Texas is good at keeping its gems hidden. It secures many of them far, far away from city limits, down long deserted roads or secluded in dusty corners, and if you want to find them, you’re better off wandering in a rented Mustang convertible than following instructions on any laptop or smartphone. “There’s really nothing special out that way,” people will tell you. Only a fool would believe them. What they mean is, there’s nothing out there except grand little towns, sleepy rivers, and some pretty phenomenal chicken-fried steak.

Boerne (pronounced BUR-nee) sits in the Texas Hill Country, surrounded by rugged limestone countryside and lush pockets of live oaks and bald cypresses. You could blink and drive right past it on your way to better-known hubs nearby. Not all treasures announce themselves with sparkle—and Texas often prefers camouflage. So make that U-turn.

Read more from Kaitlyn Yarborough with Southern Living here.