The artist, inventor, architect, and teacher Buck Winn first beheld the hills of Wimberley in the late 1930s. Enchanted by the valley’s flowing waters and natural beauty, Winn and his wife, Kitty, bought 1,100 acres about two miles east of the old limestone buildings on Wimberley’s square.
Every Texas town has its distinctive qualities and attractions—just ask the locals. Given the more than 2,000 small towns that populate this vast state, that makes for a lifetime of worthwhile country drives, courthouse square cafés, and quirky local history museums. That’s why we turned to Texas Highways readers to help identify our state’s “coolest small towns.” We had a blast fielding the nominations, which came in from all across the state. Considering the “small” stipulation, we set a population limit of about 10,000, although that meant some popular nominees weren’t included. We believe these small towns reflect the essence of Texas—from peaceful porch swings to sprawling oak trees, chicken-fried steak, and six-man football—and we invite you to join us as we explore their charms.
Seeking a change of scenery after a few days of urban sightseeing in Austin, my husband, Kenny, and I packed up our four kids and their visiting French cousin for a short road trip to Wimberley. Rather than taking a straight shot south on I-35, we hopped on US 290 West to Dripping Springs, then turned south on Ranch Road 12, a winding, two-lane highway that traverses some of the prettiest countryside in Texas.