Explore Great Places in Texas
Bishop Arts District - Dallas
As an original streetcar-oriented neighborhood center, what is now known as the Bishop Arts District was developed at optimal pedestrian scale, serving streetcar patrons. The streetcar helped maintain a resilient economy in the emerging neighborhood, and Oak Cliﬀ residents were highly dependent on the connection to Downtown Dallas.
Downtown Harlingen was founded in 1902 on fertile land on the Rio Grande River delta. The railroad near the west side of downtown still operates as it did over 100 years ago, and many of the existing buildings have unique shapes as a result of the tracks. Building materials and architectural styles were brought in from the north through the eras, establishing the eclectic look of Downtown Harlingen.
Through sound planning, visionary leadership, public-private partnership, and citizen involvement, the Downtown Bryan neighborhood has become the soul of the community. Downtown Bryan is also designated as a Texas Cultural District by the Texas Commission of the Arts and as a Texas Main Street City.
Downtown San Marcos
Past and current planning efforts have made Downtown San Marcos a place with a unique personality that is contagious to anyone who gets the opportunity to experience it. San Marcos was designated in 1986 as an official Main Street City and remains one of the oldest Main Street programs in the state.
McKinney utilized the city’s first form-based zoning districts to extenuate the city’s design and public space interaction in and around downtown. All of their years of work have allowed the town to flourish and represent their historic and cultural background for locals and tourists alike.
Hometown of North Richland Hills is one of the first New Urban Traditional Neighborhood Developments in North Texas. The 650 acre area features a wide mix of uses to promote a growing community as it leads North Texas into the future. Road diets ensure calm traffic and pedestrian safety. A street art campaign with over half a dozen quality public art pieces have been commissioned throughout the neighborhood.
Downtown Plano was once the sleepy, nearly forgotten heart of a farming community swept away by Dallas's suburban expansion. Today, Historic Downtown Plano is a fascinating mix of future and past.
One of Houston's original streetcar suburbs, Montrose has a sliver of everything. Eclectic and urbane, the neighborhood is a fusion of architectural styles, land uses, and people (former residents include President Lyndon Johnson and billionaire Howard Hughes). The neighborhood has a thriving art, museum, and cultural scene, and local businesses. It has been the center of Houston's gay and lesbian community since the 1970s. The neighborhood retains much of its early 20th century character: one-third of the city's historic districts are here.
Old West Austin
History, diverse and engaged residents, and one of the oldest oak trees in the state help distinguish Old West Austin, the most dense and diverse neighborhood in the Lone Star State's capital city. Voluntary efforts of residents and developers alike have kept the neighborhood's character intact in the absence of local ordinances governing building size or style. The neighborhood's retail and commercial area is dominated by locally owned businesses, including 1950s–era Nau Enfield Drug, with its wooden booths, curved soda bar, and swivel stools.
San Antonio's Pearl District
The public-private partnership between Pearl and San Antonio's city planners has been a catalyst for historic preservation and economic development in the city center, and Pearl's rapid ascent has allowed it to become a nexus of economic and social activity once again..
Historic Downtown Georgetown
Over the past 10 years the City of Georgetown, Texas, has worked diligently to maintain the unique character of Historic Downtown Georgetown. Enhancing sustainable practices and environmentally friendly infrastructure contributes to the health and high quality of life for its residents.
The 200-year old Downtown Bastrop neighborhood is centered around a nationally designated historic district along the banks of the Colorado River. A cluster of imported rustic buildings blend urban form with nature between the historic core and the river, providing dining, recreation, and shopping opportunities built into the hillside toward the river bank.
Downtown Nacogdoches is a hub for the East Texas region. As the oldest town in Texas, this historic neighborhood reinforces this notion through outreach efforts to other small towns and historic sites. Downtown Nacogdoches was founded in 1837, with incremental growth around the downtown rail stop. Comprehensive Plans every decade placed emphasis on the downtown, and since the 2003 Comprehensive Plan, every effort has been on improving the resiliency and fiscal sustainability of historic downtown.
Great Public Spaces
Santa Fe Plaza and Market Trail - Temple
Beginning in 2013, city leaders, property owners, citizens, and stakeholders worked together to create the Downtown Temple Strategic Plan, which identiﬁed a vision for future development. As a result of this planning process, a new multi-functional plaza was envisioned to help transform downtown Temple into a thriving citywide destination.
Southlake Town Square - Southlake
Southlake Town Square began in 1996 as a 130-acre development designed to serve as Southlake’s downtown and community gathering place. Today, the Town Square is a place in which the street, parks, plazas, sidewalks, and urban design work in harmony to create an environment in which commerce, social interaction, residential living, leisure me, and programmed events occur.
Travis Park - San Antonio
Travis Park is one of the oldest municipal parks in the United States. Since 1870, the 2.6-acre park has held concerts, hosted community gatherings, and served as a green oasis in the middle of a bustling downtown San Antonio. The park is located in one of the most walkable areas of the city and provides direct access to 17 transit lines at upgraded bus stops, providing frequent connections to neighborhoods and destinations throughout San Antonio. The park also includes a bike share station and designated parking areas for e-scooters.
Oval Park - McAllen
Through the progressive leadership of its Board of Commissioners and the Planning Department, Oval Park and the Convention Center District demonstrate why stakeholder engagement matters. McAllen’s Convention Center District is also designated as a Texas Cultural District by the Texas Commission of the Arts.
Tyler Municipal Rose Garden
The 22-acre Tyler Municipal Rose Garden, the nation’s largest municipal rose garden, displays over 38,000 rose bushes with 500 varieties that attracts an estimated 500,000 visitors annually. Intended to be the “Rose Center of the Southwest,” per the 1945 City Plan, the rose garden retains a high degree of historic and architectural integrity from its period making it a “living catalog of Smith County roses.” Roses have been associated with Smith County since the 1840’s when rose cultivation became the chief agricultural crop of the County.
Waco Suspension Bridge
The Waco Suspension bridge is the most iconic landmark in the city, serving as host to community celebrations, recreational events, and even fun Baylor University traditions. The bridge has been the catalyst to much of the active transportation and recreation improvements in Downtown Waco and along the Brazos River. In February 2018, the Waco City Council approved $5.5 million in TIF funds to rehabilitate the 148-year-old icon. Downtown Waco is also designated as a Texas Cultural District by the Texas Commission of the Arts.
San Angelo River Walk
Founded along the North Concho River, San Angelo, Texas, has long depended upon the waterway for sustaining life and for commercial purposes. In 2004, residents decided to support planners' ambitious proposal to renovate the riverbank. Voters approved a sales tax that generated $15 million dedicated solely to riverfront improvements and beautification projects.
Georgetown Town Square
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a designated Main Street City, Georgetown Town Square is anchored by the 1911 Williamson County Courthouse. Using recent infrastructure and rehabilitation projects, Town Square has been the focal point of community events and economic activity. The Red Poppy Festival, Lighting of the Square, and the Christmas Stroll are a few of the most well known Town Square events.
Springtown Tabernacle has been a historic place of Protestant worship since its settlement in 1856 by Joseph Ward of New Jersey. The creek is replenished by the many natural springs for which the town is named revitalizing the earth and the spirit of the town locals and visitors.
Houston's Buffalo Bayou
Called "Houston's Central Park" by Mayor Annise Parker, Buffalo Bayou has shaped the city's development since the Allen Brothers laid Houston's street grid along the bayou's course in 1836. From influences by renowned architect George Kessler to works by premier local artists and sculptors, Buffalo Bayou provides the finest landscaping and design features Houston has to offer.
Dallas Fair Park
Fair Park combines City Beautiful Movement planning influences with the country's largest collection of 1930s Art Deco architecture. "A wonderful place to spend a Saturday afternoon exploring ... art and architecture," says Eddie Hueston, former Fair Park executive general manager. For more than a century the park, two miles east of downtown Dallas, has been delighting millions of visitors. Attractions on its 277 acres include eight museums, six performance facilities, and a major sports stadium.
San Antonio's Main Plaza
As one of the only surviving Spanish colonial plazas in the nation, Main Plaza has been a part of downtown San Antonio since the early 18th century. New World Spanish urban planners created a lively community here by connecting the city's cathedral with "Plaza de las Islas," as the area was originally named.
Houston's Hermann Park
Hermann Park is a great public space in the City of Houston that claims a special place in the hearts of residents and visitors here. The current site is the product of more than 70 land transactions and now encompasses 445 acres.
Arlington's Levitt Pavilion
Levitt Pavilion Arlington is the “crown jewel” of revitalization efforts in the city’s downtown. In addition to attracting record-breaking crowds every year, Levitt Arlington has helped transform a once dormant area of downtown into a thriving citywide destination.
Houston's Discovery Green
Discovery Green was envisioned by several committed Houston philanthropists, who saw the space as a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to create an urban park that would redefine the landscape of Downtown Houston. After one of the first public-private partnerships of its kind, the belief that parking lots could become lush spaces filled with green grass, colorful art and people who reflect the fabric of Houston came to fruition.
El Paso's San Jacinto Plaza
San Jacinto Plaza has served as El Paso’s transportation hub since the founding in 1883, including horse drawn carriages, trolley lines, the city’s bus transfer hub, and now again for trolley with the reintroduction of El Paso’s streetcar in 2018. On October 16, 1909, San Jacinto Plaza hosted a meeting between US President Taft and Mexican President Diaz, the first meeting in history between the presidents of the US and Mexico.
Oak Street - Roanoke
In 2004, the City of Roanoke started the process to complete a comprehensive downtown plan and implementation strategy for the redevelopment of Downtown Roanoke. This eﬀort was undertaken in multiple phases, which included developing the Roanoke Downtown Plan, adopting a form- based zoning code, and completing a number of public infrastructure projects on Oak Street to improve the appearance and walkability of historic Downtown Roanoke. The public infrastructure projects, along with the development of a mixed-use City Center with a new City Hall, have been key catalyst projects for new development in this town of approximately 9,000.
On Sunday afternoon each spring, Open Streets closes the street to vehicles and reopens it to cyclists, strollers, skateboarders, and food trucks. Another annual event held in the fall, ArtsGoggle has grown into a regional arts festival that turns Magnolia into an exhibition space for more than 800 artists and musicians. Thanks to the work of passionate community members and Near Southside, Inc., this once neglected street is now a vibrant catalyst for reinvestment and redevelopment of the Near Southside District.
Fredericksburg's Main Street
Main Street hosts many of Fredericksburg’s famous festivals and tourists throughout the year; thus, serving as the center of commerce and tourism to the town. Adaptive reuse projects allow for tourists and locals to experience historic architecture while enjoying contemporary restaurants, hotels, wineries, breweries, and general retail stores.
South El Paso Street
South El Paso Street, a center of commerce for residents of El Paso and nearby Juarez, Mexico, for more than 150 years, is where American and Mexican cultures come face to face. Rich in history, culture and architecture, the street has been the center of attention for El Paso as its local economy has ebbed and flowed.
Called the "The Wall Street of the Southwest," The Strand was a highly popular location for major businesses throughout the 19th century, attracting banks, wholesalers, commercial merchants, cotton brokers, newspapers, and attorneys. The buildings, designed by Galveston's leading architects, are exquisite examples of Victorian architecture and represent one of the country's largest collections of cast iron historic commercial buildings.
Boerne's Hill Country Mile
Boerne's Hill Country Mile showcases the history of the city while being the center of Boerne's continued evolution and economic growth. The importance of the Hill Country Mile begins with its livability; the City has implemented design criteria to ensure that infill development and renovations along the corridor are consistent with the pre-automobile layout of the existing built environment. The result is a walkable, aesthetically-pleasing, human-scale Downtown that protects the cultural and historic resources that line it.