Known as the ‘Little Alsace of Texas,’ Castroville, TX, makes you feel like you have been transported to Europe without leaving the Lone Star State!
Immigrants all the way from Alsace, France moved to this region of the Texas Hill country in the mid-1800s.
Attracted to the rich, fertile farming land and the water from the Medina River, the immigrants quickly cultivated this region and called it home.
So much of the Alsatian culture is still apparent when you visit today, making this a unique and charming Texas small town.
Evidence of the French heritage is apparent throughout Castroville and can be seen in the town’s Alsatian architecture and historic sites throughout the city.
As the first county seat of Medina County, Castroville also has a unique Texas history to explore.
When you combine all of the charm of the town with the fact that Castroville, Texas is so close to San Antonio, then you have the makings for a fabulous Texas town (and an easy day trip from San Antonio!)
Let us show you all that Castroville, TX has to offer!
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1. Haby’s Bakery
207 Old US Highway 90 E.
Your first (and last) stop in Castroville, TX should always be at Haby’s Bakery!
Open since 1974, Haby’s serves up mouthwatering baked goods that will make you wish you lived in Castroville so that you can visit daily!
Not only is the building super cute on the outside, but inside, you will find cases upon cases full of delicious baked goods.
It is truly hard to decide what to get, they all look so amazing!
We asked the owner for recommendations and she said that the traditional strudel, apple tart, and the iced cinnamon rolls are customer favorites. (Of course, we got multiples of each.)
Haby’s also serves up beautiful pies, cakes, donuts, and more, so they are sure to have something for everyone!
Honestly, if I lived closer to San Antonio, I probably would be here every day!
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2. Steinbach Haus & Visitor Center
203 US 90
Another can’t miss stop in Castroville, Texas is the Steinbach Haus.
This charming, Alsatian-style house is easy to spot. Just look for the half-timbered house on the side of highway 90 in Medina County.
You really can’t miss it.
The house, which was originally built between 1618 and 1648 in Wahlbach, France made its way to Castroville, TX as a gift to the city from the people of Alsace to honor the heritage of the town.
Granted, the charming little French house looks a bit out of place in the Texas Hill Country, but it is a true piece of Castroville history.
During your visit to Castroville, TX, step inside of the home to learn more about the town.
You can speak to representative of the Castroville Visitors Center and tour the museum inside of the home.
I just loved seeing the Alsatian furniture and décor and learning more about the history of the two regions.
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3. Landmark Inn State Historic Site
402 Florence Street
When you look at the Landmark Inn State Historic Site today, it is hard to believe that this 1840’s building stared out as a roadside tavern and store.
Today, visitors can see the historic inn, the mill, and the small museum during their time in Castroville.
Of course, if you want a truly unique experience, then book a night or two at the Landmark Inn State Historic Site and experience a staying in a true Texas landmark.
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4. See More Alsatian Architecture
During your visit to the Steinbach Haus, be sure to grab a brochure from the Visitors Center that outlines where to find the Alsatian architecture throughout the town.
This unique style of architecture can be found throughout the city and is one of the most charming aspects of Castroville.
During our visit, we found ourselves stumbling upon it at every turn and were delighted to see so much of the heritage preserved.
5. Houston Square
You will find Houston Square in Castroville’s historical district surrounded by historical buildings and antique shops.
The square, which originated in the 1800s has been many things over the years.
Serving as a town square, a baseball diamond, a lighted softball field, and today, a nice little square with a water feature and big oak trees.
A visit to Houston Square allows you to see the town’s history.
The surrounding buildings used to be Alsatian-style homes where the first settlers lived in Castroville.
This is the perfect place to take your treats from Haby’s Bakery and have a picnic!
6. St. Louis Church
1306 Angelo Street
While visiting Houston Square, you can’t help but to see the Castroville St. Louis Church, which is located directly across the street.
The lard limestone building was built between 1868 and 1870 and is still a functioning church as of today.
Take not of the gorgeous spire and the Romanesque-style architecture of the church, especially the flying buttresses on the side.
If the church is open, step inside to see the gorgeous half-timbered interior and the ornate alter.
The French fleur-de-lis stained glass and the beautiful organ all come together to pay tribute to the European heritage of the city.
7. Castroville Poppy House
606 Florence Street
The town of Castroville, Texas is a gorgeous sight in the springtime thanks to all of the beautiful poppy flowers that are in bloom.
If you want to see them for yourself, then be sure to stop by the Castroville Poppy House.
On the property you will see the oldest free-standing, one-room log cabin in the city sitting among the gorgeous poppy field.
Also on the property is one of the historic homes from the 1850s.
While you can visit the Castroville Poppy House any time of year, the property is only open for tours one time a year, during poppy season.
If you find yourself visiting Castroville outside of poppy season, then you can still stop by and view the property from the street.
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8. Castroville Regional Park
816 Alsace Avenue
Outdoor lovers will definitely want to visit Castroville Regional Park during their time in the city.
Castroville Regional Park is located on the banks of the Medina River and has a little something for everyone. Here you will find an RV area, a pavilion, an amphitheater, and a swimming pool!
In addition to all of this, there is also home to a one-mile hiking trail that offers views of the gorgeous Medina River.
During your time in here, be sure to visit the butterfly garden and be on the lookout for the 160 species of birds that are known to frequent the area!
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9. Paradise Canyon
Another must visit spot in Castroville, Texas is Paradise Canyon.
Located about 20 minutes outside of town, Paradise Canyon is the perfect place to go for some outdoor rest and relaxation.
The park is located directly on the Medina River and offers visitors campsites and river access all while being surrounded by towering rocky bluffs.
It truly is a little slice of heaven right in the heart of Castroville, Texas!
For complete details on fees, hours, and more, please visit the Paradise Canyon website.
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About The Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.