Cruise into Cuero, Texas and you’ll be greeted by chirping birds, thousands of colorful wildflowers nodding in the wind, and the shimmering Guadalupe River. Head into its charming and historic downtown and you’ll find an abundance of shops and restaurants, as well as numerous eye-catching murals. Cuero was nominated by Budget Travel Magazine in 2010 as one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America,” for its fun festivals, outdoor adventure, and a Texas-size serving of history. Located just 90 miles southeast of San Antonio, Cuero is a great place to visit if you love Texas history, the scenic beauty of the Lone Star State, or if you’re looking for an unforgettable weekend getaway.

Long before Cuero was founded in 1873, it was a stopping point along the Chisholm Trail cattle route to Kansas. Cuero got its name from Cuero Creek, called “Arroyo del Cuero,” or “Creek of the Rawhide,” by the Spanish referring to the way Native Americans would tan cattle hides in the creek bed. Flash forward to 1908 when the first turkey dressing house opened in Cuero, and area farmers began focusing on producing the poultry in larger numbers. Visitors came from miles to watch as the farmers herded their turkeys to the packing house and in 1912 the event was officially named the “Turkey Trot.” This became a favorite event for journalists and travelers, growing into one of the town’s most popular events: the Cuero Turkeyfest.

Each October, visitors flock to the Turkeyfest to celebrate Cuero’s status the “Turkey Capital of the World.” Watch turkeys race, then shop at the arts and crafts market, play at the carnival, participate in the canoe race or 5K run, and enjoy three days of live entertainment. Other popular events include the Annual Wine Run (the best way to explore all the shops in Cuero) and the World Series of Cuero Fundraiser in August. Celebrate the holidays here at the Fourth of July Celebration in Cuero or Christmas in the Park, when you can sip a hot chocolate and drive through the amazing displays in Cuero Municipal Park. Cowboy Camp at Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum is a full-week immersion in Texas cowboy culture and history for youth cowpokes during the summer.

For some Texas history and cowboy culture, visit one of Cuero’s fantastic museums. Tour the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum anytime of the year to learn about the famous Chisholm Trail cattle drive and tall tales of the American cowboy. History buffs will also love the Cuero Heritage Museum, home to one of the largest collections of antique juicer reamers; and the DeWitt County Museum, located within a stunning historic home that houses exhibits that tell the stories of the county’s residents. For a look back at a bygone era of medicine, check out displays of old-fashioned equipment at the Pharmacy and Medical Museum of Texas.

Get active when you visit Cuero by birding on the Texas Coastal Birding Trail or paddling the Guadalupe Valley Paddling Trail. The Cuero Municipal Park is a massive complex with an 8.5-acre lake, two-mile trail, several sporting fields and courts, a rodeo arena and show board, swimming pool and amphitheater. This is a prime spot in town for a pickup game of sand volleyball or flag football. Take advantage of the nice weather with a round of golf at Cuero Municipal Golf Course. Take cooking classes at The Cooking Depot, and then get some freshly-made casseroles and pies at Cuero Pecan House. Since you’re on vacation, you should buy an extra pie. They smell so good it’s nearly impossible to wait until you get home to eat one.

With its history, charming downtown area, and scenic parks, it’s easy to understand why Cuero is one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America.” Plan your tour of Cuero to see for yourself what all the fuss is about.

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