10 Awesome Hidden Gems in Texas
With cities like Houston, Dallas, and Austin, as well as many more thriving smaller cities and towns — not to mention a wide array of different landscapes in its rural areas — it’s no surprise that more and more people are moving to Texas in recent years. In the state’s almost 270,000 square miles and among its more than 25 million residents, there’s an incredible amount of cultural vitality, creativity, and diversity. Considering how much this state really has to offer, it’s quite a tall order to select just a few hidden gems in Texas. But we’ve compiled some of our favorites, and on this list of 10, we’re sure you’ll find at least a few places that pique your interest, so keep reading!
And don’t forget: Texas isn’t plagued by the cold winters of many of its northern counterparts (honestly, that’s perhaps a significant part of the state’s appeal).
This is such a fun and exciting location. First of all, there are goats! (What’s not to love?) And the owner also keeps bees, as well as grows vegetables and flowers. There’s also a fire pit and a pergola. This Austin home has the perfect urban farm vibe — all in all, it’s ideal for smaller gatherings, weekend rentals, and the like. We highly recommend this cool, unique space as a total hidden gem in Texas.
Here’s another Austin urban farm (we’re seeing a trend here). This one’s bigger, though, with 36,000 square feet including a large front lawn, covered dance floor, greenhouse, and more overlooking a half-acre organic garden. This place can host as many as 175 guests, so let your imagination run wild when it comes to this venue. And although it’s quiet and tucked away enough to be a hidden gem, it’s still only 10 minutes away from downtown Austin. The farm-meets-city feel means this farm really has the best of both worlds.
Palo Duro Canyon is the country’s second-largest canyon — it’s even known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas.” Surprisingly, though, many people aren’t even aware that it exists! Whether you choose to spend the night camping here, go on a horseback ride through its 1,500 acres, snap stunning photography, or simply spend some time gazing out at the majestic view of the canyon. It’s absolutely worth a visit. Simply put, it’s breathtaking.
Talk about unique! The central backdrop of this Houston showroom is a mindbogglingly massive 4,000-gallon aquarium, along with many other large aquariums throughout. For any kind of unconventional gathering of up to 75 people, or perhaps for a totally unexpected photoshoot, this is a worthwhile contender. Be sure to take a look at the photos in the linked listing to get a sense of how unusual this space truly is!
Here’s one of the most picturesque hidden gems in Texas! This 4,000-square-foot space was created by photographers, and their sense of light and aesthetics shows in how it feels to be there. It’s a modern venue, but it was constructed from a 200-year-old Canadian barn, which adds plenty of texture and character to its overall aesthetic. Have we caught your interest yet? Get this: there’s even an outdoor chapel complete with soaring white arches. For more info, check out the venue’s website.
6. Inks Lake
When you think of Texas, you might not think of taking a trip to swim in a lake. But the state has lots of amazing lakes for swimming, and Inks Lake is for sure one of the best — it’s a major hidden gem in Texas. It’s surrounded by live oaks and other greenery. Located an hour northwest of Austin, it’s fun for a visit pretty much year-round, with so much to do. Take a swim, go boating, or try water skiing, fishing, or scuba diving. Nearby, there are 200 campsites and 22 cabins, so you can spend a few days at this beautiful lake.
This bar offers two outdoor cabanas, each available separately for rent. As many as 10-15 guests can sit in each cabana, making them the perfect spot for intimate gatherings among friends. It’s located in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood, which is known for its eccentric, energizing feel and is fun to explore before or after your visit to the cabana. Whether you’re planning a birthday party or a bachelorette party, you’re sure to have fun at this unusual outdoor bar.
Located in Addison, TX, just north of Dallas, this “sky lounge” has about a 360-degree-view of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Basically, you’ll feel like you’re perched right in the sky! It’s quite private, so you’ll have a sense that you’re sequestered away in your own little hidden gem as you gaze out at the stunning view of the surrounding city.
You’ll love the eclectic vibe created by the decor’s combination of tasteful wooden accents, eye-catching modern art, wine barrels, and industrial-feeling stainless tanks. It’s conveniently situated in the inviting Lakewood neighborhood of East Dallas, and the space can accommodate groups varying in size from as few as 10 people to as many as 175 people! It’s especially ideal, of course, if you’re a wine lover.
Love lush greenery, but looking to spend some time indoors? We’ve got the right space for you. It’s a 525-square-foot location that’s absolutely brimming with dozens of houseplants of all kinds. We think it’s an appealing, peaceful combination of simple contemporary design and lavish plant life. Located just to the east of Downtown Austin, the studio is quite close to excellent restaurants and cafes, live jazz and blues performance venues (just across the street, in fact!), and lots more.