Wimberley

Anchored by a lively square, this Hill Country haven attracts artists, musicians, and spirited shoppers.
Wimberley
Brocante
Photograph by Wyatt McSpadden

1. The Leaning Pear

It’s hard to predict what creative dishes are in your future at Matthew and Rachel Buchanan’s cozy restaurant. The eclectic menu doesn’t take shape till the locavore couple scours the farmers’ market across the street. So today’s pork-and-beef meat loaf with scallion mashed potatoes could be edged off the menu tomorrow for a pan-roasted duck breast with maple spaghetti squash. The soups (lentil-bacon and cremini mushroom) and desserts (pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust and coconut stracciatella gelato) revolve faster than a lazy Susan too. 111 River Rd., 512-847-7327, leaningpear.com

2. Circa

American beauties can steal pampering secrets from their global counterparts at this blissful, Victorian-chic apothecary. Take a cue from French femmes and lather up with a block of Savon de Marseille palm oil soap. Or sprinkle a few scoopfuls of Dead Sea salt (imported from Jordan) in your bath and slip, post-soak, into an ethereal Mulmul nightgown made of an airy Indian muslin. Men can spoil themselves with Virgilio Valobra shaving balm from Italy and a bar of Heno de Pravia, the Spanish soap Hemingway favored. 14015 Ranch Road 12, 512-847-1095

3. Brocante

A bohemian whimsy enlivens Circa’s sister store, where the inventory evokes the je ne sais quoi of a Parisian flea market. Romantics will go weak-kneed for the frothy fifties prom gowns, striped pastel bustiers, and French cancan stockings (at $204, they’re a serious boudoir investment). Style hunters, meanwhile, will fire off Tweets broadcasting their finds: burlap throw pillows, metal candleholders with eagle talon “feet,” and Jane Austen hardbacks re-covered in cheerful fabrics—all possibly unessential but delightfully irresistible. 14015 Ranch Road 12, 512-847-8577, brocanteboutique.com

4. Wimberley Valley Candy Company

This brightly colored sweets shop opens daily at ten, which means you can derail your diet before lunch. Try the signature treat, a waffle cone partially filled with ice cream, then stuffed with a cupcake, then topped with more ice cream. Fill out your “breakfast” with homemade pecan penuche, almond butter toffee, and a Rice Krispies treat dunked in white chocolate. Kids will follow by example and rifle through bins of penny candy for gummy frogs and old-school Necco Wafers. 14015 Ranch Road 12, 512-847-7774, wimberleycandy.com

5. Wall Street Western

Dare to blaspheme the gods of good taste in this rockabilly emporium as you shimmy into a pair of tight Brazil-Roxx jeans with studded pockets, a rose-motif jacket by Manuel, and showstopping orange stingray boots with tiger stripes. If Dolly Parton were here, she’d be hip-checking rodeo queens to get dibs on the voluminous crinoline skirts, the vintage silk tops, and Pat Dahnke shaggy red Mongolian lamb boot toppers. Before you buy, check out your newly spangled figure in the $10,000 Swarovski-crystal-encrusted mirror. 14012 Ranch Road 12, 512-847-1818, wallstreetwestern.com

6. Blue Bacon Toys

What do you get the eco-minded tot who has everything? Or the tree hugger in training? Let your future Greenpeace activists loose in this toy heaven (named, appropriately enough, by a two-year-old) and watch as they gravitate to the biodegradable Enviroblox, the preservative-free PlanToys dollhouse, and the nontoxic Schleich dragon figurines. Infant environmentalists will want Haba natural beech wood Duckduck teethers and Packin’ Smart BPA-free stackable snack containers in their diaper bags. 14011 Ranch Road 12, 512-847-2150

7. The Old Mill Store

Like a Lone Star version of World Market, this home-decor hub is a spacious trove of original furnishings and inspired creations, many made by artists around the state. You’ll be itching to buy more real estate just to have a place for Paul Gentry’s slab tables made of alligator juniper, Sue Bishop’s abstract mixed-media paintings, and Melody Thomson’s hand-painted ceramic bluebonnet platters. But it’s Bastrop artist Lloyd Burns’s fantastical tin-and-wood critters (those are his jackalopes and turtles out front) that’ll whip your neighbors into a green-eyed frenzy. Ranch Road 12 on the Square, 512-847-3068, oldmillstore.com

8. Cypress Creek Cafe

This local institution may be under new management, but the primary aims haven’t changed: to offer satisfying comfort food and reign as the town’s live-music hot spot. On the menu, the requisite salads, burgers, and chicken-fried steak mingle with the Pork Green Chili and Devil’s Breath buffalo wings slathered in a ghost-chile sauce (so hot you literally have to sign a waiver before ordering it). The indoor stage belongs to beloved troubadours like Kevin Welch, W. C. Clark, and Alejandro Escovedo. 320 Wimberley Square, 512-847-0030, cypresscreekcafe.com

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