I don’t know if y’all have heard, but Boerne is a having a moment. Don’t believe me? Just look here or here. What was once a relatively sleepy little “cow town” (as described by one of my friends who grew up here) is now a booming center of growth and development. If you haven’t been to Boerne in a while, I can tell you with great confidence that this little town shines brightest at Christmastime, so now is the perfect time to come see what all the buzz is about.
I’ve lived in Boerne for almost seven years now, and while I’m not sure if that qualifies me as an insider by this town’s standards, I do know which stores I run to when I need to find the perfect gift for a friend or family member. Sure, I rely on the miracle of Amazon Prime as much as the next mom, but I have to say that paying a visit to the shops in Boerne—if you have the time—is infinitely more enjoyable than shopping online.
There is something about opening the door to a beautifully decorated store and savoring the sights and smells (because of course there are fragrant candles burning in most of them) that makes the whole experience more than just checking yet another item off of your to-do list. You will also likely find a selection of products that you might not have thought to search for or even been able to find online. And let’s not forget about the ability to enlist the aid of genuinely friendly sales associates who are eager—but not overly eager—to help you find that perfect gift or answer any questions you might have.
All of this greatness does come at a price, though, as shopping in Boerne is rarely Big Box store cheap. I’ve never seen any dollar spot sections in any of the shops, nor do I frequently see prices that seem too good to be true, a la a 50%-off-the-entire-store sale at Old Navy. But I do find value in the uniqueness, beauty, and quality of the purchases I make, and I hope if you make the trip out, you find the same to be true. Here are my can’t-miss, tried-and-true, never-disappoint gift shopping destinations!
Don’t let the name throw you—Wheeler’s Western Outfitters and Feed is the best-kept secret in Boerne, probably due in large part to its location: a short distance off of “The Hill Country Mile,” Boerne’s main shopping district. Also, when you think of gifts and apparel in a store with “Feed” in the name, you probably think of huge belt buckles, plaid button down shirts, and Wrangler jeans. But what you will find when you walk into Wheeler’s is a beautifully curated array of colorful women’s and children’s apparel, boots, elegant home accents, and more. They recently added the sophisticated jewelry of Julie Vos to their store, and one look at the line will tell you immediately why it’s often referred to as “wearable luxury.” The price is reasonable, but the look is very luxe. And speaking of reasonable yet luxe, that fun clutch pictured to the left is a MUST for any self-respecting San Antonio woman if I’ve ever seen one…particularly for when it’s time to Fiesta! Priced at just $25, it would make the perfect gift for every friend on your list!
And if you’re looking for something for the men in your life, you will find guns, camo gear, boots, Yeti Colsters, and everyday apparel. It probably goes without saying that you can also pick up a little something for your livestock while you’re here too. This is truly a store that does it all, but I think their emphasis on fashion-forward and envy-inducing women’s and girls’ clothing deserves special mention. They carry chic Western pieces from (former Ralph Lauren designer) Tasha Polizzi, modern casual wear from Z Supply, plenty of unique and gift-worthy kimonos, and the cutest, most smile-inducing selection of little girls’ clothing and shoes you’ll ever see. Check out their Instagram @Wheelersboutique for inspiration, and then go visit the store in person. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Bonus Feature: Wheeler’s opens at 8:00 A.M. on weekdays, so it’s a store you can hit up immediately after dropping off the kids at school. No more killing time waiting for the doors to open at 10:00 A.M.! Or, you can skip the trip entirely and shop via their website, where you will find most of the merchandise they carry in the store. They will also wrap your purchases for you free of charge during the holiday season.
The Dienger Trading Company is a can’t-miss destination when you’re in Boerne. When it first opened, I walked through the doors and immediately felt like I’d been transported to a JoAnna Gaines wonderland. Don’t get me wrong: JoAnna Gaines has nothing to do with The Dienger (at least not that I’m aware of), but it is definitely the kind of place that you could envision her walking into at any given moment.
An understated oasis of urban cool, The Dienger is a breath of fresh air to the Boerne Hill Country Mile. Here you will find upscale but understated apparel, accessories, and bath and body products for men, women, and children. But the selection doesn’t end there. They also carry home accessories and beautiful hardcover books. Some of my favorite offerings at The Dienger include the Cupcakes and Cashmere brand, which is beautifully cut and reasonably priced, Tocca body products, and the ridiculously cute (and ridiculously expensive) children’s line Velveteen.
Bonus Feature: As if the store’s apparel section wasn’t reason enough to visit (which it is), The Dienger also features a delicious bistro at the front of the building that serves breakfast, lunch, and on Friday and Saturday nights, dinner. A favorite of Boerne ladies who lunch, the cafe at the bistro at The Dienger can get crowded, but it is worth the wait.
When you’re friends with foodies, you know you can’t just bring any old H-E-B treat to the party. Forget dressing to impress—you need to bestow gifts to impress. And if you’re looking to impress a foodie, you don’t need to look any farther than Boerne Epicure Gourmet Market, a foodie paradise right here on earth! What I love about Epicure is that they carry quite a few hard-to-find and very “giftable” products, such as Dillapeno, a sweet and mildly spicy relish that goes just as well in guacamole as it does on a turkey sandwich, and Jalapeño Gold, a candied jalapeño condiment that is delicious mixed with cream cheese as a dip or served on top of a hamburger or hot dog. They also have an impressive supply of gluten-free goods as well as a sizeable selection of vegan and other allergen-friendly products in their refrigerated section. And if you’re looking for beautifully packaged snacks, oils, seasoning mixes, distinctive spreads, pickled ANYTHING, desserts, teas, and baking mixes, you’ll be delighted with the treats you find here!
Attached to the cafe is a deli that serves up some of the best sandwiches in town, and gluten-free bread is available! You can phone in your order ahead of time, or see what suits your fancy before you begin browsing the Market and have your meal prepared for you while you shop. If it’s nice weather outside, you can enjoy your sandwich al fresco at one of several outdoor tables on their patio. The meats and cheeses used in the sandwiches are available for purchase in the deli counter, so you can take home a little slice of that heaven to enjoy later!
Is there a better feeling than walking into a store and immediately feeling your jaw hit the floor because you love every. single. thing. you see?!? That’s how I feel when I walk into Jac’s, a home accessories store filled to the brim with beautiful dinnerware, serving pieces, delicate tea towels, candles, and elegant decorative and seasonal accents. When I visited the store recently, it was awash in gold, silver, and white—a true winter wonderland! Stop by and stock up on gifts for the hostess for all your upcoming holiday events. One of my go-to gifts from Jac’s is their marble and mango wood cutting board that is personalized with an uppercase initial. It makes a stunning impression at a reasonable price. Jac’s carries brands such as Spode, Juliska, and Trapp candles. Live on the edge and close your eyes to select your purchases. You simply can’t go wrong!
Tell me that a store sells an enticing variety of truffles handmade in Texas, and I’m in. Tell me that they have an extensive selection of eco-friendly and supremely comfortable bamboo pajamas and intimate wear, and I’m way in. Tell me that they carry a wide variety of pretty and inspirational gifts perfect for making those notoriously trying mama days a little more bearable, and I can’t get there fast enough! Welcome to the Victorian Rose, an adorable shop that speaks directly to the spiritual mama’s soul. Come to think of it, the store is kind of like a LifeWay on estrogen. Here you will find cute Christian-themed and seasonal cups, mugs, planners, devotionals, ornaments, and wall art in addition to bath and body products, jewelry, and gifts for babies and children. Brands carried include Boody Wear, Faceplant Dreams, Inis products, 2 Queen B’s jewelry, and Sweet Shop chocolates.
There you have it: my go-to shops for amazing finds, whether for myself or those I cherish. Now, get yourself up to Boerne and come see what all the fuss is about!