Bandera is one of our favorite Texas Cities to visit, and there are lots of fun things to do. Nestled in Texas Hill Country northwest of San Antonio, it’s a really charming town surrounded by beautiful scenery. The town of Bandera is labeled as the “Cowboy Capital of Texas” and is home to a number of dude ranches, some infamous Texas honkytonks, and some very scenic countryside. Here is our list of favorite things to see and do when you visit or vacation in Texas.

Stay At A Dude Ranch

If you’re visiting the “Cowboy Capital of Texas” you need to experience the cowboy life. Go horseback riding, jump on a hay ride or enjoy a campsite BBQ and singalong while you’re in town. Live the cowboy way of life for a day or more. All of this can be done at Twin Elm Dude Ranch or Flying L Guest Ranch.

Play Some Golf

There is some really great golfing in the area around Bandera with beautiful scenery. Flying L Guest Ranch also has a fun and scenic 18 holes of golf just 5 minutes outside Bandera. Tapatio Springs has 27 outstanding golf holes to enjoy. Nearby Kerrville has a fun public course.

Go Honkytonkin’

One of the reasons we love Bandera is because of the lively bars where you can hang out with the very friendly locals. You are guaranteed to meet people ranging from true cowboys to huge rich ranch owners. Cut a rug to some excellent bands, as there is live music often around town.

Each of the bars is different and unique in its own way, so you need to check them all out. Arky’s is one of the original Texas honkytonks and is a must see and famous for their Texas swing bands and sawdust dance floor.

Grab Some Good Grub

There are plenty of great places to eat in town. Our favorite is the breakfast buffet at Old Spanish Trail, one of the original restaurants in Bandera.

Get Out On The Medina River

From fishing to swimming and floating, the Medina River is a great way to cool off and relax without even leaving town. Fly fishing the rivers of Central Texas is a really fun experience. You can rent a tube from Bandera Beach Club and float the river for some laid back fun.

Visit The Frontier Times Museum

Learn about Bandera’s history at the Frontier Times Museum. The museum is home to a collection of artifacts that tell the story of the frontier times in Texas.

Take A Scenic Drive

Texas 173 north to Camp Verde and Kerrville is a fantastic scenic drive around Hill Country. Take Texas 16 and FM 470 west to 187, then hop on 39 to Kerrville for another fantastic scenic drive. Driving the open road really doesn’t get much better than this area of Texas.

Explore Nearby Towns

The charming towns of Boerne and Kerrville are just a short drive away, making them perfect destinations for day trips. Boerne, is a delightful place to visit with its unique blend of old-world charm and modern amenities. Spend your time exploring the Cibolo Nature Center, wandering through the historic downtown area with its quaint shops, or savoring mouth-watering German-Texan cuisine at local eateries.

Just a little further down the road you’ll find Kerrville nestled in the heart of Texas Hill Country. Famous for its beautiful parks along the Guadalupe River, Kerrville is a haven for nature lovers. Take a leisurely stroll in the Riverside Nature Center, or explore the Museum of Western Art for a different perspective on the region’s history and culture.

Hit The Trails

Around Bandera you can go hiking, camping, backpacking, mountain biking, or horseback riding. It’s truly an outdoorsman’s adventure world. The 5,000 acre Hill Country State Natural Area and Lost Maples State Park both have campsites and miles of trail to enjoy.

Simon Trask
Author: Simon Trask

Simon loves Texas and the Great Outdoors. From East Texas pines to West Texas mountains, he calls North Texas home but is always ready to float a river in Hill Country or go fishing on the Gulf Coast. Simon loves camping and road trips as well, whether it's cruising Highway 287, 82, 69 or 281, that's the true way to see what Texas is all about!

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