Life paces itself slower in small towns. In Blanco, for instance, old-timers gather regularly at the Blanco Bowling Club and Café to exchange opinions over a cup of coffee, and on the square, residents pause to chat at the post office after retrieving the morning’s mail.
While residents and visitors can enjoy the small town way of life, Blanco is just a quick hop from both Austin and San Antonio, and just a jump from Houston. With our hotels, guesthouses, and bed and breakfasts, the area is the perfect place to spend the weekend and explore what the countryside has to offer.
The Blanco Chamber of Commerce is your connection to the Blanco area. Just call 830-833-5101 or visit www.blancochamber.com.
Blanco offers a variety of restaurant options. If you’re just stopping to spend the day or staying the weekend, there’s something for everyone. Redbud Cafe offers food made fresh daily using premium products, local and organic whenever possible; they also have Blanco’s own Real Ale on tap and evening specials on Friday and Saturday nights (On the Square; 830-833-0202; www.redbud-cafe.com). For a restaurant with history, fine dining, and a great atmosphere, look no further than Uptown Blanco Restaurant. Enjoy an exquisite meal as you take in historic downtown Blanco (On the Square; 830-833-1579; www.uptownblanco.com). Zocalo Eclectic Cafe is an European-style cafe/bakery serving organic coffees and teas; they serve up breakfast, lunch, and baked goods (520 Pecan St.; 830-833-4300; www.zocaloblanco.com). Sonic Drive-In serves made-to-order hamburgers and specialty drinks that Texans know and love (10223 Hwy 281; 830-833-4600; www.austinsonic.com). If you’re looking for a local bar with a large patio overlooking the Blanco River, stop by Blanco Riverside Bar (18 Main; 830-833-0208; www.blancoriversidebar.com).
Blanco is home to Real Ale Brewing Company, which has been brewing quality beers in Blanco since 1998. Tours of the brewery are offered by appointment. Real Ale’s products are available at C.J’s on Main, Super S Grocery, Blanco Ice House, Hill Country Liquor, and outside Blanco at HEB stores in Austin and San Antonio. When dining in Blanco, ask for Real Ale products in any restaurant! (231 San Saba Ct.; 830-833-2534; www.realalebrewing.com)
There’s no reason to leave Blanco so soon. You can spend the night in any way you please; we have hotels, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, camping, and RV spaces. Best Western Plus Blanco Luxury Suites includes amenities such as a swimming pool and fitness center (2218 US Hwy 281 N.; 830-833-5697; www.blancoluxurysuites.com). Known as the “Friendliest Lodging in the Hill Country,” the charming Blanco County Inn is within walking distance to the Blanco Square (902 Main; 830-833-4502; www.blancocountyinn.com). Swiss Lodge Motel is a unique motel, offering a spacious area with flowering shrubs, flowers, and old Live Oak trees shading picnic tables just a mile from the Square (1206 Main; 830-833-5528; www.theswisslodge.com). For the Hill Country bed and breakfast experience, Beckmann Lane Guesthouse, Blanco Guest Houses, Blanco Riverside Cottages, Blanco Settlement, Carriage Hills Ranch, Ghost Creek Ranch, and River View Bed and Breakfast all offer the fantastic, comfy amenities. If you bring your hotel room with you, RV spaces are available at Blanco Settlement and Blanco State Park. The state park also offers campgrounds.
After spending the night in our town, either snug in a bed or under the stars, stick around and see what Blanco has to offer. You can enjoy shopping both on and off the Square. Around the square, stop in at Brieger Pottery, On The Square, Dang Sassy/Little Sweet Cheeks Bowtique, and The Vintage Cottage. Get more shopping in around the area, too, at Fancy Up (49 Main), Blanco Settlement (1705 Ranch Road 165), and Rain Bird Gallery (103 Main).
Blanco’s majestic centerpiece on the square is the Old Blanco County Courthouse, built in 1885. The courthouse served the county for only four years before the seat was moved to Johnson City in 1890. Since then, the building housed a number of entities over the years, including a hospital. A local preservation society purchased and restored the courthouse, which serves as a visitor’s center and community hall.
Nestled just off the square is the Blanco Pioneer Museum; it’s a small treasure, but packed inside this historic house is the spirit of the people of Blanco. The current exhibit is World War II. With artifacts on loan from citizens throughout the county, including uniforms, flags, newspapers, photos, and much more, the museum provides a glimpse into the world’s past through local eyes. The museum is located at 418 Pecan Street and is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. Special tours of the museum can be arranged; visit www.blancopioneer.org or call 830-833-5774. (Free admission; donations accepted.)
The newly opened Buggy Barn Museum also offers an experience of some of history at its finest. The museum houses a range of buggies and wagons dating back from the 1860s. Several of them have been used in major motion pictures such as There Will Be Blood and the re-make of True Grit. The museum’s owners also run K&D Carriages, which provides carriage rides for weddings, parties, and any event that needs a horse and buggy. Call 830-833-5708 or visit www.buggybarnmuseum.com for more information. (1915 US Hwy 281 N., Adults $8, Children 3-12 $5, Under 3 Free.)
For those looking to get out on the links, Vaaler Creek Golf Club, located south of Blanco in the Rockin’ J Ranch development, is the Texas Hill Country’s newest golf community. The golf course was designed by Michael Lowry and JR Newman, featuring well-placed bunkers and beautiful water features to provide a challenging yet relaxing round of golf (288 John Price; 830-833-0706; www.vaalercreekgolfclub.com).
If a short stay in Blanco isn’t enough, our local Realtors are happy to help find you a home or land. Contact Hill Country Real Estate (830-833-4591), J. Myane Realty (830-833-5511), REMAX Genesis (830-833-2000), or Vallone Real Estate (713-818-6658) to check out what’s available. Calico Meadows has lots for your custom home in a subdivision designed for homes of yesteryear and just blocks from downtown (210-326-4070). Ranches of Brushy Top offers an opportunity to live on 5 to 75-acre ranches in the rugged, untamed beauty of the Texas Hill Country with the amenities of underground utilities and paved roads (830-833-5555).
If you have any questions, contact the Blanco Chamber at 830-833-5101 or www.blancochamber.com; we’ll gladly help you find out more about all that Blanco and the area have to offer.