Makes us glad we live in the South...

Mural on First Street in Hico, Texas
Mural on First Street in Hico, Texas
| Credit: Photo by Art Meripol

Most people link small-town Texas with longhorn cattle and Friday night lights. Not chocolate truffles and free Wi-Fi. Enter Hico (pronounced "HIGH-co"). Just 90 minutes southwest of Fort Worth, it's the northern gateway to the Hill Country and a community blessed with a mixture of creative and classic.

Many a weekend cowboy comes through Hico, outfitting his ranch at Homestead, Blue Star Home, or the auto supply-turned-Texana decor shop, Western Otter. But it's the 1,342 locals who truly relish the small-town life. "Usually when we have a parade, we have the floats just go around town twice," Bliss Living boutique owner LaDonne Wenzel says.

The Texas can-do spirit fills the air in Hico, where a red cedar boatwright, a Williams-Sonoma metalsmith, a violin-maker, and an ostrich boot designer all live and work. And don't forget LaDonne's husband, Kevin, who started nationally craved Wiseman House Fine Handmade Chocolates in a Victorian home across from Koffee Kup Family Restaurant. Hico's true heartbeat, this diner serves up mountainous pies and doughnuts. Even in small Texas towns, bigger is better.

Come on Down
102 miles from DFW airport; about 90 minutes from Waco

What a Real Local Knows…

  • Place To Be on a Saturday Morning: Pecan Street farmers market for homemade zucchini bread and fresh eggs
  • Best Day of the Year: May 15, Texas Steak Cookoff; 2,500 ribeyes will hit the grill
  • Local Legend: Hico's Ollie "Brushy Bill" Roberts claimed to be gunslinger Billy the Kid. He unsuccessfully sought a pardon in 1950.
  • Best Pie in Town: Banana Blueberry Icebox Pie at Koffee Kup Family Restaurant
  • What $25 Buys: Sloan Brands mini branding irons, perfect for cookouts