The sweet sound of country fiddle. Gliding across an old wooden floor in a two-step dance. The trance of a western swing band kicking into high gear. There is no better place to experience these pleasures than a Texas dance hall. Long before Pandora and Spotify, music lovers found entertainment at dance halls. In Texas, the tradition continues in sites that have become cultural landmarks. In some regions of Texas, especially in the Texas Hill Country, local dance halls are still the most fun place to be on Saturday night. Here is a list of 8 Dance Halls where Texas country still swings.
1. Kendalia Halle – Kendalia, Texas
Back in 1903, the residents of Kendalia built Kendalia Halle so they’d have a place to throw a party on the weekends. More than 110 years later, the party is still going.
Kendalia Halle usually hosts dances and live music on Saturday evenings once a month. Be sure to check the dances page for upcoming events and bands. At every dance, they provide free BBQ tacos with the normal cost of admission. In addition to the free BBQ, we sell beer, wine, sodas, and bottled water.
On concert evenings, the doors open and BBQ service begins at 7:30pm and the music starts at 8:00pm.
In addition to regularly scheduled dances, Kendalia Halle is also available to host any type of private event. Specifically, the hall is well suited to host weddings, receptions, reunions, and birthday parties. The hall is very spacious and provides a unique and historic atmosphere that cannot be found elsewhere.
Add: 1135 FM 3351, Kendalia, TX 78027, United States
2. The Old Coupland Inn and Dancehall – Coupland, Texas
There are a few venues near Austin that still have an old Texas vibe, and the Old Coupland Inn and Dancehall is one of them. The building, which has been around for more than a century, has been a hardware store, a drugstore and even a newspaper at one point. Today, it’s the heart of the action in Coupland, Texas, operating as a dancehall, restaurant and bed and breakfast.
This is a popular stop on the Texas country music scene. Folks here love to dance, so bring your boots. And the food’s pretty dang good too, so bring your appetite.
Add: 101 Hoxie St, Coupland, TX 78615, United States
3. Mercer Street Dance Hall
Nicholas Dotin and his lovely wife Gay were as nervous as a couple of long tail cats in a room full of rockin’ chairs when they decided to open The Mercer Street Dancehall on February First 2013.
Nicholas has worked as a Texas musician and producer for many years while his wife, Gay, worked in the Hotel industry managing and planning special events. Nicholas and Gay have the perfect combination of skill sets to make The Mercer Street Dancehall one of the finest dancehalls in the Texas Hill Country.
The idea to open The Mercer Street Dancehall was a somewhat welcome suggestion from their daughter, Shelby. Nicholas and Gay were growing tired of driving Shelby to Hill Country dance halls and decided to open one in Dripping Springs. Needless to say, Shelby and her friends are excited about having a Dancehall in their neck of the woods…
If you’re in Austin for the night and want to get out of the city for an authentic Texas dance hall experience, this is your destination.
Add: 332 Mercer St, Dripping Springs, TX 78620, United States
4. Anhalt Dance Hall
Anhalt Hall is a dance hall and community center on Anhalt Road in southwestern Comal County, a mile off Highway 46 and twenty-eight miles west of New Braunfels. The first part of the hall was constructed in 1879, and additions were completed in 1898 and 1908. The Anhalt Dance Hall was first used as a meeting spot for the Germania Farmer Verein (German Farmer’s Club). They still meet there, and on the third Sunday of May and October, they throw an Oktoberfest. Bands don’t play at the hall all that often, but when they do, it’s an experience like the scene in the video above.
Add: 2390 Anhalt Rd, Spring Branch, TX 78070, United States
5. Luckenbach – Luckenbach, Texas
Luckenbach is basically two buildings: a post office/general store – which doubles as a bar with a stage out back – and a dancehall. That’s it. Chickens run around by your feet; pickers gather out back to play songs throughout the day, and the regulars are as mellow as can be. Once you visit, you’ll immediately understand why Waylon and Willie sang about going here to escape the modern world.
Add: Luckenbach, TX 78624, USA
6. Broken Spoke
This Texas institution celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Now it’s a holdout, surrounded by a new mixed-use apartment complex. “They’re used to be dozens of honky-tonks like the Broken Spoke,” Patoski says. “You can’t come to Austin without going to the Spoke if you want to have a music experience.”
Add: 3201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704, United States
7. Gruene Hall – Gruene, Texas
Bands go out of their way to play Gruene, which calls itself the oldest dance hall in Texas. Located in a former ghost town, the white clapboard saloon helped launch stars such as Lyle Lovett and George Strait. On summer nights, the un-air-conditioned space with a wooden dance floor packs in crowds. “It’s a good sweat,” Patoski says. “If anyone plays the Texas circuit, they play Gruene.”‘
Add: 1281 Gruene Rd, New Braunfels, TX 78130, United States
8. London Dance Hall, London, Texas
There’s not much to see or do in the backcountry town of London, Texas ( pop. 180) except hang out at the London Dance Hall. Since it opened nearly a century ago, Saturday nights at London Hall have featured a number of Texas legends, like fiddler Johnny Gimble and Hank Thompson. Today, you’ll find undiscovered Texas country talent up on the stage.
Add: 17430 US-377, London, TX 76854, United States