Day Trip # 1: Blanco, Tx

“Gateway to the Central Texas Hill Country”

First the stats…

Drive time: 40 minutes (Blanco is located north of Canyon Lake on US281)

Population: 1505 (2000 census)

Famous Residents: Shelley Duvall

Hollywood Connection: Scenes from the movie True Grit (2010) were filmed here.

Cool Trivia: Blanco was the county seat for only 4 years.  The county seat was moved to Johnson City in 1890.

Directions:  Fm 2673 to FM 3159 (turn right). Fm 3159 to FM 311 (turn right). Fm 311 to US 281 (turn right). Go 16 miles to Blanco.

On to dining…

If you want hand crafted, fresh and local ingredients then try Redbud Cafe.  The owners, Jon & Jan Brieger also own Brieger Pottery next door.  The restaurant is located on the north side of the square.  This is also a great place to sample Real Ale beer.  It is on tap here and they offer 8 flavors.

Across the street is located the Uptown Blanco Restaurant.  The building was recently renovated and the menu is superb.  The complex that the restaurant is located in also houses Blanco Performing Arts .

Things to do…

Visit the Blanco County Courthouse.  Completed in 1886 the courthouse only served as the county seat for 4 years.  Since that time the building has served many functions including providing office space for doctors, lawyers and accountants, a hospital, a school, a restaurant, an opera house and the Farmers Union Hall.  The courthouse is open Tuesday through Saturday 10-3pm.

Visit Real Ale Brewery located just north of town.  The tasting room is open Fridays from 2-5pm and tours are given at 3pm and 4pm.  Their flavors include a Coffee Porter, Rio Blanco Pale Ale, Firemans 4, ESB and several seasonal offerings.

Visit Blanco State Park.  You can fish, swim and hike here right along the Blanco River.  [youtube=]

Visit Hill Country Lavender.  Here you can pick your own lavender in the summer when the plants are blooming.  Also sold in the shop are an assortment of lavender based products.  Their website is an excellent source of information for those desiring to grow their own lavender.

As I was conducting my online research for Blanco’s history I came upon this interesting site.   I really enjoyed the stories. 


Located less than an hour down the highway, Blanco is an entertaining tiny Texas Hill Country town.  The arts, dining, horticulture, history and beer can be found here.

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