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77 Unique & Cool Places to Visit in Texas

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Most people know about the top places to visit in Texas. But it's the small local spots and crazy spots in nature that truly make this part of the US special. This state has so much more to offer than just wild weekend getaways. There are a ton of cool places in Texas to visit, and we're here to share them with you!


From quirky accommodations to the most unique eateries, there is something for everyone in Texas. Expect turquoise swimming holes, colorful murals, wild desert landscapes, and so much more.


So without further ado, here are 77 different unique and cool places in Texas to add to your bucket list!


Table of Contents


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How to Get Around Texas

rHands down the best way to move around Texas is to drive! (This goes for pretty much anywhere in the US). We decided in order to see all of these cool places in Texas to visit, a road trip was the way to go, and rented a car from the Houston Airport.


Renting a Car in Texas

You can easily rent a car from pretty much any major city in Texas. We suggest renting your car online and well in advance for the best availability and prices. We also suggest renting from a well-known company, as we had issues with our first rental company.


If you'd like to know more about driving in Texas, you can read all about it on our guide "Taste of Texas: Road Tripping the Biggest State in the Continental USA".


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Unique & Cool Places in Texas to Visit

There are so many unique and cool places in Texas to visit! From cute towns to quirky Glamping spots, and drool-worthy restaurants, here are 77 fun places in Texas to visit.


Unique & Cool Places in Texas to Visit: Cute Towns

While the main cities of Texas are without-a-doubt worth a visit, we're here to share some adorable towns you may have not had on your radar.


#1: Fredricksburg

This charming town has a mix of old western and German vibes. We originally went to Fredericksburg for their annual balloon festival, but then fell in love with the atmosphere of the town itself. Fredericksburg is the perfect place to spend a night, or a fun weekend getaway. Spend the afternoon blowing the shops, and spend the night enjoying the vibrant live music in the local bars.

Fredericksburg, cool places n Texas to visit
Fredericksburg, cool places n Texas to visit
Fredericksburg, cool places n Texas to visit

Fredericksburg is an old German-inspired town.

#2: Wimberley

Wimberley is a cute town that lies on the river, and has some of the bluest waters in Texas. This is the perfect place to spend the day in between visiting the more popular cities of San Antonio and Austin, as it is situated perfectly in the middle.


Some of the highlights of Wimberely include The Blue Hole, Jacob's Well, and zip lining. Also, make sure to stop by Kelly's Hill Country BBQ. They have incredible boudin and tacos! 

Wimberley, cool places in Texas to visit
Wimberley, cool places in Texas to visit
food in Texas

#3: Cleburne

Known as the "stone wall of the west" this town was once a large transportation hub. Now Cleburne is a great place to visit and explore its history, and is also known for its various mountain biking trails. The city is just under an hour south west of Dallas, and a little over a half hour south of Ft Worth.


#4: Seguin

Seguin is a town that is home to the world's largest pecan, as well as a nutcracker museum, making it a great place to check out during the holiday season.


#5: Gruene

Gruene is one of the cutest places to visit in Texas for a day trip. It's located right on a beautiful river where you can go tubing, and also has an old fashioned looking center to roam around.

gruene, cool places in Texas to visit
gruene, cool places in Texas to visit
Gruene, cool places in Texas to visit

#6: Castroville

Castroville is a small town that is known for its artichoke crop, and it has an annual artichoke festival.


#7: Marfa

While most of the top places in Texas to visit are located in the east or Central Texas, there is one town you absolutely must see if you head to the west of the state. Marfa is a tiny desert city that is known for its art, as well as its army base. If you are heading to Big Bend, then make sure to stop here and check out the cute pink firehouse as well!


#8: Adriatica Village

Looking to find a slice of Croatia in Texas? Under an hour north of Dallas is a residential village called Adriatica, which resembles the cities of Split. It has orange roofs, stone buildings, and the cutest chapel right on the water, which is one of the most beautiful places to get married in Texas.

Adriatica Village, cool places in Texas to visit

Adriatica Village was created to look like Croatia.


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Unique & Cool Places in Texas to Visit: History & Culture

Now that you know some of the best small towns in Texas to visit, let's dive into the cultural and historical spots worth checking out.


#9: The Alamo

The Alamo is one of the most famous historical spots in Texas, and San Antonio's claim to fame. It's definitely one of the reasons that San Antonio, Texas is worth visiting! The historic Spanish mission and fortress was founded by Roman Catholic missionaries in the 18th century, and was home to a major battle in 1836. 


The Alamo is open daily from 9 am to 5:30 pm. It is completely free of charge to enter, however you must reserve a spot online in advance.

The Alamo, cool places to visit in Texas
The Alamo, cool places to visit in Texas

The Alamo is one of the top historical places to visit in Texas.

#10: The Texas Capitol

As far as sightseeing in Texas goes, you can't miss out on visiting the Texas Capitol. It's located in Austin, and is free of charge to visit. Not only that, but they also offer free guided tours as well.


From Monday to Friday the tours start at 9:30 am, with the last one at 12:30 pm. Saturdays and Sundays the first tour starts at 12:30 pm, and the last tour at 3:30 pm. Tours go every 30-45 minutes, and last about 30 minutes.

texas capitol, cool places in Texas to visit

#11: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Located on the outskirts of Houston, this stunning temple is truly one of the most unique places in Texas to visit when it comes to architecture. The Hindu temple is a place of worship, but can also be visited by tourists to admire its beauty. We didn't get a chance to go, but did go to the one in Chicago which is quite similar.


#12: 1940 Air Terminal Museum

Another cool spot in Texas to check out is the 1920 Air Terminal Museum, where you can get up close to planes, and learn the history of aviation in Houston. 

 

#13: Frontiers of Flight Museum

Located in Dallas (at the airport), this is another great aviation museum to check out. The Frontiers of Flight Museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday, and from 1 pm to 5 pm on Saturdays.


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Unique & Cool Places in Texas to Visit: Places to Swim

Talking about cool places in Texas to visit, there are so many great spots to cool off from the Texan heat. Here are our favorite swimming spots throughout the state.


#14: The Texas Pool

This may just be one of the most interesting pools we have ever been to! The Texas Pool is a massive Texas-shaped pool, which is such a great representation of the state itself. Located just an hour north of Dallas, the community pool is a non-profit organization, which brings locals together to celebrate the pride of the state. The people that run the pool are the sweetest, and we had such a fun time checking out this unique spot!

The Texas Pool, cool places in Texas to visit


#15: Lagoonfest

Another one of the coolest places in Texas to visit for a swim is Lagoonfest, located just south of Houston. It's actually a massive complex full of pools, cabanas, and water activities. Climb the inflatable obstacle course, rent a paddle board, or sail through the pools on a boat tour.


You could easily spend a full day enjoying this Caribbean-looking slice of paradise, and it's the perfect place for a long layover in Houston.

Lagoonfest, cool places in Texas to visit
Lagoonfest, cool places in Texas to visit
Lagoonfest, cool places in Texas to visit

Lagoonfest is the perfect place for relaxation and fun for the day.

#16: Barton Springs

When you arrive at Barton Springs, you seriously can't believe it's in the middle of Texas' capital. This is a tiny slice of paradise, and has two options of totally different experiences.


On one side of the springs you have the municipal pool, which is the private area of the springs. It's $10 to enter, and there are bathrooms with showers, a diving board, and plenty of green areas to relax on.

barton springs, cool places in texas to visit

On the other side of Barton Springs is the public area. Here is where you'll find people with their pets, own drinks, picnics, and a variety of floating devices. This is the free area, which has a bit more of a wild and fun crowd. There are rope swings, music playing, and overall a super fun and chill vibe. If you want the bluest waters, and a bit more a relaxed vibe, simply walk further down, and you'll find less crowds, as well as kayaks for rent.


Barton Springs, cool places in Texas to visit
Barton Springs, cool places in Texas to visit
Barton Springs, cool places in Texas to visit

The public side of Barton Springs offers kayak rentals.


#17: The Blue Hole

The Blue Hole is another great place to swim just outside of Austin, which features beautiful turquoise waters, rope swings, and trails, as well as a basketball court. Swimming is available daily from May 1st to September 4th, and also on the weekends in September, from 9 am to 6 pm.


There are two time slots to choose from at the Blue Hole to choose, which are from 9 am to 1 pm, or from 2 pm to 6 pm. This is because from 1-2 pm it is closed for private sessions. Tickets cost $12 for ages 13-59, and are half-priced for children 12 and under, seniors 60 +, and for Wimberley residents. Children 3 and under are free of charge to enter.


#18: Krause Springs

There are a ton of great springs inside and outside of Austin, and Krause Springs is another one that we really enjoyed. It is such a great place for anyone to visit, as it has a couple of different areas to enjoy. There is a natural pool down the stairs which has a waterfall, rope swing, and plenty of area to float around and swim.


Upstairs is a where the manmade pool is, which is ideal for families with small children. There are also other areas around Krause Springs for picnics and barbecues, and you can find a lot of groups that bring their own food and drinks. The complex is huge, and includes bathrooms and showers onsite. The ticket to enter is $10/person, and it is open daily from 9 am to 8 pm.


Something important to keep in mind is that the swimming hole is completely natural, so in the off-season the waters are very clear, but when there are a lot of people in the summertime, the sediment lifts and the water isn't quite as pristine. Regardless, we highly recommend a visit anytime as it's super fun!


Krause Springs, cool places in Texas to visit
Krause Springs, cool places in Texas to visit
Krause Springs, cool places in Texas to visit

Krause Springs is a great place to spend the entire day with family or friends.

Unique & Cool Places in Texas to Visit: Nature & Parks

Looking for some other great spots in Nature? Texas isn't just home to some great swimming spots, but there are also some other really cool places in Texas to visit out in nature.


#19: Japanese Tea Gardens

Ready to feel as if you've flown over the Asia? Well, the Japanese Tea Gardens re a true hidden gem in Texas, and can be found right outside the center of San Antonio.


We saw online that they closed at 5 pm, so we were about to skip it on our visit, but we figured- we would swing by just in case. Good thing we did, because the gardens were completely open, free of charge, and had just a few people walking around.


If you're a photographer like us, we would suggest getting there early in the morning, or after 5 pm like we did.


Japanese Tea Gardens, cool places in Texas to visit
Japanese Tea Gardens, cool places in Texas to visit
Japanese Tea Gardens, cool places in Texas to visit
Japanese Tea Gardens, cool places in Texas to visit

The Japanese Tea Gardens are one of the best free attractions.

#20: Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center

Another beautiful set of botanical gardens worth checking out are the Shangri La Botanical Gardens. They are located an hour and a half east of Houston, making them a great day trip from the busy city. They are open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm, and are free of charge to visit.


#21: Jacob's Well

Jacob's Well is a perennial karstic spring that is located just northwest of the town of Wimberley. It's actually the second biggest fully-submerged cave in the state, and goes down to 140 feet deep.


When we went to Jacob's Well it was closed for swimming, but there are times in which you can actually swim or even dive inside of it. You can reach it in a short 10-15 minute walk from the parking lot, and in addition to the spring, they have a butterfly farm.