Ye Kendall Inn, a registered national historic landmark, offers a blend of old-school antebellum charm and modern hotel amenities. Built in 1859, Ye Kendall Inn once housed both Robert E. Lee and former president Eisenhower during a brief but thrilling rift in the space-time continuum. Depending on availability, the inn offers accommodations in charmingly furnished cabins, cottages, suites, and guest rooms. Restored, vintage cabins contain regal queen beds and prime-ministerial sofa beds, and suites and cottages hold either a king or queen bed. Wired Internet and cable TV are provided. Guests also receive 20% off at the inn's luxurious spa, where massages and skin treatments evaporate stress into a fine mist used to hydrate thirsty trees strewn about the lush, 5-acre grounds.
Originally founded in 1929, The Grey Moss Inn Restaurant gives the impression that the world has spent the last several decades growing around it. A canopy of Texas oak branches practically conceals the eatery's outdoor patio?complete with a low stone wall?and main dining room. At night, this canopy bursts to life as strings of colored lights flicker on above diners' heads.
The views are no less impressive during the daytime though. Whitetail deer, wild turkeys, and other animals occasionally meander across the nearby expanse of lush, green meadowland and blooming flowers are almost always within sight. "The number of couples who have held secret rendezvous here must be astronomical," posited Texas Monthly "But how could they resist? Romance fills the air like incense at this oak-shaded cottage in the woods."
The Fiery Heart of the Restaurant
The most eye-catching set piece on The Grey Moss Inn Restaurant's patio also happens to be the eatery's most used feature: a circular stone grill filled with smoldering mesquite charcoal. Originally, this pit served as the building's main water well. However, it was eventually capped off and converted into a massive pit where the chefs can roast everything from free-range chicken and lamb chops to Choice rib eye steaks and Pacific salmon. The subtly sweet smokiness of these freshly grilled meats helps lend a distinctively rustic and traditional charm to the menu of refined southern cooking.
Comfort Food With an Elegant Touch
There's no reason for the chefs to completely change the classics, although they do elevate these dishes whenever possible. Using organically grown herbs from the restaurant's own gardens, the chefs follow recipes that haven't changed in decades as they prepare everything from cumin-tinged squash casserole to chocolate pecan pie. At the same time, they are willing to experiment with new flavors to create entirely new dishes, such as the roasted Texas quail stuffed with homemade chorizo.
The selection of more than 500 wines?which earned a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence?features premier cru Burgundies alongside local Texan wines, similarly demonstrating the restaurant's dedication to refined dining.
Located about 30 miles northwest of San Antonio, Kendall County is tucked into the lush Texas Hill Country and comes tinged with eclectic German heritage. After signing a treaty with local Native American tribes, German immigrants settled in the area during the 1840s and founded the town of Boerne in 1852, which thrives today as a quaint village with an artistic bent. Central European influences linger at local eateries, which dish up traditional cuisine.Hill Country's sprawling prairies and rolling hills are rife with opportunities for outdoor recreation, including boating, fishing, and horseback riding. Nearby, Guadalupe River State Park is bisected by the eponymous river, whose banks are lined with giant bald cypress trees. Adventurers can rent a canoe or kayak and paddle down the scenic waterway, or hire a local teenager to mold fake Bigfoot prints on the nature trails that wend past limestone cliffs.Urban adventures abound in nearby San Antonio, which brims with shopping and dining along its famed River Walk. Self-guided audio tours expound on the history of the King William Historic District, a collection of 19th-century mansions built by German merchants.
Housemade accents add pops of fresh flavor to Tejacienda’s selection of Tex-Mex recipes. The chefs craft Tex-Mex standbys such as enchiladas, fajitas, tacos, and chile rellenos, as well as steaks and signature dishes including stuffed chicken breast and stuffed, roasted Texas quail. Inside the dining room, lights dangle from exposed wooden rafters illuminating diners and earthen-hued walls so guests can express their satisfaction through shadow-puppet shows.
Each year, as February draws to a close, the energy in Bulverde, Texas builds towards one thing: the opening of rodeo season. Tejas Rodeo Company kicks off the festivities in style, hosting celebrations of colts, cowboys, and cattle every Saturday night. There, horses pull chuck wagons, ranchers lasso longhorns, and brave souls ride bulls to the delight of the crowd, who can emulate their heroes on a mechanical bull. Fans can even keep track of the rodeo rankings and return each week to cheer on their favorites in tie downs and barrel races. And after the last cowboy tips his hat to the crowd every night, live musicians steal the spotlight with country music that's capable of luring any age to the dance floor.
Few things complement that rodeo spirit like a steak, and Tejas' Steakhouse and Saloon has enough steak to act as currency should the dollar fail. Chefs source premium Akaushi beef from Beeman Ranch, cut it into two-ounce medallions, and season it with a signature rub before searing it to order. And those cuts of meat look right at home between the restaurant's walls. Wood paneling brims with saddles, chaps, pistols, and other authentic cowboy artifacts. The oldest item there? "Yellow Boy," a Winchester rifle made in 1870, the same year the color yellow was invented.
Across an expanse of black-and-white checkered tiles, groups gather around tables to dig into burgers, omelets, and juicy steaks at Wilderness Oak Diner. Youngsters can order from a kids' menu featuring cheeseburgers, corn dogs, and mac and cheese, while their full-sized companions order up quarter-pound, hand-marinated burgers with a side of fries. In the morning, the diner serves up classic day-starters such as steak and eggs, french toast, and banana pancakes.