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The largest city in Texas not located on an interstate highway, San Angelo occupies a remote spot on the Concho River, surrounded by rugged, cactus-studded desert blessed with intensely beautiful sunsets. With a population of about 100,000, San Angelo was born as "the town across the river" from Fort Concho, now a national historic landmark, with a downtown dominated by saloons, casinos, and brothels. Some of that history lives on in the form of a brothel museum and a restaurant, Miss Hattie's, named after one of the city's most notorious madams, but San Angelo has cleaned itself up pretty good: downtown is now dominated by boutiques and ...

The largest city in Texas not located on an interstate highway, San Angelo occupies a remote spot on the Concho River, surrounded by rugged, cactus-studded desert blessed with intensely beautiful sunsets. With a population of about 100,000, San Angelo was born as "the town across the river" from Fort Concho, now a national historic landmark, with a downtown dominated by saloons, casinos, and brothels. Some of that history lives on in the form of a brothel museum and a restaurant, Miss Hattie's, named after one of the city's most notorious madams, but San Angelo has cleaned itself up pretty good: downtown is now dominated by boutiques and jewelers in place of the former sinful tenants and the Concho River sports a four-mile trail, public art, gardens, and a nine-hole golf course. The river itself is home to rare freshwater mussels that are the source of the concho pearl, a pink globe prized by jewelers. The fort is now the top tourist attraction in town, followed closely by the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. San Angelo State Park is located on the city's fringes, offering trails, campsites, petroglyphs, and a reservoir. About 60 miles south of town is Sonora, home to a dazzling cave system that's open to the public for tours.

Eric Peterson
About the Expert

Eric Peterson has written and contributed to numerous Frommer’s guidebooks covering the American West, including Montana & Wyoming, Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, and Texas.

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Eric Peterson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Fall and spring