5 Amusing Activities at Garner State Park : A Perfect Texas Hill Country Getaway on the Frio River

5 Amusing Activities at Garner State Park : A Perfect Texas Hill Country Getaway on the Frio River

This is the second edition in my Garner State Park blog series, a perfect Texas Hill Country getaway on the Frio River.  If you haven't noticed Im altogether captivated by the area.  In fact, I wish I was there now!  I will be headed back to the Frio River soon to continue coverage on local establishments in Concan and Leakey and the river access and accomodations outside of Garner so stay tuned!  In the previous post I discussed some tips on how to get in the gates of Garner State Park.  At this time I would love to share all the marvelous things to do once you are in! I have compiled a list of 5 activity's that make Garner State Park a uniqe and wonderful place for a Texas Hll Country getaway on the Frio River with the whole family.  Here we go!

With cool, clear water running through the Frio River, plenty of hiking trails and an outdoor dance floor, it's easy to understand why many Texans travel to Garner State Park each spring, summer and fall to enjoy its beauty.

1. The Garner State Park Store

Isn't this store adorable?  I was really stunned to see how contemporary and upscale the Park Store was.  You can buy the traditional State Park key chains, bird and insect guides and T-Shirts.  Also available are local crafts and jewelry from artisans in the area.  Name brand boutique items like Chacco and Sanuk shoes, which are two of my personal top favorites so I was on cloud nine!  You can also find customized insulated cups, car stickers and river gear.  One of our children collects State Park patches for one of his Columbia fishing shirts so we always make it by the Park Store to add to collections and this particular Park store was a pleasant and swanky surprise.

The picturesque Frio River runs through this beautiful 1,420-acre park and the stream provides many opportunities for various types of water recreation. This is a fine state park to go do some drive up camping, but you have to make sure to get there early so you can get a campsite near the sparkling water. 

2. The Sugar Shack

Another establishment inside Garner State Park that is out of the ordinary is the Sugar Shack.  This place is in the same parking lot as some of the other activity's so it makes it an easy place to stop in and explore.  This is also the place to rent mini golf equipment so be prepared for a sugar overload if you go golfing!  The walls are lined with every kind of sweet treat imaginable from old fashioned candy sticks to modern organic chocolate with sea salt and caramel.  This was certainly one of our children's favorite place to visit.  It's a nice way to grab a sweet snack when you are on your way to the putting green!

The small dam in the park creates a grand swimming and floating area and the park often is included on top ten lists for swimming holes. The best place to swim when the water is flowing over the dam, however, is downstream from the dam where there is a rope swing.

3. Mini Golf

We had not been to a State Park that offered mini golf before.  It was an absolute hit!  The kids chose to rent golf clubs both evenings we stayed overnight and had a blast on the golf course.  The course had a variety of obstacles from wagon wheels to tunnels to keep it interesting for little kids and the teenagers.  It was nice to get out of our campsite for a little while each evening and play golf under the Frio stars!

For kayak trips, the dam in the park is about 4.5 miles downstream from the 1120 crossing and about 5 miles from the nearest River Road/CR 348 crossing. If you want to dink around in flat water you could paddle above the dam in the park.

4. The Garner Grill

The Garner Grill is situated perfectly between the dance floor, Park Store and Mini Golf.  The smell of grilled onions and hamburgers can be detected in the air, luring you in for a delicious snack.  This grill is inside a vintage Airstream making it cool if not cooler than the food truck popularity sweeping the nation.  Tables and chairs are situated outdoors and some under a pavilion inviting patrons to stay and enjoy themselves and the atmosphere.  When your hunger is satisfied you can stroll over to the photo booth or ice cream shop nearby for some more fun.

5. The Dance!

There has been an evening dance at Garner State Park since 1941.  Chairs are set up early each night for patrons and it takes place in front of the State Park Store.  The music comes from a Wurlitzer Jukebox and the entire floor and establishment is made of hand carved native Hill Country stone.  It really is as magical and historical as it sounds.  The dance is held nightly from Memorial Day to Labor day.  The dance is scheduled to start at 6 PM although the majority of the crowd makes it by 8 PM and it ends at 11 PM.  The dance is open to overnight guests and the Park reopens at 6 PM to allow outside guests to attend as well.  This activity is a definite must when visiting Garner or even if you are in the area for the evening.

Birding and Bat Watching  ,   Cabins and Other Lodgings  ,   Camping  ,   Fishing  ,   Hiking Trails  ,   Kayak Trails  ,   Mountain Biking  ,   Pet Friendly  ,   River Outfitters  ,   Swimming Holes  ,   Tube Rental Services

The most unique part about staying overnight at Garner State Park is spending the day at the river in the water and sun, then going back to camp to clean yourself up and head to the main square to enjoy a wholesome night out with the family.  With so many things to do in one area it provided hours of fun under the stars and we were able to enoy the outdoors into the night.

Stay tuned for more inside information on this Amazing area in the Texas Hill Country!

Hiking the Heart of Garner State Park l Hill Country Homestead Texas

Hiking the Heart of Garner State Park l Hill Country Homestead Texas

Garner State Park Checklist l 8 Expert Tips to Get Into Garner

Garner State Park Checklist l 8 Expert Tips to Get Into Garner