Boerne’s Hill Country charm and Texas-German heritage fuel a weekend of fun

At Flashback Funtiques, owner Billy Howard sells hard-to-find pop culture relics.

Jerman immigrants who settled in the Boerne area in 1850 knew a pristine urban site when they saw one. Settlers built farms near the bank of Cibolo Creek, the spring-fed creek that anchors the town of Boerne to this day. Named in honor of the German political writer Karl Ludwig Börne, the city became a health resort at the end of the 19th century after the opening of several sanatoriums. The relatively high and dry Hill Country surroundings of the city were thought to be beneficial for people with chronic conditions. The railroad and agriculture also supported Boerne’s economy, and the town’s proximity to San Antonio contributed to both a growing population and a steady flow of tourists. Boerne’s German heritage is alive and well in the town’s annual festivals, restaurants and restored historic buildings lining Main Street.

San Antonio
30 minutes

Austin
2 hours

dallas
4.5 hours

Houston
3.5 hours

A collage of places to go and things to see in Boerne Texas

To stay

Eat

To see

To learn

Shop

To drink

1/ The Kendall
Built as a home in 1859, the Kendall’s tradition of lodging began in the late 1800s when the Reed family hosted travellers. Now The Kendall offers 34 rooms, cottages, and suites — starting at $99/night — including a restored chapel. Peggy’s on the Green Hotel Restaurant is a destination for fine comfort food.

2/ Mary’s tacos
There’s always a line at this family-friendly paradise for breakfast tacos. Try the “Sean” – eggs, bacon, potatoes, beans and cheese – or the “Poncho” – sautéed brisket with jalapeños, tomatoes and onions. Both are wrapped in homemade flour tortillas. Mary’s also serves lunch until 1:30 p.m., including barbacoa by the pound.

3 / Funtic Flashbacks
Located on Main Street, this store specializes in nostalgia, like Big Boy statues, pinball machines and jukeboxes. Owner Billy Howard searches flea markets, car shows and even attics for vintage items, meaning you never know what treasures you’ll find. With neon lights and roadside relics, the store is hard to miss.

4 / Cibolo Creek Brewery
This local brewery creates classic and adventurous beers, including Boerne Blonde and Creekside IPA. Owned by two local families, Cibolo Creek is a popular place to grab a pint, order a cheeseburger and toss it outside. In spring and summer, listen to live music on the terrace.

5/ Dienger Trading Co.
Dienger Trading Co.’s 1884 building has housed a grocery store, restaurant, public library, and offices over the decades. Returning to its culinary roots, the bistro-bakery located just off Boerne’s main square offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is also a boutique offering clothing, decor and gifts.

6/ Cibolo Conservation Center
Formerly called Cibolo Nature Center, this peaceful reserve has more than 10 km of trails along the cypress-lined banks of Cibolo Creek. Be sure to visit the nearby Herff Farm, which offers community gardens, yoga classes, and a Saturday farmers’ market.

7/ Cascades Caverns
Venture underground to Boerne’s oldest attraction to admire the beauty of this living limestone cave, where formations continue to grow. Guided tours explore the high ceilings of the Cathedral Hall and the bones of a prehistoric saber-toothed tiger and an American bison.

8 / The dodging duck brewery
Named after the ubiquitous ducks of Cibolo Creek, this craft brewery serves sausages, giant pretzels and beers that pay homage to the city’s German heritage. Sit on the patio and enjoy yourself as the cars pull up on the street to let the “dodging ducks” pass.

An illustration of three skeletons playing a guitar

old world melodies

The Boerne Village Band claims to be the oldest continuous German band in the world outside of Germany itself. Organized in 1860, the group persevered through the Civil War and World Wars I and II, and at times featured several generations of musicians from the same families. More recently, the German government donated sheet music and instruments to the band in appreciation for their commitment to German music, while the Texas House of Representatives recognized the band in 1991 with a resolution honoring them for “having kept German music alive as part of our heritage.” Now in its 162nd year, the Boerne Village Band performs a summer concert series in the town square and also plays events including the Kendall County Fair. boernevillageband.com

Top of the Hill RV Resort & Cabins, about 7 miles north of downtown Boerne, offers cabins and RV camping, showers, two kitchens, a swimming pool, fitness room, laundry facilities, and a general store stocked with essentials. 12 Green Cedar Road. 830-537-3666; topofthehillrvresort.com

Excerpt from the May 2022 issue