Central Texas Hill Country Trips

Day Trippin’ in Dripping Springs

Hamilton Pool in Dripping Spring by DaveWilson

When people think of Dripping Springs, the “Gateway to the Hill Country”, many think of Hamilton Pool or West Cave Preserve. Both are spectacular outdoor spaces to spend a day. But there are also some wonderful places in town you should see and enjoy, too.

Coming into Dripping Springs from the east side of town on 290, there is pottery studio called Sunset Canyon Pottery. It’s a couple streets past Trautwein Road on the left. One of the first things to strike your eye is the building: it’s a “green built” straw bale structure. You can even look through port holes in the building to see the straw. The artists here create pottery for the home, kitchen and dinner table — some for display and some that is functional. The designs are quite unique and the colors of the glazes are wonderful. They also feature the work of well-known Texas potters and fine arts craftspeople. (This location has closed since this post was written.)

Heading on down the road towards town and a couple blocks north of 290 is a great co-op of stores that feature a wonderfully eclectic array of goodies. Called Lone Star Gifts, the store features several vendors selling jewelry, clothing, home furnishings and decor, Southern Gospel music, antiques, original art, handwoven baskets, collectible fishing lures, and even handmade accessories for cats and dogs. It’s a delightful stop with a little something for everyone.

Back on 290 don’t miss the authentic European bakery and café Tyme and Dough located in an old house right by the church. They serve farm produce sandwiches and a wonderful assortment of delectable freshly-made baked goods. They even sell plants! I recommend getting your order “to go”, heading out to Bell Springs Winery for a picnic.

Bell Springs Winery is about six miles away off Bell Springs Road. They have a wonderful patio to enjoy your picnic and wine tasting adventure. As anyone who has been there will tell you, they have a very attentive and personable staff who are more than happy to explain the wines to you.You will likely feel more like houseguests than visitors here. And if you get here on a Saturday, there is usually live music to round out your visit. It’s a great way to spend your afternoon.

After wining and dining, it’s time to get back to some shopping. Heading back to 290 and driving about 7 miles west of Dripping Springs, you will find New Canaan Farms, a wonderful place to pick up some jams and jellies, sauces and salsa. Everything is made from scratch using fresh local ingredients in many clever flavors. They offer free samples to help you pick the perfect taste for you or as a gift for someone else. You won’t be disappointed.

Now let’s take in some art at Sol’stice Home and Garden Expressions before dinner. Owner and artist Christopher Sol Smartt creates awesome one of a kind pieces of contemporary design with an organic feel and a classic touch. He works in concrete, glass, copper, steel and even yard sale treasures. Christopher’s pieces are wonderfully imaginative. It’s such a treat to walk through his sculpture garden and experience this art.

For dinner, let’s go to Creek Road Cafe. Wonderful atmosphere, delicious food and incredible specials. Need I say more? It’s fine dining with a relaxed atmosphere. The hardest part of your visit will be trying to decide what to order. And don’t forget to save room for dessert. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

After such a full day, maybe you want to just relax and tuck it in for the night. Homestead at the Dripping Springs is just the place. It’s a charming and comfortable Bed and Breakfast right in downtown Dripping Springs. The town’s name comes from the dripping springs located on this four acre property. And Homestead is a recorded Texas historic landmark. As one guest noted: “Staying within the walls of some Texas history is a real treat.” I agree.

And I hope you enjoy your visit.

As supporters of small businesses in small towns, Day Trippin’ Texas enjoys sharing with you these places that you might otherwise miss. So get out there and do some day trippin’ in Texas. Connect with new folks, buy local and support Texas!


Photo Dave Wilson