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Seven Underrated Texas Cities to Visit

by Maria L. Searle
seven underrated texas cities to visit

Any mention of Texas will probably have you thinking about wide-open plains, cowboys, and everything being bigger in the Lone Star state. Texas is unlike any other part of the country – but it is also a huge and diverse state with a lot more going for it than some well-worn stereotypes.

There are some world-renowned cities to visit in Texas, and millions of people travel to Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio every year to discover and revel in the big state-small-town charm of the place. But there are plenty of other unsung, hidden gem cities across Texas that deserve some love too.

We thought we would profile some of them here, to help with your own plans of visiting the second-largest state in the country. Although many of these may not have sports teams that you can regularly find on all the best Texas betting apps, they are charming and will undoubtedly greet you with a friendly welcome and introduce you to the real Texas.

Port Aransas

Those ideas about Texas being all about cowboys and ranches conveniently forget the miles of shoreline to the south, with the Gulf of Mexico’s waves lapping onto sandy beaches. Galveston might be the first Texan seaside town that springs to mind, but Port Aransas is a great alternative.

Located around 180 miles south of San Antonio, Port Aransas is one of the barrier islands protecting the rest of the state. All the usual watersports can be found here, and there is a long and exhilarating pirate history. These days, you are more likely to see incredible sand sculptures than the skull and cross-bone flag, though!


With San Antonio and Austin only around 70 miles away, Fredericksburg makes for a great day trip for any big city vacationers. But once you begin to take in this Texan town’s charms, we think you might change your plans and stay a little longer. There is a delightfully winning combination of tourist destination and small-town Americana.

With a growing population of just over 10,000, Fredericksburg welcomes visitors from all over, and the numerous bed and breakfasts, restaurants and diners, and microbreweries cater to anyone looking to relax and recuperate.Enchanted Rock is also just north of the city, for any nature lovers out there.



If you really want to see what life in Texas is like then you might want to take the trip out to Wimberley. Just about in the middle of San Antonio and Austin, this town’s square is picture postcard perfect and will have you daydreaming of giving it all up and moving to the country.

Although the big cities are nearby, this is a real ranch country, and there is a chance for visitors to find out about living off the land. For intrepid types, Jacob’s Well is located just outside of town and is an incredible place for cave diving and underwater exploration.


Travel into West Texas on one of the main roads, and you will come across Midland, famously associated with the Bush family, who own land and homes in the area. Unsurprisingly, this city has close links with the oil business, and there is even a fascinating Petroleum Museum to visit just off the main drag.

But there is much more going on in this part of Texas than just the oil industry. The wildlife and nature of the surrounding area are worth the trip by themselves, but a thriving arts scene has sprung up in recent years to put Midland on the cultural map too. Make sure you visit some of the many theaters, galleries, and events to be found here.


If you really want a taste of cowboy life, then there are not many finer examples of the vastness of this state, such as the Texas Panhandle. If you do make it up to the north of the state, you should really take time to visit Amarillo, the biggest city in this part of Texas.

Visitors can discover cowboy culture at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as check out the rodeo events that still draw in the crowds. For something completely different, a trip out to the Cadillac Ranch to marvel at the sight of an art installation featuring half-buried cars is also a must.


If you want a glimpse of modern Texas, then McAllen, at the southern tip of the Rio Grande Valley on the Mexico-United States border is an excellent choice. Fusing Texan and Mexican culture into something completely unique, McAllen is a thriving city that is home to a wonderful mixture of cultures.

McAllen is an ever-evolving place that exemplifies the melting pot idea of America to perfection. The mixture of culture, arts, food, and sports is alive, and you will do well sitting still in this dynamic setting. But if you do fancy something a little more sedate, bird-watching opportunities are plentiful, thanks to McAllen’s position on a main migratory path for birds.


We’ll head back up north for our last hidden Texan gem, to the charming city of Denton, just north of Dallas. Home to the University of North Texas, this place is a fascinating mix of old and new, and the worlds of culture and arts have flourished since the population boom after WW2.

Galleries and art installations can be found all over the city, but the music festivals and events are what really attract visitors and locals alike to Denton. With one of the top music schools in the country, that is probably to be expected – and you can delight in discovering new artists when you think outside the box for your Texan vacation.

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