Click Play on the podcast player above to listen to our Austinot Podcast, recorded in June 2012. In this episode, we cover businesses and activities like Sip! on the Square and Wimberley Zipline Adventures. We’ve collected many more places to share since then, so read on for more ideas.
The quaint town of Wimberley, Texas has always been a magical place, full of artisan shops and spring-fed waters. I’ve been surprised by how much it has grown over time, as new restaurants, shops, and distilleries pop up. Somehow, the small-town vibe has been preserved.
In my opinion, Wimberley is one of the best tourist destinations in Central Texas. So why not get up early one Saturday or Sunday morning, assemble an easy-going crew, and hop in the car for a Texas day trip? If you’re not sure exactly where to start, here are my favorite, must-experience places in Wimberley.
1/ Wimberley Glassworks
For years, I’ve driven by this glass studio between San Marcos and Wimberley, but I never stopped. Trip Advisor reviews rave about Wimberley Glassworks’ glass-blowing demonstrations, so I finally made a point of popping in. Upon arrival, my road trip gang and I took a seat in the demo area, where things got hot fast. Gus, a veteran glassblower, began to meld lava-like glass with cobalt blue sand. In less than 20 minutes, he turned the raw elements into a one-of-a-kind vase.
Tim and Vanessa deJong opened Wimberley Glassworks in 1992 and currently offer free public demonstrations Tuesday through Sunday (confirm times before you go). All the glassblowers in the studio use ancient Roman techniques dating back more than 2,000 years to create stunning works of glass art. Visitors can stop to watch a public demonstration or schedule a private viewing for larger parties.
Wimberley Glassworks will be hosting glass-blowing workshops in October 2017. So whether you’re day trippin’ or want a hands-on experience, this glass studio is a must.
6469 Ranch Road 12 – Website
2/ Cypress Creek Rum Distillery
Although the area between Wimberley and Fredericksburg has become synonymous with Texas wine, Cypress Creek is one of the few rum distilleries around. David and Laura Watson started distilling rum in 2009, after David was inspired by the distilleries he visited on the island of Mauritius in between scuba diving sessions.
Cypress Creek currently produces Crystal Rum and aged Vanilla Bean Rum, made with imported vanilla beans from Papua New Guinea. Stop by to tour the facility and enjoy a handcrafted rum cocktail of your choosing.
- Vanilla Citrus Martini made with rum and fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- Mojito with homemade mint simple syrup, garnished with fresh mint picked by the customers
1400 Jacob’s Well Road – Website
3/ The Leaning Pear
The Leaning Pear house salad, gemelli mac n’ cheese, and any of the wood-fired pizzas were just a few of my group’s favorite menu choices. I went with the Uncle Art pizza (sans the prosciutto). I tried to substitute traditional pizza sauce for the garlic cream sauce, but quickly learned that adding ingredients is frowned upon.
The Leaning Pear’s head chef spent time abroad perfecting his flavor combinations, and will politely decline your substitutions. I was told by our server that the owners, Matthew and Rachel Buchanan, traveled to Perugia, where they explored the flavors and techniques of that Italian region. Soon after their travels, Matthew Buchanan attended the Culinary Institute of America. Since his culinary vision is to serve fresh, seasonal, and local food reminiscent of the cuisine he encountered while in Italy, I decided to trust my server on the melt-in-your-mouth garlic cream sauce. It was a wise decision.
111 River Road #110 – Website
4/ 7A Ranch
While much of Wimberley is privately owned, 7A Ranch (a 142-acre resort that dates back to 1948) currently offers day passes to visitors. The pass allows access to the Blanco River, where you can swim and cool off under century-old cypress trees between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The 7A river crossing is an ideal swimming hole, as it offers shallow rapids and deeper swimming areas, both guaranteed to wash your cares away.
333 Wayside Dr. – Website
–>Another activity idea: Wimberley Zipline Adventures
5/ The Wooden Spoon
Things heat up fast while you’re on the river, and there’s no better way to cool down than with a frozen treat. While there are a variety of options in town, The Wooden Spoon offers unique flavors like strawberry shortcake, watermelon, and mango. There is also a plethora of toppings, like candy bits, chopped nuts, and fresh fruit.
Stop by and fill a cup with the flavor and toppings of your choice. Then relax and enjoy it on the shop’s elevated back porch that offers stunning views of Cypress Creek.
14000 Ranch Road 12, Unit A – Website
Wimberley Day Trip Honorable Mentions
- Blue Hole Regional Park – Dive into the cool, emerald waters reaching 20-foot depths, or sit along the bank under a cypress tree at this 126-acre park. This lush watering hole has been a hot spot for visitors since it was made public in 1920. In fact, every summer it draws quite the crowd, so reservations are required as of 2018 (for swimming only).
- Jacob’s Well – If you’re planning your trip to Wimberley in advance, make a reservation to swim at this fully submerged cave. Jacob’s Well is a natural spring sourced by the Trinity Aquifer, reaching depths of 140 feet. Its icy, 68-degree waters are sure to cool you down, even on scorching days.
- Odie’s Place – Named after the legendary old-timer who once shot a deer from his living room because it was eating his garden, Odie’s Place is an up-and-coming food truck destination. Currently, Odie’s is home to Dripping Wings, Gringas Grub Shak, and Wimberley Shave Ice. Future plans for this food truck park include a pavilion with seating and live music.
- Ino’z Brew & Chew – If a casual atmosphere is what you’re looking for, then stop at this bar and grill overlooking Cypress Creek. Enjoy American fare and specialty drinks inside or on the Ino’z spacious deck that features live music Thursday through Saturday evenings.
- Prayer Mountain – Want to extend your day trip into the evening? Be sure and hike the 218 steps up to Prayer Mountain, also known as Old Baldy. The scenic overlook offers 360-degree views of the Texas Hill Country night sky.
In Wimberley, you won’t find a bustling metropolitan city connected by multiple highways and separated into neighborhoods. But you will find a unique town with a vibrant arts community, peppered with unique venues and attractions. You’ll also meet people who treat fellow residents and visitors like neighbors. It’s the Wimberley way.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What’s your favorite place to go when you visit Wimberley, Texas?
Samantha Saenz is a South Austin resident, copywriter, and purveyor of adventure. Stick with her, and you’ll go places—mainly to food trucks and swimmin’ holes. You can follow her exploits on Instagram.
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