Just a few years ago Boerne was a quiet little town with a smattering of shops and small-town restaurants. Even though it had easy access to San Antonio (just 30 minutes' drive away), Boerne flew under the radar while Fredericksburg boomed. But in recent years a whole slew of big-city Texans looking for the good life have descended upon Boerne, buying ranches in the hills, or retiring to the many high-end developments that have popped up along Highways 16 and 46. The result is a revitalized downtown district with a number of new restaurants—though still few accommodations—and a passel of new shops along Main Street. Even so, you won't find the shopping hordes here that you might in Fredericksburg.
Now that it's on the map, Boerne has begun attracting a crowd from the San Antonio area looking for a little "Hill Country action." Weekends in December are particularly festive. From the lighting of the town tree to an evening of Charles Dickens–inspired carolers, Boerne knows how to get people in the holiday spirit.
Originally settled in the 1840s by the same group of German "Freethinkers" that set up communities in nearby Comfort and surrounding areas, Boerne (pronounced burr-knee) grew steadily along the banks of Cibolo Creek. The town bears remnants of its German heritage around every corner, including the bilingual German-style streets signs along the Hauptstrasse (Main Street).