Bandera is a city in the River Region of Texas Hill Country known for being the "Cowboy Capital of the World" and it is a popular getaway for city folk to come and stay at dude ranches, enjoy rodeos, and partake in other cowboy activities. It's the seat of Bandera County, and a commercial center for all the surrounding guest ranches and working ranches.
Take SH 16 Northwest from San Antonio which will lead you straight into Bandera.
- Hill Country State Natural Area, 10600 Bandera Creek Road, 830 796 4413. 5,400 acres which was once part of the Merrick Bar-O Ranch. Great opportunities for horse riding and camping.
- Lost Maples State Natural Area, 37221 F.M. 187, Vanderpool, TX 78885 (tel. 830/966-3413; www.tpwd.state.tx.us) has one of the best display's of colorful fall foliage to be found in Texas. Covering 2,174 scenic acres north of Vanderpool on the Sabinal River, the area attracts more than 200,000 visitors each year and is a popular place for Sunday drives, hiking, biking, and camping under magnificent big-tooth maple trees. The stunning area can be jampacked and traffic-filled in the fall, but nobody seems to mind -- the colors are worth it to see autumn in its full glory. Fall colors usually peak in early November, and reservations are necessary that time of year for overnight stays.
Bandera's Main Street has dozens of antique and gift shops.
- OST Restaurant, 305 Main St, 830 796 3836. A lunch favorite with the locals, this joint has an interesting decor, with wagon wheel chandeliers and barstools made from saddles. The menu has a lot of well-made Tex-Mex standards.
- Texarita's Mesquite Grill and Steak House, 703 Main St (in Old Texas Square), 830 796 9400.
- Running-R Guest Ranch, 830 796 3984, . Dude ranch with lodging, horseback riding, roping, and hiking.
"river front motel", 1103 Maple Street, Bandera, 830 460-3690. Variety of cabins with one to three bed cabins available. Each contains small kitchen facilities, tv etc. prices start from $70 per night