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 Rio Frio, TX

Home Care Rio Frio, 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 Garner State Park 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 Rio Frio, TX is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Rio Frio, TX

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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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

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

Chae S.

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

Chae S.

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

Jill &.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Rio Frio, 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 Rio Frio, TX

Types of Elderly Care in Rio Frio, 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 Rio Frio, 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 Rio Frio, 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 Garner State 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 Rio Frio, 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 Texas Cannon Brewing Co. Frio River or visit Frio Bat Flight Tours, 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 Rio Frio, TX

Benefits of Home Care in Rio Frio, 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 Rio Frio, 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 Rio Frio, 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 Rio Frio, 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 Rio Frio, 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 Rio Frio, 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 Rio Frio, 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:

  • Pathways
  • Pathways Youth & Family Services
  • Veranda Senior Living
  • 214 Martin-A Retirement Residence
  • Meadowood Assisted Living and Memory Care
  • Saunders Senior Living
Home Care Rio Frio, 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 Rio Frio, 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 Rio Frio, 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 Rio Frio, TX

Latest News in Rio Frio, TX

10 Of The Best Lazy Rivers To Go Tubing In Texas

It’s summer. In Texas it’s the time of year when you worship air conditioning, opt for frozen margaritas, and gently hint to your one friend with a lake house that you want to go on their boat. It’s also the time of year for tubing in Texas. Throughout the Lone Sta...

It’s summer. In Texas it’s the time of year when you worship air conditioning, opt for frozen margaritas, and gently hint to your one friend with a lake house that you want to go on their boat. It’s also the time of year for tubing in Texas. Throughout the Lone Star State wind a variety of meandering lazy rivers, ideal for leisurely floating. Read on to discover the best lazy rivers in the state and where to tube in Texas.

1. Marriot Marquis Texas, Houston

Here in Houston you can find one of the most unique lazy rivers in the state. In fact, it’s a lazy river of the state. Swim over to Downtown’s Marriot Marquis to float along the iconic Texas border. This pool, however, is not ordinarily open to the public. In order to float this Texas lazy river, you need a wristband. For those not staying at the hotel, you can cop a day pass for $50.

2. San Marcos River, San Marcos

Located half-an-hour or so south of Austin, the college-town of San Marcos is home to an abundance of natural beauty. Surrounding green spaces, wooded areas, and swimming holes, make the town an oasis for outdoors types. Added to that, the spring-fed San Marcos River is a go-to for summertime tubing.

A company by the name of Paddle SMTX offers a slightly different way of navigating the river. Using LED lights fixed to the translucent kayaks, patrons can glide through the San Marcos River under the stars and watch as the river comes to life:

3. Frio River, Garner State Park

If you’re looking for where to go tubing in Texas in a lush, scenic setting, consider: Frio River. With some 1,774 acres equipped with 16 miles of breathtaking hill country scenery, Frio River in Garner State Park features persimmon, mesquite, cypress, and oak trees flash makes for a leisurely float as tranquil as it is scenic.

4. Waco Surf, Waco

The summertime destination’s main attraction, debatably, is its lazy river – the longest in the world. Measuring in at precisely 5,280 feet long, the lazy river offers tubers a mile-long glide down pitch blue water.

There are no restrictions for the lazy river other than that children under 52″ must wear a life jacket. Tubes are provided. Visitors can bring coolers with food and drinks, just no glass, charcoal grills, or weapons. Food and drink options are also available on site.

5. Guadalupe River, Canyon Lake

Flowing from Kerrville into Canyon Lake, the Guadalupe River is a local favorite for floating. The cystal-clear river features a variety of different floating routes through Texas Hill Country. Additionally, there a number of different tube providers making the experience all the more accessible.

The most popular route is the Horseshoe Loop. Alcohol and open containers are allowed without any restrictions on cooler size. Glass and styrofoam, however, are not permitted.

6. The Comal River, New Braunfels

At three-miles long and a cool 70-72-degree temperature year-round, the spring-fed Comal River in New Braunfels provides a scenic, three-hour float. Tube gently along crystal clear waters amidst a scenic landscape with occasional strong currents. Easy float for families.

7. Brazos River, New Braunfels

Meandering through canyons, grasslands, and scenic natural areas, the Brazos River in Central Texas offers a relaxing float short of crowds. Adjacent to Possum Kingdom State Park, here visitors can hike, bike, swim, and set up camp in a scenic remote setting.

8. Blanco River, Blanco

Located in South Texas, the Blanco River (accessible inside the Blanco State Park) is something of a hidden gem. Embedded in pristine natural beauty, Blanco is an ideal Texas Hill Country setting in which to tube, fish, swim, hike, and picnic with the whole family.

9. Hurricane Harbor Splashtown, Houston

For many, Splash Town is essentially synonymous when it comes to Houston waterparks. Functional since 1984, the 48-acre waterpark is packed to the gills with towering slides, lazy rivers, adrenaline-inducing rides, and wavy attractions for the whole family to enjoy. One-day tickets start at $29.99.

10. Pedernales River, Johnson City

The Texas Hill Country park is gorgeous territory where visitors can hike, camp, swim, raft, float, fish, and more, with a view. While the river is susceptible to a little turbulence, it’s most times easy breezy. Pedernales Falls is also proximate to Hamilton Pool, if you should desire to make a road trip out of it!

Why the Frio River Is the Ultimate Texas Summer Destination

Even when the river’s running low, it’s a trip every Texan should take at least once. By Kyndall Krist June 29, 2016 The Frio River is a well-loved Texas summer destination for many, but this was my first time making the four-hour drive from Houston to Concan, Texas, about 80 miles west of San Antonio. The spring-fed Frio River sna...

Even when the river’s running low, it’s a trip every Texan should take at least once.

By Kyndall Krist June 29, 2016

The Frio River is a well-loved Texas summer destination for many, but this was my first time making the four-hour drive from Houston to Concan, Texas, about 80 miles west of San Antonio. The spring-fed Frio River snakes through the magnificent Hill Country and staying at Neal’s Lodges for a long weekend helped us to take advantage of every last bit of it.

I was immediately impressed with the crisp, crystal-clear water of the Frio, though it turned out that floating the river was far from our group’s favorite activity. With the recent increase in heavy rains across Texas, we were under the impression that the river would be moving relatively quickly, so we chose a nice, long route for our float trip. We were mistaken, as it turns out.

Instead of a swift-moving current through hilly scenery, we ended up enduring five hours of direct, skin-scorching sun, paddling through low-current dead zones, and bracing ourselves through rapids and waterfalls in our path. In the end we were a little banged up, and enjoying the scenery was a little difficult as such, but hey—at least we brought plenty of beer, crucial for any Texas float trip.

Despite the floating mishaps on our first day, we continued on to much more relaxing and enjoyable parts of our trip. Namely, setting up our canopy and inflatables on the riverside of Neal’s swimming hole where we shifted between lazily sipping our Lone Star beers, rocketing down Neal’s enormous waterslide, and leaping from rocks into pockets of cool, deep water.

Non-river-related activities were offered as well, my personal favorite being the Neal Ranch. During the summer, several horseback trail rides are offered daily, which take riders through the 100-acre ranch, complete with unexpected exotic animals such as zebras and African ibexes.

Outside of the trail ride, we spotted a giraffe named Jax who patiently waited for us to feed him leafy treats. There’s also a petting zoo currently occupied by a baby deer named Linda, chickens, bunnies, hogs, several mischievous goats, and a local dog keeping vigilant watch over the animals from outside the fence.

Joe Jimmy’s provided on-site nightlife during our stay, including a bar for the adults and an arcade for kids (and kids-at-heart). An outdoor dance floor accompanies these attractions with a sizable stage regularly featuring live country music, so it wouldn’t hurt to pack some dancing boots. Finally, if you’ve ever had the desire to see a live diamondback rattlesnake up close, Joe Jimmy’s has that covered as well—but don’t worry, he’s well-contained in an enclosure.

Even when the river isn’t running at its highest, and even if you do get a little sun-scorched, floating the Frio is still an essential Texas summer activity. Staying at Neal’s, with its bounty of boot-scooting and barbecue, horseback riding and pig-petting, only adds to the entire experience. Below, a few other helpful tips for your next Frio trip:

Generations of Texans Have Flocked to Concan for the Frio River and Neal’s Dining Room

The tiny town of Concan, tucked in the rolling hills of Uvalde County, has been a summertime recreational haven since 1926, when Tom and Vida Neal built a restaurant and cottages along the banks of the Frio River. Nearly a century later, their great-grandson Chase Roosa carries on the family tradition as general manager of Neal’s Dining Room. Every year, from March through Thanksgiving, Roosa greets vacationers who come for a meal after swimming and floating in the Frio’s chilly spring-fed waters or hiking at Garner State Park, l...

The tiny town of Concan, tucked in the rolling hills of Uvalde County, has been a summertime recreational haven since 1926, when Tom and Vida Neal built a restaurant and cottages along the banks of the Frio River. Nearly a century later, their great-grandson Chase Roosa carries on the family tradition as general manager of Neal’s Dining Room. Every year, from March through Thanksgiving, Roosa greets vacationers who come for a meal after swimming and floating in the Frio’s chilly spring-fed waters or hiking at Garner State Park, located 8 miles north. Long before it was a Hill Country tourist attraction, the Frio provided water for the Lipan Apache and other Texas tribes who frequented the southwestern edge of the Edwards Plateau. In the mid-19th century, Anglo settlers established ranches to raise goats, sheep, and cattle amid the rocky terrain. Today, the area still retains several ranches, but tourism drives the Concan economy.

“My great-grandparents Tom and Vida Neal came out here in the 1920s to be goat ranchers. They soon realized the river could draw people from the bigger cities. Concan was not necessarily on the map as a destination before then. They built the restaurant and most of the original cabins in 1926, and the fifth generation is now working here. It’s the only job I’ve ever had. I’ve lived here my whole life, except during my college days at Texas A&M. I started working here in my teens when my parents pulled me into the business. Not only is it family owned and operated, but it caters to families as well. Friends I made in childhood still come to Concan for their family vacations.”

“The name Concan comes from a card game from earlier times. The Lipan Apache used to camp around here, and the arrowheads on the wall at Neal’s Dining Room were found in this area. My dad and I love to go arrowhead hunting. The arrowheads are 5,000 or 6,000 years old.”

“The biggest draw is floating the Frio. Neal’s Lodges, which we sold to family friends about 10 years ago, rents out about 80 cabins, and they cater to tubers, taking shuttles up and down the river. Andy’s on River Road is another local outfitter. The Frio Valley Ranch golf course is just up the river road. Garner State Park is 8 miles from Concan, and it has everything: overnight camping, cabins, dining, an ice cream shop, a candy shop, mini golf, paddle boating, hiking trails, and nightly dances in the summer. Joe Jimmy’s at Neal’s Lodges has a great lineup of live music every summer.”

“We do a little bit of everything—mostly family recipes that have been handed down for generations. The staples are chicken-fried steak, fried chicken, hot pepper steaks, and hamburgers. We added more seating capacity about 16 or 17 years ago and built a big deck overlooking the river. Many of the tables inside the restaurant were originally built by my great-grandfather. We have hummingbird feeders by the windows, so while you’re eating you can watch hummingbirds doing the same thing.”

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“There are two other places to eat in town. One is Hippie Chic’s River Shack and its sister restaurant next door, Hippies & Hops, which serves delicious pizza. They have a great outdoor atmosphere. The other is House Pasture Cattle Company, which has terrific steaks and shrimp.”

“The Frio Bat Cave is about 5 miles away. In the summer, millions of Mexican free-tailed bats stay there. They fly out every night and fly back in every morning. When I was a child, I used to climb all through the cave, but now you have to stand outside. The Frio Bat Cave Tour leads you onto a ranch and up a hill to watch the bats fly out of the cave.”

“Birdwatching is huge in the spring. People from all over the world come here to see birds like the golden-cheeked warbler. The Texas Hill Country is close to South Texas and the coastal plains, and the spring migration period brings a confluence of so many different varieties at one time. That’s another reason why people flock here.


Number of Stoplights:0

Year founded:1840

Nearest City:San Antonio, 85 miles east

Marquee Event:Frio River Music Fest, mid-March

Map it:

Neal’s Dining Room, 20720 State Highway 127

From the May 2022 issue

This chilly Texas river is the perfect spot to cool down during a hot summer day

Dip a toe in the blue-green swirls of the Frio River and brace for the shiver that’s sure to ripple up your leg. The chilly Frio (frío is Spanish for “cold”) snakes through the Hill Country for 200 miles, drawing tubers, paddlers, swimmers, and rope-swingers. It cuts through Garner State Park, where hikers climb the rocky trail up Old Baldy for a view usually reserved for hawks, and past the cabin-lined banks in Concan. As the river unwinds, it curls around the gnarled knees of towering bald cypress trees....

Dip a toe in the blue-green swirls of the Frio River and brace for the shiver that’s sure to ripple up your leg. The chilly Frio (frío is Spanish for “cold”) snakes through the Hill Country for 200 miles, drawing tubers, paddlers, swimmers, and rope-swingers. It cuts through Garner State Park, where hikers climb the rocky trail up Old Baldy for a view usually reserved for hawks, and past the cabin-lined banks in Concan. As the river unwinds, it curls around the gnarled knees of towering bald cypress trees.

Swimming-hole connoisseurs like Heidi Armstrong, an Austin resident, flock to the Frio for relief when the heat cranks up. Armstrong booked a cabin in Concan this spring, and when she wasn’t swimming, she sat on a boulder midstream and knitted.

“So much more so than other rivers, it’s a huge and strong hug from nature,” Armstrong says. “There are these gigantic bald cypress trees lining it, and I look at them and think, ‘What do they know, what have they been through, what have they seen?’ I feel like I’m swimming in a river lined with wise old souls.”

Those trees lean over the swimming area at the park, watching the families who have come here for generations. Now, under COVID-19 restrictions, face coverings are strongly encouraged. Also, no groups of more than five people are allowed, except for families or people living in the same household, with the 6-foot rule to be applied to people outside of your group. (See TPWD’s website for complete and up-to-date restrictions.)

The Frio is a cold compress that heals the burn of a scalding day. All along the waterway, lime-colored leaves filter the light, boulders warm their shoulders in the sunshine, and the deep green pools beckon. The cold might come as a jolt, but you’ll feel revitalized from the plunge.

Frio River at Garner State Park,234 RR 1050, Concan.830-232-6132;

This article first appeared on Texas Highways. Click here to view the article in its original format.

You Can Spend The Night In This Treehouse Lodge In Texas

Frio River Treetop is one of the coolest places to spend the night in Texas.If you've ever wanted to spend the night in a treehouse, you are in luck! Frio River Treetop is a treehouse lodge a few hours outside of San Antonio that lets you sleep among the trees and float along the river with all of your friends and family.Create a free account or log in to keep reading....

Frio River Treetop is one of the coolest places to spend the night in Texas.

If you've ever wanted to spend the night in a treehouse, you are in luck! Frio River Treetop is a treehouse lodge a few hours outside of San Antonio that lets you sleep among the trees and float along the river with all of your friends and family.

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The lodge comes with a treetop cottage and a deck overlooking the river. The massive treehouse and lodge sleep a total of 20 people with plenty of room. At the lodge, you'll find everything you need for a comfortable stay including a laundry room, full-size kitchen, shuffleboard table and hot tub. In the cottage, you'll find a comfortable sleeping area plus a marble wet bar, a jacuzzi and a sauna. The deck of the giant treehouse has a campfire table so you can make s'mores while you watch the sunset.

Of course, if you want to get away but still be able to Instagram all of the fun you're having, the lodge does include wifi. They also provide satellite TV so you don't have to worry about missing any of your favorite shows.

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The river and treehouse are on private property so you'll never have to worry about sharing the views with strangers. Once you rent the place out, the treehouse, lodge, amenities and riverfront are all yours!

Unfortunately, the lodge doesn't allow pets so your furry best friend will have to stay home for this one.

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Rates for the lodge start at $600 per night for up to 18 people during the fall, winter and spring and work their way up from there. Make sure to book reservations well in advance because the treehouse fills up fast.

Even though the place is secluded, there are plenty of activities to do around the lodge including biking, fishing and tubing.

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For more information on Frio River Treetop, check out their website.


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