Midland

The oil-fueled boomtown may be running out of water, but there’s still plenty of shopping and culture to be found.
Midland
La Bebé
Photograph by Artie Limmer

1. Hyacinth for the Home

Kate Beal’s decor and gift shop—open since July—is so cozily intimate it feels as if you’ve strayed into an elegant sitting room at a private French country estate. Louis XIV–worthy furnishings (bergère chairs, stately grandfather clocks, gilt-edged mirrors), many of which Beal brings back from antiques fairs in the South of France, are arranged with precision. The smell of fresh lavender (sold by the bushel) and floral Parisian-made Manuel Canovas candles wafts through the air. And the delicate coffee-table knickknacks, like hand-painted Waylande Gregory ceramic trays and pots of Vieuxtemps Porcelain flowers, evoke the joie de vivre of a happy home. 2200 W. Wadley Ave., 432-684-7100

2. La Bébé

When Susan Golson couldn’t find the perfect chandelier for her granddaughter’s nursery, the Midland mama decided to open her own beyond-the-basics baby boutique, which she runs with her two daughters. Drop your tot in the play area—enclosed by a white picket fence, it’s outfitted with activity tables and a flat-screen TV—so you can check out whimsical Beatrix New York lunch boxes, vanilla-flavored Sophie the Giraffe teethers, and Swarovski crystal–encrusted Terra Traditions memory books. A spillover space two doors down houses custom swivel gliders, Lulla Smith bassinets swathed in dupioni silk, and—yes—several types of dazzling chandeliers. 2200 W. Wadley Ave.,432-687-2800, labebemidland.com

3. Susie’s South Forty Confections

Susie Hitchcock-Hall, a line-dancing instructor turned candypreneur, has been keeping local dentists in business since 1991. Her simple display cases are filled with caramels coated in Belgian chocolate, key-lime sweet-and-salty pretzels, and bags of creamy white “trash.” But the Pecan Toffee that started it all is kept in a narrow freezer. Turns out, the buttery bricks are a treat best served cold. 2101 W. Wadley Ave., 432-687-4040, susiessouthforty.com

4. Julian Gold

How much are those knee-high, café au lait–colored, python Kristoff boots in the window? At this scrupulously curated department store, if you have to ask the price, well . . . you know. (They’re $1,600.) Filled with racks of high-ticket designer must-haves, the sales floor resembles the vaunted Vogue fashion closet. “Midland women like to kick it up a notch,” says manager Ginger Yowell. Lately, her clients have been super-charging their wardrobes with silk Escada tie blouses with painterly prints, metallic-gold Tory Burch envelope clutches, and reversible A. P. Furs plucked-mink jackets that weigh less than a pound. 2101 W. Wadley Ave., 432-682-5369, juliangold.com/midland

5. The Barking Dog Interiors

Pity the deliveryman who has this home decor store on his route. Nearly a block long, it’s brimming with imports that are shipped in daily from points around the globe. Owner Sheila Harpe has an eye for items that are eclectic (fringe-trimmed Turkish prayer rugs, hand-painted Mexican nichos), luxurious (satin-velvet Bella Notte quilted coverlets, Italian blood-orange body butter by Mor), and likely to require extra postage (a six-foot-tall porcelain palace vase, a weighty concrete sitting Buddha). If you fall for something, grab it. These finds are often snapped up not long after they come in. 2800 N. Big Spring, 432-686-2905

6. Alldredge Gardens and Cafe

Located on the western edge of town, this well-watered 75-acre nursery is the antithesis of the area’s desertlike landscape. The 33,000-square-foot greenhouse is full of perennials, annuals, shrubs, and trees—everything from long-trunked Spanish dagger to wall-climbing Chinese wisteria. Enjoy a lunch of chiles rellenos or build-your-own sandwiches in this lush setting before picking out gifts in the expansive retail center. 3300 Fairgrounds Rd., 432-682-4500, alldredgegardens.com

7. Cancun Bar and Grill

This interior Mexican restaurant is tucked away in a historic office building directly across from the Midland County courthouse. Luckily, the incongruity of the setting (orange soda-fountain stools at the bar, a stuffed marlin mounted over the entrance to the kitchen) doesn’t carry over to the food. The roasted-corn queso is a pleasingly smoky lead-in to entrées like the Cancun’s Bistro, two 5-ounce filet medallions atop toasted slices of jalapeño cheese bread. Narrow your dessert choices to either a warm baked pear drizzled with sweet cajeta or a towering wedge of tres leches cake—then go ahead and order both. 223 W. Wall, 432-618-0390, cancunbarandgrill.com

8. Museum of the Southwest

The redbrick Turner Mansion, built in the mid-thirties by Texas architect Anton F. Korn for a wildcatter’s family, is now home to several collections of Southwestern art. Start your exploration of the five-acre grounds, which also include a children’s museum and a planetarium, with a self-guided tour of the fourteen-piece sculpture garden. Then head inside to discover Pueblo Indian portraits by members of the Taos Society of Artists as well as hand-colored lithographs by John James Audubon. 1705 W. Missouri Ave., 432-683-2882, museumsw.org

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...

Most Read

  • Viewed
  • Past:
  • 1 week