Main Street, Salado

Veer off I-35 to explore this lively stretch of boutiques, bistros, and gift shops galore.
Main Street, Salado
The Range Restaurant.
Photograph by Adam Voorhes

1. Gregory’s of Salado

Smitten men whose girlfriends have been singing along not so subtly to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” make a beeline to this Salado institution. Open since 1977, Gregory’s has a wide range of engagement bling—traditional Tacori solitaires, modern micro-pavé settings from Claude Thibaudeau—but even the unattached will fall for the designer pieces, like the Bellarri South Sea pearl necklace with detachable brooch. Ditto for the store’s other works of art: Nambé crystal vases, Wood That Works kinetic wall sculptures, and highly stylized wooden kaleidoscopes from Paul Knox. 401 S. Main, 254-947-5703, gregorysofsalado.com

2. Strawberry Patch

Giving is never better than receiving when gourmet food is involved. But you can treat yourself and everyone on your shopping list at this epicurean pantry: canned Dumas Walker pickled jalapeños for Mom, mango butter for yourself, Amici olive oil (from the Tuscan olive farm of a former Texas A&M dean) for your boss, Texas Champagne Pepper Sauce for yourself. Sample to your stomach’s content at the tasting bar and take a whiff of the more than one hundred flavored coffees, including the famous Salado Blend, a decadent fusion of chocolate fudge, Irish cream, hazelnut, and amaretto. 171 S. Main, 254-947-9955, strpatch.com

3. Classics on Main

You can’t swing a purse without hitting a one-of-a-kind item made by a Texan at this whimsical, art-minded shop. Not that you should try, lest you knock over an antique wood-and-metal animal-shaped weather vane crafted by Fort Worth artist Jim Clark. Or disturb one of the vibrant neon-on-black paintings of Spanish missions by Cleburne’s David Carter. Or upend the bowl of brightly

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