Learn how to create glass art, stay at an inn that welcomed Texas legends and enjoy the independent spirit and friendly small-town charm of Salado. Nestled among the rolling green hills of Central Texas along the pristine Salado Creek, our Village has always been one of a kind. Home to one of the first co-ed colleges in the United States and a stop on the historic Chisholm Trail, the Village of Salado has attracted new and interesting people since its earliest days.
Today, it’s a haven for world-class artists that is full of historic bed and breakfasts, restaurants, and endless things to discover. Situated just a stone’s throw away from I-35 an hour north of Austin, Salado feels like it’s worlds away. Get to know some of the unique things you can only do here below.
Salado Travel Tip: To really kick back and savor a slower pace of life, rent a golf cart from Fairway Sports Rentals. Stop by the visitor center for some ideas on how you can make the best of a self-guided adventure through the village.
Stay at the Historic Stagecoach Inn
It’s not every day that you can walk in the footsteps of larger-than-life figures like Sam Houston and the infamous outlaw Jesse James. But at the Stagecoach Inn, you can stay where, long ago, they once hung their hats on their journeys across the state. Built in 1861 by the town’s first settlers, the Stagecoach Inn has welcomed notable travelers since the days of the Chisholm Trail. Today, the inn is a comfortable home away from home with unparalleled historic charm in a location that can’t be beat. Choose from rooms with one king or two queen beds on the first or second floor, all of which come with an espresso machine and cable TV with HBO. To really live it up, book the deluxe suite with a king bed, parlor room and a kitchenette.
Of course, there’s more to the Stagecoach Inn than its rooms. Start your day with some mouthwatering steak and eggs or buttermilk waffles with a cup of coffee and come back later in the day for blackened catfish or the signature SCI Burger at the Stagecoach Inn’s very own restaurant. For the full Stagecoach experience, order the four-course meal that starts with tea bread or hush puppies and includes chicken fried steak or a half-grilled pimento cheese sandwich served with banana fritters. With its upscale feel and a bar that serves creative cocktails and a long list of beer and wine, it’s also the perfect place to wind down after a day exploring town.
Try your hand at blowing glass, build your own piece of pottery by hand and strike up a conversation with artists known around the world. Salado has long attracted artists of all kinds, from painters and potters to playwrights and song writers, and the best way to experience this side of town is to get your hands dirty. Start at Salado Glassworks, where you can watch the expert glass blowers create colorful bowls, plates and other items. Drop into one of the Blow Your Own events and you’ll be blowing glass (almost) like a pro, while the artist team helps shape the piece that you’ll take home with you.
As you’d expect, Salado Glassworks isn’t the only place where you can create your own art. Watch clay thrower Ro Shaw work the potter’s wheel and use an old Japanese quick-firing method to create stoneware at the Ro Shaw Clay Studio. Shape your own work of art on the wheel during one of the studio’s two-hour classes, then come back later to pick it up. If painting is more your thing, look no further than Cork & Create classes at Sirril Art Gallery. Round out your journey through Salado’s arts scene at Mud Pies Gallery, where you’ll come for the hand-made pottery and stick around for the authentic Texas fudge and great conversation.
Explore the Royal Street District
With its art galleries, restaurants and a youthful vibe, the Royal Street District has a bit of something for everyone. Start at Barrow Brewing Company, the town’s craft brewer located within a revived old pole barn granary nestled alongside Salado Creek that was a key part of local history. Step into the decidedly rustic taproom and behold the jaw-dropping selection of beer brewed in house, from a stout brewed with roasted coconut to the Evil Catfish IPA, a pleasantly hoppy brew named after a local legend. A family-friendly hangout for locals and visitors alike, the brewery hosts everything from live music on the weekends to bike rides and yoga, so plan to stick around for a while.
Have a drink or two at Barrow, then go for a stroll through the rest of the district to uncover its many treasures. Peruse fashionable clothes and jewelry at the boutique shops, visit art galleries and discover our history at the Salado Museum & College Park. Once the sun starts to set, head over to the Hunter Gatherer at Inn on the Creek, an upscale globally inspired eatery that serves dishes made with Texas-grown ingredients and shots on its outdoor patio. Get your fill, then head back out into the district to enjoy your night out on the town.
Browse Unique Boutique Shops
As much as Salado is a hot spot for artists and art lovers, we have just as much to offer browsers and shoppers. Wander through the Village and you’ll come across all sorts of boutiques that sell art, glassware, clothing, jewelry and just about everything you can think of. Many of our shops are concentrated in Salado Square, where historic brick buildings imported from around the state line both sides of Main Street. Magnolias of Salado brings 13 specialty shops under one roof, Classics on Main stocks handcrafted furniture and a whimsical collection of art and 21 Main is where you’ll find unique home décor.
While Salado Square has more than enough shopping to keep you busy, we’re just getting started. The Shoppes on Main fills more than 5,000 square feet with 25 shops that sell women’s clothing, jewelry, wedding gifts, gourmet food and more. With so much to shopping to do, we suggest you leave some extra space in your luggage. You’ll thank us later.
Enjoy the “Texiest” Wines Around
You may have heard of wines made here in Texas. Heck, you may have even tried a few. But Salado Winery Co. is the only place you can taste the “Texiest” wines around. The winery’s tantalizing menu of reds and whites are made with Texas-grown grapes, most of which are sourced from vineyards right here in Bell County. Join them, or our newest winery, Axis Winery, for a taste of the delicious Texas terroir.
Whether you prefer lighter wines like a chardonnay or those on the bolder side, such as the Texas Tempranillo, you’ll find something to fall in love with. Trying these wines is just part of the experience at our Salado wineries. Their tasting rooms, both located inside of log cabins, showcase the works of local artists. Settle in somewhere cozy and pair your wine of choice with cheese and crackers (you can bring your own picnic, too). Make sure to give the resident pets a scratch on the head. We hear it makes the wine taste even better.
Witness the Legends of Salado
Once upon a time, Central Texas was on the edge of the Texas frontier. Salado Legends, a popular and long-running outdoor musical drama brings this era to life. Noted as a “Local Legacy” by the Library of Congress, the play combines local history and fictional storytelling to create an experience for the whole family. The tall tales of the Tonkowa Indians, Spanish explorers and Scottish settlers are all part of the show. Salado Legends is performed at the Tablerock Amphitheatre twice in late July and once in early August, and you’ll need to plan ahead to ensure you get a seat.
Salado Legends is just one of several events you can catch at the Tablerock Amphitheatre throughout the year, including the Fright Trail for Halloween and A Christmas Carol. Check out a full list of events here.
Play 27 Gorgeous Holes of Golf
Winding tree-lined fairways and the trickling waters of Salado Creek set the stage for an awesome round of golf at Mill Creek Country Club. Designed by world-renowned course architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Mill Creek’s 27 holes will test your long and short game while also putting a huge smile on your face. You won’t have to wait long for one of the course’s highlights, the famous heart-shaped green on hole No. 3. The rest of your round takes you through some of the prettiest scenery in Central Texas, all while you’re vying for bragging rights with your group. With multiple tee boxes, Mill Creek is accessible to players of all skill levels. Better yet, you can play all year thanks to our four seasons of sunshine. Can’t wait to hit the course? Book your tee time here.
Our inspiring artists, friendly folks and wealth of one-of-a-kind experiences offers all you need for a remarkable getaway.Plan your visit here.