In Texas, everything is Bigger -- and that's especially true in the Big Country town of Sweetwater. With wide open skies, daring historic heroes and the largest Rattlesnake Roundup in the world, this rugged, old town is just the Texified trip you need.
Antique Winchester Collection
If you’re really gunning to see some history, head to the Nolan County Courthouse to see the largest collection of antique Winchester guns in the world. Since J. Paul Turner, who donated the 81 guns to the courthouse, stated in his will that they be cleaned yearly, they’re in great condition.
National WASP WWII Museum
At this museum at Avengers Field, you can learn about the secret heroes of World War II… No I’m not talking about a league of superhuman heroes — rather a league of women who were airforce service pilots called “WASPS.” This hanger in Sweetwater was the only all-female training facility in the nation, and now it’s a museum where you can learn more about these brave women.
Sweetwater is home to the largest Rattlesnake Roundup in the world. Each year, local folks bring in Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes found on their land to the roundup where they’re paid by the pound. The roundup has a longest snake contest, a pageant and more!
The snakes are gathered up and put in pits, where they’re measured, weighed and milked for research. There’s ALOT of snakes, folks, so it may not be for the squeamish — but it’s a great place to learn more about these rascally rattlers.
And if you’re a true fan of the slithery guys, you can buy snake souvenirs galore — everything from stuffed snakes to snake-head necklaces and belt buckles. Don’t miss the Roundup delicacy of deep fried rattlesnake!
Big Boys Bar-B-Que
Inside what looks like an old Wild West Fort, you’ll find this BBQ joint specializing in the old-school cowboy tradition of using direct heat to cook meat — and it’s juicy good. You might be thrown off by all the delicious menu selections, but trust me, you’re gonna want to order the “Child’s Plate.” Made for a hefty appetite, this plate is a smorgasbord of ribs, pork butt and brisket.
Guided Rattlesnake Hunts
During the Rattlesnake Roundup, the Sweetwater Jaycees lead guided rattlesnake hunts on local ranches where you’ll see the rattlers in their natural habitats. There’s nothing more terrifying or exhilarating than being just a few feet from the hundreds of snakes slithering in a rattlesnake den! Be sure to check these safety guidelines for more information on what to bring and wear.