November 16, 2018

20 Small Towns in Texas You Should Be Exploring Right Now

With a state as grand as Texas, there's something to do and somewhere to go in every direction. From a number of daytrips to a few weekend getaways, we rounded up the hottest Texas towns near and far for San Antonians to visit right now.
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Marfa
About a 6 hour drive west of San Antonio
Thanks to an influx of public art pieces, Marfa has garnered national attention from Texans and art-lovers alike. With the out-of-place Prada and Target storefronts, you can snap photos for your Instagram (plus the landscape is plenty beautiful too). If you’re lucky, you can also see the mysterious orbs known as the Marfa Lights.
Photo via Instagram / fionellasdad
Marfa
About a 6 hour drive west of San Antonio
Thanks to an influx of public art pieces, Marfa has garnered national attention from Texans and art-lovers alike. With the out-of-place Prada and Target storefronts, you can snap photos for your Instagram (plus the landscape is plenty beautiful too). If you’re lucky, you can also see the mysterious orbs known as the Marfa Lights.
Photo via Instagram / fionellasdad
Alpine
About a 5.5 hour drive west of San Antonio
Looking to get away? A trip to Alpine can do just that for you – and with beautiful mountain views. This desert oasis located not too far from Big Bend National Park, but lets you have plenty adventures outside of the attraction. You’ll have unique shopping, dining and nightlife options here, which is just what you’ll need in the middle of nowhere in Far West Texas.
Photo via Instagram / seepygirl
Alpine
About a 5.5 hour drive west of San Antonio
Looking to get away? A trip to Alpine can do just that for you – and with beautiful mountain views. This desert oasis located not too far from Big Bend National Park, but lets you have plenty adventures outside of the attraction. You’ll have unique shopping, dining and nightlife options here, which is just what you’ll need in the middle of nowhere in Far West Texas.
Photo via Instagram / seepygirl
Terlingua
About a 7 hour drive west of San Antonio
Nestled right outside of Big Bend National Park, Terlingua has several dozen residents and is basically a ghost town. While the town is more of an attraction itself, you can shop, dine and be amazed by the beauty of the area without getting your hands dirty. Home to the original chili cook-off, Terlingua is a place to hit pause and just play like you’re in the Old West.
Photo via Instagram / vagabond_betty
Terlingua
About a 7 hour drive west of San Antonio
Nestled right outside of Big Bend National Park, Terlingua has several dozen residents and is basically a ghost town. While the town is more of an attraction itself, you can shop, dine and be amazed by the beauty of the area without getting your hands dirty. Home to the original chili cook-off, Terlingua is a place to hit pause and just play like you’re in the Old West.
Photo via Instagram / vagabond_betty
Waco
About a 4 hour drive northeast of San Antonio
Home to Baylor University and the Dr. Pepper museum, Waco is a sleepy town perfect for a laid-back daytrip. The soda museum pays homage to Texans’ favorite drink, including room after room of memorabilia and a vintage parlor with treats. Once you’ve had your fill of Dr. Pepper, be sure to swing by the Waco Mammoth National Monument, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Cameron Park Zoo.
Photo via Instagram / azimmerly88
Waco
About a 4 hour drive northeast of San Antonio
Home to Baylor University and the Dr. Pepper museum, Waco is a sleepy town perfect for a laid-back daytrip. The soda museum pays homage to Texans’ favorite drink, including room after room of memorabilia and a vintage parlor with treats. Once you’ve had your fill of Dr. Pepper, be sure to swing by the Waco Mammoth National Monument, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Cameron Park Zoo.
Photo via Instagram / azimmerly88
Amarillo
About an 8 hour drive northwest of San Antonio
Though this Panhandle town may sound like a boring place to be, Amarillo is actually worth visiting at some point in your life. With the famous Cadillac Ranch (plus other Route 66 sites), Palo Duro Canyon State Park and plenty of museums, you have a full weekend in Amarillo awaiting you.
Photo via Instagram / andi_roberts
Amarillo
About an 8 hour drive northwest of San Antonio
Though this Panhandle town may sound like a boring place to be, Amarillo is actually worth visiting at some point in your life. With the famous Cadillac Ranch (plus other Route 66 sites), Palo Duro Canyon State Park and plenty of museums, you have a full weekend in Amarillo awaiting you.
Photo via Instagram / andi_roberts
Dripping Springs
About a 1.5 hour drive north of San Antonio
When a town’s claim to fame is as the “gateway to the Hill Country,” you know it has a lot to offer. Home to the beautiful Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs is destination to tourists and Texans alike. Aside from this exclusive swimming hole, there’s also plenty of places to get boozy with wineries, distilleries and breweries in the area.
Photo via Instagram / snapysingh
Dripping Springs
About a 1.5 hour drive north of San Antonio
When a town’s claim to fame is as the “gateway to the Hill Country,” you know it has a lot to offer. Home to the beautiful Hamilton Pool, Dripping Springs is destination to tourists and Texans alike. Aside from this exclusive swimming hole, there’s also plenty of places to get boozy with wineries, distilleries and breweries in the area.
Photo via Instagram / snapysingh
Jefferson
About a 7 hour drive northeast of San Antonio
Located not too far from the Texas-Louisiana border, Jefferson is a beautiful tourist attraction with events like Mardi Gras Upriver, Corvette Car Show and Bigfoot Conference. The town is also jam-packed with history, with numerous buildings having earned historical markers. And the cherry on top are sights like Bicycle Hill, Excelsior House Hotel, Gone With The Wind Museum, Atalanta Rail Car and Confederate Ordnance Magazine.
Photo via Instagram /  etxadventures
Jefferson
About a 7 hour drive northeast of San Antonio
Located not too far from the Texas-Louisiana border, Jefferson is a beautiful tourist attraction with events like Mardi Gras Upriver, Corvette Car Show and Bigfoot Conference. The town is also jam-packed with history, with numerous buildings having earned historical markers. And the cherry on top are sights like Bicycle Hill, Excelsior House Hotel, Gone With The Wind Museum, Atalanta Rail Car and Confederate Ordnance Magazine.
Photo via Instagram / etxadventures
Port Isabel
About a 4 hour drive south of San Antonio
Sure, you may want to visit during warmer months, but you should make it a point to visit Port Isabel. While locals are known to flock to South Padre Island and Corpus Christi, RGV-area beach town is one of the oldest towns in the area, dating back to the 1500s. Here’s why Port Isabel is worth visiting: the town square has a lighthouse. There’s also three nautical-themed museums that’ll have you feeling like you’re out at sea.
Photo via Instagram / madefilms
Port Isabel
About a 4 hour drive south of San Antonio
Sure, you may want to visit during warmer months, but you should make it a point to visit Port Isabel. While locals are known to flock to South Padre Island and Corpus Christi, RGV-area beach town is one of the oldest towns in the area, dating back to the 1500s. Here’s why Port Isabel is worth visiting: the town square has a lighthouse. There’s also three nautical-themed museums that’ll have you feeling like you’re out at sea.
Photo via Instagram / madefilms
Shiner
About a 1.5 hour drive east of San Antonio
Yup, we’re talking about beer here. Head on out to Shiner, Texas and hit up the Spoetzl Brewery where Shiner beers are made. The brewery itself is more than 100 years old, making it the oldest independent brewery in the state. Take a tour and enjoy a free beer, and be sure to explore the historic buildings and cute bed & breakfasts.
Photo via Instagram / pauledgarsucks
Shiner
About a 1.5 hour drive east of San Antonio
Yup, we’re talking about beer here. Head on out to Shiner, Texas and hit up the Spoetzl Brewery where Shiner beers are made. The brewery itself is more than 100 years old, making it the oldest independent brewery in the state. Take a tour and enjoy a free beer, and be sure to explore the historic buildings and cute bed & breakfasts.
Photo via Instagram / pauledgarsucks
Willow City
About a 1.5 hour drive north of San Antonio
We won’t blame you if you’ve never heard of Willow City, but we will call you out if you don’t visit sometime soon. Only 12 miles northwest of San Antonio, you’ll be able to explore the history of the community. Regarded as a meeting place for English-speaking settlers, Willow City is home to a 13-mile scenic drive with “rolling hills, blossoming meadows, charming creeks, and deep green valleys.” Make your trip worth the drive and hit up Harry’s BBQ and Beer Joint or the Knot in the Loop Saloon after you spend the morning at Enchanted Rock.
Photo via Instagram / festival_time
Willow City
About a 1.5 hour drive north of San Antonio
We won’t blame you if you’ve never heard of Willow City, but we will call you out if you don’t visit sometime soon. Only 12 miles northwest of San Antonio, you’ll be able to explore the history of the community. Regarded as a meeting place for English-speaking settlers, Willow City is home to a 13-mile scenic drive with “rolling hills, blossoming meadows, charming creeks, and deep green valleys.” Make your trip worth the drive and hit up Harry’s BBQ and Beer Joint or the Knot in the Loop Saloon after you spend the morning at Enchanted Rock.
Photo via Instagram / festival_time