Johnson City

This Hill Country town offers plenty of worthwhile food, art, and shopping—and, oh yes, a chance to visit the boyhood home of a certain late president.
Johnson City
Whittington’s Jerky & General Store. Photograph by Adam Voorhes.

1. TASTE WINE + ART

Whether your preference runs to oils and acrylics or tannins and bouquets, stop in at this old stone building that Warren Vilmaire and Susan Kirchman have transformed into a showcase for their respective passions (he’s a retired engineer and full-time oenophile, she taught photography at A&M for twenty years). Sample a Texas chenin blanc or an Italian valpolicella as you peruse art from (mostly) regional artists whose imaginations respectfully diverge from the bluebonnet-and-Longhorn genre. 213 N. Nugent Ave., 830-868-9290, tastewineart.com


2. PECAN STREET BREWING

Fashionable mannequins beckon from the front windows, but this is no dress shop. It’s a Wi-Fi-enabled, pool table–equipped brew pub where you can pair a blue-cheese bacon burger or a brick-oven pizza with a flight of made-on-site beers bearing names like Lady Bird’s Wit and Screw Loose Blonde (is that an imperative or are we missing a hyphen?). That quirky sense of humor extends to the facilities, where patrons have adorned the chalkboard-lined stalls with graffiti no more profane than “R U ready for the Muddy Buddy?” 106 E. Pecan Ave., 830-868-2500, pecanstreetbrewing.com


3. BLACK SPUR EMPORIUM

Roadrunners, horny toads, flying pigs! The metal menagerie outside this home decor store and coffee shop works hard to draw tourists’ attention away from the abandoned feed mill cum art project across the street (it must be the most photographed building in town—sorry, LBJ). Fortunately the critters are irresistible. Grab a latte and browse offerings that are decorative (crosses and candles), utilitarian (hooks and

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