My Town of Boerne: Fourth Best Top Small Town in America

According to Livability.com, Boerne, Texas is the fourth best small town in America in which to live. That’s where I live. (Well, technically, I live just outside of town, but who’s counting.) Boerne is ranked behind:

1. Papillion, Nebraska. (Never heard of it. How about you?)
2. Golden, Colorado. (Right new to the Rocky Mountains. Can’t argue with that.)
3. Brattleboro, Vermont. (Unbelievably beautiful area, especially in October.)

Main Street of Boerne. The streets signs still include the German Hauptstrasse.

I’m in agreement with Livability.com, for the most part. Their introduction is true:

Located in the Texas Hill Country, the town of Boerne offers inspiration in many forms. You’ll find it in the natural beauty of the area’s rivers, lakes, caves and trails. You’ll find it in the historic buildings, eclectic shops, restaurants and people in this town.

But they fail to mention one of the most desirable attributes of Boerne: excellent schools. The school system is one of the major factors that drew my family to this town in the first place.

I do think that one sentence in Livability.com’s description of Boerne needs a little interpretation. It reads:

The area’s mild climate and ample amount of sunshine give residents plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy golf, hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, biking and a variety of sports.

Ample sunshine with plenty of chances to get out and enjoy it? You betcha. Mild climate? Well, I suppose that’s relative. We are cooler than many parts of Texas and the Southwest. And, at 1500 feet in elevation, we’re must less humid than much of Texas and the Southeast. But with summer highs well into the 90s for four months, I’m not quite convinced about the mildness of our climate. Oh, I suppose if you compare our winter weather with that of much of the US, we’re mild. We usually have maybe 20 nights below freezing. Temperatures below 25 degrees are quite rare.  At any rate, before you pack up and move to Boerne, make sure you understand what “mild climate” really means.

One further point of clarification. Livability.com’s description of Boerne says the down is 27 miles from San Antonio. That may be true if you think of the center of San Antonio. But, in fact, it’s less than 20 minutes from Boerne to the northwest edge of San Antonio, an area that has plenty of shopping and entertainment. You can live in the country and be in an Apple store or an IMAX theatre in no time.

I almost forgot one of the most important to know about Boerne. The town name is pronounced like the name “Bernie.” It’s not “Born” or “Borney” or even “Buhrna,” which is close to the original German pronunciation of Börne. The town is named after a virtually unknown German writer, Ludwig Börne, who died in 1837. The early German settlers of this area were fans of Börne’s satirical political writing and Protestant freethinking.

  • Todd Bartel

    We spent a week vacation in Bandera (15 minutes from Boerne) in late August this year. Drove through Boerne a few times. Looks quaint. But 97 degrees at 11:00 pm is not my idea of mild climate. The two-year drought conditions don’t help either. Inner tubing down the Frio River had unforeseen challenges like dragging the inner tubes over some three inch deep portions. Still had a great time with family.

  • TomB

    Haha! The next big movie, “The Boerne Identity”. :-)

  • Caliche Cedarhead

    It’s unfortunate these types of surveys fail to rate the “sustainability factors” like ground water availability. Nor do they take the time to poll long-time residents about how they feel now that most of Calfornia has moved in.

  • FirstFamily

    Our school win;t that hot. The High schools rank 1500 out of over 3000 in the US. Nothing to brag about.

  • markdroberts

    Not quite sure what you’re talking about. Last year, Boerne Champion High School won the Lone Star Cup as the best academic/athletic 4A school in Texas. Champion regularly sends graduates to the top colleges and universities in the country. Etc. etc.

  • markdroberts

    Yep. That is a problem, isn’t it? If you have a fine place to live, people want to move there. It’s funny, though, I know very few former Californians in Boerne. I know lots and lots of people who moved here from Houston, Dallas, Corpus, etc.

  • markdroberts

    Yes, the drought was terrible. Combine that with record heat, and summer of 2011 was a nightmare. Much better in 2012, though we have a long way to go to recover from the drought.


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