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OUT OF SAN ANTONIO

If you are looking for a real Cowboy experience – there is a small town called Bandera about 1 hour from San Antonio called Bandera. They call it the "Cowboy Capital" and it is located at 126 State Highway 16 S. Here you will find ranches to see, horses to ride, golf and many more activities. See www.banderacowboycapital.com Tel: 830 796 3045. Also there is a drive criss-crossing the Medina and Sabinal Rivers as you drive through the hills on and off Highway 16 that heads to Medina from Bandera. They claim it to be "The Swiss Mountains in Texas" as you go to a height of 2150 feet above sea level.

For wineries - head to Fredericksburg – about 70 miles north west of San Antonio, where there are around 25 different wineries with German Heritage. See www.visitfredericksburg.com Tel: 866 997 3600. Also here is the Wild Seed Farm – see www.wildseedfarm.com and the Enchanted Mountain, a large rock mountain that you can climb, which has an amazing story, hence the name. It is located at 16710 Ranch Road 965.

Another small town that is worth seeing is Castroville, about 15 miles from San Antonio. This small town was first settled by Henri Castro in 1844,who came from Alsace in France, located on the border with Germany. Alsace has during its history been part of France as well as Germany. Here in Castroville you can see the Steinbach Haus (House) a 16th Century house with its Black and white walls transported here from Wahlbach in Alsace and restored. It is located at 110 Karm Street and is one of 60 historic houses here in Castroville which is also known for its Red Poppy flowers that come out in the Spring and for the varieties of birds that fly around here. See www.castroville.com The Regional Park is located next to the Medina River, and has lots of Pecan and Cypress trees. This is a great little town to visit.

Guadalupe River, Canyon Lake and Cormal River – near New Braunfels. Take the IH-35 to New Braunfels and go tubing on the Guadalupe River. Here you sit in a rubber tube and just float your way down the river. It's great fun! There are a number of River Tubing organisers – and these are some of them – www.riversportstubes.com, www.tubehaus.com, www.cormaltubes.com , www.floattheguadalupe.com, www.andysrivertoobs.com, www.shantytubes.com . The city of New Braunfels (Population around 60,000) about 32 miles from San Antonio is a great place to stay, and definitely check out Canyon Lake too. The City is named after Count Carl of Solms-Braunfels, who came here in 1845, with a number of German settlers following him here.

Natural Bridge Caverns – 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road. (About mid-way between San Antonio and Braunfels ). See www.naturalbridgecaverns.com Tel: 210 651 6101. This is a large cave system in the Limestone hills, with a 70 feet long stone archway, hence the name. Also nearby at 26515 on the same road is www.wildliferanchtexas.com (Tel: 830 438 7400) a ranch where you can see twin Giraffes and other animals in an open-plains zoo.

San Antonio has lots of hotels and places to stay and of course lots of great Tex-Mex and other foods to enjoy. The highlight is most certainly seeing the Alamo, Riverwalk and Missions but there is a lot more to see here too. Hopefully some of the information above will help you do that.

Happy Travelling!

I hope you have a great time in San Antonio.

Geoff Stuart

Happy Traveller

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