Where to go for an Authentic Texas Cowboy Experience

May 15, 2020

Visit the Cowboy Capital of the World

Bandera, Texas, a rural town nestled in the rolling hills of Texas Hill Country, is the "Cowboy Capital of the World," a nod to its geographic importance in the last big cattle drives of the 19th Century. You can make a reservation at one of the town's many dude ranches, such as Mayan Dude Ranch, Dixie Dude Ranch, and Rancho Cortez, enjoying simple bunkhouse accommodations, trail rides, and mess hall-style eats, signaled by a dinner bell.

Go to a Rodeo

Is this your first rodeo? No worries: Texans are happy to indoctrinate you. Typically held January through March, rodeos are held across the state in Fort Worth, Houston, San Angelo, Austin, and elsewhere, and they include impressive entertainment line-ups with concerts and children's activities, in addition to traditional livestock shows and rodeo events.

Grab some breakfast with the ranchers

Cowboys still exist throughout Texas and you can experience the cowboy lifestyle first-hand at the Mayan Dude Ranch in Bandera. With its picturesque views and friendly hospitality, you can enjoy a charming western themed cottages and a modern swimming pool for a Texas Hill Country getaway. It doesn't get much more authentic than an early morning trail ride to the cowboy breakfast. Eggs, bacon, sausage, and delicious biscuits and gravy are cooked over a campfire by a couple of friendly ranchers. If you're lucky, you might hear some unforgettable cowboy folk songs.

Get yourself a hat—and boots

If you come to Texas seeking some western flair, you might as well leave with some, too. Many handcrafted hats and boots are still made in Texas, from the custom-fit cowboy hats at Catalena Hatters in Bryan to the luxurious, hand-stitched Lucchese cowboy boots in El Paso. Stores across the state carry these items, and they're also available to order online.

Content courtesy of Travel Texas