As unbelievable as it may seem, not everyone visiting the Bandera area wants to stay at a dude ranch. Fortunately, there are other worthwhile alternatives, including the charming River Front Motel (1004 Maple St., 830/460-3690, www.theriverfrontmotel.com, cabins average $85). The simple, rustic motel has 11 cabins near the river offering cable TV, private bathrooms, and covered front porches.
Other nearby options include the Bandera Lodge (700 Highway 16 South, 830/796-3093, average $75 d), containing 21 rooms with microwaves and refrigerators as well as free Internet access.
For some, a trip to the country necessitates a stay in a bed-and-breakfast, where gentle breezes land on soft downy pillows and days begin with gourmet coffee and egg dishes. Billed as a “romantic Texas Hill Country B&B,” Casas de Amigos (446 Live Oak Ridge, 830/460-7479, www.banderacasasdeamigos.com, $125 nightly) is a pleasant option. Made to look like the old adobe of San Miguel, Mexico, Casas de Amigos offers two private casitas (three-room suites with fully equipped kitchens containing snacks and beverages) and a main house. The courtyard serves as a centerpiece, with a hammock, tables and chairs, and benches for guests to enjoy the birds, fountains, and quiet pleasure of the surrounding Hill Country.
The Diamond H Ranch Bed and Breakfast (four miles northwest of Bandera at 5322 Hwy. 16 North, 830/796-4820, www.diamondhbandera.com, rooms average $80) is a comfortable, laid-back locale along the Medina River. The main house has seven Western-style bedrooms with private baths, air-conditioning, heat, porches, and patios, and the main room includes a pool table, games, and a large fireplace.
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition