“TO DO” – FAVORITE THINGS!!!
There is much to do in the Texas Hill Country and we are almost equal distances between San Antonio, Boerne, and Bandera…an easy drive to Fredericksburg, Johnson City, Comfort, San Antonio, New Braunfels/Gruene, San Marcos, and Austin (though a bit further). Here are a few of our CLOSE BY favorites:
Pipe Creek — Clean air, beautiful hills, peaceful quiet serenity, and far away from the maddening crowd! From here, you can “day-trip” to almost all of the HILL COUNTRY CITIES, so it makes a great home base to travel from. Plus, there are awesome local options!
- FOOD: Backyard Bistro – Farm to Market options with a cute outside area. Music on many Saturday nights. Best “close by” restaurant plus wonderful home-made ice cream. Open on Thursday-Sunday afternoons only.
- SHOPPING: Country Accents Antiques (it is in FRONT of the Backyard Bistro – making it a bit hard to find the Bistro… we think you’d enjoy checking out both!)
- WINE: Within walking distance (weekends only) and just two blocks down the hill is Timber Ridge Winery which sells bottles only of their two personal blends that are delightful. [If you want more established grapeyard vineyard locations, outside of Pipe Creek, here are some favorites.]
- FUN/RELAXATION: Our guest rave about the authentic Horseback riding experience at Cross G Ranch, or simply sit outdoors, look at the stars, listen to nature, enjoy the crackle, smell and glow of the fire pit, take a walk up or down the hills near Bella Green, hang out in the exercise room, grab a book from the library, bring their own hammock(s) to have a swing, book a massage &/or infra-red sauna session at Bella Green, or consider a private water WATSU session at Deer Creek Sanctuary. Local sculptor, Esther Benedict, brings joy, beauty and happiness to the world with her art and is usually open on the weekends for free tours of her sculpture garden.
Boerne — Antiques / Art / Great Food & Shopping! Year round parades, festivals, and cultural events fill the air with music and merriment. The Kendall County Fair, Chocolate Walk, Berges Fest, Wings Over Boerne, Parade of Artists, Cibolo Songs & Stories, Harvest Moon Celebration, Abendkonzerte, Weihnachts Fest, Dickens on Main, Boerne Market Days and the Key to the Hills Rod Run are some of the activities that draw people from near and far away. http://www.visitboerne.org/
Our recommended favorites include:
- SHOPPING: EVERYTHING on Main Street (great boutiques, antique stores, and resale shops!). Visit Boerne Epicure if you want to purchase wonderful goodies to eat on site here. LOTS to choose from – some healthy, some not : )
- FOOD: Cypress Grill, The Creek, Dodging Duck Brewhaus (our overall favorite casual restaurant!), 259 Brantley’s Bistro+Drink Texas Biergarten is directly behind it (Live music most Saturday nights), Chilito’s Express, Piknik Cafe (inside Nature’s Presence Health Store), Boerne Epicure.
- FUN: 2nd Saturdays Art Walk and FREE Shuttle Bus (monthly during Market Days!), Hill Country Paddle Sports & Sup Yoga, River Road Park (bring seeds to feed the ducks) &/or walk the old train tracks, Cibolo Nature Center, where the trails are short enough that you’ll be able to explore the entire center in a day. You’ll be able to hike marshes, the open meadows alike and learn more about the dinosaur tracks that were discovered in 1997. On rainy days (or super hot days) we love sending guests to Cave Without a Name.
- ARTS: Boerne Community Theater and Boerne Performing Arts
- Like Wine? Boerne Wine Company
- Like Beer? Drink Texas Biergarten – Random Beer Garden – Dodging Duck Brewhaus – Boerne Brewery (free tasting tours on Fridays only from 2-4:45 pm)
Bandera — Cowboy Capital of the World. Visiting Bandera is like stepping back to an old-time rustic Western town, full of dude ranches, cattle, and horses, and trail rides, and where chivalry, live music, and dancing abound. There is a spirit of independence here – and a special pride that speaks to the cowboy tradition of hard work and hard play. http://banderacowboycapital.com/contents.cfm?pg=todo
Our recommended favorites include:
- FUN: Bandera City Park (on the river), Hill Country State Natural Area is where you can take advantage of 40+ miles of multiuse trails – hike, bike and even ride a horse along these designated paths.
- Rodeos – seasonal, Kayaking or Floating the river (seasonal),
- Horseback riding – MANY options to choose from (contact Hill Country State Natural for providers or we also love Cross G Ranch, www.banderahistoricalrides.com, www.facebook.com/pages/Juniper-Hill-Stables, www.silverspur-ranch.com
- MUSIC: 11th Street Cowboy Bar – Grab your cowboy hat and boots and come out for a cold beer, LIVE MUSIC and dancing at this outdoor venue which we highly recommend. We especially love their Wednesday Steak Nights with live music (BYO meat to grill; get your sides, plates and silverware there) & their Sunday afternoon Jam Sessions. Also if you are into history, Arkey Blues Silver Dollar Saloon is an authentic Honkey Tonk complete with sawdust on the floor (for boot-scooting) and sadly, cigarette smoke that hangs in the air…
- EDUCATIONAL: Visit the Bandera Natural History Museum, Frontier Times Museum, Polly Peak Chapel
- SHOPPING: Gunslinger’s (hands down Karen’s favorite store!), Love’s Antiques and Collectables Mall (you can get lost inside here – very fun!), Graceful, The Western Store
- FOOD:Mulberry’s is open Thurs-Sat. nights for the best pizza and salad around! Brick’s River Cafe, is a wonderful country restaurant open almost always! On Saturday nights (seasonally) we like the Flying L’s ChuckWagon Dinner and Show ($35pp) on Saturday nights that is food and entertainment combined. Wednesday night is STEAK NIGHT at 11th Street Cowboy Bar where you grill your own food as a community with others while enjoying live outdoor music, China Bowl has great lunch specials, and we love the Soda Fountain at Bandera General Store. Last but not least, try Chicken George’s food truck for Take-home (across from Brick’s).
Medina Lake/Lakehills: Try the 4 Way Bar & Grill for wonderful burgers (Fish Fry Fridays/Steak Night Saturdays) and live music most weekends,
San Antonio: Our favorite places include the Riverwalk (and Boudro’s to eat), Pearl Brewery area (and all the food there) plus their weekend Farmer’s Market,walking the SA Missions, the San Antonio Zoo, the botanical garden, lots of great Museums, Seaworld, Fiesta Texas, the walking the neighborhood of majestic homes in King Williams (stopping at Mad Hatter Tea House here), the trolley cars, the riverboat tours, bike rentals along the Riverwalk, and Segway tours. WE LOVE THIS BIG CITY!! http://visitsanantonio.com/
Other favorites to explore:
- Helotes – Flores Country Store has great live music! El Chaparral Mexican Resturant and Market Days! The Broken Cup Coffee Bar.
- Bergheim – The Guadalupe River is usually a not crowded and awesome place to tube, kayak and, or canoe. Rent yours at Bergheim River Outfitters and Campground. O’Brien’s is a really nice restaurant too.
- Sisterdale/Comfort/Fredericksburg – Don’t miss the wine tours and tastings, antiques and shopping; Enchanted Rock has nearly 11 miles of trails lets you experience enviable views that are well-worth the hike. Take the Summit Trail hike for a 360 degree views of the park (from 1823 ft. in the air) or hire an expert guide at Texas Climbing Adventures if you want to climb versus hike. Wildseed Farms, Main Street(s), Medina Hoff Winery, Artisan’s at Rocky Hill, helicopter tours, Sunset Grill (Fredericksburg), High’s Cafe (Comfort), Fredericksburg Herb Farm, the Sculpture Ranch (Fredericksburg), and roadside peaches when in season!
- Vanderpool – Our favorite hiking spot is Lost Maples State Park (especially beautiful in the Fall but we prefer visiting it all OTHER times because the crowds are so small and we are often the only ones there). Just a over an hour away, the park features more than 10 miles of trails, including one loop that gives you an insane view from the top of a 2,200-foot cliff! Extra bonus: the drive out there is lovely too.
- Tarpley: Drive on out to Mac n Earnie’s Roadside Eatery – featured on Guy Fieri ‘s Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives (The Food Network). Beautiful drive! Call to ensure it is open though….
- San Marcus – this is our FAVORITE (but can be too crowded) river to tube because of the crystal clear water PLUS and they have a GIANT outlet mall nearby! Food favorites: The Root Cellar, Shade Rooftop Patio Bar, Boho Bites and Dick’s Classic Garage.
- Gruene – It is super fun to walk and explore the “old town” Gruene Square and its many shops, restaurants, galleries, and music (the famous Gruene Dance Hall! is here). Favorite dining spots: Gruene River Grill, Riverhouse Tea Room, Mosie’s Bar and Grill, Boho Bites.
- New Braunfels – Old World Charm plus Schliterbaum Water Park, Landa Park with its wonderful natural swimming hole with ropes to swing from, Natural Bridge Caverns (we love caves!) and Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. Plus New Braunfels overflows with old-world heritage and small town charm.
- Austin – a hidden favorite is the Hamilton Pool (waterfalls) on the Pedernales River, Zilker Park, Barton Springs, Lake Travis, the bats at Congress Ave. Bridge, Whole Foods (its ORIGINAL location), the many food trucks, Shady Grove Restaurant, Jester King Brewery, and much more! To find LIVE MUSIC locally: http://www.reverbnation.com/main/local_scene
ARE YOU LOOKING TO HAVE YOUR DREAM WEDDING IN THE HILL COUNTRY? We have a sister property nearby that can host groups as small as 10 and as large as 100, and a second one that hosts up to 250! Contact us for more details.