The scenic expanse of wide-open spaces that stretches between Midland and Fort Worth has a few monikers—Texas’s Midwest, West Central Texas, the Big Country—and more than a few ideal day-trip destinations. Abilene may be the biggest draw (and Coleman the buzziest), but here are a few other stops to consider.
See + Do: Peruse masterpieces by Picasso, Modigliani, and Miró at the Old Jail Art Center, one of the state’s best small-town museums, housed in what was Shackelford County’s first permanent pokey and boasting a permanent collection of more than 2,000 works of art.
Eat: A chicken-fried steak or a hamsteak or a Black Angus steak at the Beehive, in the Fort Griffin General Merchandise storefront, which dates to 1907.
See + Do: Have your camera at the ready as you go on a walking tour of downtown Brownwood, starting at the castle-like Brown County Museum of History and passing local landmarks like the newly renovated Lyric Theatre.
Eat: A Roman-style pizza and several helpings of handmade gelato at the Turtle, a “slow food” restaurant, which has both a casual enoteca and a more formal dining room…. Or, a big ol’ bowl of Spiked Mushroom Bisque (or other daily special) along with one of the famed sandwiches from Steve’s Market and Deli (cash and check only)…. And a banana split and/or a Black Cow (chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup, and root beer) at the old-timey soda fountain at Doc’s Drugstore.
Stay: Twenty secluded acres, four cottages, and one tepee make for a quiet, out-of-the-way stay at the Star of Texas Bed and Breakfast about seven miles out of town.
See + Do: Walk through the last fifty years of the Texas frontier at the Buffalo Gap Historic Village as you wander into more than fifteen well-preserved structures, including the Old Taylor County Courthouse and Jail, built in 1879.
Stay: If you hate to eat and run, Perini Ranch has two rental houses, a renovated 1885 farmhouse that sleeps five and a Camp House with a sleeping porch.
For more road trip inspiration, check out all of our Texas Trip Guides here.