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Best Way To Experience Fall in Bandera

The long hot summer is coming to an end and the leaves are starting to change into breathtaking hues of red, orange and gold. No longer subject to the hot sun, Bandera cools down and fall activities turn to horseback riding, hiking and golfing. So get ready to pack your favorite sweaters and hiking boots, here are the best ways to experience fall in Bandera, Texas.
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Horseback Riding


Don’t leave the “Cowboy Capital of the World” without exploring the area from a horse’s back—cowboy style. Bandera is home to dozens of ranches with stables that offer private and group rides. Go on a scenic day ride for up to two hours, or get a grander experience by booking a couple days at one of our ranches. Come morning, you’ll wake to the smell of a cowboy breakfast heating up on the skillet. Then, after a day of riding through the Texas countryside, you’ll come home to an authentic cowboy dinner.

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Golf


Home to rolling hills and challenging landscapes, Bandera is an ideal spot to play golf. Avid golfers will want to take advantage of the Flying L Ranch Resort and its award-winning 18-hole golf course. The facility will provide all the golfing necessities you’ll need (unless you bring your own equipment), and beginners can request a golf lesson before playing. And for families, there’s Texas-themed putt-putt golf right on the premises. This prestigious resort’s amenities include: swimming pool, fitness center, driving range, and complimentary hayrides.
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Hiking


Located just outside Bandera in Vanderpool is Lost Maples State Natural Area, where hikers can access 10 and a half miles of trails. With 2,100 acres, Los Maples is known for its breathtaking view of steep canyon walls and rugged terrain. During fall, the park is blanketed with golden, orange and red leaves, complete with a 2,200-foot cliff where you can get a bird’s eye view of the park in all its fall beauty. Bandera and its surrounding area has numerous nature parks with flat trails and hilly climbs.

Families with smaller children may want to take their little ones to pick apples at Love Creek Orchards, as well as peaches, figs and persimmons. Come weekends in October, visit their Great Hill Pumpkin Patch, where families can take home a pumpkin, tackle the hay bale maze and go on a hay ride.

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Winery


Lost Maples Winery is nestled in the countryside of Vanderpool, a few minutes drive outside of Bandera. The winery sits by the Sabinal River, and is surrounded by large hills, providing wine lovers with a breathtaking view as they sip on reds and whites. Across the river, on the other side of the winery, are rows of vines sporting Black Spanish and Lenoir grapes, originally brought over by Spanish explorers to make communion wine. While tasting their signature drinks, a knowledgeable sommelier will give lessons on its history and ingredients. Wine tasting is available Wednesday through Sunday only, with limited hours.

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Places to Stay


From luxury resorts to camping in the great outdoors, there are plenty of ways to stay overnight with style in Bandera. The area is home to dozens of ranches that offer their own overnight accommodations like 2E Twin Elm Guest Ranch, Mayan Ranch, and Venado Springs Ranch. If being a cowboy was always your dream, the ranches offer a full-on cowboy experience with horseback rides, cowboy meals, and gathering around the bonfire. For those who love a good night under the stars, there’s camping at Hill Country State Natural Area, with 50 campsites available to rent. The campsites are conveniently located by a river, giving campers an opportunity to reel in their dinners. Camping in the fall will provide a cozier experience and more wildlife viewing as millions of birds are migrating south, making pit stops in Bandera. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, wild turkey, javelina pigs, rabbits and quails that make the park their year-round home. Lost Maples State Natural Area is another fantastic camping destination. For a more homey experience, rent one of Bandera’s houses and cabins, available in all corners of the region, from the convenient downtown area to the remote wilderness; great for groups or longer stays.
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Fall Foliage Tour


When the leaves turn into brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow, a tour through the countryside is an absolute must. Start with Three Sisters, an unusual route with multiple curves and turns through mountains and large hills. The drive will take you through some of the best nature views in the region, past multi-million dollar mansions and ranches. Just make sure your gas tank is filled before tackling this challenging drive; you won’t see very many gas stations for over 131 miles.
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