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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SMU chapter.

Texas is a big state. If you drive from the southernmost point to the northernmost part of the state – Brownsville to Dalhart – you’re looking at a good 12 to 13 hour drive. With all that real estate, there are bound to be a TON of small towns in Texas that might not be as widely known as major cities like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio or Austin, but are totally worth the trip. Below are some seriously cool small towns perfect for a weekend road trip!


Marfa, TX

Marfa is hands down the number one place on my road trip bucket list ATM, and honestly how could it not be? Have you SEEN the mini Prada and Target stores?! With so many art installations and festivals such as the Chinati Foundation, Ballroom Marfa and Viva Big Bend, Marfa is like the trendy, folksy cousin of Austin located in deep west Texas. Not to mention there are herds of pronghorn roaming the outskirts of town and the ever-mysterious Marfa Lights. 10/10 would recommend. 


Fredericksburg, TX

Influenced by its German heritage and location in the Hill Country, Fredericksburg is the epitome of a cute small town. Snap the perfect pic for your Instagram at the Wildseed Farms wildflower fields, amble between unique shops down the old-timey Main Street, gaze at the beautiful architecture of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, visit a circa-WWII military post and of course, try ALL the German food. Make a road trip during the summer when the peaches are in season and you’re set!

Waco, TX

Waco isn’t exactly a tiny town, but since it’s so full of character and things to do, I just had to put it on this list! Did you know that Waco was where of Dr. Pepper originated? You can learn more about Texas’ favorite soda at the Dr. Pepper museum! Big fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines? Hit up the Silos! (I recommend stopping by the sweet tea food truck in their courtyard – not only is the tea REALLY GOOD, but you get to keep the super-cute mason jars it’s served in!). Stop by Heritage Creamery for amazing handmade ice cream in a trendy-yet-old fashioned shop situated right near the Baylor University campus. Before you start the drive back home, be sure to explore the Waco Mammoth National Monument!

Llano, TX

Located outside of Austin, Llano is a charming town perfect for those that like to get out and explore nature – they even have festivals such as the Llano Earth Art Festival! Take a hike and look around the Llano Uplift (a unique – and really cool, tbh – rock structure near town), go for a swim in Lake Buchanan, take a gander at the eagles nests that populate the surrounding area, and fuel up at Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que – the pork chop is a popular choice. Round out the trip with a visit to the Llano County Museum too!

Dripping Springs, TX

Another town located just outside of Austin, Dripping Springs is labelled as the official Wedding Capital of Texas! If anyone’s a big fan of weddings, this is a must-see spot for Pinterest board inspiration. As a fan of shows like Say Yes to the Dress, this is a big draw for me. However, if weddings aren’t really your thing, there are plenty of other things to do! Of course there’s the famous Hamilton Pool, several other parks and natural water formations, live music and karaoke nights at Hudson’s on Mercer, and dancing at Mercer Street Dancehall. 

West, TX

Kolaches. Get Kolaches at Czech Stop – the OG – or literally any other place in town. They are great. It’s worth it. That is all. 

Canton, TX

If you like to shop, this is the place to go. About an hour or so east of Dallas, this tiny town has a HUGE flea market every month. Called First Monday Trade Days, it is the oldest and largest continually operating outdoor market not only in Texas, but the whole country. 

Nacogdoches, TX

Perhaps best known for housing Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches has a great historic downtown – complete with roads paved with brick (I just think it’s really cool when historic downtowns have that), tons of unique shops and a museum narrating the history of the area. There’s also nature trails detailing the history of Native Americans in the area and Caddo mounds, a historic village, dance halls and music venues. 

Sarah Venables is a freshman at Southern Methodist University who plans on studying English, History and Journalism under the Pre-Law track. In her spare time, she can be found reading and watching the latest rom-coms on Netflix. Loves chocolate chip cookies and spending time with friends.
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