Texas Living

Where to Find the Cutest Small-Town Main Streets in Texas

By Peter Simek 11.24.21

Before it became home to some of the country’s largest urban areas, Texas was a state of small towns and ranches. Today, there are still dozens of little towns across the state that retain the quaint, historical charm of old-fashioned Texas life. From stately courthouse squares to evocative remnants of fronter strips, these are some of the cutest small-town main streets in Texas.


The heart of the Hill Country’s German community, Fredericksburg is flush with German antique shops, restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and a couple of museums. The vintage architecture along the main street evokes a blend of small-town Texas with German hamlets. It’s an especially pleasant sight after sunset.

small-town main street
Courtesy of Gruene Historic District


Anchored by the world-famous historic dance hall Gruene Hall, this small town’s main streets retain the feel of 19th-century Texas with historical buildings that house antique shops, art galleries, The Barn pottery craftsman center, and the throwback Gruene General Store. Once considered a ghost town, Gruene was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its performing arts scene has experienced a remarkable rebirth.


An 1860s fire burned most of the original Bastrop to the ground, but the town rebuilt after the Civil War and now features one of the cutest small-town main streets in Texas. A number of two-story limestone brick buildings feature overhanging balconies nearly reminiscent of New Orleans. In recent years, the Main Street strip has been rejuvenated with new shops and restaurants alongside mainstays such as Maxine’s Café & Bakery and Monarch Art Gallery.

small-town main street


Dubbed the “Cowboy Capital of the World,” Bandera’s historic strip is still the setting of the occasional cattle drive (these days staged for tourists). Its limestone brick buildings house The Old Timers Trading Post, antique shops, and a renowned honky-tonk.


One of Texas’ oldest towns, Nacogdoches is experiencing a thriving revival. New restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and even a charming, renovated hotel have recently opened along its quaint, brick-paved main street that bustles with the friendly buzz of small-town life.

small-town main street
Photo by Rudy Ximenez


The most striking architectural piece on Georgetown’s central square is the Masonic Lodge, which features a Victorian tower that rises from its spot on the corner of Main and Seventh. Along the strip, you’ll also find antique shops, great places to eat, a music store, and clothing shops.


Nestled into a bend in the Brazos River, Granbury’s historical center features an unbroken strip of beautifully preserved two-story 19th-century buildings. A highlight is the Granbury Opera House, which was built in 1886 and is still operated today by the Granbury Theatre Company, which stages plays, musicals, and concerts.

For more Texas small-town quirks, check out our guide to taking a “European” road trip.

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