry, no visit is complete without a trip to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
4. Caddo Lake
Caddo Lake is right on the border of Texas’ edge, a hop away from Louisiana. It’s the largest lake in the state, covering over 26,000 acres. This state park is a perfect combo of Southern charm and natural beauty.
Kayaking, steam paddling, and more can be done underneath the picturesque cypress trees. Unless you’re an alligator fan though, don’t go swimming.
The tiny city on the lake, Uncertain, has a grand total population of 94 people. There’s cabins, cottages, and fishing shacks galore. If you’re looking for an antidote to the big city, this is it.
Grapevine is a historic place that’s extremely accessible. It’s right between Fort Worth and Dallas. There’s something here for everyone, from art galleries and shops to resorts that are great for a getaway.
The food and wine in the area are some of the main attractions. There are a number of wineries with tasting rooms. Restaurants in Grapevine, TX are full of Tex-Mex influence and warm and friendly service.
6. Fort Davis
Fort Davis may only have 1,000 people, but you don’t need a lot of neighbors to appreciate its attractions.
There’s the Davis Mountains as a backdrop, a scenic and wild state park that’s also biologically diverse. You can get an education in nature and the diversity of the region at the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute. They have botanical gardens and a mining exhibit and lots of hiking trails to explore.
At night, check out the McDonald Observatory and one of its star parties. During the day it also hosts solar viewings and you can see the observatory’s telescopes up close.
Amarillo has it all and is one of the best cities in central Texas you can visit.
There’s the wide open spaces of the Palo Duro Canyon. Authentic cowboy attractions will also keep you busy. A unique museum, the American Quarter Horse Heritage Center, doubles as both a history of the quarter horse and of America’s development.
Jefferson has a wild history. It is a port town that used to be a favorite of gamblers and men working on riverboats. Now, it’s a carefully preserved place with a lot to see despite its small size.
You can get an idea of the spirit of the town with a historic house tour or going ghost hunting. Wander a bit and end your trip at Jefferson Soda Fountain. It’s been open since 1944 and still serves classic diner food.
If you’re a fan of cowboys, this is the town for you.
It calls itself the cowboy capital of the world. There’s so much Old West style you may be tempted to buy a horse and move here. Plus, there’s a number of fully operational saloons where you can live out your own cowboy dream.
Austin is fast becoming the well known, so go before it gets overrun with tourists. Do some of the lesser known activities so you can brag to your friends back home.
There’s Rocket Electrics’ foodie tour, which is done entirely on electric bikes. Visit the Hope Outdoor Gallery, a local version of the Berlin Wall with amazing street art. End your day at the Congress Avenue Bridge, which has the largest bat colony of any city in America.
These cities in Texas are just some of the best that the region has to offer. While you’re in the area, you may want to pop over south of the border. Check out our things to know before taking a trip to Mexico.