Seniors Discover Bandera

us-txbdr My wife and I both are from small towns in Iowa. Hers (516) and Mine (285). That’s small by most standards for towns all over the country. This senior discovered a neat small town in Texas called Bandera, in the Texas Hill Country. Bandera is part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The population runs just under 900 and is often referred to as the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” Check out the “Things to Do” on the website above. I’d want to be sure and take in the Frontier Times Museum that is loaded with early Texas history…and get this…over 30,000 items on display. Senior visitors will find several old historic buildings dating back to the mid 1800s.


Bandera was the starting point of the Great Western Cattle Trail, during the second half of the 19th century. Today a bronze monument, honoring the many National Rodeo Champions who call Bandera home, stands on the courthouse lawn.

 Seniors Seek Out A Dude Ranch

The area became popular with folks from San Antonio wanting to escape the city’s summer heat – and in the 20s and 30s – with increased car ownership (Bandera never had a railroad) “Dude Ranches” started appearing. Several of the oldest ones remain in business today.


Read what Byron Browne has written on Bandera and its past. It will take you a while to read but it is chuck full of interesting facts.

I found it of interest that Bandera was known for roofing shingles. The numerous Cypress trees along the region’s creeks provided wood for shingle manufacturing and a mill was set up in 1852. It was the first business in Bandera.

Cowboy Capital of the World


Bandera County beckons senior visitors to share a taste of the Old West set against a backdrop of the spectacular scenery of the Texas Hill Country. Bandera’s title, “Cowboy Capital of the World” originated when it became a staging area for the great cattle drives of yesteryear.

When ranching fell on hard times in the 1930′s, an enterprising rancher decided to take in “dudes” to help him through the depression. An exciting new industry was born. It continues to flourish today with a number of excellent Dude Ranches operating throughout Bandera County.


On Sunday mornings, Bandera is a popular destination for motorcyclists from San Antonio, known as the Bandera Breakfast Run. The local Chamber of Commerce notes that the history of Bandera can be divided into two parts: Polish and non-Polish settlers. Both wrote the rich tapestry of history with hard work, faith and grit and both still claim community-building descendants 150 years later.

Seniors, make Bandera a stopping point when you are in the San Antonio area and enjoy a Holiday in the Cowboy Capital of the World. -jeb

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