Bandera Texas is called The Cowboy Capital of the World… and for a very good reason! It looks like a cowboy town!
Not a fake cowboy town with people wandering the streets wearing cowboy costumes…. No, Bandera Texas is the real deal!
Here you will see ranchers coming town, wearing jeans, boots and worn-out spurs. You’ll see horses tied up at a restaurant or bar, patiently waiting for their riders to finish their business inside. You’ll see store fronts that still look like a store from the old cowboy era.
Things To Do In Bandera Texas
Since we’re talking about cowboys, a dude ranch is a good place to do something fun. Here you can get a real ranch experience that includes roping, horseback riding, and interacting with other animals like goats or donkeys.
The good dude ranches also have a pool to help you stay cool in the summer.
My favorite dude ranch is the Silver Spur Guest Ranch, but there are others too, like the Dixie Dude Ranch, Rancho Cortez, the Flying L Guest Ranch, Mayan Ranch, and the Running R Guest Ranch.
Hill Country State Natural Area
The Hill Country State Natural Area is about 10 miles southwest of Bandera, basically next door to the Silver Spur Guest Ranch.
It is a very beautiful and undeveloped area of the Hill Country. There is plenty to do, including hiking one of the many trails and horseback riding.
Remember to take your own water along!
Frontier Times Museum
The Frontier Times Museum contains many artifacts reflecting Bandera’s history and cowboy heritage. It is well worth a visit!
Cowboy Bars in Bandera Texas
The last time that we were in Bandera, we spent some time at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar. This place is something special. They have live music on Wednesdays and on the weekend.
Although the bar is popular with bikers, it is not uncommon to see a couple of horses tied up in front of the bar while their owners enjoy a refreshment inside!
Another nice bar that has live music, is Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar.
The Chikin Coop is another bar / restaurant that I like. More about them below…
Tubing on the Medina River
When the Medina river is high enough, it is great fun to rent a tube and float down the river. This is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
The Bandera River Yacht Club rents tubes, kayaks, and even paddle boats.
Places To Stay in Bandera
A decent place to stay in Bandera is the River Front Motel. They have individual cabins that are nicely furnished. The River Front Motel is within walking distance of several popular bars and restaurants in Bandera, which is very convenient.
The dude ranches also offer accommodation, so check them out as well. They might cost you more, but they give a unique “cowboy ranch” experience!
If you are into camping or have a RV, try the Cowboy Capital RV park. The owner is a real friendly guy.
Places To Eat in Bandera
Our first meal in Bandera was at the Chikin Coop, a bar / restaurant on Main street. They serve burgers, sandwiches, salads, and have a full bar. They also have band and dancing at the Chikin Coop on the weekends.
If you like a really good cup of coffee, go to the Dogleg Coffeehouse, also on Main street. Not only do they make great coffee, but also have a nice variety of excellent pastries and scones.
Another great restaurant in Bandera Texas to try is O.S.T. Restaurant, also on Main street. They make some excellent chicken fried steak and chicken fried chicken, both traditional Texas meals. Their Mexican food is very good too.
If you will be spending some time in the San Antonio area, be sure to spend a day or two in Bandera as well. It will give you a genuine and unique experience of “cowboy” that you won’t find in too many places!
PS. Have you visited Bandera Texas before? Tell us about your experience in the comments below…