The Cowboy Capital of the World is what Bandera, Texas calls itself, and it's no wonder why when you first arrive in this small Texas town. This tiny frontier town echoes Old West sentiments despite being a distant suburb of San Antonio. Bandera was found by Catholic immigrants from Poland, and the Mexican and Polish influences in the little community can be felt in every facet of life.
The name Bandera means flag in both Polish and Spanish, so it is believed that the name is symbolic of the similarities between the two cultures that have since blended to form the small rural community. The town calls itself the Cowboy Capital of the World for many reasons, most notably it is the start of the Great Western Cattle Trail that is utilized by ranchers all over the state. The town is also mentioned in famous country and honky-tonk songs quite frequently, as the name Bandera evokes a feeling that can only be experienced when you visit the small western paradise in central Texas. When you book an RV in Bandera, consider planning the trip so you can attend the Bandera Riverfest which involves the whole town partying on the banks of the Medina River, with wild cookouts, live music, tubing, and other fun festivities that take place each year in June.
Experience the Sites and Scenery
Bandera has a few parks under its control, and most are small neighborhood parks. Bandera City Park is the premier recreation facility in town and a main meeting point in the town center. At Bandera City Park, you can fish in the river, kayak, canoe, go swimming in the town pool, or enjoy the wide-open space. There is a wonderful playscape for kids and an assortment of pavilions that can be rented for events and cookouts.
Hill Country State Natural Area is a well-known recreation spot in the area. A diverse mix of wildlife and exotic plants can be seen at this natural area with over 40 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. There are a few campsites at the park but unfortunately, none of them can accommodate your Bandera RV rental. Another interesting component of this state park are the ancient indigenous artifacts that are constantly being found by park guests. The park hosts the annual Bandera 100km Ultramarathon each year too where super athletes compete with one another.
Government Canyon State Natural Area protects over 12,000 acres of rugged canyons and desert ravines and lots of diverse wildlife that call it home. Hiking and mountain biking are the most common ways to explore the canyons and deep gorges etched into the Earth’s crust. Lost Maples State Natural Area is in the middle of nowhere but offers you the chance to find solitude with your Bandera camper rental. The rolling hills of Lost Maples are dotted with hidden lakes and ponds, with charming campgrounds for you to enjoy when you rent an RV in Bandera.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Big Bend National Park are prime examples of west Texas beauty, where otherworldly desert landscapes charm and mystify all that lay their eyes on them. Guadalupe Mountains National Park is far away and near the city of El Paso and was donated by a petroleum geologist who once called the land home. A wealth of natural beauty can be seen from the top of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in all of Texas. Big Bend National Park sits on the United States’ border with Mexico and features a long stretch of the Rio Grande River. The park is known for its geology and ancient dinosaur fossils that can be found embedded deep in the limestone and prehistoric rock formations overlooking the river. It might take a lot of driving but Texas has an endless supply of nature for you to see in your Bandera motorhome rental.
There are some pretty awesome attractions in Bandera despite its small physical size and its tiny population. The Bandera County Courthouse is an iconic Renaissance Revival structure built in 1890 to serve the entire county. The old courthouse and jailhouse that were in use before that can be seen by booking a tour at the lovely little museum that preserves the two buildings. Saint Stanislaus Catholic Church is a reminder of the Polish influence on little Bandera and reflects the traditions of the town. Silver Spur Ranch is a great place to check out if you have the time, where horse rides and other cowboy related activities can be enjoyed.
The Frontier Times Museum has a collection of artifacts dating back to the pioneer days. This small, eclectic museum offers fabulous insight into the areas past. The Bandera Natural History Museum has a wealth of information and excitement within its walls, where incredible artwork and dinosaur fossils can be seen and photographed. There is a lot to learn at this exciting institution.
Where to Park It
When you rent an RV in Bandera, you’ll need a place to park it. Fortunately, there are several options in the area, with a few just minutes from Bandera’s downtown. In town alone, there are lots of parks to choose from, like Riverside RV Resort and Pioneer RV Resort. Pioneer RV Resort is on the shores of Medina Lake, a nice place to swim, fish, hike, and camp. Riverside RV Park allows pets and is located in the center of Bandera, allowing guests easy access to the area’s restaurants, shops, and attractions.
Skyline Ranch RV Park has three recreation halls, large pull-through sites, a library, a fitness center, and views of the Medina River. Flying L Ranch Resort is on the outskirts of town but still remains accessible. The park features a golf course, restaurants, and a horseback riding center.