Tune in to Dolly and Take a Postal-Themed Small Town Texas Tour

If art made from postage stamps, WPA post office murals, and Dolly Parton trivia sound like the perfect elements for a road-trip, then I have some great tips for you.

I’m not sure that Central West Texas and small-town Texas between Granbury and Fredericksburg gets enough credit. Maybe it’s because there’s only one or maybe two “noteworthy” places of interest in many of these small towns. Supposedly.

But dig a little deeper in your trip-planning research, quite possibly one of my favorite hobbies, and uncover the interesting but obscure.

My fun, easy-going, and desperate to have SOME diversion college-age daughter and I took this road trip together. And, she would say, as do I, that discovering small-town Texas is an excellent theme for a road-trip.

Long stretches of rolling hills, cactus, and Mesquite trees await you. Get out there and enjoy Texas.

We began our trek in Granbury, admiring the gorgeous county courthouse. After visiting the grave of Jesse James (supposedly), we made our way to Eastland, which is in Central West Texas, ironically.

If you have time, detour to Thurbur, just outside Eastland, to see the historic cemetery.

Must stay: The Historic Eastland Hotel.

Must see: The Postage Stamp Mural and the city’s mascot Ol’ Rip, a taxidermied Horn Toad.

Points of interest as you make your way south toward the Hill Country: Dublin, home of the original Dr. Pepper Plant; and Hico, where you can load up on mouth-watering chocolates and chocolate pie, at two establishments across the street from one another, The Wiseman House and The Koffee Kup.

Make another Texas Outlaw connection in Hico. Did Billy the Kid die on the streets of Hico? The folks at the Billy the Kid Museum have firm opinions on the subject.

As mentioned earlier, New Deal-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) Post Office Murals were must-see for us, and Eastland and Hamilton have gorgeous examples. There’s a great book by Philip Parisi titled The Texas Post Office Murals: Art for the People if you want to know more.

South along Highway 16, take a spin around the town square and admire the courthouses in Hamilton, San Saba, and Llano. While in San Saba, pick up pecans. It’s our State Fruit, y’all.

And don’t skip Johnson City while in the Fredericksburg area. Enjoy history, antiquing, and a jillion Texas wineries along Highway 290.

Another thing that made this road trip so special was Dolly Parton. Sadly, she was not in the car with us, because that would have been AWESOME. Instead, we listened to the “Dolly Parton’s America” Podcast, a nine-part non-fiction series produced in 2019.

I can promise you this podcast is the ultimate springboard for conversation on topics you might be surprised by, including feminism, the importance of family, tenacity, and the power of music. And you don’t have to be a fan of Country Music to enjoy it.

Long stretches of rolling hills, cactus, and Mesquite trees await you. Get out there and enjoy Texas.


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Mary The Curious Cowgirl Meier-Evans

Mary Meier-Evans, of University Park, has a Texas-sized curiosity which keeps her longing to see new sites both near and far – though road trips, rather than international flights, make the most sense to her in 2020. Check out her blog and podcast at thecuriouscowgirl.com

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