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Let’s start with an interesting fact: Bee Cave, a city located in Travis County just west of downtown Austin, did not exist until 1987. The idea was to create the feel of living in a big city without the “big city.” The quaint name derives from the colonies of Mexican honeybees that live on the banks of Barton Creek.
Though the population is only 6,801, there’s plenty to do in Bee Cave… and we assure you none of it involves running from bees.
Here’s everything you need to know about life in Bee Cave.
Eat and Drink:
For outdoor seating and stellar seafood, check out Cafe Blue at Hill Country Galleria. We’re fans of their brunch, crab cakes, beignets, and oysters. Inside, you can find a very unique wine cellar that is on a conveyor belt system. This cool seafood spot is tucked into a Bee Cave shopping center and gives the feel of eating in a tropical setting.
Meridian 98‘s swanky rooftop lounge—located at Sonesta Bee Cave Austin—is a great spot to grab a bite and drink in Bee Cave while you gaze out over the Hill Country. Don’t miss their everyday happy hour from 4 to 10 p.
Another favorite tucked in the Hill Country Galleria is Chisos Grill. Opened in 2011, this Southwestern style restaurant locally sources all meat used in their dishes. The concept was created based on the owners travels from Texas to New Mexico. We recommend starting off with a house margarita while perusing the menu. Some of our favorite dishes include the Chicken Fried Chicken, Catfish with Grits, and the Brisket Cobb Salad.
For a truly unique experience, check out Jules Design Bar. This bar, but also boutique, offers design and retail therapy, all while sipping on a delicious craft cocktail. The interior of the bar is chic and luxurious with chandeliers, sofa-style seating, and beautiful glassware.
Woody’s Tavern & Grill is a great spot to grab a drink after dinner, featuring large garage doors that create an indoor/outdoor feel. Woody’s includes a children’s menu, though turns into an adults-only bar at night. There’s live music in the “yard,” and service is fast and friendly.
If you’re looking for more of a casual, kid-friendly (though still totally date-night approved) restaurant, definitely check out Mandola’s Italian Kitchen. This neighborhood gem offers incredible classics like bruschetta (it’s seriously so good), Caprese salad, and gnocchi. They also have plenty of desserts and wine bottles that you can cork and carry if you don’t finish!
For a sweet treat, check out the new french pastry house FoliePop’s. Located at Hill Country Galleria, the offer both sweet and savory treats with TONS of options. They have great coffee options too. But the sweet FoliePop pastry is the most fun. Check out this video to see why!
Greater Goods Coffee Roasting Co. is a great coffee shop to get your caffeine fix from. They source all coffee beans from female-owned international coffee farms and all the staff is super knowledgeable. The shop also offers breakfast treats, including a variety of gluten-free and vegan options. Greater Goods also sells refillable growlers so you can take plenty of coffee home or be the favorite coworker in your office.
Runaway Luna Coffeehouse & Lifestyle Boutique is a family owned and operated coffeehouse that not only offers robust coffee drinks, but sells accessories, purses, wallets, and more. What’s not to love about sipping on great coffee and shopping around all in the same place.
We absolutely love shopping in Bee Cave! Hill Country Galleria is a great place to spend a day of shopping major brand-name shops. Not only does this spacious outdoor mall feature shopping, but you can grab a bite to eat, have a cocktail, grocery shop, and see a movie all in one area! For local shops and boutiques in the Bee Cave area, we recommend ADORN Boutique, The Wardrobe, Magpie Blossom Boutique, and and Oh Yeah! Boutique.
Keep it local and shop the Lone Star Farmers Market every Sunday. Stroll through over 40 booths with Austin’s finest and local produce and artisan foods. The farmer’s market is perfectly situated on the central lawn of the Hill Country Galleria and makes for a great space to meander between vendors, sit down, enjoy the market’s offerings and listen to local music.
Outdoor Parks and Green Spaces:
The Bee Cave Sculpture Park is a seven-acre natural park that showcases a combination of rotating and permanent sculptures. Additionally, you can find a spring-fed pond, giant oak trees, and beautiful native plants. Take a picnic and spend the afternoon at this free park.
Check out our entire article dedicated to Exploring Bee Cave Sculpture Park!
City of Bee Cave Central Park is the perfect park for a run, walk, or bike ride. The long, paved trails make for a great route without fear of hitting any rocks or uneven gravel. The park also features a basketball court, children’s playscape, an amphitheater, and two dog parks.
For a scenic hike, check out The Barton Creek Habitat Preserve. This 4,000-acre landscape protects habitats of endangered birds and preserves the quality of water in the Barton Creek watershed. If you’re looking for beautiful scenery and wildlife, this is the place. On site, you can find restrooms, a rustic stone building, and a pavilion with a fireplace. Please leave your dogs at home if hiking here!
Austin Zoo is a nonprofit zoo located at the southwest edge of Bee Cave, in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. The zoo’s mission is to assistantships animals in need through rescue, rehab, and education. Austin Zoo is much smaller than your large city zoo’s, more of a sanctuary feel, which we think makes for a more intimate tour. Each animal has a story talking about how it came to the zoo. The staff is super friendly and knowledgeable about all the animals staying at the zoo.
Bring out the inner artist in you and your kids with a hands-on art class provided by Bee Cave Arts Foundation. The Hive, their community art center, is located in the Hill Country Galleria and puts on art classes for adults and children. In their 4,500-square foot space, you will find ongoing art exhibitions by professional artists as well as local students.
Bee Cave is more of a strong community rather than just your plain ole neighborhood. The City Government of Bee Cave plans a number of events and activities for residents to partake it, most of which are free and outdoor. The residents of Bee Cave are very involved as well, having their own City Calendar and a general encouragement of small businesses.
There are three subdivisions in Bee Cave: Falconhead, The Uplands, and The Homestead. The subdivisions are well laid out, many featuring gold courses. Most homes in the area are two-story, on medium-size lots. Being off the Hill Country, you still have the scenic views, but you’re only about a 20-minute drive from downtown Austin, plus the drive there is gorgeous. The schools in Bee Cave are very well rated, plus tons of green spaces and quick accessibility to shopping. According to Redfin, the average price of a home in Bee Cave is $633K, with homes being on the market for about 50 days.
Looking for more things to do in Bee Cave? Look here!
Featured photo courtesy of @visitbeecave