Shiner is a city in Lavaca County, Texas, home to 2,127 people. Although the city housed mainly German and Czech emigrants in its early years, it acquired its name from Henry B. Shiner, who donated 250 acres in 1875 so a railroad could receive its right of way. Thanks to this transportation hub, the city was able to develop.
With a community built off of Czech and German traditions, it will be a hotbed for culture. Even though these ethnicities no longer make up most of the city, old traditions do not die off quickly.
Not to mention the history that Texas itself is rich for, it only makes sense this city shares in that history. When you walk into a city like this, it will show you a world you never thought was possible.
Things to Do in Shiner, TX
1. Spoetzl Brewery
If you have ever had a cold glass of Shiner beer, this place will hold a lot of sentimental value. Since 1909 this has been the only place to produce Shiner beer, sending out close to 6 million cases. So not only will you get the adventure of seeing where your favorite beer is made, but you will also see how it is manufactured.
They provide up close and personal tours so you can get a firsthand look at how everything is done, right down to the final packaging of the beer.
This small but powerful brewery is a true example of early 1900s industrialization, and it doesn’t fail to amaze you as you walk through the building. And don’t think they don’t have free samples; this brewery aims to please.
If this is not your favorite beer, then don’t worry; it’s only a matter of time before they bring you on board, and once you see the clean, smooth environment they have at this brewery, switching over will not seem so difficult. So keep the kids at home for this one, and have an adventure through your favorite beer company.
2. Edwin Walters Memorial Museum
Built in 1915, this tiny home is the first step you should make if you want to learn more about Shiner history. Built as a home for Edwin Walter, his family, maids, and servants, this place is now home to many interesting materials. It is bound to keep you on your toes no matter where you go.
It currently houses anything from musical instruments to dinosaur bones, so you learn about the music deeply rooted in Shiner, but you can also learn about the dinosaurs that may have potentially wandered through the very town you are visiting.
These types of experiences you do not find every day. Walking into an unknown city, the first thing one should always want to do is learn what makes the city unique, and it does not get any more special than Edwin Walters Memorial Museum.
3. Wellhausen Park
In a small town like Shiner, there is no lack of opportunities to walk around, relax, or allow the kids to have a moment to play and have their adventures, but the best place to start is Welhausen Park. This park is like a flashback to the past with how it looks; it will feel like you were in 1905.
The kids will have fun going to the playground and getting lost on the swings, but innovations to the park have been made to emphasize historical context. Throughout the park are different monuments, all with little plaques that showcase historical facts about the city of Shiner.
Kids and yourself will be able to have a little fun and relaxation in nature, but you all will walk away with a little more knowledge, and knowledge is power.
The best time to experience this park is during the wintertime. The park during winter is often the site of a city event called “Christmas in the park”. This event showcases musical talent from the local school band, and your kids can have the chance to see Santa, who, thanks to the local fire department, can give his reindeer a break. It will be a great little family event that you can enjoy with the local population.
4. Shiner Escape Room
Most horror movies occur in a small town, so it is only appropriate that this small town is home to an escape room. Conveniently located near the Spoetzl Brewery, this location is the ultimate fun. They offer three immersive experiences that all come with their themes. It will take a mixture of teamwork and trust in your partners to get your way out of the room.
Having fun with the family is always a great bonding experience for everyone. You can even take the term escape room more literally and use it to escape your life. Submerge yourself into the room and theme, and let your imagination run wild.
This escape room is a wild card in an otherwise quiet city, but it’s just the outlet we all look for when we vacation; you will not be disappointed.
5. Bluestem Shiner
Some could argue that the shopping aspect is the best part of going to a new location. Walking into a new mall can scour the different stores they have, and while that may be entertaining Bluestem, Shiner offers something that most malls could never provide. This one-stop shop is where you would go if looking for authentic Texas merchandise. Unlike malls, this store does not have substantial name-brand items that most people have grown accustomed to seeing.
These are more local companies that only really sell their items within the Texas area, and this is stuff we all are looking for in a new city. This is where we can find souvenirs that will have a lasting imprint on our experience within the city. It’s the shirt or accessory that will remind you of all the adventures you have been going to the city every time you look at it.
Please take a look at this store; it may be a little awkward walking around and seeing names you do not recognize, but that is the beauty of vacations. It’s a moment to dive into the community and feel like you belong, and what better way to do that than to walk around in the clothing?
6. Green-Dickson Baseball Park
BATTER UP! If you’re a fan of baseball or any physical activity, then this is your place. The name implies a baseball park strictly, but it is so much more. This park is filled with different activity zones. It has a baseball field, a tennis court, and a volleyball court.
This park can keep you preoccupied for hours, even days, and if you want the whole experience, take advantage of the RV camping site. Unfortunately, this site is only for RVs, but if you have one, this could be another opportunity to build quality time with your family as you stare at the night sky’s stars.
Have some fun, kick your feet back, or relax on the campground, either way, this park does not disappoint.
7. Visit the Shiner Catholic Church, known as the “Queen of the Painted Churches”
8. Go fishing or kayaking on the Guadalupe River
Although the Guadalupe River does not flow directly through Shiner, TX, it is a popular destination for fishing and kayaking enthusiasts in the surrounding areas. The river offers a tranquil and scenic setting, with clear waters and diverse fish species, including bass, catfish, and perch.
For kayakers, the river provides a relaxing and enjoyable paddle through the Texas Hill Country. Access points to the Guadalupe River are relatively close to Shiner, with the Guadalupe River State Park being a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
9. Explore the Green-Dickson Park and Trail system
Exploring the Green-Dickson Park and Trail system is a great way to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature while in Shiner, TX. The park offers a network of scenic trails that wind through the lush wooded areas, with stunning views of the local flora and fauna. Visitors can hike, bike, or take a leisurely stroll along the trails, which range from easy to moderate difficulty.
The park also features a pavilion for outdoor gatherings and picnics, as well as a playground for children.
10. Attend the annual Shiner Bocktoberfest celebration
Attending the annual Shiner Bocktoberfest celebration is a popular event for locals and visitors alike in Shiner, TX. The festival takes place every October and celebrates the town’s rich German heritage, with plenty of food, music, and, of course, Shiner beer.
Attendees can sample a variety of local brews and indulge in delicious German-inspired cuisine, from bratwurst to sauerkraut.
11. Take a drive through the scenic countryside and explore the historic small towns nearby
One such town is Gonzales, located just 30 minutes from Shiner, which is known for its rich history, including being the site of the first skirmish of the Texas Revolution.
Another nearby town is Cuero, which boasts a beautifully restored downtown area and a rich cowboy heritage.
Exploring these quaint small towns is a fantastic way to immerse oneself in the local culture and history, while also taking in the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside.
12. Visit the Texas Polka Music Museum
The Texas Polka Music Museum is located in the heart of downtown Schulenburg, which is about 16 miles north of Shiner, TX. The museum is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of polka music in Texas, which has a rich and storied tradition that dates back to the early 20th century.
The museum features a variety of exhibits and displays that showcase the instruments, costumes, and memorabilia associated with polka music in Texas, as well as a large collection of recordings and videos of Texas polka bands and performers.
The Texas Polka Music Museum does not charge an admission fee, so visitors can enter the museum for free. However, the museum does accept donations to support its operations and ongoing preservation efforts.
13. Attend a local high school football game at Shiner High School
The Shiner High School team competes in the University Interscholastic League (UIL) and plays other high school teams in the area. The football games are typically held on Friday evenings during the fall season, and the atmosphere can be quite lively and energetic, with enthusiastic fans cheering on the team from the stands.
14. Visit the Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum, showcasing vintage model airplanes
The Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum is located in nearby Schulenburg, which is about 15 miles north of Shiner, TX.
The museum features a variety of exhibits and displays that showcase the many different types of model airplanes and helicopters that the Stanzel family created over the years, as well as a large collection of vintage toys and other memorabilia.
15. Explore the historic Shiner Cemetery and learn about the town’s past
The cemetery dates back to the 1880s and features a variety of gravesites, ranging from simple markers to ornate mausoleums and family plots. Many of the graves are adorned with beautiful and intricate sculptures and carvings, reflecting the artistic and cultural traditions of the early settlers who are buried here.
One of the most notable features of the cemetery is the large number of Czech and German surnames on the headstones, reflecting the strong European immigrant communities that settled in the area.
16. Go antique shopping in downtown Shiner
One popular spot is the Antiques & More store, located on North Avenue D in downtown Shiner. This store features a variety of antique and vintage items, including furniture, artwork, and collectibles.
17. Attend a live music show at the Shiner Dance Hall
The types of live shows at the Shiner Dance Hall can vary widely, but the venue is primarily known for its traditional Texas-style country music and honky-tonk acts. Many of the shows feature local and regional artists, as well as nationally known performers who specialize in this style of music.
18. Enjoy a good cup of coffee at Shinerville Coffee House
The coffee shop is housed in a beautifully restored historic building that dates back to the early 1900s, and the business has been around for several years.
The coffee shop offers a wide variety of coffee and espresso drinks, made with locally roasted beans, as well as a selection of teas, smoothies, and other refreshing beverages. The menu also features a range of delicious breakfast and lunch items, including pastries, sandwiches, salads, and more.
One of the unique features of Shinerville Coffee House is the large outdoor patio area, which is perfect for enjoying your coffee and soaking up the beautiful Texas sunshine. The shop also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including live music performances, poetry readings, and art shows.
19. Attend a yoga class at the Shiner Yoga Studio
Shiner Yoga Studio is a hidden gem in the heart of Shiner, TX, offering a peaceful oasis for those seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The studio offers a variety of yoga classes for all levels, from beginners to advanced practitioners.
The space is beautifully designed with calming colors and natural elements, providing the perfect environment for relaxation and rejuvenation.
20. Go on a sunset cruise on Lake Texana
Located approximately 30 miles southeast, the driving time from Shiner to Lake Texana is approximately 40-45 minutes, depending on traffic and road conditions. However, this is an unforgettable experience that promises stunning views and a relaxing atmosphere.
As the sun begins to dip below the horizon, the sky transforms into a vibrant canvas of oranges, pinks, and purples, casting a warm glow over the water. As you cruise along the lake, you may catch glimpses of local wildlife, such as deer, birds, and even alligators.
21. Attend a cooking class at Kasper’s Country Cooking and Catering School
The school offers a variety of classes that focus on traditional Texas cuisine, including BBQ, Tex-Mex, and German-inspired dishes.
Whether you’re a novice cook or an experienced foodie, attending a cooking class at Kasper’s Country Cooking and Catering School is a fun and educational experience that is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Shiner, TX.
Typically, classes range from $75 to $150 per person. However, it’s best to check with the school directly to confirm the current pricing and availability of classes.
Shiner is a city that not many people may know about, but this is a place that will never leave your mind once you go. Every subsequent vacation taken after visiting Shiner will be held in comparison. The advantage of a city with less than 3,000 people is that there is room to fully grasp the city and the chance to look at everything and everyone.
Of course, places like this may not be used to receiving visitors, but that does not have to be a bad thing. When a community sees visitors for the first time who are genuinely interested in getting to know them and the culture, that could be all they need to go out of their way to make your experience the best they can make it.
When you hear the population count, you will instantly question what this city has to offer you regarding entertainment, but that is the best part. You could be one of the few people who go to Shiner and see for yourself that it is one of the best places to visit. It could be you and your family’s little secret getaway that you always go to visit.
While everyone else deals with the headaches found at main tourist destinations, you go to Shiner and have the best time. Give Shiner a chance and see just how much fun you can have.