From the outside, The Museum of Western Art’s heavy timbers and rough limestone, designed by renowned southwestern architect O’Neil Ford, evoke the hulking beauty of a fortressed hacienda. The equally breathtaking interior draws the eye upward with 23 bóveda domes, and end-cut mesquite wood joins terra-cotta Saltillo tile floors in setting the stage for paintings, sculptures, and artifacts from and featuring the American West. The museum’s expansive 14,000-square-foot gallery space hosts artwork from modern-day brush wielders and pieces from its permanent collection, which boasts 150 sculptures, 250 paintings, and numerous artifacts. Bridging artwork from the old and the new West, the museum takes visitors on a thoughtful journey from historical paintings, such as works inspired by the artistic community in Taos, to modern-day depictions of bionic buffalo. The museum also educates the public with events, workshops, and lectures, and it encourages young artists with immersion programs at the Western Art Academy. A research library with more than 6,000 books and periodicals invites armchair buckaroos to stock up on snake oil, don hats of any liquid capacity, and embark on individual adventures into the art and culture of the American West.
From simple roots as a roadside peach stand in 1969, Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods has grown into a gourmet-condiment authority by blending fresh ingredients into award-winning recipes. The 2010 NASFT sofi Award–winning Mom’s Spaghetti Sauce ($6 for 14 oz.) fuses fresh basil and whole cloves of garlic into a delectably seasoned tomato sauce, which begs eaters to pack a backup wedding dress in case the one they're wearing gets dirty. Unite rival sweet and spicy taste buds with complex flavors, such as the Spicy Sesame Stir Fry & Dipping Sauce ($9.95), winner of the 2011 Fiery Food Challenge for best consumer-ready Asian/stir-fry condiment, or the popular Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce ($9.95), a gluten-free gem that brings out the flavors in meat, chicken, and fish with sweetness backed by a smoky, spicy kick. Myriad salsas ($6.95) and jellies ($6.95) entertain houseguests, dripping from chips at parties or spreading across toast while guests settle their bed-and-breakfast bill. In order to thread their condiments around dietary restrictions, condiment chefs promise transparency with a nutritional guide spotlighting which of their products are gluten free, all natural, low sodium, or have no sugar added.
Stuffed with bright blooms and art-inspired décor items, Sprout's downtown store stimulates all five senses. Never mistake a pumpkin for a turnip again by sticking a fork in it with vintage silverware garden markers ($10 each). Indoors, the sensuous fruit and citrus scents of a 7.5-ounce Japanese blossom soy candle ($24) sweet-talk their way into exclusive nostril nightclubs, and bud vases ($6 each) suit single-stem flowers in fitting attire. A fully equipped florist, Sprout also purveys fresh flowers by the stem or in mixed bouquets for weddings, birthdays, and conciliatory presents to angry colonies of bees. Though not included with this deal, Sprout supplies a variety of jewelry and artwork.
Best Sports Apparel nurtures fandom far and wide with tees, jerseys, and accessories that flaunt all major-team insignias from more than five sport disciplines. Support the in-state Texans by sliding foam fingers through a screen-printed long-sleeve constructed tee by Reebok ($17.99), or cheer on the Cowboys with a team-colored Raglan shirt ($28.80), predistressed to suggest a well-aged passion for America’s team. The shop also features numerous jerseys for each football, basketball, baseball, and hockey squads, honoring the exploits of players past and present. Shop in-store to ensure a dapper fit or place an order online to have wares speedily delivered via the store manager's best Hail Mary toss.
With more than 25 years in the apparel business, the style-savvy clothiers at In-Step Fashions train their seasoned eyes on select pieces of casual women’s garb, shoes, and accessories. Shoppers peruse apparel from labels such as Sienna Rose, Nally & Millie, and Mesmerize alongside fashionable footwear by brands including Naturalizer and Yellow Box, all housed in a 151-year-old building rich with history and the ghosts of couture past. Guests can declare victory over wet weather with toe-hugging boots ($36.95–129.95), or dress up jeans with feminine tops ($31.95–$91.95).
The online pantry at Fredericksburg Farms abounds with all-natural preserves, chili mixes, and mustards and dozens of gluten-free options, all prepared with a firm commitment to Texan- and American-made products. The farm's fruit-filled preserves and jellies ($6.95 each) crown toast in classic and fiery flavors such as strawberry, peach, and jalapeño and double as tasty caulk when winterizing a gingerbread house. A drizzle of water transforms the Texas Campfire cornbread mix into thick, spicy batter ($5.95), and the preservative-free venison-chili mix ($4.95) will come in handy after hunting season. Home accents include an aromatic array of hand-poured soy-blend candles ($12–$16 each), which infuse dwellings with luscious fruit, herbal, and floral fragrances.