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Hit the Road

Square One

Merchants waiting in line to set up shop in downtown La Grange

There’s something about La Grange that makes it seem like Andy Griffith is in charge, Opie’s about to pop in for cookies and milk, and Floyd is cutting hair in his barber’s shop. This town square is one of the few in Texas where, according to Cathy Chaloupka of Rural Texas Tourism, a list of merchants bears the names of those patiently waiting for a building to become available so they, too, can become part of “Mayberry.”

On the Square in La Grange

Angels & Outlaws: This little gem allows that “our halo is a little crooked,” making it the perfect place to yield to a little temptation such as gift items, Yellow Box shoes and framed pictures of the infamous Chicken Ranch. (979) 968-6362

The Shoppes on the Square: If you’re up for solving a mystery, stop by and try to uncover the meaning of the three distinct “dots” that appear in each of Beth Anderson’s impressionistic-style paintings. (She knows, but she’s not telling!) And don’t miss the bejeweled and bedazzled guitars, natural products from Round Top Natural Soap, clothing and accessories. (979) 968-6153

Urban Nest: Housed in the 1907 Hermes Building, this shop offers modern goods and a glimpse into the days when lipstick sold for two bits and Armand Rouge for four. Surrounded by rich, oak woodwork and pressed tin ceilings, a corner apothecary cabinet displays bygone medicines from what was Texas’ longest-operating drugstore, Hermes Drug, until it closed in 2009. (979) 966-0111

Richard Schmidt Jewelry Design: What gal can resist owning one of Schmidt’s popular Southwest-inspired originals? The store boasts that its jewelry is worn by singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow and “American Idol” judge and rocker Steven Tyler—these bangles and beads are seen nationwide. 1-800-368-9965

Lukas Bakery: You just can’t leave the square without a nibble or two. Drifting cinnamon and fresh apple strudel scents have been luring folks off the sidewalk since 1947. (979) 968-3052

Not Too Far from the Square

Weikel’s Bakery: The Czech shortbread and kolaches are worth the drive—and the calories. Don’t forget the homemade noodles! (979) 968-9413 

Katy Sweet Confectioners: Beginning with a recipe handed down from owner Kay Carlton’s Cherokee grandmother, this sweet shop offers chewy and crunchy candies, including organic and sugar-free varieties. 1-800-419-2056