If there is one area in which Texans excel, it’s boot scooting and two-stepping. Long before all your music was at your fingertips with iPods and online radio, cowboys found entertainment by listening to the tunes of legendary country musicians at local dance halls. A Texas tradition that still stands today, dance halls provided a sense of community where locals and non-locals alike can come together to celebrate and let loose.
Shine your boots, pack your bags and consider visiting a few of these Texas institutions, if you haven’t already checked them off your “Texas Travels” bucket list.
Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas
One of the most iconic Texas landmarks, Gruene Hall, is the oldest dance hall in Texas. This tin-roofed country saloon has hosted everyone from George Strait and Willie Nelson to up-and-coming Texas musicians. Wooden floorboards patched with old Texas license plates make the perfect dance floor. We recommend you bring a bandana to wipe the sweat off your forehead, because this legendary building brings in the crowds and might be one of the only places in Texas that still doesn’t have AC.
Luckenbach in Luckenbach, Texas
A stone’s throw away from Gruene, Luckenbach is home to another Texas landmark. The famous post office, which is now a general store, also has a lively dance hall with a busy music schedule. Everybody is somebody in Luckenbach. If you haven’t visited before, it’s like taking a step back in time. Whether you go for a big show or just enjoy a beer and live music during the week, it’s a dancehall worth taking a spin in.
Broken Spoke in Austin, Texas
It’s no surprise that there is a Texas dance hall worth visiting in the live music capital of the world. While the area used to be filled with honky-tonks, Broken Spoke is one of the only ones left. Slightly hidden off South Lamar Street in Austin, the Broken Spoke has a musical history that dates back to Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys. Swing by for a visit to get a taste of what true Texas country music is all about.
Billy Bobs Texas in Fort Worth, Texas
What Billy Bobs lacks in history, they make up for it in size. Of course, the world’s largest honky-tonk is in Texas. Not only do they have a full lineup of headlining acts most Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, but they also have resident house bands and offer bull-riding and dance lessons to those guests whom are looking to get into the true Texas spirit.
Goode’s Armadillo Palace
While many Houstonians think of our Armadillo Palace as a restaurant or a bar, we’re really about representing everything that makes Texas, Texas. Home to the tipsy two-step, the Armadillo Palace is a nod to everything we like to love about the Lone Star State, including live music and dancing. Whether you’re drawn to the live music on Saturday nights, the smoky smell of the barbeque, or a glimpse of the twelve-foot tall, glittering armadillo that guards the place, it’s not a spot you want to miss. Mounted longhorns, vintage ranch regalia and faded tales of the Old West line the walls from bull head to boot toe, while leather saddle stools encircle the three-sided bar that anchors the dance floor. Pool sharks, history buffs, boozehounds and boot-scooters – grab your partners and come over for a live music performance and see what this dance hall is all about.