Texas Bed & Breakfast Association

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Cowboy Culture: Where to Find Cowboys in Texas

They say that Bandera, Texas, is the Cowboy Capital of the world, but what if we told you that Texas is filled with the cowboy way of life? The Four Sixes (6666) Ranch in Guthrie, Texas, made famous by Taylor Sheridan in his hit series Yellowstone, has many travelers dreaming of cowboys and the Texas lifestyle. So, where should you go in Texas to see real cowboys, their horses, and their authentic hats? From the rugged canyons of Palo Duro to the sun-kissed plains of the Hill Country, Texas is a land steeped in cowboy lore. The Lone Star State conjures up images of wide-brimmed hats, leather boots, and the timeless allure of the Wild West. Here is a roundup of the quintessential destinations where you can saddle up and immerse yourself in the rich cowboy culture that Texas proudly boasts.

1. Bandera: The Cowboy Capital of the World

The Texas Hill Country makes many top travel lists. Bandera, affectionately dubbed the “Cowboy Capital of the World,” proudly wears its cowboy heritage and offers visitors a true taste of the Old West. As you wander Main Street, you’ll encounter rustic saloons, historic dance halls, and local shops brimming with cowboy memorabilia.

Be sure to visit the Bandera Visitor Center, where friendly locals are eager to share tales of the town’s cowboy legacy and point you toward must-see attractions. For a hands-on experience, saddle up for a horseback ride through the rolling hills or channel your inner cowboy at one of the many guest ranches dotting the landscape.

Where to Stay: Glory Hills Ranch Bed and Breakfast: 12 Miles To Bandera

Take in a sunrise view rising over the mountaintop while sipping coffee and rocking on a Southern stone porch. The beauty of Hill Country invites with its proximity to America’s cowboy town. 

2. Fort Worth: Where the West Begins

No exploration of cowboy culture in Texas would be complete without a visit to Fort Worth, often hailed as where “the West begins.” Here, modern skyscrapers stand in stark contrast to the city’s cowboy roots, offering a fascinating blend of past and present. Make your way to the Stockyards National Historic District, where you can witness the spectacle of the world’s only daily cattle drive, complete with real-life cowboys herding longhorns down Exchange Avenue.

Step back in time at the Stockyards Museum, housed in the former Livestock Exchange building, and delve into the colorful history of the cattle industry. And take the chance to catch a thrilling rodeo performance at the legendary Cowtown Coliseum, where the spirit of the Wild West is alive and kicking.

Where to Stay: Rosen House Inn – Located in the Historic Fairmount District of Ft. Worth

South of the stockyards, approximately three miles, this charming bed and breakfast is three blocks from the “Near Southside”- the spot of family-owned restaurants, bars, and small shops.

Image of Texas Longhorns walking down the street at Ft. Worth stockyardsImage of cowboy and cowgirl in houston dressed in a suite.

3. Amarillo: Gateway to the Panhandle

Venture into the heart of the Texas Panhandle, and you’ll find Amarillo, a city steeped in cowboy tradition and pioneer spirit. Begin your journey at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum, where exhibits celebrate the iconic breed synonymous with cowboy culture. Then, head to the nearby Palo Duro Canyon State Park, often called the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” where breathtaking vistas and rugged terrain await.

Make a pit stop at the Big Texan Steak Ranch for authentic cowboy cuisine, home to the legendary 72-ounce steak challenge. And if you’re craving a dose of cowboy entertainment, catch a performance at the historic Pioneer Amphitheater, where the acclaimed outdoor musical “Texas” celebrates the state’s colorful heritage.

Where to Stay: Three Falls Cove Ranch –  A picturesque Landscape of wildflowers, rolling hills and red rock canyons.

This West Texas Southern-style countryside ranch and vineyard is approximately 45 minutes from Amarillo. This 43-acre serene location has a private stocked pond and is 1/2 mile from Lake Meredith National Park Service.

4. Houston: Urban Cowboy Chic

While Houston may be better known for its cosmopolitan vibe and thriving arts scene, the city also offers a glimpse into Texas’ cowboy past. Start your exploration at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, one of the largest events of its kind in the world, where you can witness top-notch rodeo competitions, livestock exhibits, and live music performances.

For a more intimate cowboy experience, head to the George Ranch Historical Park, where costumed interpreters bring Texas history to life through interactive demonstrations and guided tours of authentic pioneer homes. And be sure to indulge in some Tex-Mex cuisine at one of Houston’s many acclaimed eateries, where flavors from both sides of the border collide in delicious harmony. In Houston, cowboy boots and boleros seamlessly coexist with sleek suits and designer labels.

Where to Stay: HarBet Lodge – A ranching lifestyle stay approximately 20 minutes from Houston.

This unique stay right outside of Houston is located on a family ranch, allowing one guest at a time. You rent the ranch house and can experience a little farm life—gather chicken eggs, feed the mini horses, go horseback riding, tour the large animal vet clinic next tour, fish on the private bass lake, or take a ranch tour. 

5. San Antonio: Where Culture Meets Cowboy Charm

In the heart of South Texas, San Antonio’s rich history, vibrant culture, and unmistakable cowboy charm draw visitors from around the globe. Begin your journey at the Alamo, where the spirit of Texas independence lives on in the hallowed walls of this iconic mission-turned-fortress. Then, stroll along the picturesque River Walk, where you can soak up the city’s sights and sounds while enjoying a leisurely boat ride or sampling local fare at one of the charming riverside cafes.

For a taste of cowboy culture, venture just outside the city to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, where world-class rodeo athletes compete for top honors amidst the excitement of carnival rides and live entertainment. Be sure to visit the Briscoe Western Art Museum, where exhibits showcase the beauty and diversity of the American West through paintings, sculptures, and artifacts.

Where to Stay – Arbor House Suites – A Victorian experience less than a block from the Riverwalk.

Where to Stay – Brackenridge House B&B – In the heart of the King William Historic District

The cowboy spirit is all across the state of Texas.

Saddle up; the cowboy adventure is everywhere, and there will be plenty of opportunities to buy cowboy boots, belts, cowboy hats, and so much more! Your journey through the rugged landscapes and rich heritage of cowboy history of yesterday and today will give you great appreciation for the Lone Star State. After all, in Texas, the cowboy way of life isn’t just a part of history—it’s a way of life that continues to thrive.

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