Exploring Salado, Texas
Salado is a very charming small village just off I-35 between Austin and Waco. Salado, incorporated in 1867, dates from the early Texas days and started with the home and plantation of Sterling Robertson. Named after the Salado (which stands for salty) Creek, this flowing spring fed creek provided a welcome oasis for early Central Texas visitors from native American Indians to Spanish and Mexican travelers as well as early pioneer settlers. The town prospered as a stop for the Overland Stage and Pony Express on the the Chisholm Trail and the founding in 1860 of Salado College helped the city grow. One of Salado's most well-known landmarks, the Stagecoach Inn, still stands as a reminder of the important role the stagecoach line played in the growth of the village. When the college closed and the new railroad bypassed Salado in the 1890's, Salado eventually dwindled to a small village.
Today, Salado has grown into an artsy town with a fascinating collection of antique shops, art galleries, good restaurants, and other quaint shops. There are a number of very nice Bed and Breakfast accommodations in historic homes. Salado has 18 listings in the National Register of Historic Homes, some of which are available for touring. Salado's website states: "Visit Salado once, and it may well become one of your favorite Texas escapes. Salado, with 2,350 residents, is famous for its laid back atmosphere laced with the magic of days gone by. Innkeepers, restaurateurs, artists, shopkeepers, retirees, and long-time residents give the village its unique and delightful character." Salado provides a nice break for food, shopping, or an overnight stay if you are traveling north or south on I-35.
There are over a dozen well maintained historic homes in Salado, some of which have been converted to restaurants, shops, or exquisite Bed & Breakfasts, which makes this a fun place to spend a weekend. See Shopping and Sleeping in Salado for some ideas for a fun Salado Weekend.
Things to Do and See in Salado
Golf - Mill Creek Golf Course has 27 holes of very good golf - you can golf while the shoppers are shopping
Shopping - one of the main reasons, if not the main reason to visit Salado is to shop all of the quaint antique shops, art galleries, and more along the two mile long Main Street shoppers paradise - if you can't find something to spend your money on in Salado, you are not a professional shopper
Restaurants - there are some very good restaurants in Salado including Browning's Courtyard Cafe (254 947-8666) for lunch Inn on the Creek for dinner (reservations required - 254 947-5554)
Take an afternoon art expedition, discover sculpture exhibits along Main Street from the sculpture park at the north end to the Stagecoach Inn at the south end – look for the Gnome on the Green Bridge and Selena and her catfish near the creek.
Participate in the Arts, glass blowing, pottery making and painting. Salado has many skilled artisans who are happy to demonstrate their craft.
If you dare. . .skydiving at the Temple Skydiving facility at the south end of town – follow the parachutes.
Camp on Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir at Dana Peak Park or Union Grove Park and drive 10 to 20 into Salado for shopping, food, or golf
Spend the night in the country 5 minutes from downtown in a cool and comfortabale B&B with a great breakfast and good folks as your host - Yellow House Bed & Breakfast
Check out the Tablerock Amphitheater to see what's happening for musicals, Gospel Festivals and fairs, and more
Visit Stillhouse Hollow Lake
- Go fishing - call Bob at Holding The Line Fising Guide Service and tell him you want to catch some big fish on Stillhouse Hollow, Belton Lake, or Georgetown Lake and he'll pick you up at your hotel or B&B, and take you fishing.
- Cruise, ski, scuba dive, kayak, or canoe on the lake - click here for a list of places that will rent boats or kayaks or take you on a dive tour of the lake if you're certified
Ride the road bikes around the Salado area - see a trail map
Drive about 10 minutes west of Salado and hike the 5 mile Chalk Ridge Falls Park trail at the base of the Stillhouse Hollow Lake dam - excellent and fun hiking trail with bridges, waterfalls, and a suspension bridge
- Visit Salado.com to learn more about restaurants, lodging, and more
Nightlife In Salado
- Salado some fine wineries and craft beer makers who will be happy to serve you up a glass of extra special cheer. Look for the Barrow Brewing Company in the old Feed Store building.
- Johnny’s Outback is a live music venue showcasing big name country music artists.
- Several of the local restaurants feature live music on Friday and Saturday night
- Annual Christmas Stroll – beautifully decorated main street, tour of homes, parade, shops open late and street vendors
- Wildfire Ranch has different types of events year round including team roping, barrel racing, and cowboy mounted shooting
- Annual Salado WildFlowerArt Fair with artisans from all over the Southwest
- Annual Salado Smokin Spokes bicycle race benefits the Volunteer Fire Department.
- Salado Chocolate and Wine weekend – what a great combination!
- Legends of Salado, Gospel Festival and other performances under the stars at the Tablerock Amphitheater
- Visit Salado.com for a complete listing of events by month