It’s a bit ironic: this Texas town is known for its purple fields of lavender flowers, yet its name means “white”. Blanco, nestled in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, about 45 miles west of Austin, is called the Lavender Capital of Texas. From May through July, the beautiful lavender plant (used in soaps, oils, perfumes, shampoos, lotions) bursts into pastel bloom here , attracting visitors looking to witness the spectacular fragrant, purple fields, visit lavender farms, and celebrate at the town’s annual Lavender Festival in the spring.
But Blanco is more than just a hotspot for lavender lovers; this is a popular tourist destination year-round. The beautiful Blanco River draws nature enthusiasts and anglers from all over, while Blanco State Park is a great place to camp and swim on a hot day. Shoppers love exploring the town’s charming shops. The Old Blanco County Courthouse, hailed for its impressive late 19th century architecture, is a Texas Historic Landmark, another popular destination for tourists and for those looking to rent this unique space for weddings and other events.
Then there’s the fascinating Buggy Barn Museum, an homage to the many types and styles of animal-powered transportation from the 18th- and 19th-century. Explore their collection of horse-drawn carriages and vintage buggies — from the most plain and practical wagon to the ornate funeral “hearse”. You may have seen some of these vehicles in major motion pictures. The museum staff is very friendly and informative and the gift shop offers lots of interesting items and souvenirs.
This coming weekend, November 6th & 7th, the Buggy Barn Museum will be hosting Blanco’s 4th annual Hill Country Western Showcase (formerly known as the Blanco Western Showcase). The “Old West”-themed weekend will feature lots of music and entertainment, reenactments, vendors, blacksmith and taxidermy demonstrations, a petting zoo, and a chuck wagon, which will be serving authentic western grub on Saturday. On Sunday morning, guests will be able to attend a Cowboy Church Ceremony and a Cowboy Breakfast. This festival promises to be a fun-filled, family-friendly event.
Visit Blanco for the beautiful fields of lavender, come for the history, or just spend a relaxing weekend paddling the river. Whatever your reason for visiting, you’ll be glad you did.