Lifestyle

Sonora, Texas: A Life Changing Experience

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Curiosity and questions are ever present in this hub of history. Located within easy driving distance from San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, Sonora will fulfill all your needs in less than a day, from a step back in time to a step forward in dreams.

1. The Old Sonora Ice House Ranch Museum

Photo: Sonora, Texas Chamber of Commerce

The Old Sonora Ice House Ranch Museum features the legacy of Will Carver who was a member of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch. He was shot and killed in the Owen’s bakery by Sheriff E.S. Briant while trying to arrest Carver on suspicion of murder in 1901. John Eaton, Jr., authored “Will Carver-Outlaw”, a book about Butch Cassidy’s Hole-in-the-Wall Gang found in the museum that boasts about many cultural and historical finds from the area. This museum contains history you won’t discover anywhere else.

2. Eaton Hill Nature Center & Preserve

Photo: Sonora, Texas Chamber of Commerce

Eaton Hill Nature Center & Preserve is a showcase of vegetation and wildlife that epitomizes the Texas Hill Country. It consists of over two miles of hiking trails with rocky ledges, brushy plum thickets, and native critters such as jackrabbits, cottontails, lizards, and, of course, the occasional snake and coyote.  There are five water features, predominately for the animals but one, in particular, is peaceful, tranquil and offers a place to just stop and breathe. If you love to take photos of plants, insects, and small animals these trails are a paradise for the camera bug in you.

3. Plenty of Places to Stay and Eat.

Photo: Sonora Texas Chamber of Commerce

For the modern vacationer, this quaint little town offers a very well designed nine-hole golf course that has a five-star rating. There is an airport and several hotels, as well as many restaurants that offer Mexican food, fine Texas steaks, Mom’s homestyle cooking, pizzas, fast food and the ever popular Texas BBQ.  You can find everything from quaint to elite cuisine.

4. Get in the Game.

Photo: JL Bar Ranch

For the sportsman, hunting is a science in the Texas Hill Country and there is no better place to learn than these resort/ranches. The Rafter W Ranch has over 28,000 acres to hunt on. This working cattle and goat ranch can become your dream vacation all in one convenient booking. Then there is the Fort McKavett Ranch with its exotic animals, the Double FF Ranch that offers turkey, wild hogs, exotics, and antelope.  For the premier hunting adventure, the JL Bar Ranch out of Sonora can give you everything from a putting green to helicopter tours, cave exploration to rafting the Devil’s River, and its own shopping and cuisine.

5. Caverns of Sonora

Photo: Flickr/Ken

The treasured Caverns of Sonora, are about 15 miles southwest of town.  They are recognized as one of the greatest living wonders on earth. Why? Because it is a continuously growing formation. One of the surprising facts about these caverns is that they are warm, so there is no need for jackets when you are touring. Just wear comfortable hiking shoes and clothes. The cave consists of calcite crystal formations, mostly helictites of a rare, pure consistency, found nowhere else in the world. The speleothems overhang the walking trails and as you get deeper and deeper into the cave you will see sights that look like butterflies, bacon, crystals that make for glowing lamps and many more mysterious sights.

This Hill Country town is the place to be if you want to slow down. There are no bright flashing lights, honking horns or continuous sirens, but if you crave time to take a deep breath, to bathe yourself in the unforgettable colors of a Texas sunset, or dream about a successful big game hunt then get out your map and circle Sonora, Texas.