HOUSTON – There are some pretty amazing places to see in Texas. Our ongoing series, "Texas Trips," helps you discover what to do and where to eat and stay in these places.
Located around 4 hours outside of Houston, in the midst of the Texas Hill Country, Bandera is known as the "Cowboy Capital of the World." So escape the city for the day or weekend and enjoy horseback riding, hiking, nature and throwing on your cowboy boots to take a trip back into your Texas roots. After a weekend in Bandera, you could even come home a cowboy.
Here are 6 things to see in Bandera:
For over 80 years, Dixie Dude Ranch has been a family run business that attracts guests for an authentic Texas Hill Country vacation. The ranch includes plenty of amenities ranging from family-style meals, a pool and hot tub, a gift shop and more. The ranch also offers guests activities like horseback riding, swimming, fishing, hiking, hayrides, campfire singalongs, dancing and all outdoor sports imaginable. If you are looking to relax a little further, the property has licensed massage therapists.
If you are looking for something that is a good cold weather or rainy day activity in Bandera or educational for the kids, then head over to the Frontier Times Museum. The museum has a collection that has been attracting visitors for over 80 years. According to the website, "The mission of the museum is to preserve and share the cultural heritage of Bandera county and the Texas frontier times. The museum serves the county and visitors through eclectic collections that tell stories through exhibitions and educational programs that promote Bandera County and its impact on the Texas frontier." Museum exhibits include showcasing Medina Lake, the Texas Heroes Hall of Honor, the Doane gallery and more. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for children 6-17 and kids under 6 go free.
The attraction to the Texas Hill Country is its beautiful scenery and nature that makes you feel miles away from city life. There is no better way to bask and relax in that beautiful nature than floating down the Medina River. This spring when it warms up, consider heading up to Bandera and tubing or kayaking with a group. The Medina River Company has a BBQ truck onsite called Chicken Charlies where guests can grab lunch or an afternoon pick-me-up.
If you need a good stop and shop when driving through town, the Bandera General Store will have everything you need. Founded 108 years ago in 1907, the Bandera General Store still holds its magic, wood floors and the original tin tile ceiling. The basement is home to "Arkey's Silver Dollar Saloon," which is one of the oldest "Honky-Tonks" in Texas. If you just want to grab some food or gifts, there is a large selection of antiques, a bookstore and a food selection of locally made specialties. Don't forget to grab some ice cream, a milk shake, a malt or a banana split before you leave.
Known as the "biggest little bar in Texas," guests cannot leave Bandera without partying it up here. There are tons of events, live country music, drink specials, steak nights and free hotdogs and hamburgers. The bar is home to the only jet-cooled dance floor and patio in Texas, perfect for both hot summers and cold winters. Be sure to head to Bandera for their Cowboy Mardi Gras celebration hosted each year.
And lastly, located deep in the heart of Texas is Silver Spur Guest Ranch. The dude ranch offers great lodging rooms and cabins perfect for a weekend getaway, family reunion, company function or group retreat or event. With nearly 300 acres of land, guests can enjoy activities like horseback riding, fossil digging, late night camp fires, historical hay rides, hiking, swimming and outdoor BBQ’s. The dude ranch also has plenty of modern amenities from the dining area, gift shop, hospitality rooms, pool, playground and WiFi.