A Guide to Visiting Castroville, TX
November 14, 2020
For the perfect escape from San Antonio, look no further than Castroville. Located just 40 minutes from San Antonio and known as “The Little Alsace of Texas,” Castroville is full of small town charm. The first European settlers to the Medina River Valley were mostly farmers from the Alsace region of France. In that time, they called themselves Alsatians and spoke a dialect of German. Today, the Castroville Historic Community preserves and maintains Alsatian architecture throughout the town. In addition to the unique architecture, you’ll find great food, beautiful nature and incredible views in this Hill Country town.
How to spend a perfect day or weekend in Castroville, TX.
The Alsatian Steinbach House was originally built in Alsace, France in the mid 1600s. The unbuilt house arrived in Castroville in 1998 as a gift from the citizens of Alsace. The building opened to the public in 2002 and has operated as a tourism and cultural center ever since. Inside, you can find period furniture donated by the Alsatian people, along with brochures and flyers about what is going on in Castroville. It’s a great place to stop to learn about things happening in the area and to get a beautiful photo op of the picturesque house.
The Medina River flows through the Castroville Regional Park and is full of stunning trees draped in Spanish Moss. The river is the perfect place to admire and cool off, but the 126 acre park also offers miles of trails, wide open spaces, a public swimming pool and RV hookups. When you visit, hike the 2.5 Cross Hill Loop Trail to see a fantastic view of the town. On Cross Hill, you’ll see a giant cross constructed by Alsatians in the early days of settlement.
The Magnolia Filling Station is located inside of a refurbished gas station and even has original gas pumps. They serve a variety of delicious coffees and light bites, including peanut butter cookies, lemon poppy seed muffins and sandwiches. The atmosphere is bright, full of plants and has great outdoor seating. It’s definitely worth a visit while you’re in the area.
The Landmark Inn State Historic Site is a museum and inn that tells the story of European settlement on the banks of the Medina River. There is a dam, a mill and other pieces of history that you can explore. The site operates as a historic site and a bed and breakfast. It’s a great place to explore and learn about the history of the area.
Haby’s Alsatian Bakery is located inside an Alsatian building and has been open since 1974. The bakery serves cinnamon rolls, honey buns, doughnuts and breads, so it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a treat or bring home some items to share. The cookies are the star of the show, intricately decorated as animals, buildings, characters and more.
Enjoy some loaded nachos at Cora’s 471 Grill. The restaurant opened in 1932 and is full of history. The indoor seating portion of the restaurant used to be an old school house while the kitchen was a building from a racetrack in San Antonio. In the 70’s, a large outdoor patio was added. Today, it is a go-to spot for live music, refreshing drinks and the best nachos in Texas.
The Hillside Boutique Hotel is the perfect place to stay while you’re visiting Castroville. The hotel includes a spa, a pool surrounded by shaded cabanas and modern rooms. There is also a restaurant and bar in the hotel. However, the best part is the view. You can see miles of Hill Country from your room. Take time to relax and unwind as you escape from everyday life while visiting Castroville.
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