Downtown Nacogdoches

Shop your way through the historic heart of Texas’s oldest town.
Downtown Nacogdoches
Sloane’s Antiques, 404 E. Main
Photograph by Darren Braun

1. Olde Towne General Store

After learning about Nacogdoches’s colorful past at the visitors center across the street, stop in at this down-home deli for sustenance. The chalk-board menus list appetizing offerings—corned beef sandwiches, deviled eggs, loaded baked potatoes topped with barbecue sauce—that’ll bring you back to your grandma’s kitchen. If you accidentally tell Granny that the buttermilk-pecan pie surpasses hers, make it up to her with a gift of canned black-eyed-pea relish and pickled asparagus. 205 E. Main, 936-560-3210, olde-towne-general-store.com

2. Hotel Fredonia

You don’t have to be an overnight guest to appreciate this fifties-era boutique hotel. Locals traipse through the resplendent lobby—past the pianist at the baby grand, past the plant-filled atrium—to have a nightcap at the Nine Flags Bar and Patio or to dine at J. McKinney’s (where the honey-chipotle-glazed salmon is a standout). On the weekends, crowds gather on the patio for evening jazz concerts, which means you shouldn’t book one of the poolside cabana rooms if you’re early to bed. Opt instead for accommodations in the tower. 200 N. Fredonia, 936-564-1234, hotelfredonia.com

3. The Cole Art Center

A decade ago, after outgrowing its campus gallery, the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art took over this historic corner building (the Marx Brothers performed here when it was an opera house). The two-story satellite space hosts special exhibitions year-round. On view this month: “Message From Siberia,” 25 works on paper loaned from Russia’s Novosibirsk State Art Museum, and “Storm Chaser,” a selection of Jim Reed’s extreme-weather photographs and artifacts from Hurricane Katrina. 329 E. Main, 936-468-5500, art.sfasu.edu

4. Shelley’s Bakery Cafe

It’s embarrassingly trendy to wax rhapsodic about cupcakes these days, but Shelley Brophy’s confections—particularly the chocolate-on-chocolate and the vanilla topped with caramel buttercream and brickle bits—are worth the hype. And while overindulging is possible, it will be less likely if you’ve already filled up on a salad of fresh butter lettuce drizzled with mandarin vinaigrette and a French ham panino oozing with Gouda and onion marmalade. 112 N. Church, 936-564-4100, shelleysbakerycafe.com

5. Macy May

Local sorority sisters come to this lime-walled boutique to snatch up flip-flops and frames emblazoned with Greek letters, but the nonaffiliated will spend just as much time loitering by the displays of Vera Bradley bags and Brighton accessories. Next thing you know, you’ll be slathering on Love and Toast’s gin blossom hand cream, sticking your nose in scented Seda France candles, and adorning your wrists with gold bangles by San Antonio’s Susan Shaw, notable for their “pearls” made of cotton. 114 N. Church, 936-205-5911

6. Sloane’s Antiques

Barbara and John Sloane, the couple who own this meticulously kept shop, are so gaga for antiques they spent their honeymoon at Canton’s Trade Days. After 18 years in business (and 41 years of marriage), they’re still scouring the country—Brimfield, Massachusetts, is a favorite spot—for heirlooms. They have an eye for porcelain butter pats, Bavarian Rose china, and early-1900’s transferware, which they have gobs of in several colors. Collectors on the hunt for early-American pressed glass come specifically to peruse the myriad celeries and spooners. 404 E. Main, 936-559-0013

7. French Knot Quilt Shop

At Lyric Muckleroy’s one-stop sewing haven, stitching enthusiasts can mull over modern patterns (mostly by Amy Butler and Heather Bailey), skim the latest issue of Quiltmania, and replenish their tool kits (with Fiskars scissors, brightly colored “bloomin’ ” pincushions, and an array of buttons) before hunkering down at the workstations in the back. With weekly “make and take” classes and fashion design lessons for kids and teens, the store feels more like a creative community center than a commercial enterprise. 409 E. Main, 936-560-1488, frenchknotquiltshop.com

8. Dragonfly Nursery and Garden

Walk through the leafy aisles of this nursery and you’ll no doubt succumb to “Yard of the Month” fantasies. Load frost-proof greenery (ornamental kale, hardy ferns), nectar-rich natives (passion vine, milkweed), and rare botanicals (carnivorous pitcher plants, black bamboo) into your car, and be sure to test-drive the Adirondack chairs, which are hand-planked by a local craftsman. After all, you’re going to need a place to sit and admire your award-winning garden. 134 N. Mound, 936-622-3408, dragonflynurseryandgarden.com

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...

Most Read

  • Viewed
  • Past:
  • 1 week