The annual folk festival celebrates its fortieth anniversary next month, but there's more to this Hill Country town than banjos and fiddles.
Schreiner Mansion Historic Site and Education Center
Photograph by Adam Voorhes

1. Grape Juice 

At the end of the day, it’s just grape juice,” says Patrick Wilt of the hundreds of wines for sale at his hybrid shop/restaurant, which has been dubbed “Kerr­ville’s living room.” That laid-back attitude carries over to the decor (brown curtains separating tables in the lounge area, twinkle lights strung across the back patio) and the food. Old friends who congregate at the bar chow down on creative fare—try the Green Goat, an antelope slider with chimichurri—and make new friends while discussing the flavor profiles of the twenty microbrews. 623 Water, 830-792-9463,

2. Hill Country Living

The recently betrothed come to this classy retailer to pick out fine china from a wall of choice place settings—everything from luxe gilt-edged Vera Wang teacups to iconic Blue Italian Spode dinner plates. But even the commitment-phobic will want to upgrade their tables with Arte Italica pewter decanters and Beatriz Ball salad servers. Ask Jerry Mertz, the ebullient manager, to point out the “made in Texas” wares, like Celtic stone crosses crafted by a local mother and daughter and Texas-shape granite cheese boards hand-cut by a man in Calvert. 709 Water, 866-812-4889

3. Azul Lounge 

The 143-year-old Schreiner Building has been recently revived thanks to the arrival of an upscale department store (see Schreiner Goods) and this swanky basement watering hole. Slip into one of the semicircular leather booths and order an old-school libation—perhaps a Sazerac or a Singapore Sling—or a flight of tequila or one of the 49 types of scotch. Wednesdays through Saturdays, Hill Country jazz and blues musicians perform on a stage in front of an exposed-stone wall. 202 Earl Garrett, 830-896-9338,

4. Francisco’s 

At lunchtime, the chatter of happy eaters dining alfresco beneath forest-green umbrellas enlivens this white-tablecloth establishment. On their plates, you’re likely to spy turkey sandwiches and garden salads or traditional Mexican specials, such as cha­lupas compuestas, a rich

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