A Tank of Gas & $50: A Day Trip to Hico, TX

Jonathan and I love to go on adventures. Some days those adventures take us on little road trips to places not far from where we live. In the month of January, one of our dates in our Date Box was to go experience Hico, TX. We had ten things to conquer during our trip which was part of the fun.

The 10 adventures to conquer in Hico, TX

#1 – Take a walk around the historic downtown area. It’s not much of a walk either. I think the central section of the downtown area would equate to about two full city blocks, maybe three. You won’t get your 10,000 steps in, but it was still a beautiful little stroll.

downtown Hico, TX
Downtown Hico, TX

I loved the Old West feel to the downtown area. Each little shop and restaurant played off the theme adding to the quaint, little place.

#2 – Walk through the Mercantile. The Mercantile is about a block away from the main downtown area. It was apparently the Opera House in 1890, which is kind of cool. It wasn’t what I was expecting. It’s actually a shop full of specialty vendor booths. Some of them had antiques, others boutique-like clothing, a variety of art things, and then there were the ones with farmhouse-like items, overly crafty things, and décor you might find at Magnolia in Waco, TX. It would be a great place to shop for that perfect gift for the person in your life that has nearly everything or something to add to your own home décor, but we just walked around and looked at all the neat little things they had to offer.

The Mercantile https://www.hicomerc.com/

#3 – Billy the Kid Museum and Gift Shop. This is a tiny little spot in the downtown area of Hico. The woman at the front desk is very knowledgeable. To go to the gift shop, which is in the front of the museum, is free. Although, you might want to spend a few dollars on some good ol’ fashion Dublin soda while you’re in here. To walk through the small museum, they do request you leave a cash donation so be sure and take a few dollars for your walk back in time. There are some interesting things to read about Billy the Kid whenever he was an orphan and a kid as well as some other artifacts to enjoy.

https://www.billythekidmuseum.org/

#4 – Eat some fancy chocolate from The Wiseman House. The Wiseman House is inside of a Victorian home on the edge of town outside of the historic downtown area. I love all things Victorian and chocolates, so this was my kind of place. Inside, the smells of chocolate welcome you, and it is lovely! There are four different rooms inside with all things chocolate along with some unique and charming gifts. All the glass jars with tiny pieces of chocolates are samples worthy of tasting. Have fun with it. Try them all. It’s part of the experience. Besides, the toffee is to die for (my favorite.) We didn’t get to experience a tour, but we found out they have those available as well as chocolate classes. If I were to go again, I’d give them a call at 254-796-2499 and see if we could arrange something before we arrived. I think it would have added to our day in Hico. If the weather would have been nicer, I think we would have eaten our sweets outside as they had a wonderful little area set up for enjoying their chocolates out on the front porch. It really was a lovely little place. Fitting for our date day, we picked up one of their passion chocolates. How perfect was that for our adventure?

https://www.wisemanhousechocolates.com/
The perfect chocolate for our date day – Passion!
The front porch area would be a perfect place to enjoy your sweet purchase on a nice day.

#5 – Go to the tasting room at the Silver Spur Winery’s Tasting Room. The tasting room for the Silver Spur Winery is in the downtown area of Hico. I don’t drink, so I wasn’t as excited about this part of our adventure as Jonathan might have been. Truth is, I really enjoyed this experience, and we both learned so much. There were about 7 or 9 of us at the bar for the tasting. It doesn’t matter when you arrive. The server will just add you in where you are on the list. The tasting menu contained 6 different types of wines. Because I don’t drink, we only purchased one tasting. I enjoyed reading the descriptions, smelling the different wines, swirling them around to see how thick or thin they were, and truly just enjoying a small taste of each one where you focus on the front, middle, and back flavor profiles. I’ve decided I’m a much better wine taster than I am a wine drinker.

Towards the end of our wine tasting experience, the owner of the winery came in from working on pipes. This impressed me more than it probably does others, but I loved knowing that the owner actually works at his own vineyard and shows up at the tasting room to gather feedback from customers. He asked each of us individually what we thought of the different types of wine. Then, he began telling us about his two newest wines. He disappeared to the back and brought out two new bottles and let us try both of them. I enjoyed learning about the different processes used to harvest, create, and bottle the different types he sells. It was also interesting to hear about how the flavor profiles come to be in each bottle of wine.

http://www.silverspurwinery.com/
The 6 wines listed, but we actually tasted 9. The Blush and the J.W. III were our favorites from this list though.

#6 – Buy a Christmas ornament from Blue Star Trading. This is a Texas style kind of shop in the downtown area. They sell clothing, art, décor, jewelry, and unique gifts. We came here in search of a Christmas ornament though. The availability of Christmas décor in general was pretty small which isn’t surprising seeing how it is the end of January, but we were able to find a very unique Christmas star made out of animal hide. The exciting thing about this purchase was the price! It was on sale for 60% off, so we got out of there for under $2 and will remember our trip to Hico each Christmas season when this ornament is added to our tree.

https://bluestartrading.com/

#7 – Eat at a local restaurant. We love to find places to eat that aren’t chain restaurants whenever we go out of town, so this was right up our alley. There are a few locally owned places to choose from here. We picked Flacas Fitness and Brews for a couple of reasons. One, it was part of the historic downtown area. Two, the thought of fitness, art, food, live music, and craft beer all being in one place was . . . well, interesting.

A couple of guys were in the front of the restaurant playing their guitars and singing away. Several people gathered around to listen to them. Jonathan ordered their special smoky hamburger with chips, and I had their “famous” street tacos. They carry Dublin soda, wine, and craft beer here to add to your Mediterranean/Latin inspired meals. We ate in the art room since the front of the house was full. Local artist have their artwork on the walls listed for sale in this part. The very back room of the restaurant is the yoga studio where classes are held quite frequently, I believe.

The chicken tacos were pretty dry to be honest, but the flavor was alright. On the other hand, the pork street tacos were very good. One taco ordered is really two tacos by the way, so I had four tacos which was more than plenty to eat. Jonathan enjoyed his burger and chips as well. We could have bought one meal and split it and still left full. It definitely was an unique little place.

http://flacas-hico.com/

#8 – Take an amazing selfie. Well, I don’t know if we ever take “amazing selfies,” but we always have fun taking them. This one was taken in the middle of the downtown area in the metal gazebo.

We had such a fun and great day!

#9 – Buy a postcard from the visitor’s center. Google told us there was a visitor’s center. We walked to the address of said visitor’s center. We did not find a visitor’s center. We did buy a postcard for $1 at The Wiseman House though just so we could mark this off our list. Close enough, right?

#10 – Take a funny picture with a statue in town. We found the Billy the Kid statue across the street from the main section of the downtown area, so it seemed like the perfect statue funny picture moment. Jonathan said he would be the photographer, so I was stuck reenacting the statue.

https://www.hico-tx.com/

We found some other interesting things to photograph while in town.

The Wooden Indian Cigar Shop had premium cigars, Arbuckles coffee, and unique candles as well as this work of art outside.
Peppermint Square has an old cabin and a stage with picnic tables and a neat little place to take a break and visit.
In case you bring your horse to town, there’s a nice watering trough and hitching post.
https://www.historicmidlandhotel.com/
If you’d like to turn your Hico, TX trip into an overnighter, I’d suggest staying in one of the historic rooms at The Midland Hotel in downtown. Their rates range from $139-$189/night.
And without fail, if you look long and hard enough, you can always find something a little odd anywhere you go exploring.
In the middle of the downtown area, you become the “I” in Hico. The lady across the street at the hotel made sure I held up the dot to the “I” which was cute even though the English teacher in me didn’t want a lower case “i” in the middle of the all capped word, but I appeased the locals.

Hico made for a great little road trip. It’s a perfect little town to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Take a few hours and enjoy the quiet and the slower pace. For about a half tank of gas and less than $50, we had a wonderful date day. When you go, enjoy the shopping in the local boutiques. There’s plenty of other things to do while you are here that we didn’t even list. There’s a popcorn place, trails along the river, a steak cookoff competition in May, several other local eateries, a Pecan drink shoppe, and Sugar Moon Antiques. Explore and go on your own adventure. Leave us a comment and share your favorite experiences in this little place in the big state of Texas.

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