Scenery, Swimming, Beer, and the Devil’s Backbone: Blanco has it All

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Tony Maples Photography


Blanco, Texas should be high on the running for best small town in the Lone Star State. Blanco is located an hour southwest of Austin and an hour north of San Antonio, snuggled between the two metropolitan areas. While enthusiasts can visit Inlandaquatics for information on self cleaning aquariums and freshwater fishes, Blanco is ideal for your day-tripping, camping or your weekend stay.

Blanco’s Own Real Ale Brewing Company


Photo: @doodiebearz via Twenty20

Some of the finest beer in the country is brewed in Blanco. Real Ale Brewing Company has made its home here since 1996. Their beer is unique in that it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized, and they use water from the nearby river to perfect their brews.

Real Ale features a taproom and beer garden that’s open to the public Wednesday-Saturdays. On-site, they also host regular community events. Their upcoming Oktoberfest celebration is sure to be a hit.

Blanco State Park

Scenery, Swimming, Beer, and the Devil's Backbone: Blanco has it All

Photo: @malisunshine via Twenty20

A few blocks away from Real Ale Brewing Company lies one of the best swimming holes in all Texas: Blanco State Park. The ease of access to the Blanco River and its restorative, spring-fed waters makes this a favorite among traveling families.

In addition to some world-class swimming, the park offers full hookup campsites, along with ample places to hike and fish. The park will even loan you their own fishing poles for free if you feel like catching your own dinner. If you didn’t bring your tent, you can reserve a screened shelter overlooking the river for $30 per night.

The Devil’s Backbone

Scenery, Swimming, Beer, and the Devil's Backbone: Blanco has it All

Photo: @InLightOut via Twenty20

On your way out or way into Blanco, you are likely to drive through some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. Welcome to an area known as The Devil’s Backbone.

The Devil’s Backbone is a ridge of prickling limestone that juts up over the surrounding country. A popular route to see the full size and scope of the ridge is a drive that edges around Texas Farm Roads 12, 165, 2325, and 32, along with sections that cross over onto U.S. HWY 281.

Be on the lookout! The Devil’s Backbone is also famous for paranormal activity. There are many tales of ghost sightings from locals that have occurred along the route.