AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some believe Texas to be an entirely flat, barren wasteland full of tumbleweeds, and while there are parts of the Lone State State that embody that stereotype (i.e. parts of West Texas), it is not entirely accurate for other parts of the state.

Here are a few places in Texas that don’t exactly feel like Texas.

Big Bend

Stunning sunset in Big Bend National Park featuring bright orange Ocotillo blooms in the foreground (Getty Images)

Big Bend National Park, located in Brewster County, is more than 800,000 acres, and it is the 15th largest in the national park system, according to the National Park Service.

The park was authorized by Congress in 1935 to preserve and protect a representative area of the Chihuahuan Desert along the Rio Grande for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

“Ernst Tinaja in Big Bend feels pretty otherworldly,” one viewer said.

Lost Maples

Lost Maples State Natural Area is most widely known for its fall colors, but it is spectacular year-round, according to Texas Parks & Wildlife.

TPWD said the foliage changes color the last two weeks of October through the first two weeks of November, de­pend­ing on the weather. The park is incredibly popular during the fall, and it often draws crowds.

“Lost Maples definitely feels like the East Coast. Amazing in November!” a viewer said.

The natural area is located two hours northwest of San Antonio.

Hamilton Pool

Hamilton Pool Preserve (Jaco Botha/TC Parks photo)

The Hamilton Pool Preserve is located in Dripping Springs, just west of Austin. The 232-acre area is known for hiking, sightseeing, and of course, the pool area.

“A unique natural area surrounds this pool, collapsed grotto and canyon, formed by thousands of years of water erosion,” Travis County Parks said.

Reservations for the preserve are required for entry.

Monahans Sandhills

Monahans Sandhills State Park (Texas Parks & Wildlife photo)

Monahans Sandhills State Park, also known as an Ocean of Sand, offers a close-up view of a unique desert environment. The park does not have any marked trails, so you are free to ex­plore.

TPWD said the park, which opened in 1957, was only a small portion of a dune field that extends about 200 miles from south of Monahans westward and north into New Mexico.


Peach crop in Fredericksburg on June 7, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Frank Martinez)

Fredericksburg is a small town in the Texas Hill Country, but it is commonly known for its wineries, breweries and distilleries.

“Fredericksburg … Go take a drive thru Johnson City and to Fredericksburg and tell me it’s not a mini Napa Valley,” one viewer commented.

The town also has its fair share of museums, and it’s even home to the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

South Padre Island

The sun sets over the Laguna Madre as a boat passes a dock on South Padre Island.

South Padre Island is a tropical oasis located off the southern tip of Texas, and it is known as the only tropical Island in the state.

“This barrier island offers the unsurpassed beauty of the Laguna Madre Bay and the Gulf of Mexico and is the ideal year-round destination for visitors seeking a getaway from the daily grind,” the South Padre Island Convention Center said.

Longhorn Cavern

Longhorn Cavern State Park is more than 645 acres just south of Burnet in Burnet County. The state acquired Longhorn Cavern from private owners in 1932 to 1937, according to TPWD, and the park opened in 1938. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971.

“Many stories and legends surround Longhorn Cavern. But geology is what makes it truly unique,” TPWD said.