SALADO — It doesn’t take a half-day of driving to get a change of scenery, complete with a dose of history and art, for a weekend getaway.
The village of Salado, just south of Belton on Interstate 35, offers 12 bed and breakfast options for couples and groups looking for a different kind of weekend activity — and is only about a half-hour drive away from Killeen.
“Since we have a lot of bed and breakfasts, each can offer a unique experience,” said Debbie Charbonneau, Salado tourism director.
The grounds of many bed and breakfasts in Salado incorporate natural features, such as creeks, springs and trees, to help visitors feel removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
“Salado is like an outdoor strolling mall,” said Sheryl Russell, who co-owns Baines House Bed, Breakfast and Beyond Inn. “The popular seasons are when it’s a mild temperature, so fall into Christmas.”
Baines House, like many other bed and breakfasts, features antiques in its decor of a house that was the original home of George Washington Baines, great-grandfather of President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
“It feels like someone has just pressed the world’s pause button,” said Russell of the atmosphere at her bed and breakfast. “We’re surrounded by trees and pretty gardens, and all rooms have some sort of sitting porch.”
The presence of various arts throughout the city is an element of Salado’s identity that innkeepers like to incorporate into their homes as well.
“One of the most unique aspects of Salado is its fine art presence,” said Will Lowery, proprietor at Inn on the Creek, which features paintings, sculptures and glasswork from local artists throughout its rooms.
“It’s something that seems to charm visitors. We have seven fine art galleries (in Salado) and I always recommend patrons visit them because of the diverse things they’re exposed to,” Lowery said.
The smallness-aspect of Salado is advantageous for its lodging, as many attractions are within walking distance of some bed and breakfasts.
“It’s very private,” said Jackie Mills, vice president of the Tablerock board of directors and staff member at Bonnie Posey Cottage at Tablerock. “It’s just a stone’s throw from the amphitheater.”
Goodnight Amphitheater hosts a number of events throughout the year, including plays, concerts and readings.
Posey Cottage is just two blocks from downtown Salado and a number of “quaint” shopping destinations, restaurants and galleries.
“Salado is known for its hospitality and I think that’s three-quarters of the reason people come back,” Mills said.