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The town, named after the Blanco River, was settled in 1853 by pioneer stockmen looking to fortify their homes against attacks and raids. The Old Blanco County Courthouse, a fine example of Second Empire-style architecture, is the town square centerpiece. The town was the Blanco County seat from 1858-91, before it was moved to Johnson City. Now a popular tourist area of the Hill Country, it is surrounded by numerous working lavender farms, bed-and-breakfasts and locally owned accommodations. Antique stores, boutiques and restaurants occupy historic buildings around the courthouse.
The town square is connected to the state park by Bindseil Park and a xeriscaped nature trail. A sunny climate attracts campers, anglers and hunters. Streams offer game fish. Hunters find white-tailed deer, turkey, quail and dove during their seasons.
Blanco Market Days is held the third Saturday of the month April-November with a special Christmas Market Days the second Saturday of December.