Bandera  Population.1,271   Altitude. 1,258

Welcome to Bandera, Texas - Cowboy Capital of the world!General-

The self-proclaimed "Cowboy Capital of the World," the town of Bandera lies about 50 miles west of San Antonio, nestled on the edge of the Texas Hill Country.

The town and the surrounding area enjoy a rich heritage dating to the early 1700's, when the Spanish and the Native Americans fought several notable skirmishes. Tradition tells that the nearby pass for which the town is named was the dividing line between Spanish and Native American territories. A flag, or "bandera" in Spanish, was placed at the highest point in the pass to serve as reminder

Unfortunately, both sides ignored the boundary, and trouble continued. In 1841, a troop of Texas Rangers on a reconnaissance mission Native American raiders were ambushed in Bandera Pass by several hundred Comanches. Six Rangers died in the battle, but the Comanche chief was killed as well, and the Indians retreated.

Around 1851, the first settlers arrived. Settling along the banks of the Medina River, these early residents harvested the cypress trees lining the banks, and processed them into shingles. The industry attracted many new pioneers, including a large Polish community, which strongly influenced the character and culture of the area.

Today this tiny Hill Country town still retains its frontier appearance and heritage. In addition to its "Cowboy Capital of the World" title, Bandera proclaims itself the "Trick and Fancy Ropers Capital of the World" and the "Dude Ranch Capital of the World." Dude-ranching is big business in Bandera, where tourists can experience first hand the rigors of cowboy and ranch life.

Bandera County Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 171
Bandera, Texas 78003

Bandera County Convention and Visitors Bureau
P.O. Box 171
Bandera, Texas 78003

Frontier Times Museum
506 l3th St.
Monday through Saturday 10-4:30; Sunday 1-4:30

This museum houses a diverse collection of over 40,000 items of frontier relics, including bottles from Judge Roy Bean's saloon. The collection of 500 bells from around the world adds an eccentric flair, as does the museum's shrunken head from South America.

St. Stanislaus Catholic Church
Cypress and 7th

This stone church, constructed in 1876, is the second oldest Polish church in Texas. The oldest is in Panna Maria.

Bandera County Courthouse
Hackberry and Pecan

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the courthouse was constructed from locally quarried stone in 1890. On the courthouse lawn stands a monument to the cowboy, specially dedicated to seven cowboy champions from Bandera County.

Bandera Downs
TX Hwy.16 about 2 miles east of town

Quarter horse and Thoroughbred racing year-round. Contact the track for race dates.

Hill Country State Natural Area
Take T X Hwy.173 south to FM 1077 (Dixie Dude Rd.). Approximately 10 miles from town
Use by reservation only

A 4,753-acre primitive park for hikers and horseback riders.

Lost Maples State Natural Area
Take TX Hwy.16 west to Medina, then FM 337 to Vanderpool, then north on RR 187 about 4 miles to park
(830)966-3413 Call for hours

The bigtooth maples for which the park is named are a rarity for this area of the state, and the brilliant display of foliage in the autumn months as the leaves turn contrast starkly with the surrounding terrain. To check the condition of the fall colors before visiting, call (800)792-1112, after October 1. Park facilities include picnic areas, primitive campsites, RV camping sites, and hiking trails. Write to the Park Superintendent, Station C Route, Vanderpool, Texas, 78885, for more information.

Medina Lake
Take T X Hwy.16 east to Pipe Creek, then south on FM 1283 to Park Rd. 37. Approximately 22miles
Fishing, swimming, and boating are the primary activities on this 5,575-acre lake on the Medina River. Once a state park, the campgrounds, cottages, and marinas are now rented commercially.

Funtier Days-
Memorial Day weekend
(830)796-4312 (Chamber of Commerce)

From arts and crafts to canoe races on the Medina river, Funtier Days offer something for everyone, including a carnival and street dance. Mansfield Park Arena (about 3 miles west on TX Hwy. 16) hosts an open rodeo on Friday and Saturday nights, with an Invitational Calf Roping Contest on Sunday.

Polly's Chapel-

Built in 1882 by Jose Policarpo Rodriguez, this picturesque church still stands in the tree covered hills of Bandera County on Privilege Creek. Rodriguez, known as "Polly", was born in Mexico and came to Texas with his father as a child. He became famous as a scout for the U.S. Army, an Indian fighter, a guide, a hunter, and a minister. He joined the Methodist Church and was licensed as a Methodist preacher. He built this tiny chapel with his own hands. Just a short distance from the chapel is a well tended graveyard where Polly is buried. The chapel is usually to the public on most days. Off Texas 16 about six miles southeast of Bandera.

Scenic Drives - Beautiful Hill country landscape surrounds Bandera in every direction. 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 lower South Texas Plains. Texas 46 East explores steep shouldered scenery through the community of Pipe Creek to the German accented town town of Boerne (BUR - nee). Texas 16 and F.M. 470 West provide one of the best country drives - dramatic blue hills enfold small green valleys threaded by sparkling creeks.

Visit - The Bandera Outside Guide for more information!
Visit - The Bandera Attractions and Activities Guide for more information!



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