Have Fun in Kerrville, Texas—A Hill Country Favorite
Just one hour from San Antonio and two hours from Austin, you'll find Kerrville, Texas, a charming small town spewing with history and Hill Country treasures. Situated along the Guadalupe River, Kerrville is perfect for those wanting to escape the big city for a quiet slice of paradise. Float down the river in a kayak or tube during warm months, or anchor yourself downtown for quaint shops, cafes, and plenty of nightlife. Whether you're looking for solitude, shopping, arts, or history, you'll find it in this Hill Country town. Here are our favorite things to do in Kerrville.
See Local Art at the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center
In downtown Kerrville, the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center serves as the place for local and regional artists to exhibit and market their work. It provides visitors with the chance to see how much talent resides in and around Kerrville. Three galleries house as many as 40 exhibitions each year, including paintings, ceramics, woodworks, photography, sculpture, and jewelry, and the Center represents more than 600 member artists. Exhibits have amassed regional, state, and national attention since the Center's beginning. Take a tour, then visit the gift shop full of original works of art, or take a class to learn more about specific art forms.
Catch a Show at the Cailloux Theater
Whether it's a musical concert, live theater, or even a symphony performance, you can find it at the Kathleen C. Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts. The Cailloux Theater seats 800 people and the intimate VK Garage Theater is also on site. Symphony of the Hills, Kerrville's very own symphony orchestra, performs here, and independent theater company Playhouse 2000 manages programming. Past performances have included "Little Women," "Singin' In the Rain," "The Sound of Music," and "The Christmas Carol," while concerts include Elvis Presley tribute bands, The Celtic Angels, and Texas legend Robert Earl Keen.
Looking for a way to spend some time outside? The Kerr Wildlife Management Area, owned and operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife, is a great way to get some steps in while wildlife spotting. Located at the headwaters of the North Fork of the Guadalupe River, this area contains almost 6,500 acres and is a land base for the Edwards Plateau ecological area, where wildlife habitats and indigenous species live and are researched. See if you can spot white-tail deer, javelinas, wild turkeys, quail, bobcats, fox squirrel, doves, skunks, rabbits, foxes, raccoons, armadillos, and ringtail cats. Lots of migratory birds visit the area as well, including the endangered golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo.
For a bit of outdoor education, the Riverside Nature Center is a beautiful arboretum with gardens, a nature trail, and events focusing on wild animals, plants, and natural history.
See Stonehenge II
If you can't make it to England to see the original Stonehenge, the replica, Stonehenge II, in Kerrville might suffice. Created over 20 years ago by the late Al Shepperd and his neighbor, Doug Hill, this art project took nine months to build and is almost as tall and wide as the original Stonehenge. After Shepperd's death, Stonehenge II was moved from Shepperd's land onto the campus of the Hill Country Arts Foundations beside the Guadalupe River. The site sees thousands of visitors every year, and is free and open to the public for visits from dawn until nightfall.
Visit the James Avery Headquarters
Most Southerners have probably heard of James Avery, the jewelry company with locations now across the South and even in some northern states. James Avery actually began in Kerrville, in the summer of 1954 when James Avery started his jewelry business in a two-car garage with a small workbench, a few hand tools, and scraps of silver and copper. Today, the James Avery brand makes beautiful jewelry for men and women, including lots of Texas-centric pieces. Visit the company headquarters in Kerrville to see the Visitor Center and learn more about the company, see displays of original pieces, and watch how workers create each piece. The campus has a gazebo to relax under, plus the James Avery Store for souvenirs.
Visit the Museum of Western Art
Texas is home to cowboy culture and pioneer history, and the Museum of Western Art showcases this Western heritage through artworks. See paintings of working cowboys, Native Americans, settlers, pioneer women, and more in rotating exhibitions, and learn about the history of famous ranches. The museum also houses the Griff Carnes Research Center, where 6,000 volumes of Western art and history are available for teachers, writers, students, and the public. Past exhibitions have included wood carvings, sculptures, paintings, and more. Families can visit for free on Family Free Day, which is the last Saturday of every month.
Where to Eat
Numerous spots around town offer excellent meals to satisfy your cravings, including everything from Mexican food to American to Korean. Francisco's Restaurant is a beloved downtown eatery serving Mexican-American fusion dishes such as cilantro-lime chicken and poblano pasta. Grape Juice is a fun place for American fusion and plenty of beer and wine. Dishes here rotate seasonally, but menus have included venison and antelope tacos, "crackeroni" and cheese, and Asian noodle bowls. Rails, a Cafe at the Depot, is a great spot for a delicious salad, panini, or sandwich, while 1011 Bistro offers stunning Guadalupe River views alongside elevated dishes such as seafood pasta and paella. For a taste of local spirits, head to Kerrville Hills Winery for an array of wines and Pint and Plow Brewing for locally made beers.
Where to Stay
Beautiful Hill Country views meet with plenty of space for you and your crew at Inn of the Hills. The Inn features the only dancehall in Kerrville, plus a courtyard, swimming pools, a conference center, and a full-service restaurant. For a real Texas treasure, the Y.O. Ranch Hotel and Conference Center pays homage to Texas' cowboy history with taxidermied exotic game, branding irons dangling from chandeliers, and a saloon. In the historic Train Depot compound in downtown, Sleepy Side of Rails is a one-bedroom apartment next door to Rails cafe and Sweeter Side of Rails Bakery and Candy Store. The apartment includes a bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, and patios for relaxing.