1. Enchanted Rock
Located deep in the Hill Country, Enchanted Rock has become a top destination for tourists and native Texans alike and for good reason. With a Fredericksburg address, this state park is a popular place for rock climbers. Standing about 425 feet tall, this pink granite rock formation offers the perfect opportunity for stargazing and hiking. It is an easy hike for most everyone and has a beautiful view at the top. Just beware: this state park has boomed in popularity over the past few years, and there is almost always a wait at the entrance, particularly during the summer and Spring Break.
2. Palo Duro Canyon
Located near Amarillo in the Panhandle, there is a reason this second-largest canyon in the United States was one of Georgia O’Keefe’s favorite choices for a painting. She even wrote one time that, “[The canyon] is a burning, seething cauldron filled with dramatic light and color.” The beauty of the canyons also inspired a symphony. They serve as the backdrop to the famous outdoor musical, “Texas” each summer, which attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. Definitely add this to your list of places to visit in Texas if you haven’t already done so.
When you hear “Brenham,” you most likely think ice cream. And it is true: Brenham serves as the headquarters to the world-famous Bluebell factory. And this charming town, situated just in between Austin and Houston offers some real Texas fun, as well as some breathtaking scenery. The countryside is bursting with wildflowers, including the famous Texas bluebonnet. In fact, Brenham is known as the heart of Bluebonnet country and is on the Bluebonnet Trail. This is also a popular spot for some brilliant wineries and is known as a prime stop on the Texas wine trail. There are also beautiful golf courses, dairy farms, and the historical state park, Washington-on-the-Brazos, which is, after all, the birthplace of Texas.
4. Balcones Canyonland
A lot of people do not think of the Balcones when they think of places to visit in Texas. But they should. This national wildlife refuge is nestled high into the hills of the Hill Country. With multiple bird sighting opportunities and miles of hiking trails, this is a quiet, beautiful retreat from the bustling metropolitan areas.
5. Davy Crockett National Forest
If you are traveling down Highway 69, you won’t be able to miss the gorgeous and scenic Davy Crockett National Forest. Known for its beautiful pine trees, this spot houses over 160,000 wooded acres including a couple of camp spots. With a beautiful lake and the Neches River serving as a border, this forest offers visitors the chance to hike and swim for days.