Texas Travel

City Spotlight: Salado

By Peter Simek 10.1.18

The tiny historic town of Salado has long been considered a top Texas wedding destination. Young couples are attracted to the city’s picturesque creek, its Texas-traditional Austin stone buildings, and the Stagecoach Inn, said to be the oldest continually operating hotel in Texas.

Today, Salado draws couples who tie the knot at some of the town’s pretty bed-and-breakfasts, but it’s also an art destination serving up cultural charm with a distinctively Texas twang.

Salado, Texas downtown

Photo by Andrew Fisher

Deep Texas Roots

Life was difficult for the first Texas settlers in Salado. They faced raids from Native Americans, who some archaeologists believe may have lived near the site of the town for an estimated 15,500 years, and from the armies of Gen. Santa Anna.

After the Texas Revolution, a post office and college were established in the town, and Salado became an important stop-off on the Chisholm Trail. The town boomed, but when the railroad bypassed Salado in the late 19th century, its growth stalled. The detour proved fateful, setting up the town for a second life as a charming historic village.

Salado Glass Blowing

Photo by Andrew Fisher

An Artistic Hamlet

Salado’s quaint, historic setting has made it an art lovers haven, with an overabundance of galleries for a town its size.

Salado Inn on the Creek

Photo by Andrew Fisher

Where to Stay

The Stagecoach Inn opened as a stopover on the Chisholm Trail. The structure dates back to 1861 and received a renovation in 2017, gently updating the oak and pecan tree-covered grounds where the likes of Sam Houston, Gen. George Custer, Robert E. Lee Jr., cattle barons Shanghai Pierce and Charles Goodnight, and outlaws Sam Bass and Jesse James have all stayed.

A number of Salado’s older Victorian homes have been transformed into bed-and-breakfasts. It is difficult to beat the location of the Inn on the Creek, which overlooks the gentle, babbling brook and features first-rate dining on its historic porch.

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