Dripping Springs is one of our favorite destinations in Texas for a couples or family getaway. The city is known for quite a few things – it is the “Gateway to the Hill Country,” the Wedding Capital of Texas®, and it has the largest concentration of breweries, distilleries, and wineries in Texas. From outdoor adventures to drinking your way through the city, there are several fun things to do in Dripping Springs to fill a weekend, if not more.
You can walk behind a waterfall cascading over a grotto, take a dip in an iconic swimming hole, play a round of mini golf, go on a unique distillery tour, try many craft beer flights, sip fine wine, feed alpacas, enjoy glamping, dance the night away, and much more.
So whether you are visiting this charming hill country town for a wedding or weekend getaway, here are the best things to do in Dripping Springs.
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Best Things to Do in Dripping Springs: Outdoor Adventures
We love outdoor adventures, and Dripping Springs is full of them! There are adventurous experiences to emerald green swimming holes, limestone caves, and waterfall grottos – and fun family adventures such as playing mini golf, feeding alpacas, and glamping in a safari tent with family cabanas at the pool.
Here are the best things to do in Dripping Springs in the great outdoors.
Read next: Epic Texas Hill Country Road Trip Itinerary
Hike to a Swimming Hole
Hamilton Pool Reserve is one of the best and most popular things to do in Dripping Springs, if not the entire Lone Star State. It is a Texas bucket list destination thanks to its jaw-dropping 50-foot waterfall plunging into an emerald green pool surrounded by a box canyon.
To get to Hamilton Pool, you must hike 0.25 miles down a steep, narrow trail of rough terrain. It is an easy, family-friendly hike. Just take your time on the uneven steps. Once you arrive, enjoy the serenity of this natural beauty before taking a dip into the pool.
Swimming at the pool is not guaranteed! So check the website beforehand. Reservations are required to visit Hamilton Pool Reserve, and they fill up quickly.
I highly recommend booking your reservation as soon as possible, especially for summer weekends. We arrived just before 9 am and enjoyed the pool all to ourselves for at least 15 minutes. There are also complimentary life jackets available at the pool.
Hike to a Waterfall Grotto
Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center is a beautiful 76-acre preserve that feels unworldly. The preserve has a savannah landscape in the uplands and lush greenery descending into a sheltered canyon.
There are two guided group tours at Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center – the Uplands Trail or a Walk Through the Grotto. Both tours are lovely and offer a unique experience, but the most popular tour is Through the Grotto.
The guided 1-mile round trip hike into the sheltered canyon is informative and breathtaking. As you venture through the canyon, you will learn about the native flora and fauna in the preserve, explore limestone caves, and gaze upon the 40-foot waterfall cascading over a grotto.
Hit the Beach!
A beach in the heart of the Texas Hill Country? Oh yes! Milton Reimers Ranch Park is a hidden gem.
Milton Reimers Ranch Park has world-class outdoor rock climbing, mountain biking trails, hiking trails, scenic views, fishing, and beach access to swim in the Pedernales River. The beach is lovely, but it’s no soft white sand beach in the Caribbean. So I recommend bringing some water shoes.
This park is fun for outdoor enthusiasts and families. Kids will enjoy swimming and catching fish in the river! It is also an International Dark Sky Park, which makes it one of the best places to watch stars light up the sky.
Reservations are not required, but a day-use permit is required upon arrival (cash only). The Travis County Parks day use permit is valid for Hamilton Pool and Milton Reimers Ranch Park. So if you want to visit both, go on the same day.
Feed Lovable Alpacas
Dripping Springs is the Wedding Capital of Texas®, and Camp Lucy is a magical place to get married. Visiting the resort is one of the best things to do in Dripping Springs because there are alpacas onsite that you can feed for FREE.
When you arrive at Camp Lucy, go to the front desk at Tillie’s to receive a bag of food for the alpacas. Then, enjoy feeding the friendly alpaca ambassadors just outside the restaurant. Our toddler had so much fun feeding these cuties.
Hotel and non-hotel guests can also enjoy other (complimentary and paid) resort activities such as hiking, fishing, archery, the vineyard, a history tour of the property, a pool day pass, and more.
Enjoy Bird Watching
Charro Ranch Park is a 64-acre park known for its bird watching. Bring your binoculars to the bird viewing pavilion to spot 117 species of birds. The park also has lovely walking nature trails, shaded picnic tables, a native plant demonstration garden, and a solstice circle.
Play at Dreamland
Dreamland is one of the best things to do in Dripping Springs for adults and families. The venue has an art sculpture garden, pickleball courts, disc golf course, playground, splash pad, and two world-class mini golf 18-hole courses.
This was new to me, but Dreamland has a black course! It is a challenging course for highly skilled golfers. If that sounds daunting, do not worry. They also have a playful “Dream” course that is perfect for all skill levels and ages.
You can grab delicious entrees at the on-site restaurant if you work up an appetite. It also has a cool self-pour tap wall featuring 50 local craft beers and ciders. You can easily spend an entire day here playing and enjoying good food and beer.
Stay and Explore the Glamping Capital of Texas®
If you need a place to stay in Dripping Springs and want to experience something unique, spend the weekend at Lucky Arrow Retreat – the Glamping Capital of Texas®.
Lucky Arrow Retreat is a boutique resort that sits on 15 acres, which includes a beer garden, scenic views of the Texas Hill Country, resort-style pools, an event center, a kid’s nature playground, axe throwing, and every glamping accommodation imaginable. You can sleep in luxurious safari tents, porch houses, yurts, and cabins.
The Lucky Arrow Retreat also offers pool day passes for non-hotel guests at the adults-only and family pools. You can book passes for either pool or upgrade to a lush cabana. It’s the perfect place to relax and swim, surrounded by a picturesque landscape.
Best Things to Do in Dripping Springs: Beer, Spirits, Wine, & More
If you love craft beer, small-batch spirits, and world-class wine, you will love Dripping Springs, where the booze flows just as much as the mineral springs. Dripping Springs has over 30 breweries, distilleries, and wineries (many utilizing the mineral water from the natural springs in its namesake city).
Many establishments also have on-site restaurants or food trucks. So you can enjoy lunch or dinner along with your beverage of choice. As a family, we also love that there are kid-friendly breweries and distilleries in Dripping Springs with playgrounds and a kid’s menu.
Here are some of the best things to do in Dripping Springs that involve food and booze.
Take a Distillery Tour
Dripping Springs has several different types of distilleries that produce vodka, rum, gin, bourbon, whiskey, and liqueurs. Some distilleries focus on perfecting one spirit, while others develop multiple types of spirits.
A few of our favorite distilleries in Dripping Springs include Deep Eddy Vodka, Dripping Springs Distilling, and Treaty Oak Distilling. Being a big-name brand,Deep Eddy Vodka is always a crowd favorite for some day drinking. It’s a great place to enjoy a vodka flight of all their flavors and try an exciting new cocktail.
Dripping Springs Distilling is the second distillery to operate in Texas and one of the most unique vodka distilleries in the country. They use one-of-a-kind, 50-gallon, handcrafted copper stills you cannot find anywhere else! Take their distillery tour to see the handcrafted copper stills up close and learn more.
Treaty Oak Distilling is an awesome distillery on a 28-acre ranch with award-winning bourbon tastings, craft beer, an authentic Texas barbecue restaurant, a play area for kids, and more. You can also experience their behind-the-scenes bourbon and gin production tour.
Enjoy a Beer Flight
Dripping Springs feels like it has the overflow of Austin’s massive craft beer scene because there are so many, but this charming town does it better! Each brewery has wide open, beautiful spaces with shaded open-air and air-conditioned tasting rooms, and most also have epic wooden playgrounds.
Beerburg Brewing is one of our favorite breweries because it focuses on sustainability and is highly unique. The brew masters craft beers utilizing native ingredients that they forage around the Texas Hill Country. They also have authentic Mexican cuisine, homemade ice cream, 9-hole disc golf, and a nature playground.
At Fitzhugh Brewery, you can travel the world without leaving their gorgeous Chip and Joanna Gaines’ modern farmhouse-style taproom. The brewmaster will get as many ingredients as possible from inspired destinations and alter the water’s minerals to match the exact beer profile. The beers and brewing process is incredible!
Another great brewery and a popular local hangout is Suds Monkey Brewing Co. This nano brewery is a fun place to grab delicious pizza with a cold beer and play BINGO and trivia amongst friends. Or bring your kids because they have a fantastic play area with a wooden jeep, rock wall, sand pit, slides, and tires to climb.
Enjoy a Wine Tasting
The Texas Hill Country is well known for its lavish wineries – and as the “Gateway to the Hill Country,” what better way to begin your Texas Hill Country road trip than with a wine tasting (or two)?
Dripping Springs has excellent wineries that produce wine from grapes in California, Texas, and Italy. From bold red wines to crisp floral white wines, you can enjoy a bottle of wine with sweeping views of the Texas Hill Country.
Sip refined wine from Sonoma County at Parmeson Wines, taste Italian wines at Hamilton Pool Vineyards & Farms, and enjoy handcrafted Texas wine nurtured from an underground limestone cellar at Hawk’s Shadow Winery.
Read next: Best Wineries in Fredericksburg, Texas
Journey Through the Dripping With Taste Trail
As you have probably gathered by now, one of the best things to do in Dripping Springs is to drink. No wonder why they say “Sipping in Dripping!”
Whether you are visiting for a weekend getaway or a frequent traveler to the hill country, you should become a trailblazer to enjoy several breweries, distilleries, wineries, and restaurants. You can also receive discounted purchases and win prizes when you visit a trail stop.
Ultimately, the Dripping with Taste Trail is a fun way to visit multiple places and support the community.
Grab a Drink at the Barbershop
If you come into The Barbershop looking for a haircut, you will be added to their tally on the chalkboard! What was once a barbershop is now one of the coolest places to grab beer or wine in Dripping Springs.
The Barbershop is a beloved bar for locals and visitors looking for a laid-back dive bar. Every day, there are beer specials and live music on the weekend.
There are 18 beers on tap, focusing heavily on Texas craft breweries. There is also a wide variety of bottled beers and a small selection of cider and wines.
Start Your Morning with Coffee (or Cocktails)
FairLane Cocktails and Coffee is a cute cocktail and coffee bar – two of my favorite things! And it’s kid-friendly with a large grassy area with a playground – an extra win for my family!
This is not your average coffee shop or cocktail bar. FairLane Cocktails and Coffee has an exceptional drink menu with handcrafted cocktails and creative lattes that use flavor combinations you would never imagine.
For coffee lovers who want to try something new, order a rosemary sea salt latte, a sage vanilla latte, or a sweet cherry bomb latte. Do you need an extra pick-me-up in your coffee? Ask for a little “spirit” in your latte!
Grab a Drink at a Prohibition Bar
The Sidecar Tasting Room is a prohibition-inspired bar in the heart of downtown Dripping Springs. You will feel like you stepped back into the roaring 20s with its bronze and deep amber tones, antique piano, elegant lighting fixtures, and gorgeous tin ceiling.
Moreover, it’s a second tasting room for Bell Springs Winery & Brewery. So you can order a glass, bottle, or tasting of Bell Springs wine and a cold glass of Bell Springs craft beer. The tasting room also has delicious appetizers, flatbreads, and tacos made in-house.
Dine Inside a Vietnamese Town Hall
Tillie’s is a hidden gem in the Texas Hill Country. It’s an ornate restaurant with a casual atmosphere serving American-Nouveau cuisine – classic gourmet dishes with international flavors using modern cooking techniques. Enjoy breakfast, weekend brunch, afternoon tea, or dinner at Tillie’s.
Moreover, the restaurant is a repurposed town hall from the Ninh Binh region of Vietnam. Its breathtaking architecture and the plated dishes match the room’s elegance, creating a dining experience you will never forget.
Taste Award-Winning Olive Oil
The Texas Hill Country Olive Oil Co. is a lovely place to taste premium extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. When you arrive at the property, you will instantly feel like you are in the rolling hills of Tuscany. The property is beautiful, from the Tuscan-style building to the rows of olive trees and scenic views from atop.
There are many experiences to enjoy at the Texas Hill Country Olive Oil Co. You can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the mill to learn the olive oil making process, enjoy an informative olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting with small bites of food, or dine at the bistro.
The bistro serves delicious appetizers, entrees, and salads that utilize Texas Hill Country Olive Oil Co. products. If you love what you order, you can purchase the products at the gourmet store, get the recipe, and recreate the dishes at home.
Read next: Italian-Style Grilled Zucchini Recipe
Drink a Beer with Goats
Jester King Brewery is one of the best breweries in Texas, known for its farmhouse ales, spontaneous fermentations, and large herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats. Yes, goats! The Jester King goats are just as famous as their craft beer.
Guests can enjoy two goat tours with Jester King Brewery – a guided goat walk and a hands-on goat experience. You can also hang out with the 70+ goats inside the pen at your leisure. Perhaps Jester King Brewery will be remembered as the G.O.A.T. breweries in Texas. Sorry, I had to!
Jester King Brewery also has brewery tours, walking nature trails, a wooden play fort, a wood-fired pizzeria, a rustic inn, and an event hall on its magnificent 165 acres.
Best Things to Do in Dripping Springs: Shopping, Music & History
Dripping Springs is known for its bountiful boozy establishments and stunning nature landscapes, but it also has great shopping, a fun music scene, and some fascinating history. Here are a few more things to do in Dripping Springs.
Take a Step Back in Time at Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead
The Pound family is recognized as the founding family of Dripping Springs. Dr. Pound built his house and farmstead in the 1850s. The 5-acre property served as the Pound family house and the community’s medical office, hospital, church, schoolhouse, and social gathering place. Everything remained in the family for four generations until 1983.
Today, the Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead is a museum and event venue. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places list and a Texas State Historical Landmark.
You can take a FREE tour of the gorgeous property for an enriching experience that captures the life of a Texas Pioneer. It is a great way to learn more about the Dripping Springs community and its history. On Wednesdays, you can enjoy the grounds and shop locally at the Dripping Springs Farmers Market.
Go Shopping at Historic Mercer Street
Historic Mercer Street is a quaint place to admire the architecture of the historic buildings and shop for the perfect outfit or souvenir to take home. Some say walking on Mercer Street is like “taking a step back in time” because the buildings were built between 1870 – 1940, and many storefronts have remained unchanged for decades.
The boutique shops are all welcoming and unique. You can find your new favorite outfit at Vintage Soul, fun gifts and apparel at Starrs on Mercer, plants and nature-focused home goods at Juniper Tree Market, and gorgeous home furnishings and decor at Curated Cottage. It’s hard to shop on Mercer Street and leave empty-handed.
Grab your cowboy boots and hit the dance floor at Mercer Dancehall – an authentic Texas-style dance hall where country music fills the air! The music venue has one of the largest dance floors in the Texas Hill Country, with a beautiful wrap-around porch, a nice beer and wine selection, and good bar food.
On Friday nights, you can take a dance lesson for FREE. Saturday nights are for dancing the night away with a live band, and Sunday late afternoons are for those still feeling the music.
Best Things to Do Near Dripping Springs
Although there are plenty of amazing things to do in Dripping Springs, there are a few popular places to visit in neighboring towns.
Explore Pedernales Falls State Park
Pedernales Falls State Park is one of the most beloved state parks in the Lone Star State, and it’s only 30 minutes from Dripping Springs. The park is beautiful, but the most magnificent sight is Pedernales Falls, where water cascades over giant slabs of layered limestone and continues through the riverbed.
There are several ways to enjoy the 5,212-acre hill country park. You can ride horseback, hike or bike scenic trails, enjoy a refreshing swim, canoe, kayak, or go on a lazy float down the river.
Eat Some of the Best Texas BBQ
People travel near and far to taste tender, mouthwatering barbecue from The Salt Lick BBQ‘s legendary BBQ pit. So it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to drive 10 minutes from Dripping Springs to Driftwood to visit the iconic barbecue restaurant.
Read next: Slow Cooker Texas-Style Pulled Pork Recipe
You cannot go wrong with anything on the menu, but it would be a Texas sin if you did not try the brisket. If you want a little bit of everything, order Thurman’s Choice, which includes brisket, pork ribs, and sausage. BBQ enthusiasts or those who eat with their eyes should also try the giant bison ribs.
As you can see, there are many fun things to do in Dripping Springs. Whether you visit Dripping Springs with family or friends to drink your way through the city or explore natural wonders – I hope you enjoy this charming town as much as we do.