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, and 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 a link to our most epic boondocking locations. And boy does Texas have a lot!
I kept thinking as I was writing this, that 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 world’s largest killer bee – but wait – there’s more! Ha!
Located in 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 (Waxahchie)
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
Located just 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!
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.
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!
Here are some other blog posts we think you’ll love!
- 10 Myths About Boondocking – Debunked! Yes, We Do Take Showers!
- RV Camping in South Dakota
- Off the Beaten Path in California. Our Top Hidden Gems You Just Have to See!
- The Best 30+ RV Hacks!
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.
Looking for the best boondocking / Free camping areas in Texas? Definitely click the button below to see how many we found. And don’t forget to keep checking back!! We’re always finding more!
So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!
Thank you for visiting our little corner of the internet! We hope you found some fun and unique things to see! We’re always updating our blogs, so come back often.