BEST IN TEXAS
San Antonio and its Hill Country neighbors take home 17 accolades at the 2023 Texas Travel Awards
Residents living in Boerne and New Braunfels have some of the best attractions in the state, according to the 2023 Texas Travel Awards. The winners of these prestigious awards offer some of the most unique experiences that every traveler should see for themselves.
In all, the San Antonio area won a total of 17 accolades this year, which highlights just how positively travelers perceive the Hill Country region. The only Alamo City attraction to win a statewide award was the San Antonio Zoo, in the category for the best zoo/aquarium. The remaining awards all fell to the two outlying cities.
The Texas Travel Awards were created by Austin Monthly, San Antonio Magazine, and Texas Music publishers, and the winners are decided by a panel of industry professional judges, travel journalists, and a musician. 60 categories were chosen and split between statewide best attractions, and best attractions by population into three groups: small market, mid market, and big market.
Boerne, which is just 20 miles northwest of San Antonio, earned four accolades in this year’s awards. The historic boutique hotel The Kendall won the Best “Small Market” Hotel, known for its National and Texas landmark status and freestanding cabins. The Kendall is located in Boerne’s downtown Hill Country Mile, which earned its own award for the Best “Small Market” Destination Social Media Account. The “Texas-sized” 1.1 mile strip of historic local shops and restaurants evokes nostalgia while offering unique shopping experiences.
Earning the award for the most Instagrammable “Small Market” Spot is the “Wild Bill” Hickok Sculpture that was created in Boerne’s Texas Treasures Fine Art Gallery by local artist Erik Christianson. The bronze sculpture can be found in front of the Main Plaza.
The city's beloved Boerne City Lake Park won in the statewide category for Best Lake, renowned for its opportunities for fishing, swimming, watersport activities, and much more.
“Boerne is truly a special place, and we are thrilled to again have some of our beautiful destinations recognized by the Texas Travel Awards,” said Danny Zincke, Boerne Assistant City Manager in a statement. “This year’s award-winners are amazing — and just four of a million reasons to come spend time in Boerne.”
The city of New Braunfels took home 12 awards, the most out of any Texas city in this year’s rankings. Five awards were won in the best by population category, all in the “Big Market” subgroup: best bar, live music venue, museum, outdoor activity, and visitor center.
The New Braunfels attractions that won best “Big Market” awards by population, in order, are:
- Sidecar at Prince Solms Inn
- Gruene Hall
- New Braunfels Conservation Society
- Natural Bridge Caverns
- New Braunfels Visitor Center
New Braunfels also took home seven awards in the statewide category, for the best agritourism, brewery, golf course, hiking/biking trail, place to dance, resort, and swimming pool.
The New Braunfels attractions that won the statewide awards, in order, are:
- Dry Comal Creek Vineyards
- Guadalupe Brewing Company
- Landa Park Golf Course
- Panther Canyon Trail
- Gruene Hall
- Camp Fimfo Texas Hill Country
- Landa Park
One category that’s worth a mention for the Best “Mid Market” Outdoor Activity is Glow Kayak Tours in San Marcos, which is located just between San Antonio and Austin.
For the second consecutive year, the Texas Travel Awards created People's Choice awards for the public to vote on the best destinations in four categories: arts and culture, families, foodies, and outdoor adventures.
Unfortunately for San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth-area cities swept in the People's Choice category. Dallas won the award for Best Destination for Arts and Culture, and Grapevine won the Best Destination for Families award. The outlying towns of Granbury and Mineral Wells took home the awards for Best Destinations for Foodies and Outdoor Adventures, respectively.
The full list of winners in the 2023 Texas Travel Awards can be found on their website.