Located in the center of the Lone Star State is Salado, Texas. With a population less than 3,000, this small town has been a traveler’s watering hole, meeting place, as it’s located in the middle of Texas cities like San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Abilene, and Del Rio. Neighboring cities include Killeen, Belton, Waco, Georgetown, Fort Hood, and Round Rock.
The Village of Salado was founded as a direct result of the establishment of Salado College in 1859 when Col. Elijah S.C. Robertson, son of Sterling C. Robertson, donated land north and south of Salado Springs for a college and lots of a town to be called Salado.
SEE ALSO: 37 Top Things To Do In Waco, Texas
Here’s my 2022 guide to the best things to do in Salado TX!
1. Glassblowing class at Salado Glassworks
Salado Glassworks is a working glassblowing studio and gallery that specializes in one of a kind custom blown fine art glass. To be honest, I’ve never had interest in glassblowing classes but I was enthralled at Salado Glassworks. You can easily sit there for hours and watch owner Gail Allard and his team create beautiful glass pieces one after another. They were in the middle of creating a custom glass chandelier for a client when we walked into their studio and I wanted to just sit and watch.
We took the Blow Your Own Ladies Night workshop where we learned how to make a margarita class. Comes with complimentary wine or beer and light snacks. Who knew the art of glassblowing was so extensive but also so much fun! See their workshops here.
2 Peddler’s Alley, saladoglassworks.com
2. Stay at Shady Villa Hotel
Previously Stagecoach Inn, Shady Villa Hotel has been newly rebranded by Bunkhouse. In 1861, W.B. Armstrong one of the area’s first settlers, erected this building on the footprint of the old Tonkawa village and opened the “Shady Villa otel.” Supposedly this is the oldest remaining structure in Salado and has been visited by Sam Houston, Robert E. Lee, Jr., cattle barons Shanghai Pierce and Charles Goodnight, and outlaws Sam Bass and Jesse James.
This mid-century hotel is situated under lush landscaping under a canopy of Texas oak trees with 48 guest rooms, 5 indoor event spaces, and an expansive pool and outdoor pavilion. Amenities include room service, in room coffee makers, complimentary parking, smart TVs, and more. Shady Villa Hotel is also dog-friendly!
Located on property is Stagecoach Restaurant, a Bell County staple dating back to the era of the Chisholm Trail. The menu pays homage to the restaurant’s history with original items like the Strawberry Kiss and southern favorites like the hushpuppies. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
10% off stays now through September 30, 2022 using code: KOKO
416 S Main St, shadyvillahotel.com
3. Vintage shopping
I love vintage shopping in Round Top and was surprised to see the pricing in Salado was much lower.
- Village Mill Antiques – I come here on every trip to Salado and have picked up many good finds!
- Salado Antique Mall
- Spring House Antiques
- Fletcher’s Books & Antiques
- 21 Main
- Salado Creek Antiques
Magnolia’s on the Square
4. Barrow Brewing Company
Located across the street from Shady Villa Hotel is Barrow Brewing Company – we stopped by to try a flight of beers and listen to live music. This microbrewery is a center for sipping the fine craft beverages – Barrow Brewing Company offers five flagship craft beers and an ever changing list of limited releases, all brewed on site.
108 Royal St, barrowbrewing.com
5. Salado Winery & Salado Wine Seller
Salado Winery & Salado Wine Seller is a mom and pop winery. In 2005, they planted a vineyard and started selling. Since then they’ve added #wineryboy and #winerycat and make wine on the premise from Salado grown grapes.
841 N Main St, saladowinery.com
6. Rios Salado Cocina Y Cantina
Classic Tex-Mex and margaritas that’s loved by the locals. The margarita glasses are made by Gail of Salado Glassworks too!
109 Royal St
7. Chupacabra Craft Beer & Salado Lone Star Winery
Try over 60 Texas craft beers and hundreds of wines at this favorite late night spot that serves burgers and wings.
401 S Main St, chupacabratx.com
8. Salado Creek
This spring-fed creek is a popular spot for cooling off during the summer. Park in Pace Park and pack a picnic and visit Sirena, the Crying Indian Mermaid statue.
9. Fletchers Books & Antiques
Local book store in Salado with a unique collection of used, rare books and antiques.
945 N Main Street
10. Axis Winery
Located in historical William Reed House (a historic log cabin), Salado’s newest winery has a tasting room that is open 4 days a week.
831 N Main St
11. The Shoppes on Main in Salado
Salado’s boutique market place and cafe that features more than 25 shops that’s located in the heart of downtown Salado, The Shoppes.
12. Chalkridge Falls Park
This park along the Lampasas River features hiking trails, a suspension bridge & waterfalls.
5600 FM1670, Belton, TX
13. Salado Sculpture Garden
The Sculpture Garden is the vision of the Public Arts League of Salado and Keep Salado Beautiful. Situated in a lovely natural landscape connected by gentle walkways and seating all through the area making fine art accessible to everyone and where one can view the creativity of a diverse group of artists
113 Salado Plaza Rd
14. Mud Pies Pottery
Mud Pies Pottery is the home of the “Original Microwave Egg Baker,” Egg Scrambler in the Central Texas area, numbering 10,000+ since 1994 when the first ones were made as a special order from a customer in Austin area.
Private pottery classes and 40+ flavors of Sir Wigglesworth’s Fudge and more.
18 N Main St
15. Mill Creek Golf Club
Experience this iconic Texas golf course that was designed by the famed Robert Trent Jones, Jr. With tree-lined fairways and Salado Creek jutting around the greens, try to master all 27 holes of the course.
1610 Club Cir, millcreekgolf27.com
16. Salado Museum & College Park
The Salado Museum and College Park was established to preserve and promote the pioneer history of Salado and the diverse nationalities that settled this area.
423 S Main St
17. Sugar Shack Candy Store
Local candy shop with old fashioned candies, biggest gum ball machine, and ice cream. Add to your list of things to do in Salado TX.
1 Royal St
18. Inn on the Creek
Inn on the Creek is an elegant 19-room lodging property that’s located off the banks of Salado Creek on lush green acres. There’s an event center, meeting rooms, and two restaurants, Alexander’s Craft Cocktails & Kitchen and The Shed. Inn on the Creek has six lodging facilities -the Manor, the Holland House, the Giles-Kindred House, the Horton House, the Bungalows, and the Salado College Quarters—each offering a unique guest experience.
602 Center Cir
19. Ro Shaw Clay Studio and Gallery
Ro Shaw Clay Studio offers pottery wheel parties, introduction to pottery wheel throwing, open wheel sessions, and date nights. Ro Shaw is a Texas based artist who’s work has been included in many public collections and publications such as Raku, Saggar, Pit, Barrel: Alternative Firing Techniques by James C. Watkins and Paul Wandless, 500 Handmade Books by Lark Publishing and Ceramics monthly magazine. Recently Ro was featured in the March 2017 issue of Texas Monthly Magazine, as well as Austin Monthly, Texas Highways, and AAA Texas Journeys Magazine.
2 Peddler’s Alley, roshawclaystudio.com
20. Visit an art gallery
Salado has several galleries with fine art:
- Sirril Art Gallery
- Prellop Fine Art Gallery
- Thomas Kinkade Stagecoach Gallery
- Wells Gallery
- Solas Gallery
- Griffith Fine Art Gallery