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El Cosmico, Marfa

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You’ve traveled far and wide, to the largest of cities and the tiniest of villages, but have you checked out the goodies in your very own state? Here are my favorite small towns to visit within big, beautiful Texas.

Marfa

A quaint town located smack dab in the middle of the desert, Marfa boasts a flourishing, diverse artist community—one that attracts the eyes of the most creative minds of the world. This is where retired geniuses settle down to spend the rest of their days and youthful creatives go to be inspired. If art isn’t your thing, Marfa’s got you covered; check out the spooky Marfa lights or the historic town square.

Nacogdoches

Often described as the oldest in Texas, this town was once the home to Sam Houston himself. Overflowing with history and southern hospitality and taking inspiration from its Spanish heritage, it is Texas in a nutshell. But awe-inspiring history isn’t all Nacogdoches has to offer; with Lake Nacogdoches as well as Lake Sam Rayburn just a few miles away, the sports and recreation opportunities are endless. Don’t leave your fishing rod at home—there’s plenty of fish in these lakes.

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The limestone public library in Fredericksburg.

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Fredericksburg

Named after Prince Frederick of Prussia, this town is known for its German heritage. In between sips of frothy, smooth beer, try some delicious roast pork, authentic salted pretzels, and potato pancakes. And nearby: massive, amazing Enchanted Rock, where you can go hiking, bouldering, and spelunking to your heart’s content.

Rockport

This seaport town in Aransas County is for all you Gulf Coast fanatics. Offering everything from boating and fishing to duck hunting and bird watching, this gentle and tranquil town is the perfect place to wind down. Delectable seafood options and cozy little bed-and-breakfasts will make your stomach and your heart happy.

Archer City

This delightful little town is located just south of Wichita Falls. Literature junkies will have a field day here, as it’s home author Larry McMurtry, who owns the town’s rare and boutique bookstore. Don’t miss the Royal Theater, which was featured in McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show. Oh, and the mayor is a 19-year-old named Kelvin Green.

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Gruene

This little community isn’t just any small town of historical significance; it also plays host to the oldest dance hall in the state. For those of you who like to swing, two-step, and line dance your way through life, The Gruene Hall’s the place to shake off those workweek blues after a day of antiquing.

Round Top

This cozy town has a surprising music and art scene: each summer, it hosts students from the Festival Hill music institute and the Shakespeare at Winedale program, which come together to produce amazing theater and symphonic performances. Also not to be missed is the delectable pie at Royers Café.

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