224 miles NW of Austin; 111 miles SE of Midland; 64 miles N of Sonora

First known as "the town over the river" from Fort Concho, San Angelo was the prototypical rollicking, gunslinging Wild West outpost during the late 1860s and 1870s. During these early days, the soldiers from the fort and cowhands from the field would cross the Concho River to get to the brothels, casinos, and saloons that dominated the town on the other side.

A city of about 100,000 residents, modern San Angelo is worthy of a stop on a cross-Texas road trip. Its rowdy past can be revisited in the form of Historic Concho Avenue, now lined with boutiques and jewelers instead of casinos and bordellos, and old Fort Concho, a National Historic Landmark. The city is also one of the few oases of West Texas, with the Concho snaking through town and five reservoirs within 40 miles, and home to a noteworthy arts scene.