Exploring Kerrville
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Lose Your Heart to the Hills… in Kerrville!

 

Kerrville, a short 65 mile ride from San Antonio, makes a perfect day-trip.  Kerrville sits on the Edwards Plateau eco-region and is noted for its rugged country of stony hills, broad divides, rangy cedar, towering cypress and the beautiful Guadalupe River.  So grab family or friends and head for the “heart of the Hill Country” for a little escape from routine.  Want good advice?  Make your first stop the Kerrville Convention & Visitors Bureau, just south of exit 508 on I-10 (next to Cracker Barrel)!  Friendly and knowledgeable staff will send you on your way with maps, attraction and restaurant info, and lots of ideas.   Ask for the downtown Historical Tour map as well. Then head to downtown Kerrville, where you can park the car and explore on foot, seeing a lot in a very short time.  If you’re a Texan, you’ve surely bought groceries  at H.E.B., but did you know that the very first store began in Kerrville?  Stand in front of 211 Earl Garrett and reflect that Mrs. C.C. Butt Grocery Store opened the first store with an investment of $50! Follow your historical tour map; see where the Smokehouse,  Arcadia Theatre, Pampell Opera House and Schreiner Dept. Store were housed.Hill Country Museum


Make sure you check out Texas Outside's interactive map of Kerrville to quickly find restaurants, attractions, lodging, golf courses, and more.

Walk across the street and enter the Hill Country Museum (open Wed-Sat. 11:30-3:30), built in 1879 by expert masons and stone carvers from Germany for Capt. Charles Schreiner, a foremost and prominent developer of Kerrville.  Notable is the parquet floor, made of ten hardwoods, and period furnishings and artifacts from the 1850s to 1930s.  Ask your docent about the “tunnel” the Captain used to store money for his cowboys! Next door, in the former post office, is the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center, where 15 art and cultural groups have made this a premier art destination.  It features changing exhibits throughout the year.  Check it out…Free admission!


Walk on down to Water Street and stroll through some of the galleries…a great choice is Rivers Edge Gallery at 832 Water Street.  Roxie the dog will “welcome you”, and the western and contemporary art, prints, sculpture, carvings and more may entice you into a purchase.  Find something you like and let their expert custom framer turn it into a personal treasure for you.  Further on down, step back into time at Sunrise Antique Mall, another two-story old mercantile now housing dozens of antique vendors displaying and selling china, glassware, furniture, vintage clothing, books, Coca Cola memorabilia, art, and more.  A smiling Rosetta is usually on hand to welcome you and listen to your tales of “we used to have one of these” as your prized purchase is rung up for a keepsake of the day.


You’ll have time before lunch to head out to 1550 Bandera Hwy. to the Museum of Western Art. Wind your way past manicured grounds up to the entrance, where bronzed Western sculpture and the building’s rugged timber and stacked limestone exterior lead you into 14,000 sq ft of gallery space, dedicated to the talented artistry of those whose passion it is to preserve the culture of the early west, Plains Indians, mountain men and more.   The “Journey West” children’s gallery will entice your youngsters to climb up into a real chuckwagon, crawl into a real teepee, peer into trunks filled with wagon supplies and learn about the long journey west from a youngster’s viewpoint.  Allow a minimum of an hour. 


Rivers Edge Tuscan GrilleHungry?   You now have a decision to make, and it’s a hard one!   Great restaurants abound in Kerrville, and a dozen or more offer up views of the beautiful Guadalupe River, so take your pick and head west out of downtown onto Junction Hwy.  How about some Northern Italian creations at Rivers Edge Tuscan Grille which is surrounded on three sides with water views.  Or try some home cookin’ at the Lakehouse, or Billy Gene’s specialties at BG’s Steakhouse, or even Chili’s or a quick stop at Starbucks?  Further on down is newly opened Jazz, a Louisiana Kitchen, Guadalupe River Club, or rustic Café Riverstone, featuring savory creations such as pecan encrusted antelope.  You won’t make a bad choice ‘cause they’re all good!


After lunch you have a few choices.  Keep heading west out to Hwy 27 to FM 1340 for a very unique photo op in an unexpected place…. fascinating replicas of Stonehenge and Easter Island, erected in an open field.   On the way back, stop at old Ingram loop and check out the galleries and boutiques…Clint Orms Silversmiths and Engravers showcases stunning silver buckles….ask who some of their famous clients have been – you’ll be impressed!

Riverside Nature Center

Prefer to walk off lunch?  Try the Riverside Nature Center, with self-guided nature trails wending their way down to the Guadalupe.  Great for bird and butterfly watching, this center is dedicated to the natural resources of the Hill Country and features 150 species of wildflowers, cacti, and many native trees. Take time to walk inside the nature center and visit “Martha” the tarantula and “Lizzie” the snake, and check out the nature-based gift shop on site.


Maybe you’re into hand crafted jewelry?  Visit the headquarters of James Avery Craftsman, off of I-10 exit 505. The creations of Avery craftsmen are now sold in retail stores in some of the more upscale malls throughout the state.  Visit the welcome center and watch the 15-minute video explaining the history, then view craftsmen creating stunning pieces. Of course, there’s a retail shop … take home a treasure! 

Or, if you are fascinated by aviation, Mooney Airplane Company, adjacent to the Kerr Airport, offers free 90-minute tours by appointment, mostly on Thursdays and Fridays.  Mooney, well respected in aviation industry, makes from start-to-finish three models of the single engine, piston powered  MD20. For security and safety reasons, be prepared to stay with your guide for the duration and to wear safety goggles they provide. 

Lastly, as you head back toward San Antonio, detour over to Camp Verde General Store, just 10 miles south of town near the intersection of Hwy 173 and FM 480.  Back in 1854, then Secretary of War Jefferson Davis commissioned Congress to appropriate funds for an experimental operation to use camels for military transport.  Learn what happened between 1856 and 1865 and what became of the camels. For over 150 years, this has  been a general store and post office, so take time to  mail a postcard and have  fun exploring  the wide array of specialty gift items, jewelry, t-shirts, candles and more, then refresh yourself with a cold drink or ice cream before you head out of town. 

Hope you’ve enjoyed your day in Kerrville!  Think about how much more there is to see on your next visit!  And guess what?  If you want to stay over next time, you’ll find a wide variety of hotels, motels, B&Bs and inns to choose from.  Click here to find Kerrville golf courses and nearby campgrounds and RV Parks.

We didn’t get you golfing, or roaming through Kerrville-Schreiner Park, or exploring the famed Y-O ranch, or out on the Guadalupe in a canoe or kayak.  Or attending any of the area special events… keep abreast of special events going on by checking the website. Please note that some museums and restaurants are closed on Mondays.

Courtesy of:  Kerrville Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2108 Sidney Baker, Kerrville  (800) 221-7958

Nancy Foster, Publicity Mgr.  Cell: 830 367-4627  Email: publicity@kerrvilletexascvb.com

 

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