Top Reasons to Stay at YO Ranch Hotel and Conference Center
- It’s located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, the birthplace of many cowboy legends. The hotel’s lobby reflects this history—there’s an H. Clay Dahlberg statue of a cowboy riding a bucking bronco, and branding irons hang from the chandeliers.
- Each guest room features hardwood furnishings and either a balcony or a patio.
- The neighboring YO Ranch is a great spot for hunting and horseback riding.
- There’s plenty to do in the area: visit vineyards and wineries or stroll through the Museum of Western Art.
- The town of Fredericksburg, just 20 miles away, contains boutique shops, German-inspired restaurants, and the National Museum of the Pacific War.
- Back at the hotel, classic American fare is served in the Branding Iron Restaurant.
- The Elm Waterhole Saloon is modeled on the taverns of the old west. You can sip whiskey, play pool, or catch a game on a flat-screen TV, just like 19th-century cowpokes used to do.
- Also onsite: courts for basketball, tennis, and sand volleyball.
Texas Hill Country: Pastoral Landscape of Ranches, Rivers, and German-American Towns
A picturesque region of rolling hills and valleys covered in bluebonnets, the area of central Texas known as Texas Hill Country has been compared to the landscape of Tuscany by the New York Times. The region is a playground for residents of nearby Austin and San Antonio. Urbanites often escape here for the weekend to enjoy the slower pace and beat the heat—the area's slightly higher elevation translates into less humid conditions than in the surrounding locales. With many state parks and spring-fed rivers, the Hill Country is a haven for outdoorsy types; popular activities range from fishing and tubing to rock climbing. The main attraction at the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a gigantic pink-granite dome in the middle of the park.
Among the Hill Country’s major towns, Bandera best captures the cowboy spirit. It’s not uncommon to catch an open rodeo in the summer or see a ranch hand riding to the store on horseback. The town is surrounded by dude ranches where you can get a taste of the local lifestyle. Just north of Bandera, Fredericksburg is also worth exploring. Along with New Braunfels, it was one of the main settlements of German immigrants in the 1840s—a heritage that visitors can still see today in the “Willkommen” signs hung on shop doors.