You can easily strain your MasterCard-extender muscle along this town’s historic Main Street, about thirty miles northwest of San Antonio. At The Eclectic Collection, a gallery of works by more than one hundred artists and craftspeople, all but two of whom are from Texas, temptations include whimsical ceramics by Reed Keller and delicate pine-needle baskets by Mildred Cuffaro (210 S. Main, 830-248-1152; closed Sunday). Stylish home and garden furnishings, from European antiques to convincing reproductions, rule at Good & Co. (248 S. Main, 830-249-6101). Folks with a fetish for Seuss-esque furnishings by MacKenzie-Childs can indulge themselves at newcomer Viva Rouge (115 Staffel, 830-249-9787), while those with more-modest cravings—we’re talking homemade pickles and vintage kitchen implements like an egg scale—will be satiated at Carousel Antiques and Pickles (118 S. Main, 877-249-9306), a Boerne fixture for more than seventeen years. Fashion plates can load up at Celeste , which carries the relaxed creations of San Antonio’s Kathleen Sommers and distinctive jewelry by New York’s David Aubrey (130 S. Main, 830-249-9660). At well-stocked Mockingbird Books, the focus is entirely on Texas and Texans, from literary fiction to guides detailing the state’s birds, bugs, and botany (248 N. Main, 830-249-9634; closed Sunday and Monday).
The shopping challenge in this bustling Hill Country town west of Austin is sifting through the chaff to find the golden kernels. Two standout shops are the White Elephan (242 E. Main, 830-997-3175), whose textiles include rugs made in Texas of Texas wool, supersoft cotton bodywear from Switzerland, and baby blankets from Kentucky, and Villa Texas (234 W. Main, 830-997-1068; closed Monday), a sun-struck “Mediterranean lifestyle” shop (translation: old olive oil jars from Turkey, lavender products from Provence and Tuscany, rustic tableware from Italy). Homestead, which once boasted multiple stores across town, is now condensed into a single three-story building, with nooks devoted to past shops including Room No. 5, an ode to variations on white, and Idle Hours, an epicenter for eccentric garden accents (230 E. Main, 830-997-5551). Unique women’s boutiques abound, from the romantic Haberdashery (151 E. Main, 830-990-2462)—think good fairies and seventies-era Stevie Nicks—to the more practical Jolie Pêche (206 S. Adams, 830-997-9528; closed Sunday)—think Flax and Eileen Fisher. At the fourteen-acre Fredericksburg Herb Farm, the four-inch pots of sage, creeping rosemary, and other plants will set you back a few bucks each, but the gardening inspiration is free (405 Whitney, 830-997-8615).
With its nineteenth-century buildings,