Taking care of your Loved One Is What We Do BEST!

It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Johnson City, TX

Home Care Johnson City, TX

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park Visitor Center and Park Headquarters gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Johnson City, TX is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Johnson City, TX

location Service Areas

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“I work for this team and it's a wonderful team , great communication and support for our clients, their family members and our caring team of staff .”

Antoinette G.

“Ken and Bonnie are wonderful people to help care for your loved ones. their staff was so caring to my mother and so nice to my family I highly recommend them to take care of your loved ones. I think there ought to be more than just five stars to give them”

Mark A.

“I am a past client of this provider Ken and Bonnie were wonderful to work with. They were able to provide my mother with care and a very short notice. Their staff was some of the most caring people that I've ever met. Not only were they wonderful to my mother but also to my family. I would highly recommend using them.”

Mark A.

“For those who are searching for qualified caregivers for their loved ones, contact Ken Thomas at Always Best Care Senior Services. Mr. Thomas provides an authentic and professional guiding hand when discussing available services for your precious senior family members. When it is time for a beloved senior to receive assistance, Mr. Thomas understands the importance of providing trustworthy and quality support.”

Melissa C.

“Ken leads his Always Best Care Senior Services Agency with compassion for his clients and their families. He is a local senior care expert and leader in his community. If you are need of assistance in navigating your local senior care options, then do not hesitate to give Ken a call!”

Kelly B.

“Kenneth is kind, patient, experienced and knowledgeable. We are thankful to him for all his efforts and for going above and beyond.”

Chae S.

“Very professional and welcoming people so I would definitely recommend my friends and family to Always Best Care in Boerne.”

Laurie K.

“The owner is so understanding and supportive of how I want my loved ones cared for. He and his staff actually listen to what I would like done for my parents. Very thoughtful, very professional and very caring. It’s such a relief to have help in caring for my loved ones”

Kristen B.

“Kenneth is knowledgeable and trustworthy. I can’t recommend him enough. You’re in good hands with Kenneth.”

Chae S.

“ALWAYS BEST CARE is certainly a warm & caring business owned & operated by Ken Thomas. I certainly would recommend them for you or your loved ones excellent care.”

Shirley S.

“I will be forever grateful for the love you showered upon us and my grandmother”

Jill &.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Johnson City, TX?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Johnson City, TX

Types of Elderly Care in Johnson City, TX

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Johnson City, TX
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Johnson City, TX
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Willow Springs Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Johnson City, TX
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Lady Bird Lane Cafe or visit Science Mill, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Johnson City, TX

Benefits of Home Care in Johnson City, TX

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Johnson City, TX, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Johnson City, TX

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your TX's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Johnson City, TX

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Johnson City, TX understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Johnson City, TX

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Johnson City, TX

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • A Place For Mom - Senior Living Advisor Ashley Powell
  • Combined Community Action - Johnson City
  • Lavender Springs Assisted Living
  • Memorial Living Center
  • American House Senior Living Communities
  • Dominion Senior Living of Johnson City
Home Care Johnson City, TX

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Johnson City, TX

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Johnson City, TX 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Johnson City, TX

Latest News in Johnson City, TX

Head to historic Johnson City for a day of discovery, adventure, and fun

If you're like me, you occasionally need a break from the usual hustle and bustle of life in San Antonio. So, how about we step away from the large crowds and chaotic mayhem and book a day trip to Johnson City. Our neighbors up north have so many unique places to ...

If you're like me, you occasionally need a break from the usual hustle and bustle of life in San Antonio. So, how about we step away from the large crowds and chaotic mayhem and book a day trip to Johnson City. Our neighbors up north have so many unique places to shop, eat, and stay overnight in our quest to relax and escape from life in the Alamo City.

A historic city of discovery, adventure, and fun for the whole family, Johnson City has just what we need to make this one memorable trip.

Get your engine rolling at the Texas Vintage Motorcycle Museum

Unlike most Hill Country destinations that has seen rapid growth throughout the years, Johnson City is somewhat of a throwback. As such, you should take a visit to see the Texas Vintage Motorcycle Museum owned by Gordon Massie. The California native moved to Houston in the late 70s before up and retiring to Johnson City in 2021, where he houses his insane collection of over 70 classic motorcycles from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and holiday Mondays.

Find it at: 100 N Nugent Ave, Johnson City, TX 78636

Make your way down 290 Wine Trail

You've probably heard it somewhere before, but Johnson City is the gateway to Texas Hill Country wineries, breweries, and distilleries. So, visitors should look no further than off of Texas Highway 290 Wine Road, where they can indulge themselves in their alcoholic beverage of choice and relax. This particular stretch of the highway offers over 15 different winery, distillery, and brewery options, so you have plenty to choose from.

Find it at: 402 E Main St, Johnson City, TX 78636

Get your grub on at Fat Boy Burgers

The pictures online speak for themselves, but Fat Boy Burgers serves 100% braveheart black angus beef that's fresh and never frozen, according to its website. Topped with home cut fries or hand dipped onion rings, this 'Fat Boy' meal would put a smile on anyone's face. Every Friday Fat Boy serves its special fried fish and shrimp dish that comes with homemade tartar sauce, home fries, pinto beans, and Rosie's coleslaw. Sign me up for that please. Fat Boy Burgers is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. On Friday, the restaurant is closed between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m.

Find it at: 104 US-281, Johnson City, TX 78636

Take a look at a bit of history and visit the LBJ State Park & Historic Site

A trip to Johnson City just wouldn't feel right if we didn't stop and see what the town is actually famous for. Located right next door to the iconic Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch, the LBJ State Park and Historic Site is home to numerous walking trails, wildlife, and more. You'll also find individuals re-enacting life on a small 19th-century farm, where - you guessed it - they grow crops and care for the animals. Due to safety concerns rising from structural issues, the Texas White House is temporary closed, but the LBJ Ranch driving tour is still up and running, the National Park Service website says. The park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Find it at: 199 Park Road 52, Stonewall, TX 78671

Here's a map detailing each location as well:

July 25, 2022

Shop, Dine, and Drink in Johnson City

The Johnson City mural depicts the hallmarks of Hill Country life: longhorns, cowboys, bluebonnets, vineyards, rivers, a stonework courthouse, and, of course, rolling hills. But downtown is packing more than rustic charm. The city center is chock-full of places to eat, drink, shop, and hang.This reporter spent a Tuesday afternoon exploring and sampling a slice of Johnson City. I parked beside the Blanco County Courthouse, one of many beautiful stonework structures that define the Hill Country. It was clear downtown was thriving. All o...

The Johnson City mural depicts the hallmarks of Hill Country life: longhorns, cowboys, bluebonnets, vineyards, rivers, a stonework courthouse, and, of course, rolling hills. But downtown is packing more than rustic charm. The city center is chock-full of places to eat, drink, shop, and hang.

This reporter spent a Tuesday afternoon exploring and sampling a slice of Johnson City. I parked beside the Blanco County Courthouse, one of many beautiful stonework structures that define the Hill Country. It was clear downtown was thriving. All of the storefronts were occupied with an array of art galleries, cafes, breweries, and boutiques. The town square is walkable, and it isn’t a stretch to stroll down U.S. 290, which doubles as Johnson City’s Main Street and holds many of the stops to grab a bite or a drink.

Like in many small towns, Tuesdays are slow and there wasn’t a lot open, but I was surprised at the presence of so many hip shopping spots. The Texas Vintage Motorcycle Museum and the Science Mill are also dominant features on the Johnson City downtown landscape. Both are worth a visit when you take a trip out this way.

I was drawn into the Farmhouse Vineyards Tasting Room on my walk down Main Street by an “open” sign and a shining airstream trailer parked out front. As I stepped through the doors, I was greeted by Carrie Hillabrant, a tasting room attendant with years of experience in the Hill Country wine scene but new to Farmhouse Vineyards.

“I think it’s the cutest little town,” said Hillbrant, who had only been working in the tasting room for a month.

She recommended I try Farmhouse Vineyards’ Cultivated, a red blend comprised of 60 percent cabernet sauvignon, 32 percent merlot, and 18 percent petit verdot. Hillabrant described it as earthy with a little spice and well rounded with a smooth finish. My tastes aren’t refined enough to corroborate her description, but I did think it was pretty good.

Farmhouse uses 100 percent Texas grapes for its wine, which is a big deal. According to the American Viticulture Association, only 75 percent of the grapes used in a wine have to be from the state for it to qualify as a Texas wine.

As I sipped my wine, Hillabrant broke down the layout of Farmhouse Vineyards, which is actually located in Brownfield, a small town outside of Lubbock. The vineyard’s owners chose to open a tasting room in Johnson City because it is in the heart of Texas wine country, and they aren’t wrong. U.S. 290, which runs through Johnson City, is also referred to as Texas Wine Road 290 because dozens of wineries and vineyards dot the highway from Interstate 10 in the west to Austin in the east.

The tasting room is built right into an old home, and it feels like you’re visiting friends and family when you walk in. But the outdoor portion is what really drew me. A slick airstream trailer, gyroscopic wind chimes, and plenty of seating made it obvious that this would be a great spot to visit in cooler weather. The airstream was actually the original tasting room, which later expanded into the whole property.

Finishing my wine, I asked Hillabrant where to grab a bite, and she recommended Proof & Cooper at The Old Lumber Yard. It was a quick walk over and I was seated in an open dining room adorned with stag heads, Edison bulbs, and plenty of bare-wood furniture.

I asked for the tallest thing on the menu, which ended up being the smoked club sandwich. It’s hard to beat interlocking layers of smoked turkey and buttered Texas toast. The menu is pretty straightforward, classic country cuisine with a few hip twists.

Somehow, I couldn’t refuse dessert and ended up inhaling a turtle brownie with two scoops of vanilla ice cream. This was another tough pairing to beat, a one-two combo of molten chocolate and cold creamy vanilla.

This is Proof & Cooper’s second location, the first being in Dripping Springs. I had actually heard of it before by way of its annual pig wrestling competition that features would-be swine wranglers attempting to put a T-shirt on a rowdy hog.

With Tuesday afternoon coming to a close, I made my way back to the car. This was not my first time in Johnson City. I’ve grabbed a coffee at Black Spur and sipped it in the sculpture garden, and I’ve had a flight of craft beer at Reck ‘Em Right Brewing Company while a three-piece string band plucked old cowboy songs.

Johnson City might have the most packed into it of any Hill Country getaway. Make sure you visit on a weekend and see for yourself.

Proof & Cooper at The Lumberyard209 E. Main St., Johnson CityClassic country cuisine in a simple, rugged space. Grab drinks or grub, see live music, and maybe even wrestle a pig.

Pecan Street Brewing106 E. Pecan Drive, Johnson CityA large, popular spot for brews and homemade Southern dishes.

Reck ‘Em Right Brewing Co.102 S. Avenue G, Johnson CityA tucked-away spot for barbecue, craft beers, and live music.

Bryans on 290300 E. Main St., Johnson CityAn upscale American bistro that recommends reservations before your visit.

Ronnie’s Barbecue211 U.S. 281 South, Johnson CityClassic Hill Country barbecue and a Johnson City institution.

Farmhouse Vineyards Tasting Room402 E. Main St., Johnson CityAn inviting tasting room with great outdoor seating and monthly wine club parties.

Alex Anthony Vineyards Tasting Room213 N. Nugent Ave., Johnson CityThe Johnson City outpost for Alex Anthony Vineyards, which is in Brownfield. A friendly spot for sipping and socializing.

Black Spur Coffee Shop100 W. Main St., Johnson CityA small coffee shop built into an art gallery and sculpture garden right on Main Street in Johnson City.

Fat Boy Burgers104 U.S. 281, Johnson CityHeralded as one of the best burger joints in the Hill Country.

Lady Bird Lane Cafe101 S. Lady Bird Lane, Johnson CityA health-conscious cafe inside the Science Mill.

Dumpling Diva108 W. Main St., Johnson CityHomemade Chinese dumplings in a small, cozy storefront downtown.

Nice N Easy106 N. Nugent Ave., Johnson CityA speakeasy on the square to relax and enjoy smooth spirits.

Tapz 32105 U.S. 281, Johnson CityA beer garden in the heart of town for locals and tourists alike.

Johnson City Coffee Co.108 W. Main St., Johnson CityA cool coffee spot that teams up with the Texas Vintage Motorcycle Museum on the weekends.

Olive and Oak302 E. Main St., Johnson CityA boutique with chic Western wear.

The Haloed Hippie107 Nugent Ave., Johnson CityA salon and fashion boutique with city and country styles.

Vintage 205205 E. Main St., Johnson CityAn antique and vintage emporium with a selection of handpicked fashion and decor.

High Cotton Goods205 E. Main St., Johnson CityA whimsical boutique filled with the heart and soul of a small-town family.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Locals, let visitors know your favorite places to shop, dine, and drink in the comments section below.

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Here’s Why You Should Visit Johnson City Town Square

A presidential hometown of renowned history, dramatic natural beauty, time-honored traditions, and creative innovations. The headwaters of the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail, Johnson City has few stoplights… but a lot of charm. Located just an hour outside of Austin, it’s the perfect place for a quick getaway.Here are five places we recommend for your getaway to Johnson CityJohnson City Coffee Co. 20...

A presidential hometown of renowned history, dramatic natural beauty, time-honored traditions, and creative innovations. The headwaters of the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail, Johnson City has few stoplights… but a lot of charm. Located just an hour outside of Austin, it’s the perfect place for a quick getaway.

Here are five places we recommend for your getaway to Johnson City

Johnson City Coffee Co. 200 North Ave GBut first, coffee. Johnson City Coffee Co. is a hidden gem. The contemporary farmhouse design of the building will have you wanting to relax and snap picture at the same time. With a large local selection of coffee and baked goods, this should everyones first stop!

Echo100 N Nugent AveEcho is the culmination of two lives of international travel and design, combined with a passion for art, antiques and everything unusual. With a focus on mid-century modern, and hosting the work of over 30 artists, you’ll find a visit to this “non-gallery” art gallery fascinating.

Exotic Resort Zoo 235 Zoo Trail That’s right there’s an exotic zoo in Johnson City that’s also a resort! The resort is still open at this time, for more details on that click here. The zoo its self is operating strictly as a drive-through at this time. It makes you feel more like you’re on a safari rather than just an hour outside of Austin.

Bryans on 290 300 East Main StreetIf you’re looking for fine dining, look no further. This five star quality restaurant is located in the middle of Main Street. With it’s American bistro fare & notable wines presented in a cozy and charming atmosphere, this recommend this as your dinner stop before heading back to Austin.

Pecan Street Brewing 106 East Pecan DrivePecan Street Brewing is a great way to end a day in Johnson City. They feature fresh hand-crafted cocktails, brewed on-site craft beer and Texas Wines. The beers they brew are paired with their menu of brick-oven pizzas, fresh salads, burgers and unique southern dishes, like their classic Sweet Pecan Chicken. All set to a relaxing and friendly environment. Be sure to stop by and experience it for yourself.

Want to find more Texas town squares to visit? Check out all of our faves here.

Featured photo courtesy of Johnson City

Where To See The Best Christmas Light Displays In Texas

Even the Christmas light displays are bigger in Texas. From Grapevine to San Antonio, these are some of our favorite Christmas light displays sparkling throughout Texas.The song says “the stars at night are big and bright (clap, clap, clap, clap), deep in the heart of Texas,” but dazzling Christmas l...

Even the Christmas light displays are bigger in Texas. From Grapevine to San Antonio, these are some of our favorite Christmas light displays sparkling throughout Texas.

The song says “the stars at night are big and bright (clap, clap, clap, clap), deep in the heart of Texas,” but dazzling Christmas light displays across the state have us wanting to change those lyrics up a bit. Known for doing things bigger—and sometimes better—Texans definitely make no exception when it comes to Christmas light displays. From showy private neighborhood displays to city displays and even an incredible zoo display, here are some of our favorite Christmas lights across Texas.

01 of 09

Gaylord Texan's Lone Star Christmas

Grapevine, Texas

As the official Christmas Capital of Texas, you can be sure that Grapevine has plenty of holiday cheer. At the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, Christmas festivities are taken to the next level. The Shine Light Show in the atrium features thousands of lights synchronized to holiday music and light curtains sparkle around the large Christmas tree. There’s also Merry and Light, where immersive light elements and massive, lighted decor provide photo ops. Lots of other Christmas happenings take place at the Gaylord as well, including ICE!, an ice sculpture wonderland made from 2 million pounds of colorful ice with a different festive theme each year; the Christmas Village with snow tubing, ice skating, a Christmas carousel, and shopping; and the Gingerbread Decorating Center.

02 of 09

Austin Trail of Lights

Austin, Texas

Austin’s Zilker Park comes alive during the holiday season with the Austin Trail of Lights, a Christmas favorite since 1965. Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to the Trail of Lights every year to see more than 2 million lights twinkling through the park, plus 90 lighted holiday trees and more than 70 holiday displays and lighted tunnels. The Trail of Lights is one of the three largest events in the city and receives national attention year after year. The walking trail is 1.25 miles long and includes Candy Cane Lane, where you’ll find food, restrooms, the ZIP Lounge, and a place to write letters to Santa. In the heart of the trail is the North Pole, where Santa’s House and Workshop delight the young and young at heart.

03 of 09

Vitruvian Lights

Addison, Texas

During the holiday season, Vitruvian Park is transformed into a holly-jolly scene for Vitruvian Lights. Millions of dazzling lights are wrapped around more than 550 trees throughout the park’s 19 acres and walkway, and colors are reflected up from the spring-fed creek, creating a postcard-worthy landscape. You can drive or walk through the park to see the light displays every evening through the holiday season through January 1.

04 of 09

Houston Zoo Lights

Houston, Texas

A favorite Christmas experience in Houston, Houston Zoo Lights is a great way to spend an evening with friends and family. The Zoo grounds are transformed into a holiday wonderland, where animal-themed lanterns and illuminated flower displays come to life underneath towering oak trees wrapped in lights. There’s also a 33-foot-tall, color-changing tree, a Coca-Cola Bear display in the Flamingo Terrace, and Santa’s Workshop, where kids can grab a photo with the Man in Red. New this year is the photo-op area with ski lift chairs set in a snowy scene, a lighted tunnel, and an interactive dance floor. The Houston Zoo is also trying to save wild animals by taking in old and broken holiday string lights for recycling. Since 2016, more than 26,400 pounds of lights have been recycled by the Zoo.

05 of 09

San Antonio River Walk

San Antonio, Texas

A visit to San Antonio’s River Walk is a must when in the area, as the tree canopy looming over the San Antonio River coupled with waterfront restaurants, shopping, and boats full of visitors gliding through the city is a site in itself. At Christmastime though, the River Walk is illuminated with more than 100,000 lights draping down from the bald cypress trees lining the River Walk. Storefronts and bridges are also covered in Christmas lights, making a walk or boat ride through the area pure magic.

06 of 09

Lights Spectacular

Johnson City, Texas

The town of Johnson City, Texas might be small, but its annual Lights Spectacular light display is so big that NASA has reported seeing it from the International Space Station. For more than 30 years, Lights Spectacular has wowed crowds with Christmas cheer. More than 1.3 million bulbs illuminate the Pedernales Electric Cooperative campus, with lights draping the entire building and twinkling in the surrounding trees. It is advised to arrive before sundown to secure parking, but there’s lots to do with surrounding restaurants, distilleries, breweries, and wineries while you wait for the lights.

07 of 09

Santa’s Ranch

New Braunfels, Texas

In the Texas Hill Country, Santa’s Ranch is a drive-through light display that’s perfect for the whole family. More than 1.5 million, custom-made lights illuminate the ranch, with displays of Rudolph, Frosty, the North Pole, gingerbread houses, and more included throughout. Holiday treats such as roasted pecans, kettle corn, and hot chocolate are available at the concession stand, as are souvenirs such as hoodies and mugs.

08 of 09

Lightscape Fort Worth

Fort Worth, Texas

Set within the 120-acre Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Lightscape is a stunning, one-mile walking trail featuring not only bright light displays, but sound too. Walk beneath suspended strands of lights and through lighted tunnels with the garden. Don’t miss the waving, lighted bluebonnet display, fire garden, singing trees, artistic installations, and even treetop sculptures. Visitors are welcome to roast marshmallows over a fire and sip hot chocolate and seasonal beverages from stations along the trail.

09 of 09

Highland Park

Dallas, Texas

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the gorgeous mansions that encapsulate Dallas’ Highland Park neighborhood. Residents pull out all the stops during the holidays, decorating their fabulous homes with elaborate light and lawn displays. And while these are private homes, visitors are welcome every year to experience the magic. Brazos Carriage and Whitehaven Carriages both offer horse-drawn carriage rides through the neighborhood if you don’t want to take your own car. Christmas music is provided, but guests are welcome to bring drinks and snacks.

3 scenic drives through Texas Hill Country from U.S. 281 in San Antonio area

Here’s one way to break the tedium of staying close to home in these pandemic days: get in the car and take a ride into the nearby Texas Hill Country, where scenic views and winding roads are just the tonic to get your motor running while also social distancing.Here are three more suggested routes, this time along U.S. 281 north of San Antonio. We recommend several attractions along each drive and, with advice from our Taste Team, someplace to stop and eat up along the way.Be warned, many of these places aren’t open...

Here’s one way to break the tedium of staying close to home in these pandemic days: get in the car and take a ride into the nearby Texas Hill Country, where scenic views and winding roads are just the tonic to get your motor running while also social distancing.

Here are three more suggested routes, this time along U.S. 281 north of San Antonio. We recommend several attractions along each drive and, with advice from our Taste Team, someplace to stop and eat up along the way.

Be warned, many of these places aren’t open all the time, so call before you go. The roads are calling.

Leave the San Marcos suburbs behind and find yourself among the gently rolling scrubland and meadows that make the Hill Country so scenic. Take it slow, enjoy the views.

Don’t miss

Wimberley Glassworks: 6469 RR 12, San Marcos, 512-393-3316, Art studio sells colorful, hand-created vases, sculptures, platters and other glassware. And you can watch it all being made during live glass-blowing demonstrations from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

Devil’s Backbone Overlook: On RM 32, Canyon Lake. This overlook is perhaps the best publicly accessible spot to view the Devil’s Backbone, a rugged limestone ridge running through the Texas Hill Country. Don’t forget to pack your wide-angle camera lens.

Old Baldy Park: 33 LaToya Circle, Wimberley, 512-660-9111, After being in the car for more than 30 miles, how does stretching your legs sound? The hike up Old Baldy is only 0.2 miles long, but it’s steep — we’re talking 218 stone steps steep. Still, the 360-degree view from the top is worth the effort.

Where to go for a bite: Devil’s Backbone Tavern, 4041 FM 32, Fischer, 830-964-2544, With an ancient, wildly decorated VW Bug out front, this ’30s-era honky-tonk is hard to miss. Stop by for a cold one, just to say you did.

On 3 scenic drives through Texas Hill Country from Interstate 10 in San Antonio area

The U.S. 281 and 290 stretches of this loop are pretty much highway speed, but the RR 1320/Round Mountain-Sandy Road portion takes you through some pretty country and lets you meander at your own pace. Enjoy the scrubby scenery as the road dipsy-doodles through several low water crossings over the Pedernales River and several of its tributaries.

And while most of the major wineries along U.S. 290 are located further west, closer to Fredericksburg, you can finish your tour by parking your car and safely strolling among the many satellite tasting rooms peppered throughout Johnson City.

Don’t miss

Boyhood Home of LBJ: 200 E. Elm St., Johnson City, 830-868-7128, The modest home where the future 36th U.S. president lived from age 5 through high school is a time capsule of what life in rural Texas was like a century ago — complete with outhouse.

Exotic Resort Zoo: 235 Zoo Trail, Johnson City, 830-868-4357, You’re already in the car, why not take a drive-thru safari through this 137-acre zoo and see some exotic animals? Tickets, available in advance online, are recommended for weekend visits.

Where to go for a bite: Bryans on 290, 300 E. Main St., Johnson City, 830-868-2424, This is where you want to go when you want to go for some fancy bistro cooking, a decent wine list and zero pretense.

On 3 scenic drives in the Medina Lake area

Skirting Lake LBJ, crossing the Colorado River and ending at Buchanan Lake, this route also takes you through several small towns and large quarry operations, such as Granite Mountain, which supplied the pink stone used to build the Texas State Capitol in Austin.

Don’t miss

Lookout Mountain Overlook: On RR 1431, Kingsland. This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it turnoff will give you a raptor’s-eye view of Lake LBJ and the houses perched along the water’s edge far below. Worth it for a quick photo stop and to stretch your legs.

Black Rock Park: 3400 Texas 261, Buchanan Dam, 512-369-4774, On the shore of Buchanan Lake, this Lower Colorado River Authority park features swimming, kayaking, fishing and a shaded miniature golf course. You could even spend the night in one of 18 pastel-colored lakeside cabins that sleep up to five for $65 to $75 per night.

Fall Creek Vineyards & Winery: 1820 County Road 222, Tow, 325-379-5361, One of the Hill Country’s founding vintners, Fall Creek makes wine from 100 percent Texas-grown grapes. The tasting room is open with $20 flights and small eats, too.

Where to go for a bite: Blue Bonnet Cafe, 211 U.S. 281, Marble Falls, 830-693-2344, Eat up prior to your drive with some comfort food, followed by a slice of one of the undisputed stars of this popular dining spot: the pies. Available in skyscraper-height meringues, rich creams and an orchard’s worth of fruit: apple, cherry, peach, pecan, banana and coconut. Which one’ll ya have, hon?

Richard A. Marini is a features writer in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. To read more from Richard, become a subscriber. [email protected] | Twitter: @RichardMarini

Oct 20, 2020|Updated Oct 25, 2020 4:58 p.m.

Reporter/Editor | San Antonio Express-News

Richard A. Marini is a features reporter for the San Antonio Express-News where he’s previously been an editor and columnist. The Association of Food Journalists once awarded him Best Food Columnist. He has freelanced for American Archaeology, Cooking Light and many other publications. Reader's Digest once sent him to Alaska for a week. He came back. Email Richard at [email protected].


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