Dripping Springs, also known as the “Gateway to the Hill Country,” is only 25 miles southwest of Austin. It’s a growing city with a bright future, sans an ego of any kind. It seems to be attracting people who truly appreciate a big Texas sky, rolling hills, a slower pace, and a healthy appetite for music and good eats.
It’s the sort of place you go to catch your breath and fall in love with Texas for the first or hundredth time. Below you’ll find a list of places that make Dripping Springs so special. It isn’t exhaustive, so make sure you comment with your favorite go-to!
1/ Hudson’s on Mercer
For a structure built in 1946, Hudson’s on Mercer has a lot going on. Not only is it a music venue and place to stop for a beer or glass of wine, but it’s also a studio where kids and adults can learn how to rock out.
In the back of Hudson’s, you’ll find various rooms with musical equipment and enthusiastic teachers. The main focus for students is to learn how to be comfortable on stage in order to give their best performance. What’s even more endearing is the fact that this business is family owned and operated by Natasha and Chad Hudson.
They have karaoke on Mondays and Thursdays, open mic night on Tuesday, live music on Fridays and Saturdays, and local blues legends Carl Weathersby and Russell Jackson playing on Wednesdays. Hudson’s on Mercer is an inspiration to the local community and all who visit.
381 Mercer St. – Website
2/ Rolling in Thyme & Dough
If there was a competition for best restaurant name, Rolling in Thyme & Dough would definitely be a contender! The staff is as serious about puns as they are about their food. It’s fresh and made with care.
This cafe has breakfast and lunch down, but don’t overlook the baked goods. What caught my eye was the “Stout Beer Cake:” two layers of chocolate cake made with creamy stout beer, chocolate whipping cream and topped with imported Belgian Glaze. You could pass hours sitting out on the spacious and nature-inspired patio.
333 W. Highway 290 – Website
3/ Hill Country Guitars
Hill Country Guitars provides a cool space for guitar lovers. It has a natural acoustic quality, which helps when trying out a new musical instrument on one of their comfy sofas. Hill Country Guitars has specialized in custom-made instruments for 16 years, and staff members are super helpful when you have questions. Also, they’re a supplier of the Collings Guitars, which are made down the road in Austin. Even if you haven’t strummed a chord in your life, you’ll want to walk away with about four of these bad boys.
302 Mercer St. – Website
4/ Sidecar Tasting Room
In a town known for wineries, Sidecar Tasting Room offers the chance to enjoy a glass or two. They serve wine from Dripping Springs’ own Bell Springs Winery (also worth checking out).
This tasting room is beautifully designed, inside and out. I knew I loved it when I saw the game Cards Against Humanity sitting on a table next to the vintage piano. They host live music on occasion and happy hour Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. This place is excellent for a date or to wind down after a long day.
3700 Bell Springs Road – Website
5/ Mazama Coffee Co.
Centrally located, Mazama Coffee Co. is a fantastic place to stop a specialty coffee drink and sandwich. It has a relaxing yet energetic vibe. The outdoor seating area is perfect for reading or catching up with a friend. Mazama wants to be used as a community meeting spot, and it seems to be just that!
301-B Mercer St. – Website
6/ Homespun Kitchen and Bar
If you’re looking for a gourmet dinner to end your perfect day in Dripping Springs, go to Homespun Kitchen and Bar. It’s elegant, dimly-lit and cozy. The food is exceptional, as are the craft cocktails. You’ll also have the opportunity to taste wines from the Texas Hill Country region. Sit, enjoy and reminisce about the day’s adventures.
131 E. Mercer St. – Website
There are many other amazing places to visit while you’re in Dripping Springs, such as:
- Dripping Springs Distillery (vodka distillery)
- The Big Drip (ice cream and frozen yogurt)
- Mercer Street Dance Hall (music venue)
- Vintage Soul (home decor and accessories)
- Treaty Oak Distilling Co. (craft spirits)
- And a number of breweries!
@TheAustinot wants to know:
What’s your favorite spot in Dripping Springs, TX?