I am a cowboy at heart. I may not work with livestock, live on a ranch or know how to swing a lasso, but I’ve got the hat and the boots, and in Texas, that takes you at least part-way there.
A few times a year, I need to get my cowboy fix by visiting some western-themed destinations…not a hard thing to do in the Lone Star state! My craving hit early this year, so my wife and I headed to Bandera, the Cowboy Capital of the World.
Bandera is located about 50 miles northwest of San Antonio in Texas’ gorgeous Hill Country, and if you really want to channel your inner cowboy, I highly recommend you pay a visit to this bona fide western town. Visiting the fascinating museums, wonderful shops, and authentic cowboy saloons will give you a Wild West experience you won’t forget.
Here are three of my favorite experiences from our recent Bandera trip:
- Frontier Times Museum – With its eclectic mix of prehistoric and old west exhibits, artifacts and displays, this museum is not only educational, but quite fascinating. Here you’ll find not only western memorabilia, but also a bunch of unique and interesting oddities (like a 2-headed goat!). Definitely something here for everyone! Website
- Bandera General Store – Browse their cowboy gear, toys, jewelry, antiques, and large selection of jams, hot sauces, honey butters, salsas, etc. You can also quench your thirst or grab some delicious ice cream at their old-fashioned soda fountain. And if you’re looking for something a little stronger than root beer, you can find the real thing downstairs at the renowned Arkey Blue’s Silver Dollar Saloon. If you like mingling with real cowboys, and listening to traditional country music while doing some 2-steppin’ on the sawdust covered dance floor, then this is the place for you. Website
- Longhorn Saloon – This is another great Texas honky-tonk, a fun, cowboy-themed bar where people go to hang out with friends, grab an ice-cold beer, and catch some of the best local, regional and touring country music acts around. Website