Texas State Cemetery, Austin

As Tanya Tucker astutely observed in her 1978 hit “Texas (When I Die),” even if you don’t make it to heaven, there’s another eternal resting place that may be preferable anyway. Until then (and may it be very long until then), you can pay your respects to and steal epitaph ideas from the estimated 50,000 graveyards around the state, from the prehistoric Loma Sandia burial site, near the town of Three Rivers, to the feng shui–optimized Garden of Eternal Peace, in Houston’s Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery.

To secure a final address at the vaunted Texas State Cemetery, in East Austin, you’ll need to be an eligible state official or else the three-member committee will need to agree that you’ve made “a significant contribution to Texas history and culture.” More than half of the 3,500 who’ve made the cut since the cemetery officially opened, in 1854, are Confederate soldiers. Beside them are thirteen governors, eighteen Republic of Texas vets, and a number of dream dinner party guests: Stephen F. Austin, Barbara Jordan, and Bud Shrake among them. Fun fact: the flag- and tree-lined road that bisects this verdant spread is technically the state’s shortest highway. 909 Navasota, 512-463-0605

Seminole Indian Scouts Cemetery, near Brackettville

A simple gate leads to the final home of an untold number of Black Seminole Scouts, the descendants of escaped slaves and Florida’s Seminole Indians who aided the U.S. Army during the Indian Wars of the 1870’s. The four white-marble headstones fenced off in the cemetery’s southeast corner belong to Medal of Honor recipients, including trumpeter Isaac Payne, who is said to be heard playing on moonlit nights. 3 miles south of Brackettville on FM 3348

Evergreen Cemetery, Paris

East Texas businessman Willet Babcock (1828–1881) isn’t a household name, but visitors flock to see his towering headstone, topped with what appears to be Jesus wearing cowboy boots. Dating to 1866, Evergreen has 40,000 residents, so if you see third-generation caretaker Jim Blassingame, ask him to point out the more unusual markers, like saloon owner D. H. Moore’s cross, festooned with doves, axes, and an inscription from his wife, Marvin. 560 Evergreen, 903-784-6750

Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery, Houston

Bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins. Art patrons John and Dominique de Menil. Oil well firefighter Red Adair. Convicted murderer Karla Faye Tucker. They each took very different paths in life yet all ended up here, on the banks of Brays Bayou, in one of the state’s largest cemeteries. Tucker’s grave is unmarked, but among the more than 125,000 plots are several artful memorials, including crypts with Tiffany stained-glass windows. 6900 Lawndale, 713-928-5141

Concordia Cemetery, El Paso

The Franklin Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop for 60,000 tombstones, while the cemetery’s many outlaws—including infamous gunslinger John Wesley Hardin—provide the lore. Stroll through the city’s history, with sections designated for buffalo soldiers, Chinese immigrants, and Mormon pioneers. Ghosts are said to be year-round inhabitants, but things get particularly lively during the Día de los Muertos festival held every November 1. 3700 E. Yandell Dr, 915-842-8200