You just got confirmation that your group will be making a trip to Pedrotti’s Ranch for a spectacular event. Congratulations! You are in for a treat in the Texas Hill Country. But what to pack in your bags? Well, that all depends on the event you’re attending — as well as any extra excursions you put on your itinerary.
For starters, nearby Helotes is known to have one of the best live music venues in the area at John T. Floore’s Country Store, where several Country music stars have graced the stage, including Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, and Patsy Cline.
Additionally, Helotes has a robust wine culture. The Helotes Creek Winery alone offers 35 different locally made wines.
And that’s not all. With the Texas Hill Country beckoning from one angle and San Antonio from another, there’s something for everyone to do within range of Pedrotti’s Ranch.
For the Adventurer
39 Minutes from Pedrotti’s Ranch
If you’ve ever wanted to see millions of bats flying out of their cave at night, you won’t want to miss the Bracken Bat Flight tour, which takes you to watch the nightly spectacle of the world’s largest bat colony as they emerge for their nightly insect hunt. Bats play an important role in pest control in the area.
Also at Natural Bridge Caverns, you can book a tour through the ancient formations 180 feet underground or put yourself to the test on the surface-level obstacle courses. These include a rope course with zip rails, a climbing course, maze obstacles, and gem and fossil mining.
For the Explorer
Texas Hill Country Within a 90 Minute Drive
Ready to find out more about the Texas Hill Country?
First stop, Downtown Fredericksburg. This historic town’s Main Street, also known as “The Magic Mile,” boasts an eclectic shopping experience of candy, decor, art, antiques, and jewelry stores.
After getting your fill of shopping, hop on a wine shuttle and head out to one of 50 wineries, as Fredericksburg is the heart of Texas Wine Country. The wineries have a proud history dating back to the original settlers who used mustang grapes to produce wine.
Besides grapes, this town is known for its peaches and holds many food and culinary events throughout the year. Great restaurants are plentiful and run the gamut from Texas Hill Country classics to authentic German cuisine.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is another major attraction in Fredericksburg, offering camping, picnicking, hiking, and rock climbing.
About 13 miles away from Fredericksburg, you’ll find the small community of Luckenbach.
Only about a dozen people call this place home, but on the weekends it welcomes thousands of visitors who are drawn to its deep Country music roots at the dance hall. Past performers include greats such as Lyle Lovett and Waylon Jennings, and the town’s concert calendar remains full to this day.
For the Nature Lover
16 Minute Drive from Helotes
The Government Canyon State Natural Area provides 12,000 acres of wilderness to satisfy your urge to convene with nature.
The area includes more than 40 miles of trails for hiking. You can also camp, geocache or picnic, but perhaps the most exciting thing would be to check out the Acrocanthosaurus and Sauroposeidon dinosaur footprints that scientists say are nearly 110 million years old.
For Family Fun
17 Minutes from Helotes
Bahama Blaster is the first of its kind in Texas, dropping riders down 6 stories, after which they free fall and twist through loops at 40 mph before landing in a splashy pool.
For those who prefer to stay dry, perhaps a turn on Batman: The Ride is in order. The 4D roller coaster is the only one of its kind in the world.
Head over to SeaWorld San Antonio to continue your ride extravaganza — and book a special animal excursion while you’re at it.
The park offers special education tours on several animals, including orcas and penguins, not to mention in-water swims with dolphins, beluga whales, sea lions, and stingrays.