Wimberley, Texas is a small town with a big story. Located among the sweeping views of the Texas Hill Country, Wimberley is an undiscovered shopper’s paradise.
Located about an hour southwest of Austin, Wimberley (nicknamed “Wimbo” by locals) offers visitors a funky, artsy shopping vibe. Roughly fifty shops, art galleries and restaurants surround the main square. Everything from western clothes to handmade furniture, art, jewelry or even locally-grown lavender is available. Imagine what a smaller Santa Fe, New Mexico was like before tourists and very expensive galleries took over, and visitors will have a feel for what Wimberley offers.
The town is situated around a busy (and scary to cross!) Ranch Road 12. Shops are located in historic stone cottages and homes, with some buildings dating from the 1870s. I have tried to list a few of my favorites, and I struggled to limit this list to a few stores.
Wimberley Pie Company
A few blocks from the square, the shop’s menu includes pecan, coconut custard, apple, cherry, peach, blackberry, and blueberry pies. With my sweet tooth, I had to sample the blueberry and wish I had spent more time sampling pies.
13619 Ranch Road 12
Kiss the Cook
Located in a small stone cottage with pretty stained glass windows, this shop offers gourmet and creative cookware, colorful dinnerware, and unusual coffee flavors. I’m not even a big cook but I still loved this shop. The staff here, like most shops in Wimberley, is very friendly. I had to laugh as I was told when leaving to “Have a perfect day”.
201 Wimberley Square
Hill Country Wine Shoppe
Visitors can sample wines on the square from various boutique wineries in the area. The shop’s bar is historic, being built in 1894, and was used in a saloon in Ottine, Texas until the 1950s. The owner kindly let me try two small samples “on the house”. This shop offers reds and whites from local wineries like Driftwood Estate, Georgetown Winery, Wimberley Valley Winery and the colorfully-named Three Dudes Winery.
114B Wimberley Square
The Old Mill Store
This shop includes a variety of western-themed goods (there’s even a John Wayne corner), local lavender products, a snack bar and paintings and pottery from area artists.
314 Wimberley Square
Aunt Jenny’s Attic
The owners of this shop were stationed in Germany for seventeen years and became hooked on German Christmas markets. This shop is filled with German ornaments, nutcrackers, jewelry, figurines and even some beer steins. Be on the lookout for the owners’ cat and dog who roam the shop.
310A Wimberley Square
Filled with vintage clothing, antiques and quilts, this shop has a large assortment of items. I liked how the house was divided into rooms and each room seemed to have a different theme.
204 Wimberley Square
One word of caution is that public parking around the square is packed. While I visited during the off-season in January, I suspect weekend parking could be a mess during the town’s “Market Days” (first Saturdays March through December). Public restrooms are also not readily available and many of the shops will have signs that their delicate plumbing systems are for staff only.
Wimberley isn’t all about shopping though. There are lots of restaurants around the square (and well-known Salt Lick Barbecue is in nearby Driftwood) as well as historic homesteads, wineries, wildlife trails, and even balloon rides near town. The stream near the square, Cypress Creek, has peaceful trails just behind the shops and I saw several ducks. As Wimberley is located in the Texas Hill Country, one of the prettiest parts of the state, the hills in the area are scenic. As I live in very flat Houston, I am always excited anytime I see hills. Visitors will also sadly notice, however, that Wimberley (as well as many parts of Texas) has recently been impacted by the state’s severe drought and there were signs in the area about the high risks of wildfires.
Wimberley seems to be publicized purely by word-of-mouth and has not drawn many national hotels and restaurant chains yet, which makes this town a find. While the town really isn’t close to anything, for visitors to the Austin or San Antonio area, Wimberley is worth the drive.