With Spring Break here, it’s the perfect time for a Texas road trip. Why not add a twist, and head for some of these uniquely named burgs?
Known for more than just having the same name as the most famous Muppet, Kermit is home to champion bull rider Jim Sharp, often considered a founding father of the PBR. (The proud town named a street after the decorated athlete.) With its old-town feel, you’ll find nice people, Southern-style food and, of course, Kermit The Frog Boulevard.
Don’t miss: The Winkler County Courthouse; the marker for the “Compromise of 1850,” which led to Texas giving up 1/3 of its land; a picture with the Kermit-style water tower.
Don’t be fooled by the name of this small town, located in the northeast of Fannin County, telephones aren’t used much here. In a town of 210 occupants, who needs a phone when you see the entire town each day? The tiny town got its name from Pete Hindman who, around 1880, had the only telephone in the area located in his general store. He applied to open a post office, but was denied several times because the names he chose were already being used. So, he submitted Telephone and in 1886 the post office opened. If you plan to stay a while, the hotels are only walking distance from local town restaurants. And if you’re in the mood for some peaceful scenery, Sandy Creek RV Park is known for its beautiful woods. So stop by and enjoy nature without the distraction of your phone.
Ding Dong, Texas
Is the name of this town ringing any bells? Named after two settlers, Zulis Bell and Burt Bell, the town has quite a story. After opening their own store, the Bell’s hired an artist to make a sign. He painted two bells and under them wrote “ding” and “dong” and this how the town got its clever name. Quite comically, Ding Dong is only home to about 20 residents, so there isn’t much “ding-donging” happening. Although the town itself is quite small, it’s located on the Lampasas River and close to bigger towns such as Killeen, so travelers have no fear, there is something for you. The cozy town had its fame when featured on the Johnny Carson Show and Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
If you’re ever traveling, heading to a destination unknown, you might as well head to Uncertain. When you make it, you’re certain to have a good time. Home to the mysterious Caddo Lake, the town has an abundance of activities formulated around the water. Take a day to tour the lake with steamboats, pontoons, and mud boats. Other activities include fishing, hunting, canoe and kayak paddling, and while you’re on the water, you can spot birds such as herons, egrets, wood storks, and bitterns. After you’ve explored the lake, head to the local flea market for some unique finds or grab a bite to eat at Shady Glade Café.
This town got its name from William “Bigfoot” Wallace, Texas war hero, Texas Ranger, and a Texas-sized guy. Located at the edge of town is none other than the Bigfoot Wallace Museum, a tribute to the man who began it all. If you ever find yourself in the tiny town, make an appointment and stop by the museum to learn about its history. And you mustn’t forget to stop by the historic tree in the center of town, which has become the landmark of Bigfoot. Due to its rural lifestyle, the town is known for activities such as hunting and farming.
This is the town, theoretically, without a name and without people. It’s a Texas ghost town (quite literally), located in Travis County. According to history, all names were rejected for the town. Townspeople, frustrated, said “let the post office be nameless” and that is how the vacant town received its comical name. Located in the town is Nameless Road, Nameless Cemetery, and the Nameless Schoolhouse, which happens to be the only structure still standing. These sites are almost all that remains in the town itself. You can find out more information on Nameless from the Austin Explorer.
This town got its lovely name because the land is every cowboy’s paradise, that and the post office rejected the first submission of Eldorado. (Let’s face it, Texas itself is paradise.) With a population around 500, only few call the town home and get to experience vacation every day in paradise. Stop by the Paradise Museum and see the Machine Gun Kelly exhibit. While you’re in town, you might hit the jackpot and catch a car show on Main Street (you’ll wish you had one of the classics) or even take part in a washer tournament.
Want to travel to outer space but don’t have a rocket to get there? Head to Venus, Texas; close enough, right? The city was founded with the original name of Gossip, Texas, but was later changed to Venus, after the daughter of a local doctor. The Great Depression hit the town hard and it began its decline. The remaining drug store was on the brink of foreclosure, but the town rallied together and individuals donated $5 to keep it open. Venus is just a short drive from Dallas and Waxahachie (home to one of the most haunted houses in Texas, the Burleson House.)
Tell Nemo’s dad we found his son, not in the ocean, but in Nemo, Texas. This town got its spectacular name from a multitude of post office application rejections. Local hero Jimmie Johnson had the railroad honor him with the designation of Johnson Station. To continue the tribute, the townsfolk wanted to designate the post office in his honor as well. Unfortunately, Washington post authorities wanted a shorter name, to where the townspeople responded, “If it can’t be named after a fine man like Johnson – it shouldn’t be named after any man.” A Latin-speaking citizen suggested Nemo, which means “no man,” and the town submitted the name. Spend time honoring those who have fallen and experiencing history at the George’s Creek Cemetery.
In 1923, oil was discovered in Best, Texas and the population boomed. Instantly, the town received its wild reputation, with the unofficial slogan being “the town with the best name in the world and the worst reputation.” Since then, the population has fizzled and Best has become a ghost town. Not much remains in the town (including people). Structures still standing are the Springston Ranch and the Best Jail (which seems to be a little ironic).