Things to Do

Been to Bandera, the ‘Cowboy Capital of the World’?

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Where is Bandera, Texas? In the Texas Hill Country, of course! The small city is located at the junctions of TX 173 and TX 16 and isn’t far from big ole San Antonio. Long-ago citizens nicknamed this place the “Cowboy Capital of the World.”

waggons-332936_1920Photo: Pixabay

Remember the historical cattle drives? Bandera was the starting point for the Great Western Cattle Drive in the 19th Century. Can you imagine the number of provisions for the cowboys? Here’s a bit of interesting info: some of those cowboys may have been of Polish descent.

Catholic Church in BanderaPhoto: Facebook/Bob Kleinworth

According to history, Polish Roman Catholic immigrants started populating the area, and many modern residents claim Polish heritage. These settlers from Poland built the St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, and it remains as one of the oldest churches in Texas.

Well now, who named the place? Stories abound aplenty for the answer to that question, and one tall tale is as good as another. “Bandera” is the Spanish word for flag. One legend says a cowboy planted a flag on top of a hill, therefore the hilltop pass came to be called Bandera. That folklore works as well as any, right?

Dixie Dude Ranch BanderaPhoto: Dixie Dude Ranch

The terrain in the area is perfect for ranching, but during the Great Depression, ranching took a major hit. Texans are famous for creativity, don’t you know? So here’s what one old cowpoke did. He created the concept of dude ranches. Perhaps that’s why the city is the Cowboy Capital of the World. Folks from all over creation want to have fun as a cowboy or cowgirl for a few days.

Pretend to be the owner of a large Texas hacienda at one of the many dude ranches in Bandera. You’ll find ten of them here.


sunset-summer-motorcyclePhoto: Pexels

Maybe playing cowboy isn’t your thing, but you enjoy riding bikes. Consider participating in a motorcycle rally. Bandera has just the thing. Many enjoy this pastime, and riders find thrills in Bandera.

You’ll find good eats and entertainment galore here. Make this Hill Country city your next vacation destination!


Bandera, Texas