It's no secret how special the Lone Star State is but head just west of Austin toward Texas Hill Country and you'll find a whole new gem – the city of Dripping Springs.
Pam Owens, President of the Dripping Springs Visitors Bureau says, “We have a wonderful school district. We take care of our museum. We take care of our nursing home people.”
Owens says the town has a great sense of community. And those discovering this quickly growing city are certainly taking notices.
Dripping Springs is a leader in percentage growth rate within Hays County. Studies project the population to grow to 82,000 by the year 2023.
President of Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce Susan Kimball says, “People like that small town feel with proximity to Austin. We're having more conveniences this way but we have not just the national retailers taking note. We have local shops, everything from boutiques to feed stores to restaurants, we have a lot to offer."
One of those restaurants is the sister brand to Austin's famous Stiles Switch. Similarly named, The Switch, settled in to Dripping Springs in June of this year to offer craft-style barbecue to visitors and residents alike.
Katherine Stiles, owner of The Switch, says, "Having the ability to build from the ground up, the landscape, the opportunity with the growth, it just kind of all made sense. It was the perfect trifecta for us."
Once one fills up on the Texas staple of BBQ a drink might be in order. The posh Desert Door opened to the public on Veterans Day in 2017. They stir up their own creative cocktails with Texas Sotol from the Chihuahuan Desert. Owners agree the city welcomed them with open arms.
Brent Looby says, "Dripping Springs recognizes the value that these types of corporations bring to their community and it's just been a really nice partnership."
And as several businesses recognize the buzz within the Springs, there are those who have known about it for quite some time now.
Julie Crawford, owner of boutique Vintage Soul has been around since 2012. A recent re-location to Mercer Street has brought an even greater influx of visitors.
Crawford says, "I've gotten to meet so many new people through this business, that I never would have been able to meet. So I think that's really probably the coolest thing about owning the shop."
And as the years go on, this friendly, family-driven city will not only become a visitor's paradise, but a final destination.