FALLING FOR Wimberley
THIS “BELLE OF THE BLANCO” WILL WIN YOUR HEART
BY CHRISTINA GARCIA, Yurtopian Photo: @texas.explorer
It’s been almost a century since cattle drives pushed through the main town square, but Wimberley still shines with a rustic Hill Country charm. What was once a village has swelled with a horseshoe-shaped downtown area unfolding next to the ancient cypress trees over Cypress Creek, a waterway just off the larger nearby Blanco River.
Attractions range from galleries, antiques, and nurseries to popular springfed watering holes. Local eats offer everything from Texas comfort food to European-inspired fare, while locally brewed farmhouse ales and fermented wines quench your thirst in this “little slice of heaven.”
GET SETTLED IN
Rent chic, gorgeously detailed tents (think as big as a bedroom or larger) with nearby private hot tubs, outdoor showers, and hammocks on wooden decks at The Yurtopian. If you prefer pampering, head to The Blair House, where you will find a luxurious spa, fine dining, and more. And Cabins on the Square puts you steps from Wimberley’s popular main square and the gentle Cypress Creek Nature Trail and Preserve.
Shop till you drop on the main square in one of the more than 50 inviting stores in stone and wood frame structures. A rugged sense of style pervades the shops with hand-tooled leather, colorful beaded hat bands, and other lovingly made garments and textiles. Get some luxurious candles or handmade jewelry from the Gold Dust Boutique, or find a treasure from the past at one of the antique shops that offer some truly unique finds. Ceremony Botanical Studio is an enchanted place to pick up a potted succulent. Visit on the first Saturday of the month from March through December for Market Days at Lion’s Field, where nearly 500 vendors assemble at the Hill Country’s largest outdoor market.
Your stress is water soluble in Wimberley. Two popular areas for enjoying some watery relaxation — Blue Hole and Jacob’s Well — are essential stops. Though requiring reservations made months in advance, the planning is well worth it.
Blue Hole’s three-acre spring-fed swimming area is a stunning waterway flowing in the cool shade of giant cypress trees. Swing off a rope to make a big splash, and then swim to shore to eat your picnic lunch at the patio tables nearby.
R & R at Jacob’s Well means sitting in full sun in the shallow area surrounding an artesian spring or diving into the 140-foot-deep spring opening. The waters are an icy balm to the hot summer sting at a cool 68 degrees.
If you stop by on a whim, Cypress Falls Swimming Hole is a great way to take a dip without making an advance reservation. Many Adirondack chairs on the shore make good lounging spots, and you can rent or bring your own canoe or stand-up paddle board.
EAT + DRINK
Scouting out delicious grub is delightfully easy in Wimberley. More than 40 restaurants serve everything from old-fashioned Southern food and Italian fare. With delicious margarita flights on the patio at Hays City Store & Ice House, local farmhouse-style beers from Roughhouse, and wines from the nearby limestone hills that make up the Hill Country served at Social on the Square and Hill Country Wine Shop, you can’t go wrong. Stop into El Olivo for a mind-blowing menu of creative classics and a wall of wines and other goodies. Go casual at Wimberley Cafe if you’re looking to feed the whole family on a budget.
JOIN THE CULTURE CLUB
Visit the restaurants overlooking Cypress Creek for live music or venture ten minutes southwest from the main square to the Devil’s Backbone Tavern for an unforgettable dance hall event or open picker’s circle in the haunted, hundred-year-old stone structure.
The town’s small galleries will entrance you with colorful bluebonnets, lyrical figurative sculpture, and everything a Hill Country artist can dream up, too.