Kerrville, the official capital of the Texas Hill Country, boasts endless outdoor activities, a connection to nature and wildlife, legendary western history, boutique shopping, art galleries, music, cultural festivals, plus authentic Texas dining. Kerrville is 24 miles southwest of Fredericksburg, off Interstate 10 on the Guadalupe River. Here are my favorite 17 destinations in Kerrville, in no particular order.
1. Kerrville Wildlife Management Area
See 6,493 glorious acres of the Edwards Plateau habitat at the headwaters of the North Fork of the Guadalupe River, owned and operated by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. You have never seen so many different wildlife species in one place: javelina, wild turkey, whitetail deer, mourning dove, bobwhite quail, fox, squirrel, and raccoon. Plus, you’ll see crafty bobcats, skunks, armadillos, ringtail cats, rabbits, the timid gray fox, migratory birds galore, and many species of reptiles.
2. Riverside Nature Center
Located in downtown Kerrville, the Riverside Nature Center is a certified Wildscape Demonstration Site and Backyard Wildlife Habitat. The area features the three essential components needed for wildlife habitat: food, shelter, and water. Visit the Butterfly Garden and the Monarch Waystation with more than 90 species of butterflies. Experience the native healing garden, the meadow with wildflowers and native grasses, the riverscape with seeps and springs, demo gardens with native plants, compost demo area, the rainwater harvesting system, and the stone circle. You can enjoy nature walks, bird talks, and one-on-one with a naturalist program.
3. Kerrville Schreiner Park
The Schreiner Park along the Guadalupe River offers RV camping, tent camping, cabins, and a ranch house with a recreational hall and dining hall. Day-use facilities provide a playground, butterfly garden, hike and bike trails, river access for kayaking and canoeing, picnic areas, sand volleyball, and basketball.
4. Festivals And Outdoor Events
Check the events calendar for numerous festivals and outdoor events like the Texas Heritage Living History Festival each fall at the Robbins-Lewis Pavilion on the Schreiner University Campus perpetuating Texas Country Music with stories, songs, chuckwagons, Texas Ranger camp, trick roping, Native Americans, vaqueros, and more. Robert Earl Keen’s 4th on the River celebrates an annual July 4th festival with food, vendors, family fun, and live music with Texas-sized fireworks at dusk. Attend fall festivals like the Fleece and Fiber Festival, where you follow sheep, alpacas, llamas, goats, and bunnies from sheer to shawl. Enjoy the Fall Festival at the Ridge with arts, crafts, pumpkin painting, petting zoo, haunted houses, caramel apples, and more. The Holiday Lighted Parade welcomes the holiday season and Santa riding in the fire truck on November 20.
5. Kerrville Kayak And Canoe Rentals On The Guadalupe River
Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard at Kerrville Kayak and Canoe Rentals for half-day, full-day, or multiple-day rates with reservations recommended. It furnishes shuttles as well.
6. Shonto Ranch
Come for an exclusive camera safari tour at Shonto Ranch for 2 hours and 30 minutes before dark to see 300 to 400 native and exotic animals roaming the Texas Hill Country. Travel from the spring-fed creeks with numerous waterfalls and lakes to the pecan groves and up to the high ridgelines.
Shonto Ranch is a premier game hunting ranch with whitetail deer, axis deer, blackbuck antelope, fallow deer, red stag, Texas Dall sheep, and other exotic hunts, plus turkey hunting, rainbow trout fishing, and more.
7. Stonehenge II
Stonehenge II was built to replicate the original Stonehenge in England, created initially as an art project by the late Al Shepperd and his neighbor Doug Hill more than 20 years ago on Shepperd’s land in nearby Hunt. It took 9 months to build and is 90 percent tall and 60 percent wide as the original structure. Later, Shepperd added two 13-foot Easter Island head replicas. You have to see this to believe it!
After Shepperd’s death, the structures were relocated to their final resting place, stone by stone, beside the Guadalupe River on the Hill Country Arts Foundation campus.
8. Museum Of Western Art
The Kerrville Museum of Western Art tells the story of the Wild West through western paintings, drawings, artifacts, and sculptures, plus special events, lectures, and educational workshops. The 14,000 square foot complex preserves the legend of the American frontier and the artistic endeavors of some of the finest cowboy artists in the country. Wear your costume to see Night at the Museum, October 30, 2021, with live music, petting zoo, costume contest, food truck, and more.
9. Schreiner Mansion Historic Site & Event Center
In the heart of downtown Kerrville, explore the historic Schreiner Mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places, constructed in 1879. Captain Charles Schreiner commissioned San Antonio architect Alfred Giles to design his original two-story six-bedroom home built by expert German masons, the first limestone home in Kerrville. It was the first home to have electric lights. The house changed hands over the years. Finally, Schreiner University transferred ownership of the mansion to the Cailloux Foundation, dedicated to charitable causes in Kerrville and the surrounding communities. The mansion courtyard, overlooking the expansive plaza, is available for special events. Don’t miss the guided mansion tour on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
10. Kerr Arts & Cultural Center
Founded in 1995 by a gathering of community artists organized to provide a gallery, the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center dedicated itself to furthering the arts and education of the community. With funding from James Avery and Bank of the Hills, KACC purchased the Kerrville Post Office, began renovations, and held the first art show in March 2000. Three galleries host over 40 exhibitions each year, attracting over 20,000 visitors annually. Visit the gift shop where artists display and sell their works.
11. Kathleen C. Cailloux City Center For The Performing Arts
The Kathleen C Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Kerrville encompasses the 800 seats Cailloux Theater, the Kit Werlein Annex support facility, and the VK Garage Theater black box. Playhouse 2000, a production and community theater performance company, manages the complex with 20 years of history in its back pocket. Get tickets for shows like Little Shop of Horrors, Rumours, Symphony of the Hills: Holiday Hopes, and The Four Freshman: Christmas.
12. James Avery Artisan Jewelry
James Avery started his jewelry making in a two-car garage with about $250 in his pocket. He constructed a small workbench, invested in a few hand tools and some silver and copper to create meaningful jewelry. In 1957 Avery mailed the first Christian jewelry 16-page catalog, with 39 items, all handmade. The company headquarters was constructed on 20 acres in Kerrville after incorporating in 1965. In May 2007, he retired and passed the business to his son Chris, now CEO and President. They continue to create silver and gold rings, charms, bracelets, necklaces, and unique jewelry.
13. Kerrville Galleries
Clint Orms Engravers & Silversmith designed and handmade sterling silver buckle sets, bracelets, cufflinks, trophy buckles, rings, money clips, bola, scarf slides, and pendants. Tom Moss Studio has created western and wildlife bronze sculptures for over 40 years. Water Street Studio is a creative co-op and event space featuring the creativeness of Kerrville and Kerr County. Wildgoose Gallery Store celebrates 37 years of designing and hand-making quality leather goods, bags, and accessories here in the Texas Hill Country.
14. Lone Star Jellystone Park Camp & Resort With Yogi Bear
Best vacation ever, right here in Kerrville, on the Guadalupe River with glamping, RV sites, cabins, bungalows, and cottages, built especially for reconnecting with families. Enjoy water slides, water zones, outdoor swimming pools, jump pads, jumping pillows, mini-golf, and playgrounds. Have fun with a nature walk, outdoor sports, basketball, billiards table, and hayrides. Find a convenient general store, theater, snack shop, and golf cart rentals to get around.
15. Scott Schreiner Golf
Tee off at Scott Schreiner Golf Course in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, featuring a full-service facility, pro shop, hospitable staff, and award-winning course design.
16. Where To Eat In Kerrville
Cowboy Steak House invites you in for a mesquite-broiled steak, all the fixings, and an award-winning bottle of wine. Start with Texas toothpicks, strips of jalapenos, and deep-fried onions. Save room for the tunnel of fudge dark chocolate cake or ultra-rich chocolate pie.
Savor breakfast and lunch seven days a week at the Branding Iron at the YO Hotel, with dinner available Friday and Saturday evenings. Toast old-time fun at the Elm Waterhole Saloon.
Since 1993, and voted first place in Texas and among the 50 best barbecue joints by Texas Monthly, Buzzie’s Bar-B-Q cranks out sliced brisket, ribs, pork loin, and turkey with two sides. Save room for a peach cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Savor lunch or dinner at Rails, a Café at the Depot offering steaks, beef tenderloin, or shrimp Alfredo. Save room for the brownie turtle torte or crème Brulee of the day.
17. Where To Stay In Kerrville
YO Ranch Headquarters, Mountain Home, boasts unique lodging, extensive renovations, and more land expansion. Cabin or room rates include three meals at the Chuckwagon, an open bar in the lodge. Enjoy the pool, exotic game photo safaris, wildlife tours, the traditional YO social hunting club, or even a wedding venue.
The Sleepy Side of Rails, a guesthouse located in the historic train depot, is a charming one-bedroom apartment next door to the bakery, candy store, and Rails restaurant.
Stay at the YO Ranch Hotel & Conference Center in Kerrville, where legends of cowboys come to life with century-old antiques and 390 branding irons hanging from the chandeliers.