Things to do in Dripping Springs: 6 reasons to travel now
Texas Hill Country beckons.
Known for eye-catching scenery, bountiful wineries, elegant stays, and a dining scene that rivals Austin’s best, Dripping Springs has long been a sought-after location for dream weddings. But even for the non-bridal crowd, the area is a destination worthy of weekend wine tours, glamping under the stars, and upscale dining offered by some seriously praised chefs.
Take a short drive to Dripping Springs – not to mention neighboring Driftwood – and see for yourself with these six fun, beautiful, and just plain fun ways to experience this little corner of Texas Hill Country.
See what’s in store along the Hills Craft Beer Trail
The Texas Hill Country has long been synonymous with great wine, but in recent years the scenic area has seen a surge in craft brewing. And, Dripping Springs is home to a solid cross section of established and newer outposts specializing in everything from crispy summer sippers to funky farmhouse beers. Taste at Twisted X Brewery, Acapon Brewery, 12 fox beer, Infusion of ghost notes, and Hedgehog Brewery before sitting down for lunch. Hunger? Take a pizza in hand at Suds Monkey Brewing Co., smoked meats and sandwiches Bell Springs Brewery, or comfort food inside Fitzhugh BreweryModern and child-friendly farm digs. Elsewhere, Family owned beer company Co., co-owned by actors Jensen and Danneel Ackles (from Supernatural and A tree hill renowned), is a popular destination for those looking for a good beer in a family setting. (Fun fact: the Cajun truck on site, Southern roots of Jep Is owned by Duck Dynasty Jep Robertson.)
There are also a few breweries located just outside the city limits of Dripping Springs that you should not miss. Located on a 165 acre ranch, Jester King Brewery focuses on wild fermentation resulting in unique (wild) beers which have earned the brand countless international awards. (And, their pizza is top notch.) Walk towards Brewery of the last stand for a quick pint before ending your day at Vista Brewery, just 7 miles southeast of Driftwood. Sip European-style beers that carefully showcase the local terroir while feasting on Vista’s hyper-local menu offerings, farm-to-table.
Discover distilleries worthy of a destination
Whether your favorite drink is vodka soda or an Old Fashioned, you’re bound to stumble upon (or in) a drenched Dripping Springs outpost trained in both spirits and hospitality. Distillation of Treated Oak is a one stop shop for whiskey lovers, cocktail lovers and foodies. Reserve an entire afternoon to roam the 28-acre oak-covered distilleries ranch in search of whiskey and gin, tours and tastings, cocktails, live music and a fantastic barbecue at Alice’s restaurant. For summer-ready crush cocktails, hit Vodka Deep Eddy for flights of flavored vodka (real fruit), cocktails and food truck dishes in the tasting room or on the dog-friendly patio. A quick stop between the largest producers can be passed to Remington family distillers for whiskey, vodka and coffee liqueur before moving on to Frog Pond Distillery for gin and vodka in small quantities. Agave lovers, go for it Desert Gate Distillation in Driftwood for sotol tastings and cocktails. (Sotol, a cousin of mezcal and tequila, is made from wild-harvested West Texas desert spoon plants.) The rustic-chic Instagram-worthy tasting room and the astonishing farm-to-table cuisine Eden West (the same Eden East team) make Desert Door a must-have for anyone with a great taste.
Stroll through stunning vineyards and sip world-class wines
From producers of quirky natural wines to stately villas with expansive vineyards, the Texas Hill Country is dotted with vineyards of all shapes and sizes. In Dripping Springs proper, stop for tastings, tours and bites at Solaro winery, Vineyards cemetery, Hawk’s Shadow Wine Cellar, Hamilton Pool Wineries & Farms, Parmeson wines, and Bell Springs Vineyard. (Bell Springs Winery is also home to Bell Springs Brewery and The sidecar, a Prohibition-style wine bar.)
Those looking to stretch their legs can truck to nearby Driftwood and visit Duchman family estate, Driftwood Winery, and still popular Lick caves. Then head north on Fitzhugh Road to the tasting room shared by Wine for the people and CL Butaud, two unique winemakers producing classic, crushable wines with grapes 100% grown in Texas.
Eat your way at an impressive range of restaurants and bakeries
Much like the dizzying array of alcoholic offerings, the culinary landscape of Dripping Springs is also teeming with artisanal creativity and quality, with chefs adding a local flair to everything from French haute cuisine to pizza. Start with a locally roasted coffee from Greater Goods Roasting Co. then sample local heritage grain baked goods, breads and pizzas from Barton Springs Mill at Abby Jane Bakery. Fancy something filling? Thyme & Paste has a casual dinner fare on padlock, while Alice’s restaurant at Distillation of Treated Oak does amazing barbecue and sides.
For wedding groups and special occasions nothing beats Tillie. Located at Camp Lucie, the upscale restaurant blends the flavors of Texas Hill Country with global accents in a space of stunning architecture. Alternatively, newcomer The Cowbird offers classic French brasserie classics with a Texan twist – think local Akaushi beef, roasted bone marrow and an expertly curated wine selection.
Have a sweet tooth? Do not miss Skull & Cakebones for locally sourced pastries that you would never guess vegan. Down in Driftwood, knock Hays City Store & Ice House, a local institution that covers all of its bases, from the cheap beer crowd fueled by sport to cocktail-loving foodies. And if you still bemoan the closure of Eden East in East Austin (who isn’t?), You’ll be happy to hear that it just moved to Driftwood Road. Chief Sonya Côté Eden West food truck at Desert Door Distillery keeps the original outpost’s creative vision for farm-to-table delicacies alive and alive. You can’t go wrong with the Warm Quail Knots, delicious quail bites with a crispy blue corn crust served with a carrot mole and a tangy fermented sauce. On the way back to town, buy a pizza or pastrami sandwich from pious. The chewy sourdough crust, fresh toppings from the garden, and homemade pastrami make for a mouthwatering experience worth a visit.
Soak up the charm of Hill Country while glamping in an elegant yurt, relaxing in a luxury resort, or relaxing in a comfortable cabin
Whether your ideal accommodations are ultra-romantic, one-of-a-kind with nature, or just the kind that gives your followers major FOMO, Dripping Springs has your number. For those looking for a luxury experience, Camp Lucie is second to none. The name may evoke childhood memories, but the sprawling ranch and breathtaking resort town are more than sophisticated. From interior design that looks like it’s taken from Elle Decor magazine, to the dream chapel, vineyard and canopy of century-old oak trees, Camp Lucy is, to put it plainly, #goals.
More than Lucky Spire Retreat, customers are free to choose their own adventure. Stay in a yurt (air-conditioned and heated) decorated in chic Texas Hill Country style, settle into an airy cabin, or settle into a full-size house suitable for the entire crew. No matter where you choose to lay your head, you will certainly find yourself stargazing on the Moon Deck, hanging out by the pool or in the Beer Garden, or sitting around the campfire with friends after dark. the night.
Just off Fitzhugh Road, Liney’s Moon offers accommodation that is both modern and original. Reserve a room in the main house with your group or return to earth by reserving one of the tiny cabins that dot the property. If doing yoga while overlooking a treed valley is more your pace, check out 13 acre retreat where stylish little cabins line the hill for truly awe-inspiring views of the area’s famous technicolor sunsets.
Take a dip, go for a hike, swing, or just relax and watch the starry sky above
Home to both one of the state’s most captivating natural getaways as well as a family-friendly outdoor sports complex, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Start by booking a reservation in the history Hamilton Pool Reserve, where visitors can walk the trails before cooling off with a swim in the otherworldly natural swimming hole. The ‘pool’ was created when the dome over an underground river eroded, leaving a jade-colored water feature bordered by a collapsed limestone cave with a 50-foot waterfall in its wake. (Due to the unprecedented frost of last winter and its effect on the stability of the rocks, swimming may or may not be allowed, see the restrictions in force here.)
AT Reimers Ranch Park, active people can get fresh air while swimming, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and gazing out into the cosmos thanks to an on-site observatory equipped with two powerful telescopes open to the public. Elsewhere, newly launched for children and pets Dreamland acts as an outdoor entertainment venue with live music, food, beer garden, and sports facilities including a 42-acre disc golf course, a mini-golf course considered one of the most challenging country, pickleball courts, lawn games, and public art.