When I’m in town, I’ll leave my car on River Road, parallel to the park, and across the street from two popular microbreweries, then I walk the path by the creek. I stroll, with my hands in my pockets, under the bridge, and follow the creek away from Main Street, on a trail that winds behind historic downtown. The park, and the path along the Cibolo creek, are almost always crowded with people and ducks, especially for lunch. I don’t “play” much, but I do always imagine myself shaking off those tired inhibitions built up over the years, and cutting loose, as if I were that same platinum-haired careless kid I vaguely remember being all those years ago. I rarely think about childlike play as much as when I am walking on this trail for whatever reason.
Although the creek continues, the path detours up a hill toward the treasured Ye Kendall Inn. I walk the path up the hill, and right by where the town’s public swimming pool used to be—many, many years ago; long before I was born—it is now a small patch of grass, where a weekly drum circle meets. I walk past the Inn’s lavishly rustic façade, always stopping for a moment to admire, and cross the street to the town square, on the far side of the historic mile, from where I left my car. I sit by the pocket pond near the gazebo in the square, and listen to the miniature fountains cascade, and get lost in the ripples as they sprawl, and then slap against the limestone at the pond’s edge, without a sound.
When I feel like walking, I cross Main Street, and first, step inside Black Rifle Coffee Co., where I grab a small coffee, and then head back out onto the sidewalk of a bustling town center. This town has a great main street, many main streets are not well managed, but aside from two or three odd business choices, and maybe one too many antique shops, this is one of the better main streets that I’ve ever explored; there are, at least, three more microbreweries (“more,” than the two on River Road), a handful of restaurants—all sit down, none of that fast food crap—coffeehouses, bookstores, boutiques, art galleries, and shops seemed spruced, only, for browsing.
I’ll walk past a brimful Daily Grind—now a part of the Boerne Grill—where my notion of the ideal coffeehouse was established. The Daily Grind was the first coffeeshop where I would sit for hours reading, writing, and people watching. Every single one of my favorite coffeehouses (MUD Coffee in New York City, Sunset Coffee in Salt Lake City, Ikonic Coffee in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Tru North in Livingston, Montana) all remind me, in some way, of the Daily Grind. And, no, there’s no particular reason I ordered my coffee, this morning, at BRCC instead of the Daily Grind (or Dienger Trading Co. or Bear Moon Bakery), as far as coffee is concerned, Boerne really got the pot, the only place that I won't go is to Starbucks (shout to Electric Coffee, Boerne misses you).
And for the next couple of hours, I’ll walk up and down the historic downtown mile, popping my head into shops at random—"arbitrarily," I mean, not to be confused with Random Beer Garden on the edge of town. If I have not yet finished my coffee after walking Main Street, I’ll sit at a table by the creek, and sip at it while I watch the ducks begging for breadcrumbs and dodging cars. It’ll be mid-afternoon, by now and, feeling hungry, I’ll head to Cibolo Creek Brewing Co., where I'll order something from their unique, farm-to-table menu, and a cold beer (brewed in house, arguably the best microbrewery on the planet), and sit outside on the patio swings, and watch Main Street.
Several times a year, the city of Boerne closes Main Street to traffic, and the historic mile is host to events like car shows, “Dickens” on Main, parades, and sometimes “block parties,” giving the excuse to walk around with a beer in your hand, and vendors and food trucks to line the streets. Boerne has always, almost felt like home for me, and I have had experiences and made memories there that have inspired and shaped me, and will continue to, and that will stay with me forever. I am grateful that the town has been a part of my life, and I like the idea of sharing that, and all of my experiences.
There are a lot of people that have a misconception of Texas; the states reputation is largely premised in fantasy, in part because the state is massive, and many people attribute their purview of the whole to a very small segment of the population and the ideology; that influences the foundation of where many of your opinions are coming from. Texas is also one of the friendliest places in the world, and a lot of people like to ignore that for the sake of conventionalism and generalizations. The state has four of ten of the largest cities in the country, as well as one of the smallest (Luckenbach is tied for 2nd; it’s a music town, you should check it out, and it’s only forty-five minutes from Boerne), every major geological region is within state lines, and the Texas Hill Country is just about at the center of where everything will meet.
I think Boerne is just as amazing culturally as it is geologically; you are surrounded by rivers, creeks, caverns, lakes, bluebonnets, Indian paint brushes, lanky pine, and limestone, inasmuch as there is music, art, celebrities, and history. Boerne has my highest recommendation of any one place to visit in the Lone Star state, in small part too, because the town is at the center of places like Gruene and New Braunfels, Dripping Springs, Luckenbach, Comfort, and Bandera, Texas, each of which may make for a great day trip, and any one is a gem in-and-of-itself, especially if the alternative are places like Houston and Dallas.
You really should make the time to visit the Hill Country. I love visiting Boerne. And once you have gone, go back home and let everyone know that the Hill Country isn’t the scarring heap of stodgy short mindedness that some of you are afraid Texas might be, and perhaps you’ll be inspired to explore some of those other out of the way places like Port Aransas and Marfa, Texas, the next time that you’re driving through, and also, while in Boerne, go into the Hungry Horse, on Saunders Street, and say, “Hello,” to Steve for me.