Some of the most beautiful places are well off the beaten path, and such is the case within the Texas Midwest.
When you get off the main highway and drive along the remaining stretches of historic highways or scenic farm-to-market roads that traverse the region, you’ll get in touch with frontier history, local courthouses and culture, family-friendly events, hidden pocket parks, quirky roadside attractions, and mom-and-pop eateries at every turn — not to mention a whole lot of nature.
It's a numbers game with the Texas Midwest’s 33 counties and 54 communities. Here are just a few of the cool things you can count on.
46 golf courses
There’s a golf course in nearly every community in the Texas Midwest. Tee off at courses of note like the Diamondback National Golf Club in Abilene, a public course sitting on 220 acres of rolling terrain with many scenic views created by elevation changes.
A short drive from DeLeon, Dublin, and Comanche is the P.A.R. Country Club on the banks of the 14,100-acre Proctor Area Recreational Lake.
Quicksand in San Angelo is a challenging course that takes up residence across 300 acres by the Concho River.
The Cliffs at Possum Kingdom Lake consistently maintains its status as one of the most spectacular courses in the state. It’s a direct reflection of the designers, the renowned Bruce Devlin and Robert Von Hagge, who capitalized on the natural beauty of the land.
Also check out Legends in Stephenville, Tin Cup in Merkel, and Longhorn in Bronte.
54 lakes and reservoirs
With so many lakes and reservoirs, freshwater fishing is a given and Jacksboro's Twin Lakes are known for bass. But there are plenty more activities: Boating, camping, hiking, biking, canoeing, swimming, and more are all yours for the taking at Possum Kingdom Lake.
In the Comanche area, Lake Proctor has more than 250 campsites along with water sports and horseback riding. And with nearly six miles of trails, there are lots of ways to get grounded at Lake Brownwood in addition to the 7,300-acre water cover.
134 lodges, ranches, and guest houses
Feel right at home anywhere in Midwest Texas, starting with Stasney Cook Ranch in Albany, a 25,000-acre guest and nature retreat with hunting, fishing, birding, biking, hiking, and more.
On the property are meticulous replicas of iconic forts such as Griffin, Concho, Mason, and Richardson, each offering a unique lodging experience in addition to a completely renovated ranch headquarters.
At the historic Texas Ranger Motel, nestled in the Santa Anna Mountains, you can still climb the trails that the Penatuhkah Band Comanches and Texas Rangers once used.
The aptly named Greystone Castle in the Strawn area is a Texas sporting facility that offers some of the best hunting in the U.S. The 6,000-acre ranch allows for an unmatched range of activities — think hunting, safari-style tours, nature walks, and more — combined with upscale accommodations and dining.
28 brewhouses and Texas wineries
Craft beer, amazing Texas wine, and more await in this region, like at the family-owned Lucky Vines Vineyard & Winery in Dublin, where you can try a range of sips in their tasting room.
Red Gap Brewing Company in Cisco has interesting, seasonal flavors on tap like Margarita Gose With Everything and a Milkshake IPA blend with vanilla and tropical fruit hops.
In Comanche, find the beautiful Brennan Vineyards (their Patio Pairings with locally curated charcuterie and cheese are a must!) as well as Cockrell Vineyards — they're not only known for their amazing wine but also their artisan pizza.
With an intriguing array of subjects and collections, you’ll learn a lot of new things on a museum tour through the Texas Midwest.
You can relive the Old West through state-of-the-art technology at Frontier Texas, an interactive experience in Abilene that brings the frontier to life.
At Fort Chadbourne in Bronte, there’s a spectacular collection of antique military and Native American artifacts on display.
Located across the street from the historic Brownwood Santa Fe Depot, the Martin & Frances Lehnis Railroad Museum details the railroad history of Brownwood, Central Texas, and the American Southwest.
More railroad history is waiting at the Railway Museum of San Angelo, which is housed in a historic train depot from the early 1900s.
Hotel magnate Conrad Hilton bought his first hotel, the 40-room Mobley Hotel, in Cisco in 1919. While it’s no longer a hotel, the Conrad Hilton Center is a multifaceted museum with five divisions: the Innkeeper Gallery, Cisco Museum, Walls of Fame, Cisco Pictorial, and Santa Claus Bank Robbery.
San Angelo is home to Miss Hattie’s Bordello Museum (yes, it's true!), which is in the original bordello building constructed in 1896 — and it is still has the original ceiling, floors, stairs, and some furnishings including the bed frames. The bordello closed in 1952 and reopened as a museum in the '70s.
Don’t let the unassuming exterior fool you: The Terrell Antique Car Museum in DeLeon has an impressive pre-WWII car collection that includes a one of-a-kind Coffin Steam Carriage, Crow-Elkhart Cloverleaf, REO Speedwagon, and more.
Built in 1929 and originally the home of the Sweetwater Airport, Hangar One now houses the National WASP WWII Museum that honors and celebrates the Women Air Force Service Pilots of WWII.
200-plus RV parks
With so many RV parks, you can go on a full tour of the region while always having a place to set up camp.
For a full guide to exploring the Texas Midwest, click here.