If this is your first time here – Welcome! If not, welcome back!! As full-time RV’ers we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the hidden treasures in every state. We love the big popular attractions like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different and taking the road less traveled. We certainly can’t explore them all, so we’d love you to share your own off the beaten path stories. Each series will include at least 1 epic boondocking area, with GPS coordinates.
I kept thinking as I was writing this, maybe I ought to contact my long time Texas friend (Gayla) and pick her brain about some off the beaten path places. Only I remembered, she’s currently galavanting around London! So I’m on my own.
Texas is home to … of course … the words largest cowboy boots, and the worlds largest killer bee – but wait – there’s more! Ha!
Old Tunnel (Fredericksburg) This tunnel might look abandoned, and in a sense, it is, by humans, anyway. A railroad used to run through the tunnel, but now it’s home to a few million Mexican free-tailed bats. Every night at dusk between May and September, you can watch them turn the night sky into a cloud of darkness by following Highway 290 in Fredericksburg until you see a brown sign directing you to the tunnel. It’s an amazing sight to see them fly out for their nightly feeding
Munster Mansion (Waxahachie) To each their own, but this is a bit on the strange side. This family built an exact replica of the Munster Mansion. They were so infatuated with the TV show, they built their house exactly like that of the fictional family. It is a private residence and isn’t open to the public for tours, but you can drive by it at 1313 Mockingbird Lane, in Waxahachie
Hamilton Pool (23 Miles West of Austin) Hamilton Pool is a breathtaking natural spring formed in the limestone bedrock and fed by an underground river. Surrounded by the Hamilton Nature Preserve. They require reservations from May 15 to September 30.
Fort Worth Water Gardens The Fort Worth Water Gardens are pools of futuristic angles. A pool is surrounded by trees where waterfalls cascade down the walls. Nearby is an aeration pool where 40 nozzles spray 871 gallons of water every minute. The pool is 40 feet deep. This is just one of those places where you feel so tranquil and at peace!
Cadillac Ranch – As funny as it seems, I’ve had this place on my bucket list for a long time. I was so excited this last summer to finally get to see this! Cadillac ranch, built in 1974, is the product of eccentric helium millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 (he doesn’t like the Roman numeral III) and The Ant Farm, a San Francisco art collective. The ranch consists of ten graffiti-covered cars half-buried in a dusty Texas field.The cars are positioned nose-down and face west “at the same angle as the Cheops’ pyramids.” The cars were actually moved two miles further out in 1997 to avoid the expanding city. Justin and I did not partake in the spray painting this time, as you can tell from the picture, it was so very windy that day and the area surrounding the Cadillacs was under about a foot of water.
Caverns of Sonora – The cave was discovered by accident in 1905, on ranch land belonging to the Mayfield family. Our country has some spectacular caves! One of our favorite things to explore! This was really borderline popular, but I just had to share it.
Palo Duro Canyon – Known as the grand canyon of Texas. Palo Duro Canyon is considered to be the second largest and longest canyon in the U.S. You can drive down onto the floor of the canyon by taking Park Road 5. The most prominent feature is the Lighthouse, a 300-foot formation at the north end of the canyon. It is accessible from the road or by a three-mile trail.
By the way, if you’re on the smaller rig side, there is an amazing free boondocking sight, over looking Palo Duro Canyon. GPS: GPS: 34.797817, -101.43932
Shamrock TX – U Drop Inn – Built in 1936, the U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas, was kind of a big deal. With its prime location on iconic Route 66, the café with its connected Tower Station was one of the first commercial businesses along the route. The road itself was a fairly new addition to the country’s landscape, with the roadway being designated Route 66 just ten years earlier. This was such a fun place to visit. You can walk through the now closed cafe, which they have set it up as it looked just a few short years ago!
We suggest checking out these caves if you’re in the area
- Inner Space Cavern – Georgetown, TX
- Cave Without A Name – Boerne, TX
- Natural Bridge Caverns – San Antonio, TX
Also, make sure you visit Big Bend National Park. What an amazing place to hike and kayak. We didn’t get a chance to spend enough time there and we are definitely going back! It’s not an “off the beaten path” place, so we won’t be showcasing that here, but wow! It’s a beautiful place!
Kayaking Caddo Lake – Caddo Lake in Karnack, TX (Caddo Lake State Park) is perfect for kayakers wanting to spend the day exploring its unique environment. I know there are two types of kayakers. Personally, we love floating the flat waters, taking in the scenery and maybe eating lunch in our kayak. Just a warning, we have been told there are alligators here. Just leave them alone, and don’t try to get too close, and they won’t bother you. And don’t forget your camera!!
Also check out Frio River – We have not been there, but it’s on our list for sure!! We hear Fall is the best time to go!
Thank you for reading and please leave your suggestions for your own off the beaten path in the comments section. We always love a new place to visit. Live Simply. Give More. Expect Less.
Boondocking is super easy to find in Texas!! We have many suggestions, but here was one of our very favorite places!
Granbury Lake boondocking! Great little park area, with a beautiful waterfront view. We loved it. Big rig friendly and great cell coverage.
- Sargent, TX – Right on the beach, amazing views, easy access, cell service great! GPS: GPS: 28.770845, -95.614845
- Winnsboro Lake West, TX – Great city park. Free. Great cell service. Beautiful views. Trash available. GPS: 32.9125784, -95.3481994 (see our video below regarding this location)