Boerne, Texas, is one of the cutest towns in the Hill Country. It offers lots of shopping and breweries, historical attractions, and an unexpected public art trail. With natural beauty above and below ground in the form of hulking cypress trees and magical caves, there is lots to explore here.
A half-hour from San Antonio and a 90-minute trip from Austin, it’s easy to find your way to this charming town. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous weekend or a relaxed day trip, you’ll find plenty of fun things to do in Boerne.
Explore the Cibolo Nature Center
On 100 acres of beautiful Hill Country landscape, you’ll find the Cibolo Nature Center. With four distinct ecosystems, this area includes six miles of walking trails, a grass-covered prairie, and plenty of places for watching wildlife and birding.
Our favorite area in the Nature Center is along Cibolo Creek where you’ll find stunning cypress trees with their long roots dipping into the water. You can even wade into the creek to see them up close.
Like the Riverside Nature Center in nearby Kerrville, Cibolo offers lots of educational programming about preserving and living harmoniously with nature. There are regular led hikes and birding workshops as well as self-guided hikes and scavenger hunts to engage every member of the family. From May through September, the monthly Moonfest features live music and food trucks and never fails to draw a fun crowd.
Visit Herff Farm
Run by the same organization as the Cibolo Nature Center, Herff Farm is a preserved 19th-century homestead. It was originally founded in 1852 when German-born Dr. Ferdinand Herff purchased the land. The family home from 1883 still stands along with some of the agricultural structures, making it one of the most historic Boerne attractions. Together, they present a picture of the life of German settlers around the time the city was founded.
Today, visitors can appreciate the farm’s historical buildings and the resources on the preserved land. The property is a “nature school” and has impressive community gardens that produce lots of fruits and vegetables. We love the popular Saturday farmer’s market–particularly spices from Hess Street Foods and jams and soaps from The Betsy Blue Farm.
Shop the Hill Country Mile
The cute Main Street known as the Hill Country Mile was the first thing that drew us to visit Boerne. Lined with boutiques, cafes, galleries, and coffee shops, the storefronts invite you to come inside and stay for a while.
Check out the neon signs and jukeboxes at Flashback Funtiques or stop into Boerne Epicure Gourmet Market for all the specialty items you can imagine plus delicious sandwiches. There are lots of clothing and specialty shops downtown, too.
Learn about history at the Kuhlmann-King Historical Complex
The Kuhlmann-King Historic Complex is one of the oldest things to see in Boerne. Built in 1886, the central house belonged to William Kuhlmann, a German immigrant who was a successful pharmacist and one of the wealthiest people in the area. The home and its external kitchen now showcase 2000 historical objects telling the story of Boerne and the German settlements in Texas.
A few steps away, visitors will find the Henry J. Graham Building, which dates from 1891. The building has served numerous purposes over the years from a bank to a beauty parlor to the local telephone exchange. It was moved here in the 1980s to complete the historical complex and become a museum. You can even see the complicated final telephone switchboard on display.
Hours are limited to the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, but if your visit lines up with their opening time, it’s worth a stop. In October, they offer special ghost tours that often sell out.
Grab a drink at Cibolo Creek Brewing Co.
A family-owned brewery, Cibolo Creek Brewing Co. wants to be the city’s “Cheers”—a welcoming place for family and friends with great beers, delicious food, and some live music thrown in for good measure. Cibolo always has at least 20 beers available, and the food menu features salads, sandwiches, and other entrees like fish tacos and pork chops.
See the Cave Without a Name
Eighty feet below ground, visiting the Cave Without a Name is one of the most fun things to do in Boerne. The living cavern is filled with massive stalagmites and stalactites, creating a slightly eerie but beautiful space.
A tour of Cave Without a Name goes through the six rooms of the formation and teaches visitors about the structures and the cave’s development. Reservations aren’t strictly necessary, but they are recommended.
To experience the space in a completely different way, check out the regular concert series that happens here in the Throne Room. Several times a month, singers, chamber musicians, and other performers turn the space into a stage with incredible acoustics for shows. The Cave is also hosting a camping experience for the 2024 total solar eclipse to allow visitors to see the eclipse in the path of totality.
Visit the AgriCultural Museum and Arts Center
The AgriCultural Museum and Arts Center has two unique parts. The first is the AgriCultural Museum, which focuses on the agricultural history of the area. It showcases historic tractors, tools, and antique machinery used to work the land of the Hill Country.
The second portion of the AgriCultural, is the engaging series of classes, workshops, and special events that fill the calendar. There are regular blacksmith classes and workshops designed to show participants how to cook using a Dutch oven as the pioneers did. Artistic workshops range from metal stamping to pot painting and jewelry making, so it’s worth seeing what fun things are on the schedule when you visit.
Explore Boerne City Lake Park
On the banks of Boerne Lake, Boerne City Lake Park is a 200-acre open space with ample room to paddleboard, tube, fish, and picnic. There is a playground, a volleyball court, and even an 18-hole disc golf course. Just about everything you could want to do outside is available here.
Go wine tasting at Saint Tryphon Farm & Vineyards
Named after the ancient Christian patron saint of wine growers, Saint Tryphon Farm & Vineyards produces Texas wines on its property just north of town. The varietals here are made from grapes grown in the High Plains and around the Texas Hill Country with the goal of intervening as little as possible. That means no added sugar, yeast, tannins, or sulfites.
The winery itself is welcoming with plenty of seating, frequent live music, and even a pool to dip your toes in. Pull up a chair and do a tasting or head straight for a glass of our favorite Muscat Pet-Nat–a crisp, sparkling wine perfect for any season.
Hang out at River Road Park
River Road Park is one of the most popular parks in the city. Located on the banks of the Cibolo Creek, it’s a great place for fishing, picnicking, and watching all the geese and ducks that call the area home. The creekside trail is also a popular walking spot. (Note: As of November 2023, the park is temporarily closed while the creek banks are stabilized. it is expected to reopen in spring 2024.)
Shop and eat at the Dienger Trading Co.
In one of Boerne’s historic buildings, you’ll find the fun spot that is the Dienger Trading Co. The building itself has been a store from the time it was built by German pioneer Joseph Dienger in 1884. It is now a combination bakery, bistro, and boutique.
From classic toys to men’s clothing and women’s jewelry, the store has a little bit of many things whether you’re shopping for yourself or a gift. When you’re done shopping, head to the bistro for lunch or brunch. Make sure to leave room for a cinnamon roll or coconut cream pie for dessert.
Scout out the public art
The city has an impressive public arts programs known as Art al Fresco. Permanent and temporary sculptures in city squares and parks and along Cibolo Creek let visitors get up close with the art.
Viewers are encouraged to touch and take photos with the pieces and to learn about what inspired the art. A map is available, or you can download the audio tour to hear the artists discuss their work.
Enjoy the Boerne Skatepark
If skating is your thing, take a spin by the Boerne Skatepark. The plaza-style park features lots of obstacles, including multiple stair sets, rails, and quarter pipes. The skatepark is popular, so it’s likely you’ll find plenty of people practicing their newest tricks and showing off for spectators. In the spring, it can be a nice place to see bluebonnets, depending on the weather.
Guadalupe River State Park
Hiking, camping, and water activities are the focus at Guadalupe River State Park. There are 13 miles of hiking and biking trails ranging from the quick 0.4-mile Cedar Sage River Trail to the 2.8-mile Painted Bunting Trail. There are also over 90 campsites for tents or campers.
With four miles of riverfront, the Guadalupe River is really the star here. Between swimming holes, fishing, tubing, and canoeing, there’s lots to do in the water. It’s the perfect place to get outside near Boerne.
Laura Longwell is an award-winning travel blogger and photographer. Since founding Travel Addicts in 2008, she has written hundreds of articles that help over 3 million people a year get the most out of their travel. In that time, she has visited nearly 60 countries on 5 continents, often returning to favorite destinations over and over again. She has a deep love of history, uncovering unexpected attractions, and trying all the good food a place has to offer.
In addition to Travel Addicts, Laura runs a site about her hometown of Philadelphia—Guide to Philly—which chronicles unique things to do and places to see around southeastern Pennsylvania. Her travel tips and advice appear across the web.