Bandera was founded 1852 as a cypress shingle camp, and the site of a Mormon colony established 1854. It is one of the oldest Polish communities in the U.S.
An authentic Western town, surrounded both by working and guest ranches, the city bills itself as the Cowboy Capital of the World. Rodeos are held at least twice weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Check with the Bandera Convention and Visitors Bureau for the schedule.
Horseback riding is available, plus swimming in resort pools or clear Hill Country lakes and rivers. Visitors enjoy fine year-round fishing, hunting in seasons for wild turkey and white-tailed deer, camping, hiking, rodeos, horse races, two 18-hole golf courses, and Country/Western dances.
Minimum development characterizes the Hill Country State Natural Area, a 5,369-acre park in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Primitive camping is permitted in a 20-acre designated site. Horseback riding, backpacking, and hiking are popular activities. It is located on F.M. 1077, at 10600 Bandera Creek Rd, 10 miles west of town.
Whether you call them Dude or Guest Ranches, Bandera has plenty. Some are rustic. Others are equipped with all the modern conveniences.
Walking or driving tours of are available. See the original jail and County Courthouse and some of the oldest buildings in Bandera County along historic Eleventh St. Also, you can watch saddle makers and blacksmiths. You can also tour a working Longhorn ranch. Information on self-guided tours can be picked up at the Bandera Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Scenic Drives - There are beautiful Hill Country landscapes in almost any direction. Texas Monthly ranks the drive from Medina to Leakey on Ranch-to-Market Road 337 as 18th in an article titled "75 Things We Love About Texas". Many folks rate this area as the most beautiful drive in Texas.
Texas 173 North winds through scenic vistas to Camp Verde and Kerrville. Texas 173 South rolls to the southern edge of the hills and enters the lower South Texas Plains. Texas 46 East explores steep-shouldered scenery through community of Pipe Creek to the German-accented town of Boerne. Texas 16 and F.M. 470 West is one of the most dramatic. Blue hills enfold small green valleys threaded by sparkling creeks.