Boot Ranch is everything I love about Texas all rolled up into one big beautiful package.
It’s easy to get caught up in big city living and lose sight of the innate beauty of Texas until you hit the backroads. The minute you take that right turn at Evant, and head towards Fredericksburg, the Texas Hill Country rolls out before your eyes. Suddenly nothing matters but the view. You turn a corner, and Enchanted Rock looms up like a stone spaceship. As you wind around the road to Boot Ranch, the clubhouse rises out of the stone cropping’s like a cowboy’s version of a castle and simply takes your breath away.
As if it was even possible, Boot Ranch’s award-winning Hal Sutton-designed course just got better. The 18-hole golf mecca in the Texas Hill Country now offers improved playability with an enormous, tailor-made practice area. We got a chance to preview the completely redesigned links at this incredible resort just outside of Fredericksburg last weekend, and we came away absolutely impressed.
To find out more about the impressive upgrades this already phenomenal facility, we chatted with Barbara Koenig of Boot Ranch, who took me on a quick tour of the still under-construction course as the resort graciously hosted us for our editorial retreat Sept. 15-17.
Turning the calendar to September signals the start of the hunting season and leaves me longing for the Texas Hill Country, even though I’m more likely found shooting with a camera than a gun. I love the feeling of being in a natural setting, flush with fish and wildlife. Wish-booking through ranch property listings, I came across this lovely property, Fall Creek Ranch off the Pedernales River in Travis County, northwest of Austin.
It’s available all or in part, with or without a 9-acre parcel with a lodge house bearing the address 26109 Wild River Road, Spicewood. The five-bedroom, six-bathroom home was built in 2004 as a retreat house. At 3,128-square feet, the lodge sleeps up to 15 with space for more in cots on a sleeping porch. Modeled after 1800s-era Texas dog-trot style log cabins, the structure is finished out with antique and reclaimed materials and is so charming it has been featured in both Country’s Best Log Homes Magazine (Spring 2010) and Cabin Living (April 2016.)
Here’s more of the magazine-quality interior and gorgeous surrounds: (more…)
An aerial view of a Sunday House compound. All photos courtesy of Boot Ranch.
Do you hanker for a Hill Country vacation home for family gatherings, but question if you’d use it enough to justify the trouble and cost? Or perhaps, you don’t want to dedicate all your free time to the same place — but, you’d like a spot to get together for vacations and occasional weekends, especially if your children are grown up, live in scattered Texas cities and now have children of their own?
Among the options in this 2,000-acre premier golf community are large “Sunday Houses” shared among eight owners, each of whom has use of the property for approximately 40 days per year. Shares are now available in Sunday House Six, scheduled for completion in Spring 2017. Here’s a look at this deal with appeal to those who can’t do all the time, but, like me, have Hill County in their soul:
Photo: courtesy of Bandera County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Some of my fondest memories of my children involved their fixation with all things cowboy when they were small. We were fortunate enough to visit many a ranch where they played out-of-doors until exhaustion, ate like horses, and learned not only to ride well, but to clean up after their steeds. Especially if you have little ones in your life, round up the family, because the 12th annual National Day of the Cowboy is almost here. The official date designated to celebrate our pioneer heritage and the cowboy culture is July 23, and there’s no better place to look to than Bandera, branded “the Cowboy Capital of the World,” and the seat of Bandera County. Bandera and the surrounding townships make up one of the most charming communities in the Central Texas Hill Country.
An hour northwest of San Antonio, it’s a prime spot for vacation homes. Realtor Kat Ryan with Guillot Realty estimates a third of residences in the city of Bandera itself are second homes. Nearby are Tarpley, Medina, Pipe Creek, and other unincorporated townships with more weekend ranchers and retirees enjoying the cowboy way of life.
But I was sworn to secrecy until the deal was closed. Closed, signed and sealed it is: Terra Verder Group LLC, the devloper of Windsong Ranch, has indeed purchased the 2,000 acre Boot Ranch north of Fredericksburg. Terra Verde and financial partner Wheelock Street Capital bought the luxury vacation home golf course community from Lehman Brothers.
Boot Ranch, the brainchild of Texas golfing great Hal Sutton, opened in 2006 just in time for the Great Recession. Like so many of its brethren, Boot fell into foreclosure. But during the four years that Lehman Brothers operated it, the community slowly, steadily kept the momentum moving forward. In fact, Boot Ranch may well become a poster child success story for how a vacation home community survives a downturn.
“The previous developer opened the project at the wrong time in the market,” said Terra Verde founder Craig Martin. “Our plan is to complete the development.We like Boot Ranch because of its proximity to Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Midland-Odessa – within a 4-hour drive.”
Boot Ranch hosted a fabulous wine weekend for members, guests, and journalists.
A crowd of about 70 journalists, bloggers, Boot Ranch members and guests participated in the first Boot Ranch Wine Workshop and Tours April 22 and 23. Hosted in the Texas Hill Country’s finest private golf and family community nestled on more than 2,000 picturesque rolling acres, the wine was flowing and the pool was warm. The master-planned retreat is just five miles north of the quaint, historic town of Fredericksburg and offers a variety of living options. The clubhouse features expansive vistas, a spa, bar, casual and fine dining. What more could you possibly need?
Our Vacation Home Week celebration on CandysDirt.com was such an amazing success. We got to feature incredible second homes and developments in some of our favorite locations. Luxury amenities and gorgeous design, each one of these homes has just what you want for a getaway and then some! And boy, let me tell you about location! Let’s run through our fabulous featured second home spots from Vacation Home Week!