Downtown Bastrop

Where old-timey charm is alive and well

1. Sisters Elaine Solomon and Lois Bachmayer have filled the rooms of Apothecary’s Hall Antiques with vintage hats and clothes, crystal bowls and vases, pattern glass from the 1800’s, and—their specialty—antique linens with intricate designs (think Battenburg lace coverlets). Solomon’s daughter, Celeste, plans to open an adjacent shop soon, which will sell garden decor, heirloom plants, and more vintage clothing. 805 Main, 512-321-3022

2. You can walk out of Lil’ Bit of Country with a whole lotta loot. Folks come here mainly for the antiques (you’ll see “sold” signs dangling from a chair or two), but you can also thumb through books, ooh and aah over classic costume jewelry, and sniff the blackberry-sage and ginger-lime goat’s milk soaps shipped in from TLC Farms, in Franklin. Sip a cold Dublin Dr Pepper at the counter (the building used to be a tavern) while your purchases are rung up. 809 Main, 512-321-6600

3. Half consignment store, half gift shop, Liza Jane is a browser’s paradise. Peruse the gently used women’s clothing, then accessorize your finds with sequined purses, cocktail rings, and chandelier earrings (only $3.50 a pop!). Also up for grabs: metal wall hangings with sassy slogans (“Kiss my grits,” “I’m a menace to sobriety”) and cowgirl-themed bath products by Side Saddle. You’ll find plenty of frivolous items to covet. 918 Main, 512-321-2910

4. The ladies at Piney Creek Candles are particular about their hand-poured wares: Their signature scents—from banana-nut bread and lime-cilantro to Texas rain and Texas bluebonnets—are fragrant enough to fill a room but not so pungent as to irritate sensitive sniffers. For 65 cents an ounce, they’ll also outfit any container with your choice of wax filling; one out-of-towner arrives yearly with giant pickle jars and a request for his preferred smell: leather. 922 Main, 512-321-7467

5. “I wasn’t this old when I came in this morning,” jokes a server at Maxine’s Restaurant , a “no shoes, no shirt, no problem” establishment filled with locals and tourists alike who come to chow down on burgers, hand-battered chicken-fried steak, and homemade pies. The charmingly brusque waitresses who rule the roost are known for serving up attitude, so don’t take it personally if they give you a hard time for licking your plate clean. 905 Main, 512-303-0919

6. You’ll find Sweet William tucked away in the Crossing, a cluster of quaint shops and restaurants on the banks of the Colorado River, just west of Main Street. Though it’s been at this location for only five months, this shabby chic boutique has been peddling its antiques and collectibles for a dozen years. The tchotchke-filled space is jam-packed with dishes, quilts, and odd pieces of furniture, making it not unlike your grandmother’s attic. 601 Chestnut, 512-914-1281

7. Considering Green Chai Cafe ’s menu of flatbread pizzas, spinach quiches, fresh salads, and handmade breads and scones—not to mention a long list of teas and coffees—and a scenic view of the Old Iron Bridge, it’s no wonder Julia Roberts was a repeat customer when she was filming in town this past spring (she proclaimed the banana bread the best she’d ever had). Pair a chai milk shake with a slice of sweet butter cake and prepare to swoon. 601 Chestnut, 512-308-0177

8. Though you can get all manner of medicines at Lock Drug Store (and even consult with the in-house herbalist), it’s the soda fountain that will fully restore you. Order a heaping scoop of Blue Bell ice cream for a mere $1.50, or get fancy with a frosted Coke (a shake with cola substituted for milk). Run by head pharmacist and former Bastrop mayor David Lock, the drugstore and its sweet remedies have been curing common ailments since 1960. 1003 Main, 512-321-2422

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