So you think you know what makes Boerne tick? This small-town gem is far more than just another small-town blip on the I-10 corridor. Whether you’re a newbie who just moved to town or a longtime local looking for a nostalgia fix, this guide is your chance to dive headfirst into Boerne culture. Below, we’ve compiled what we believe are the “ABC’s” of our favorite little Hill Country town!
A is for Abendkonzerte
Step outside on a summer evening in Boerne, and you’ll likely hear the sound of nostalgic waltzes and polkas floating through the air. True to its German roots, Boerne’s citizens have lovingly preserved the tradition of Abendkonzerte, which translates to “evening concert”. These musical gatherings are held in the Main Plaza on select summer evenings, inviting audience members to lounge in folding chairs and blankets around the gazebo.
B is for Berges Fest
What began as a simple ice cream social in 1967 has since transformed into one of Boerne's most anticipated weekends. Berg es Fest is a celebration of all things German, from music to food to the famous dachshund races!
C is for Cibolo Nature Center
Boerne’s Hill Country landscape simply can’t go unnoticed. Thankfully, the Cibolo Nature Center has taken up the honorable task of preserving and conserving the local ecosystems! The CNC features over three miles of trails, an on-site farm homestead, plenty of educational opportunities, and creative events that keep the community interacting with the Hill Country.
D is for Dickens on Main
Dickens on Main combines local small-town charm with a no-holds-barred policy regarding Christmas spirit. This holiday extravaganza boasts annual festivities including a tree lighting ceremony, horse-drawn carriage rides, a bustling Christmas market, ice sculpture shows, a 60-foot snow slide, photos with Santa, and plenty of live music!
E is for Enchanted Springs Ranch
Just outside of Boerne, Enchanted Springs Ranch is definitely more than it seems. Though it may look like a historic Ranch (complete with wildlife and livestock), this attraction was actually designed as a set for western movies!
F is for Farmers Market
Open every Saturday, the Farmer’s Market at the Cibolo offers up a wide variety of seasonal vegetables, herbs, and fruits, as well as fresh poultry, farm-fresh eggs, artisan coffee, kolaches, and more. Besides shopping, market activities include live music, gardening and cooking workshops, and children’s crafts. Bonus Tip: Friendly dogs are always welcome!
G is for German Heritage
Boerne may be located in the Texas Hill Country, but its heart can often be found pining for its German roots! Settled in 1849 by Bavarian immigrants, Boerne has always fostered a deep sense of heritage that can be seen throughout local culture. From kolaches to festivals, the locals love these little pieces of home.
Image Courtesy of Olive Software
H is for Hill Country Mile (or Hauptstrasse!)
Touted as “more than just a mile,” Boerne’s Main Street is a shining beacon of the phrase, “Live local!” Composed of unique specialty shops and restaurants, the Hill Country Mile features everything from antiques to apparel to local craft beers.
I is for Ice Cream Parlor
As a town known for its preservation of the past, it’s almost unsurprising that “Soda Pops” Patio Grill & Bar features a retro-style ice cream parlor and soda shop. Nostalgics with a sweet tooth will love the delicious treats and old-school vibes.
J is for Jazz, Blues, and Americana
For a small town, Boerne has no shortage of “groove.” Residents and visitors enjoy plenty of live music shows each week, spanning a variety of genres and styles! A few popular venues include The Roundup, Random Beer Garden, and Drink Texas Biergarten. Plus, check out this list of 10 places to find live music in Boerne.
Image Courtesy of GoodTasteTV.com
K is for Kolaches
Ah, there’s nothing like the smell of fresh-baked kolaches! With Boerne’s European heritage, it’s no surprise that plenty of local bakeries specialize in the traditional Czech treat. Our favorite kolache spot is Little Gretel, the primary kitchen of Denise Mazal, named one of the Best Chefs in America in 2013.
L is for Location
A perfect spot for country folks who still want access to the perks of the big city, Boerne’s location is perhaps one of the main reasons for its recent growth! Nestled in the sprawling Texas Hill Country, the Cibolo Valley is still only 30 minutes away from the heart of downtown San Antonio.
M is for Market Days
A monthly event that fuses art with business and music, Boerne Market Days features hundreds of booths selling artisan-made goods, from jewelry to leather to furniture to clothing. Even if you aren’t interested in buying any goods, Market Days is a perfect way to immerse yourself in the artistic Hill Country culture, all while enjoying live music and delicious food. Plus, the market is pet-friendly!
N is for Neighborhoods
As a town that has grown exponentially over the past several decades, Boerne somehow continues to carefully steward and protect its small-town feel. Even as brand new neighborhoods crop up both within and along the edges of Boerne, each community has chosen to exemplify a unique piece of Hill Country’s wild, rustic spirit.
O is for Oma’s Christmas Craft Fair
Christmas is the time when Boerne truly seems to shine! Not your typical handmade market, Oma’s Christmas Craft Fair includes all kinds of high-quality Christmas shopping, with items like handcrafted wood pieces, homemade jams, ceramics, embroideries, and more.
P is for Patrick Heath Public Library
One of the shining stars on Boerne’s incredible list of public services, The Patrick Heath Public Library, hosts events on a daily basis, providing students and adults with plenty to do. From French cooking classes to robotics to yoga and ballet, this library is far more than just a collection of books: it’s a space for the community to gather together.
Q is for Queen’s Throne Room
Perhaps the most unique music venue we’ve ever seen, The Queen's Throne Room is a concert hall located entirely underground! Within the caverns of Cave Without a Name, this natural dome hosts a whole gamut of memorable events and concerts throughout the year.
R is for River Road Park
Originally called Riverside Park, River Road Park is one of the most popular sites in Boerne, boasting a famously adorable population of wild ducks and geese!
Image Courtesy of TripAdvisor
S is for Second Saturday
Second Saturday Art Beat is a colorful monthly gathering devoted to helping residents discover the vibrant local Boerne art scene. Plus, participating local galleries often serve complimentary beverages and appetizers that you can enjoy as you peruse the fantastic Hill-Country-inspired artwork.
T is for Tusculum
Did you know? The original Boerne settlement was to be named “Tusculum” in honor of Cicero’s home in ancient Rome. However, before the town was officially platted, several founding members switched the nomenclature to honor their favorite German poet (Ludwig Börne) instead!
U is for Underground Caverns
Believed to be one of Texas’ “best-kept secrets” among show caves, Cave Without a Name was only discovered by modern residents in the early 1900’s. The Cave boasts gorgeous natural formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, and more.
Image Courtesy of dallasnativeblog.com
V is for Village Band
As the “oldest continuous German Band in the World outside of Germany” (sheesh, is that a mouthful or what?), The Boerne Village Band was organized in 1860 by Dr. Karl Dienger and still remains an active piece of the community today. The Band is composed of 25-30 professional musicians and retains a very active performance schedule!
W is for Wine & Beer
As an acclaimed spot on the Texas Wine Trail, Boerne can hold its own with any sommelier! From Boerne Wine Company to the nearby Bending Branch Winery, you can always find a spot to sit and sip. Plus, craft beer lovers can enjoy a plethora of tasty brews, courtesy of Boerne Brewery and Cibolo Creek Brewery, among others!
Image Courtesy of Texas Wine And Trail Magazine
X is for Xenodocheionology
Okay, we really had to get creative with this one. Defined as “the lore of hotels and inns” by Merriam-Webster, Xenodocheionology definitely has a distinct place in Boerne culture! Perhaps the most famous hotel lore involves Ye Kendall Inn, a popular (and supposedly haunted) local accommodation. According to reports, folks have seen flickering lights, body imprints on beds, rattling doorknobs, and a claw-foot tub that fills itself during the night!
Y is for Ye Kendall Inn
Speaking of Ye Kendall Inn, the historic hotel features 36 historic guest rooms, a wedding venue, and a definite place in Boerne’s history. The historic architecture and local hospitality can’t be missed...ghosts or not!
Z is for Z’s Wood Fired Pizza
A small town is only as good as its...pizza, right? That might not be a thing, but we still recommend heading to Z's Wood Fired Pizza, a family restaurant where craft pizza is complemented by craft beer and wine! The rustic atmosphere and incredible food remind us why the Hill Country is sometimes referred to as “Texas’s Tuscany.”
Far from “just another Hill Country town,” Boerne’s culture is one-of-a-kind, offering shopping, dining, entertainment, and community that will keep you occupied/learning for years on end. How do you fully take advantage of Boerne’s unique culture? Let us know in the comments!
If you’re interested in learning more about our favorite Hill Country town, let us be your guide! Life in Boerne is truly unlike anything else, and we’d be happy to show you the ropes. Contact a licensed REALTOR® and download our exclusive Buy er’s Guide today.