COMFORT, TEXAS: HISTORICAL HILL COUNTRY HIDEAWAY
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The word “comfort” brings to mind many pleasant images, and this Texas Hill Country town lives up to all of them. Awash in pioneer history, this is home to just over 2,300 souls and offers a full spectrum of attractions to its visitors. Bat-watching, wineries, antiques, historical buildings and monuments, and even scarecrows, await you during your Comfort getaway.
German immigrants founded Comfort in 1854, established as a bastion for freethinkers and their progressive philosophy. This Hill Country town grew as an agricultural settlement, with ranching (famous for many decades for its Angora goats) and farming as its major staples. Tourism followed in more recent decades, and Comfort has built a strong reputation for both antiques and historical preservation. Indeed, most of the families in modern-day Comfort are descendants of the town's original founders.
For a cozy little town, Comfort offers its visitors a lot to do! Backroads Reservations is happy to provide the following guide to prime examples of attractions and businesses in the Comfort area.
The majority of Comfort itself has been designated a National Historic District, and for good reason. Celebrated British architect Alfred Giles is renowned for designing everything from private residences to businesses to courthouses, and several examples of his work are showcased in excellent condition in Comfort. Nearly 100 buildings in Comfort that were built before 1910 are still standing and available for viewing by visiting history buffs.
Of special historical interest is the Treue der Union (German for “loyalty to the Union”) monument located in Comfort. It's the oldest American Civil War monument erected in Texas, dedicated just a year after the war ended, and it commemorates the Battle of Nueces in 1862, where German Union loyalists were killed by Confederate forces. This monument is one of the very few dedicated to Union casualties on former Confederate ground.
The Texas Hill Country is known for its wineries, and Comfort is at the heart of it all. For example, Bending Branch Winery—awarded Best Texas Winery in 2018—calls Comfort its home. Also in Comfort is the Newsom Vineyards, housed in a century-old farmhouse in the town's historic district. Singing Water Vineyards also offers several vintages from their Hill Country vines. We've highlighted just a few major vineyards in Comfort itself, but keep in mind there are nearly 20 wineries within a short drive. That takes up more space than we have here, so serious connoisseurs owe it to themselves to do a little homework before their visit.
Hungry? There are several local restaurants in Comfort to satisfy whatever you might be looking for. The Cypress Creek Inn Restaurant has a 60-year history of serving up generous family-style meals. Manny's Cafe serves up traditional Tex-Mex and burgers, and they're well-known for their breakfast menu. High's Cafe and Store features a healthy menu of sandwiches, salads and breakfast items. Comfort Pizza offers several specialty pizzas, or you can customize your own—all baked in their old-world wood fire oven. For a hearty selection of hot and cold sandwiches and burgers, check out Food for the Soul Bistro. Finally, for authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex fare, Los Jarros fills the bill with their menu offerings. Remember where you are: all food here is Comfort food!
Antique hounds will find their fix in Comfort, with numerous antique shops lining the town's historic downtown district. In late April, Comfort hosts their Spring Antique Show, and they put it together and do it all again in mid-October, with the Fall Antique Show. Dozens of vendors gather at these shows—many of whom are from Comfort's extensive antique district—featuring everything from tiny figurines to home furnishings. For more information on these antique gatherings, check out this link.
Also during the month of October each year, the Scarecrow Invasion takes place in Comfort. These unique autumn displays can be found throughout the entire town, and creativity and humor abound in every scarecrow. During the last half of the month, Comfort hits “peak scarecrow,” and local authorities judge the entries in various categories.
Just north of Comfort is Old Tunnel State Park, named for a now-defunct railroad tunnel in the middle of the park. Between May and October, this tunnel is home to an enormous colony of three million Mexican free-tail bats, and folks flock from all around to watch them emerge at sunset for their daily mosquito feeding. Ample hiking and other wildlife-observing opportunities exist here, too, and rangers can be called upon to educate visitors on both the bats and the area's railroad history.
Speaking of bats, back in the 1910s and 1920s, there were several hygieostatic bat roosts built throughout the United States, and the last one standing is right here in Comfort. Back then, malaria was a concern, and mosquitoes were the chief offenders in spreading the disease. Forward-thinking Texans realized that bats eat mosquitoes by the thousands, and the towers were built as disease-fighting structures. Please note: This 30-foot tower is on private property, but is visible from the road (RM 473).
Continue getting your wildlife-watching fill at Block Creek Natural Area. Not only set up as a bird and wildlife refuge, Block Creek also has special photo blinds, built specifically to maximize wildlife photography. There isn't a bad view here, and it's located in a spot popular to many diverse bird and wildlife species. There's also fantastic star and planet viewing at night!
If you're going to spend a getaway in a town called Comfort, it makes no sense to set your “home base” in an uncomfortable and generic hotel room. Backroads Reservations provides several unique, picturesque, and yes—comfortable—rentals in the Comfort area. Whether you have a full schedule, or you're just looking to unwind from your day-to-day routine, Backwoods Reservations has a perfect place for your stay.