If you’re looking for the most beautiful places in Texas, you’ve come to the right post!
I moved to Texas in 2015 and have been determined ever since then to find beauty in this great state!
I’ll be honest.
Growing up on the east coast and going to college in southern California made me take natural beauty for granted.
When I moved to Dallas after college, I realized I had to look a little bit harder to find the beauty around me.
But don’t worry.
I’ve found plenty of beautiful places in Dallas and all over Texas!
You can see some of them in my road trip video from Dallas to Austin.
[If you don’t see this video below, you may need to disable your ad blocker.]
You can also get a quick sense of Houston from this video I made from my visit:
[Again, if you don’t see a video player below, you may need to disable your ad blocker.]
Though I haven’t visited all these places quite yet, the ones I haven’t are definitely on my “to-visit” list!
Without further ado, here are the most beautiful places in Texas!
**I recommend you check ahead of time COVID-19 related closures at any of these places.**
Map of the most beautiful places in Texas
Feel free to open this Google map and interact with it; I’ve labeled them by color based on categories.
Stunning parks and regions in Texas that will blow you away.
1. Big Bend National Park
If you ask someone which national parks are in Texas, Big Bend will probably be their first answer.
There’s a reason for this.
Big Bend National Park features absolutely stunning landscapes and views!
With over 800,000 acres, there’s plenty of outdoor activities to do here among its canyons, mountains, desert, and rivers.
Also, reviewers say this park is clean and well maintained.
I can’t wait to visit Big Bend someday- it’s the kind of place that deserves more than a few days, so I hope to make a week roadtrip out of it!
2. Guadalupe Mountains National Park and El Capitan
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a lesser-known national park in Texas.
But it still has absolutely stunning views!
Guadalupe Mountains National Park features the 10th highest peak in Texas, El Capitan.
It’s also famous for its Salt Basin Dunes and its shrubbery’s vivid fall colors in autumn.
My husband wants to visit all the national parks in his lifetime, so this spot is definitely on our list!
3. Enchanted Rock
If you’re looking for a place to stargaze, Enchanted Rock near Fredericksburg, Texas is a great place to do it!
Make sure you make a reservation to visit this spot.
Also, if you’re going during a nice time of year (spring or fall), you’ll want to make your reservation early in the morning to beat the crowds.
And there are night hikes available for stargazers, so keep that in mind if that interests you!
4. Franklin Mountains State Park
If you’re in El Paso, Texas, you should definitely check out Franklin Mountains State Park.
This state park covers over 24,000 acres, so you’ll have plenty of room to hike, bike, and camp.
This scenic desert place has interesting topography with plenty of places to climb and get a sweeping view of the countryside.
There’s also a barbecue restaurant on-site and public restrooms, so you only need to “rough it” as much as you want.
5. Lost Maples State Natural Area
If you’re looking for a place to visit with absolutely stunning fall colors, Lost Maples State Natural Area is the place to go!
This nature preserve on the Sabinal River has plenty of canyons and hills that make for beautiful scenery.
Lost Maples State Natural Area has places to camp and to park RVs.
It also has a restaurant and public restrooms.
Be sure to check out Monkey Rock when you’re there!
6. Monahans Sandhills State Park
I love exploring sand dunes!
When I went to White Sands National Monument, I felt like I was halfway across the world, not in New Mexico.
You can get that other-worldly feeling of being on sand dunes right here in Texas!
At Monahans Sandhills State Park, you can camp, sled, and ride horses on nearly 4,000 acres of beautiful white sand dunes.
If you’ve never visited sand dunes, I highly recommend it, and I can’t wait to visit these dunes in Texas!
7. The Texas Hill Country
The Texas Hill Country has a special place in my heart.
Driving from the flat topography of Dallas down to the beautiful rolling hills around Austin and San Antonio just makes me happy.
In the Hill Country, you can kayak the Medina River, visit Jacob’s Well, go to plenty of wineries, and much more.
In fact, quite a few places in this list are located in the Texas Hill Country, which makes it perfect for a weekend getaway!
Lakes & Rivers
Enchanting lakes and crystal clear rivers in Texas.
8. Caddo Lake
If you’ve researched lakes in Texas, you’ve probably heard there are very few natural lakes in the lone star state.
Caddo Lake is one of those few natural lakes.
And as you can tell from above, this lake is absolutely gorgeous!
Its swamp, marsh, and fog give off some serious Lord of the Rings vibes!
Of course, you can also go fishing, boating, and camping at this state park.
Just watch out for alligators!
And speaking of alligators, the park has a restaurant where you can eat fried alligator!
9. Devils River near Del Rio
If you love to fish, swim, or kayak, and love beautiful views, check out Devils River.
Many consider this river the most untouched, pristine river in Texas because of its remote location and how parts of the river run underground, filtered by the earth and limestone.
You’ll need to book reservations to visit or camp in advance.
But once you get to Devils River, you may not want to leave this pristine hidden gem!
10. Medina River
If you’re looking for something fun to do in the Hill Country, kayaking or tubing on the Medina River is a great activity!
This river has plenty of scenic views and natural beauty.
Plus, river activities are great for the whole family!
We visited in March and loved seeing the crystal clear river flowing beneath our kayak.
If you’re in the area, definitely check out this beautiful place in Texas!
Pools and waterholes make the Texas heat way more bearable!
11. Balmorhea State Park
Want to swim in the world’s largest spring-fed pool?
The pool is about 1.75 acres large, and the water temperature stays in the mid-70s year-round!
You’ll need to make a reservation and pay a small fee to visit Balmorhea State Park.
Camping and scuba diving are also available.
Add this pool to your list of beautiful places in Texas to visit!
12. Blue Lagoon
This area is gorgeous and the perfect spot if you love scuba diving.
However, make sure you call ahead to get an idea of their capacity and whether they think you will be able to get in as a swimmer or scuba diver.
Although they allow both swimming and scuba diving, they have strict capacities for each.
So visit this place with a backup plan in case they are at capacity and you can’t get in!
13. Devil’s Waterhole
This is another beautiful place to swim and cliff jump in Texas.
This waterhole is located in Inks Lake State Park. If you’re visiting in the summer, you’ll want to get reservations to a couple of weeks in advance.
You can access the waterhole via the quarter mile trail or by paddling down Inks Lake.
14. Hamilton Pool
Looking for one of the most beautiful places in Texas near Austin?
You’ve got to check out Hamilton Pool!
This gorgeous natural swimming hole surrounded by limestone slabs and located on a 200+ acre nature preserve has a 50 ft waterfall and cool grotto!
In other words, it’s a picture-perfect spot for natural beauty and outdoor fun in the water.
Access to Hamilton Pool requires a fee and a reservation- you definitely want to book weeks (even months) in advance because this popular scenic spot fills up quickly!
15. Jacob’s Well
Jacob’s Well is a 120-foot deep natural spring located in the Hill Country outside of Austin, Texas.
You’ll need to make a reservation to visit this natural wonder.
When you arrive you Jacob’s Well is a short walk from the parking lot.
There you can cliff jump into the well or just swim in and around it if you would rather be more cautious.
16. Barton Springs
Barton Springs is one of Austin’s best natural attractions!
Local, natural springs feed this 900-foot long outdoor swimming pool that has an average temperature around 70 degrees year-round.
According to Free in Austin:
“Non-resident fees are $3 for children age 1-11, $4 for children age 12-17, $8 for adults age 18-62, and $4 for seniors age 62 and older. Admission is free during ‘Swim at Your Own Risk’ times: 5-8 a.m. and 9-10 p.m. daily.”
You can get the latest information about Barton Springs here.
Did you know that there are waterfalls in Texas? And gorgeous ones, too!
17. Cattail Falls
If you’re in Big Bend National Park and are willing to make a 5.7-mile round-trip hike to see a waterfall, you should definitely check out Cattail Falls!
Of course, the scenery is stunning in Big Bend and many hikers note that the Waterfall at the end of the trail is worth the hike!
For seasoned hikers, this one’s a breeze and a must-add to your travel itinerary!
18. Gorman Falls
This is another Texas Hill Country must-see if you’re willing to make the 3-mile round-trip hike!
At the end of the trail, you’ll be greeted by a 70 ft. waterfall!
These falls are located in Colorado Bend State Park which has a self-service pay station charging $6 cash as you enter.
You’ll need to pay an additional fee if you wish to camp.
19. Krause Springs
Harrison and I absolutely loved our visit to Krause Springs!
This is actually a private park, which is great because as of 2020, you don’t need a reservation ahead of time.
When you get there, you just need cash for the $8 entrance fee as they don’t accept credit cards.
The grounds are beautiful and include a man-made pool as well as several natural swimming holes, dripping falls, and plenty of garden areas and vegetation.
The swimming hole has a rope swing, and there are clean restrooms and picnic tables if you want to make an afternoon of it or camp there overnight.
Here are a few beaches in Texas you’ll want to visit to get your ocean fix.
20. Galveston Island
Galveston might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of beautiful places in Texas.
But the ocean views, beach aesthetic, and pretty boardwalk make for a really pretty place!
Plus, there are great restaurants and plenty of activities for kids and adults in this island town!
If you’re in or around Houston, add Galveston to your list of beautiful places in Texas to visit!
21. Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island National Seashore (as opposed to South Padre Island which is popular for its college spring-breakers) is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world.
This barrier island and beach feature stunning views and lots to do.
As you would expect, you can camp, hike, swim, and fish on this island as well as much more.
Note that there are fees to get in and additional fees to bring a boat.
The reason I am including this in my list of the most beautiful places in Texas is because of the sweeping landscape views of the ocean and beach you can see here.
If you get a chance, make a visit to this beautiful area!
22. Rockport Beach
Rockport Beach near Corpus Christi is a family-friendly beach with a park and plenty of beautiful ocean views.
Like the other beaches on this list, Rockport has a fun oceanside vibe and the surrounding area has great bars and restaurants.
Check it out if you’re in the area!
A remarkable aspect of the Texas landscape is the canyons carved into the earth.
23. Boquillas Canyon
If you’re in Big Bend, you must check out Boquiallas Canyon!
This 7,000-foot deep canyon lining the edges of the Rio Grande River has spectacular views making it an obvious choice for including on this list of the most beautiful places in Texas!
Also, from the parking lot to the water’s edge is .7 miles (1.4 miles roundtrip) making it the perfect hike for beginner hikers.
Kayaking and camping are available, but be sure to check the park website for the latest fees and more information.
24. Caprock Canyons
Camping, hiking, biking, and horseback riding are some of the activities available at Caprock Canyons.
You get to do all these activities and more in a green space with a roaming herd of bison among gorgeous red canyons!
Check out their website for fees, hours, and more information.
25. Palo Duro Canyon State Park
This state park is also close to Amarillo and offers the opportunity to walk among 800-foot cliffs along a 60-mile ravine!
Also, did you know this is the second-largest canyon in the US after the Grand Canyon?
The sweeping views and rugged landscape make this an obvious choice for one of the most beautiful places in Texas.
Visit their website for entry fees, hours, and more information.
26. Santa Elena Canyon
This scenic spot is another one you don’t want to miss if you’re visiting Big Bend National Park.
With 1500-foot cliffs running along the Rio Grande River, its views are stunning!
You can take the Santa Elena Canyon Trail, a beginner-friendly 1.5-mile round-trip hike that allows you to see much of the beauty of this canyon.
Also, here’s a fun fact:
In the photo above, the left side is the United States, and the right side is Mexico!
27. Seminole Canyon State Park
This beautiful state park near the border features rugged terrain where you can hike, bike, camp, and explore caves with Native American pictographs.
After a visit here, you’ll probably think Texas could earn the state slogan, “big sky country.”
Check out the park’s website for more information about guided tours, pricing, hours, etc.
There are quite a few caverns in Texas. They’re perfect for a summer visit since the caves stay cool even in the Texas heat!
28. Cascade Caverns
Cascade Caverns is a limestone cave with 70-foot ceilings on a 104-acre site near Boerne, Texas
You can book a tour of this interesting geological site on this website.
29. The Cave Without a Name
Cave Without a Name is a natural cavern located in the rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country.
Tours will take you through the six major rooms of the caves where you can see beautiful rock formations.
These cave rooms maintain temperatures in the mid-sixties year-round!
Add this one to your list the next time you’re in the Hill Country!
30. Caverns of Sonora
If your travels to the most beautiful places in Texas take you near the town of Sonora, book a tour to see this network of caves known as the Caverns of Sonora.
Apparently these caverns are globally recognized as some of the prettiest in the world.
So naturally, they made my list of most beautiful places in Texas!
Visit their website to learn more and book a tour.
31. Longhorn Caverns State Park
The underground expanse at this state park features epic views and awesome rock formations!
We did the 90 minute cavern tour which was really fascinating!
There is also a 3 hour option that takes you into the deep parts of the cavern if you’re looking for a cave adventure.
Just be sure to wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty for this adventure.
Other than the caverns, the grounds are pretty, the gift shop is cool, and sometimes musicians play in the unique acoustics of the caves!
Definitely check out this beautiful spot if you get the chance.
32. Natural Bridge Caverns
Besides amazing views, the Natural Bridge Caverns outside of San Antonio feature several activities not available at other cavern sites like a ropes course, zip-lining, and mining for fossils.
If you’re looking for a more active day visiting some beautiful caverns and you’re in the San Antonio area, this place is for you!
33. Big Bend Scenic Loop
This thirty-mile stretch of highway, the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, leads to Santa Elena Canyon showcasing stunning views of Big Bend along the way.
In fact, this is the perfect way to see some of the sites at Big Bend National Park for all types of travelers since it doesn’t require hiking or any level of fitness.
If you’re visiting Big Bend, make sure to drive this beautifully scenic stretch of highway!
34. Lonesome Highway
This stretch of highway leads to the Guadalupe Mountains.
In keeping with its name, you probably won’t see any hint of civilization as you drive this majestic and serene road.
But you will see a stunningly vast and rugged landscape showcasing the beauty of the Texas countryside.
To drive on Lonesome Highway, go west on Highway 285 until it intersects Highway 180.
35. Willow City Loop
This drive goes from Willow City (on the road, Willow City Loop) until it connects with Highway 16 (about a 25-minute drive).
If you want to experience what the Texas Hill Country is all about, drive the Willow City Loop during wildflower season between March and May (preferably on a weekday to avoid traffic).
You’ll see a gorgeous plethora of Texas Bluebonnets as you drive through the rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country.
36. Bayou Bend Gardens
The Bayou Bend Gardens is a 14-acre facility with an art and furniture museum in a historic home on its grounds.
The gardens are beautifully elaborate making this a great place to take photos!
Visit this website found out more and schedule a visit!
37. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
The Dallas Arboretum is near and dear to my heart since I’ve been a Dallasite since 2015.
The gardens are beautiful and often feature exhibits from world-renown artists like Chihuly.
They also have a great kids garden and several holiday setups making this a fun place to visit in any season!
If you’re in Dallas, visiting the arboretum is a no-brainer!
38. Fort Worth Botanic Garden
It took me years of living in Dallas before I paid a visit to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
And I’m glad I did!
The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is impressively large compared to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Gardens.
This makes for a fun adventure and lots of places to explore. But walking around the grounds can get tiring especially for a little one.
The gardens are beautiful with plenty of activities.
Check out their website for more details.
39. Fort Worth Water Gardens
While you’re in Fort Worth, check out the Fort Worth Water Gardens.
Again, I’m surprised at how long it took me to make a visit to this pretty landmark, but I’m glad I did!
As you can see from the photo, the main event of this park and garden area give off some serious Indiana Jones vibes!
40. Tyler Rose Garden
I love Tyler!
It’s a cute small town with great restaurants and all the things you want from a big city but with small-town charm.
Every time I go to Tyler I make sure to stop by the rose garden.
It’s so pretty and fragrant, and blooming roses just make me happy!
If you love flowers like me, you’ll love the natural beauty of this garden.
41. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
You may have seen images of The BAPS floating around social media and thought this was a photo taken somewhere in India.
However, this traditional Hindu temple is located right outside of Houston, Texas!
Besides its stunning architecture, the grounds for this building feature a food court and gift shop. It’s also free for visitors.
42. Gerald D. Hines Waterfall Park
This circular waterfall wall is beyond stunning! Located in Houston, it’s also the perfect park to visit in the hot summer months as the mist from the falls will cool you off a bit!
Visit in the morning or on a weekday if you want to avoid the crowds.
43. McGovern Centennial Garden Waterfall
This drone shot we got at the McGovern Centennial Garden shows you the unique shape of the park’s manmade water feature.
You can walk around the spiral path as you climb the grassy knoll. The park is free to enter and contains gorgeous gardens and a Japanese-style Friendship Pagoda.
44. Marfa Prada Installation
Marfa is a small city in west Texas known for its art scene.
This seems like an unlikely place for vibrant art culture, but it is.
The outdoor art installations against the rugged backdrop of west Texas and its topography make for an interesting yet beautiful setting.
If you visit Marfa, make sure you check out the Prada installation.
45. The Oasis on Lake Travis, Austin
Let me be frank… the Oasis is kind of a tourist trap.
Expect long waits and decent (but not spectacular) food.
However, if you do make it inside, make sure you check out the absolutely stunning view of Lake Travis!
Talk about prime real estate!
46. Austin’s ‘Tau Ceti’ Mural
While you’re in Austin, make sure you check out Austin’s ‘Tau Ceti’ Mural.
This has to be one of the coolest (and largest) murals I’ve ever seen!
It’s extremely photogenic, as I hope you can tell!
While you might not expect a mural to be on a list of the most beautiful places in Texas, I think it deserves a spot on this list.
47. San Antonio River Walk
It wasn’t until 2020 that Harrison and I finally visited San Antonio together and went on the river walk.
This network of bridges and walking paths along the San Antonio River is a fun activity that’s great for the whole family with plenty of restaurants to visit along the way if you get hungry.
This scenic walk is one that nearly everyone recommends when visiting San Antonio.
Because of its world-renown and unique beauty, I wanted to include it on my list of the most beautiful places in Texas.
My favorite spot along the river walk is La Villita, pictured above.
48. San Antonio Missions
San Antonio is such a unique town with its river walk, more murals than any other town I’ve visited, and its missions!
These missions are both an interesting part of San Antonio and Texas history as well as beautiful pieces of architecture.
Harrison and I had a blast capturing their beauty on camera, and feel like they are certainly worthy of inclusion on my list of the most beautiful places in Texas!
49. Ennis Bluebonnets
I’ve visited Ennis to take photos of the bluebonnets there many times- in fact it has become an annual tradition!
It’s such a beautiful area in the spring, yet I haven’t seen it on other people’s lists of beautiful places in Texas.
The flowers usually bloom in late March through April, but you’ll want to check on their status before visiting.
And if you’re located closer to Austin, you can visit Burnet, which is the Bluebonnet Capital of Texas.
50. Texas Tulips
I’ve also visited Texas Tulips in Pilot Point, Texas several times because of its stunning beauty.
I absolutely love this spot for photos, and I think you will too!
Although they also have a location in San Antonio, Pilot Point is a short drive from Dallas so that’s where I go.
But I imagine the tulips are just as pretty at their San Antonio location as well!
Flowers usually bloom in mid February and March so these months will probably be the best time to go.
Their website provides frequent updates, so check there before visiting.
I hope you go and get to enjoy what I think is one of the most beautiful places in Texas!
(Okay, I know I said 50 beautiful places in Texas, but here are two more!)
51. Wild Berry Farm Sunflowers
Another beautiful place to get flower photos is Wild Berry Farm.
This spot is nearly due north of Dallas near the border between Texas and Oklahoma.
The best time to visit and see the sunflowers is in late spring/early summer and October.
52. Sunflowers along the highway in Hillsboro
We found these sunflowers driving from Dallas to Austin along Highway 35 in Hillsboro.
There were just rows and rows of sunflowers with a large highway pull off grassy area to take a quick picture.
We visited at the beginning of July and they were in full bloom, but like all flowers, blooming season can vary.
Phew, that was a lot of words, but hopefully, now you’ve found new beautiful spots in Texas you haven’t seen before!
Now get out there, visit some of these beautiful spots, and let me know about your favorite places in the comments!
And here are more Texas posts to explore:
- Hidden Gems in the Texas Hill Country
- The 53 Most Instagrammable Places in Dallas
- The 51 Most Instagrammable Places in Austin
- The 40 Most Instagrammable Places in San Antonio
- 30 Things to Do in Tyler, TX
PS. If you found this post helpful, please share it to Pinterest! You can use any of the pins below for easy pinning!