As you head west out of Central Texas, the landscape quickly changes from city to rolling hills and lake scenes. Winding through the highland lakes region, a road tripper enjoys steep cliffs and limestone rock formations.
Set in the middle of this beautiful region is Marble Falls, a small but bustling town located right on Lake Marble Falls. Today, while it still has that small town Texas feel, Marble Falls also features wineries, great food, an art scene, and a busy, walkable town full of unique shopping opportunities. From boutique shopping to art galleries, there’s a hip vibe to this vintage scene.
Bridget’s Bed & Breakfast is a great place to hang your hat while exploring Marble Falls and the surrounding Hill Country. Located in two historic homes, this bed and breakfast with six rooms comes with everything you need– from plush bedding to chic interior design and a full kitchen. Just a block from the historic downtown district with great shopping, coffee shops, music venues, and restaurants, everything is only a quick walk away.
Historic downtown Marble Falls is extremely walkable. Stop in at Ms. Lollipop’s for some nostalgic gifts and old-time candies. Fiesta Winery offers a tasting of six wines, such as their pinot grigio — which has a creamy butterscotch flavor; or try the semi-sweet Chicky Baby blush. Redid is a shop started by two sisters who redo vintage furniture and home accessories. Smartie Pantz is a boutique where you’ll want one of everything while Choccolatte’s is famous for their Pecan English Toffee. Birdie’s Market started out as a pop-up in Round Top and now features shabby chic home items.
RAISE A GLASS
Bear King Brewery is the new kid on the block in Marble Falls. Head to their “bear” garden for live music and enjoy some parmesan truffle fries with a flight of beers, like the Wandering Blonde, their most popular, or their Foggy Eyes, a New England style IPA. The brewery was started by four siblings in an old Ford dealership and they currently have nine of their beers on tap.
Flat Creek Estate Winery is a beautiful and personable winery just outside of Marble Falls that offers wine tastings, tours, and a menu ranging from tapas-like pistachio and lavender ricotta, or housemade hummus, to a three-course wine-paired chef’s menu, which includes a tour and six wines. The estate even features an 18-hole disc golf course.
Marble Falls has developed into a foodie feast. Though unassuming on the outside, Noon Spoon Cafe serves up some of the best sandwiches in town! Two of the local favorites are the Italian Turkey grilled sandwich and the Stuffed Tomato & Avocado salad. And, as the name says, it’s only open for lunch!
Called “R Bar” by locals, Rae’s Bar and Grill is located just a few blocks from Lake Marble Falls on downtown’s main drag, and is the longest operating restaurant in downtown Marble Falls. Get ready for the green chiles here as they are hot, hot, hot! They’re known for their pork so try the Blazing Saddle Bowl or the Pulled Pork Enchiladas—-both full of spice!
For some of the finest craft-made barbecue in the hill country, head over to Wingman Brothers Smokehouse. In the same location as the old Peete Mesquite, two brothers have taken over in the past two years and perfected the smoked turkey and other meats. The fire-roasted cream corn is a must try and will keep you coming back for more!
A visit to Marbles Falls wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the world famous Blue Bonnet Cafe. Open since 1929, they have built quite the reputation with their down-home country cooking and pies. We recommend the omelet at breakfast, and ask for a grilled biscuit! And, we do give you permission to have pie with breakfast. If there’s a long line–which there usually is– sneak in the front door and look for open seats at the counter. Blue Bonnet Cafe is old school, so make sure you bring cash with you, because they don’t accept credit cards.
The real gem of Marble Falls is the surrounding natural landscape. Nearby Inks Lake State Park preserves the picturesque beauty that is the Texas Hill Country. Here, the steep cliffs drop into the calm, blue waters of the Colorado River. Even if you only have a few hours, the park is worth the trip– especially a dip into the Devil’s Backbone water hole. There are many ways to enjoy the river and surrounding park, but we recommend renting a kayak to explore the lake.
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Marika Flatt is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine and the voice of the “Weekend Trip Tip” on NPR’s show, Texas Standard. She’s also the founder of the book publicity firm, PR by the Book. Find Marika on Twitter and Instagram. Cullen Parker is an Agricultural Communications and Journalism student at Texas A&M University. He is an agricultural enthusiast, and you can often find him outdoors or playing a concert with his band in Austin or College Station.