When you think of Texas, you probably picture cowboys, BBQ, and, of course, the Alamo. But there is much more to the Lone Star State than that, as you will see below…
1. Plano: Not Your Plain-Old City
First up, let’s talk about Plano. This city might not get the same press as Austin or Dallas, but it’s a hidden gem packed with unique attractions, and the Italian restaurants in Plano are surprisingly, to die for. Ever visited a museum dedicated entirely to cockroaches? Yeah, didn’t think so. The Cockroach Hall of Fame is just one of the quirky stops you can make in Plano. And if that’s a bit too… crunchy for your taste, Plano’s also home to a vibrant arts scene and a historic downtown that’s as charming as a southern belle.
2. Marfa: The Art Oasis in the Desert
Texas might not be the first place you think of when you think of great art, but if you head to Mrfa, in the west, you will see how wrong you are! This town is famous for its minimalist art installations, including the Prada Marfa – a faux Prada store sitting alone in the desert. It’s like stepping into a surreal art piece. And don’t forget to check out the Marfa Lights; these mysterious orbs have been baffling visitors for years. Aliens? Supernatural phenomena? You decide.
3. Austin’s Cathedral of Junk: A Temple to Upcycling
Sure, Austin is well-trodden territory for the verge US traveler, but have you ever visited a cathedral made of junk? Didnt think so! Nestled in a quiet neighborhood is the Cathedral of Junk – a towering testament to one man’s dedication to upcycling. It’s part art installation, part architectural wonder, and entirely Austin.
4. The Hamilton Pool Preserve: Nature’s Best Kept Secret
Forget the beach; it’s time to take a dip in a real Texas oasis. The Hamilton Pool Preserve, just outside of Austin, is a natural pool created when the dome of an underground river collapsed. With its jade green water and waterfall backdrop, it’s the perfect spot for an Instagram-worthy swim.
5. Gruene: Two-Step Back in Time
In the mood for some authentic Texas two-stepping? Head to Gruene (pronounced like ‘green’), a historic district in New Braunfels. The Gruene Hall, Texas’ oldest dance hall, is where you can strut your stuff or just enjoy live music with a cold beer in hand. It’s like stepping back in time, with all the modern amenities.
6. Amarillo’s Cadillac Ranch: Get Your Spray Paint Ready
Amarillo might seem a bit out of the way, but it’s home to one of Texas’ most iconic art installations: the Cadillac Ranch. Ten Cadillacs buried nose-first in the ground, waiting for you to add your personal touch with spray paint. It’s a uniquely American Stonehenge, and yes, graffiti is encouraged.
7. El Cosmico in Marfa: Glamping Texas Style
Back in Marfa, why stay in a hotel when you can sleep in a vintage trailer, yurt, or teepee? El Cosmico is a bohemian dream of an accommodation, offering a glamping experience that’s as unique as Texas itself. It’s the perfect base camp for your desert art explorations.
Texas is a state of endless surprises, offering far more than just its stereotypes, so give the stereotypes a miss and try some of this instead!